I am in the Private Wealth stream of the NAB graduate program, working with JBWere. JBWere is a private wealth management firm, that serves high net worth individuals, families, business owners and for-purpose organisations. My first rotation is working within a team called Investment Strategy Group (ISG), and I am specifically a member of the fixed income team. ISG is a team of asset class specialists that guide the wealth advisers with our views and recommendations.
I am undertaking the roles and responsibilities of a fixed income analyst. Specific tasks include writing monthly commentary on the fixed income market, responding to adviser queries and undertaking research to understand the credit quality of new issuers to determine whether we are comfortable introducing them to our network. Fixed income is the most defensive asset class of an investor’s portfolio, therefore risk mitigation is a key aspect of our considerations.
I grew up in Sydney and relocated to Melbourne in 2019. I have been fortunate enough to have experienced attending primary school in Singapore, studying Law in Copenhagen, Spanish in Montevideo and volunteering in Tonga. I feel that living in various parts of the world has challenged my ways of thinking and given me a deep appreciation of culture and history.
I studied a combined degree of Law and International Studies, majoring in Spanish. Although I was unsure whether I wanted to pursue Law, I completed my Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice and became admitted as a Lawyer. I worked in the field of Migration Law, and despite knowing this area harmonised my double degree, I wasn’t sure if this was the career path for me.
It was quite challenging deciding what I wanted to do, and this was exacerbated by the Covid outbreak, making it even harder to find a graduate role that I could really get excited about. All I knew was that I wanted to begin my career in an organisation that is genuinely invested in my development, and at a place where I could see endless opportunities for growth.
I joined the NAB Graduate program in February 2021. I am currently 5 months into my first rotation. I never could have imagined that I would find myself in the world of finance, let alone thoroughly enjoying every aspect of my work.
Yes. Although some sort of financial background would certainly make adjusting to this role somewhat simpler, I can confidently say that if there is enthusiasm and a willingness to learn, success in this role is possible regardless of educational background. I can attest to this, because I had no prior understanding of what the fixed income asset class is (or any finance-related concepts for that matter!) Technical skills and understanding can be developed, however, starting off with the right attitude is imperative.
One of my favourite moments is when I provide an update on behalf of the fixed income team during the ‘Morning Meeting’. Over 150 individuals tune into this call, and although I can get very nervous, I love the thrill of sharing an update in such a public forum and practicing my public speaking. I am the first graduate to speak at the Morning Meeting, and I am very appreciative for the support and encouragement of my manager to take on such a task.
If you are looking for a 9-5, Investment Strategy Group probably isn’t the place for you. Nonetheless, the longer hours are reflective of the responsibilities that I have been entrusted with. One of these tasks is collating a research publication based on movements that have occurred in financial markets overnight, which is distributed to all of JBWere and the firm’s clients. This is sent out before 8:30 am and requires a fair amount of preparation. Despite the early mornings, I am so grateful for how much I have learnt after taking this on.
One for the power of our thoughts:
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can't… you're right.'- Henry Ford
One to lift us up when we are low:
“Everything will be okay in the end. If it's not okay, it's not the end.” - John Lennon
One to remind us to always be kind:
“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” - Maya Angelou