Alumni Q&A - Henry Herkes

Bachelor of Commerce (Hons)(2017)

Current role / company:
Associate / Dimensional Fund Advisors

Where in the world are you?
Sydney, NSW

Tell us about your experience since leaving university. How have you come to your current position?

I joined my current firm as an analyst following my honours year, and after just over two years, was recently promoted to Associate. Despite all the traditional channels for finding graduate jobs (newsletters, uni jobs portals, student clubs) I found this role on Seek! I’d encourage checking these platforms because global firms with small Australian teams may still utilise them and may not have formal graduate programs set up like the Big 4 and banks. Don’t forget to check LinkedIn!

Is this the sort of role you always wanted to be in, or were there some twists and turns along the way?

Suffice it to say I did not expect to be working in Sydney or in funds management. There are some great opportunities in Sydney and even looking back with hindsight bias, I am glad I took the risk to move and would do it again. As for working in funds management, Australia has a world class investment industry with few opportunities available to graduates, so I was lucky to stumble on this role.

Key learnings from your experience? Anything you’ve found particularly valuable or surprising?

Firstly, markets and the insights they provide, are powerful. This holds for any market you can think of but didn’t quite sink in until I was working with them outside of university. Secondly, it is somewhat cliché, but the more you know, the more you realise you don’t know. Important to always be learning and read widely. Lastly, Melbourne and Sydney are closer than you think. Some great connections have been formed through the overlap of these two networks.

How have you adapted during the COVID-19 pandemic, e.g. moving on-line, working from home, etc.

At first, the transition and loss of routine was difficult. The transition also coincided with market volatility not seen since the depths of the GFC, with commensurate long hours. Since then and with new routines (like taking walks during daily team Zoom calls), my workday has settled nicely into the new normal.

Why do you think university alumni communities are important?

The university alumni community will almost certainly be the largest, broadest, and deepest community you join in your life. Embrace it! It is a rich source of professional and social contacts, and especially so if you move to a new city. Shared memories of South Lawn are always a great conversation starter!

If you’d like to ask Henry more about his experiences, connect with him on LinkedIn and mention you have read the Q&A.