My time in Hong Kong and Singapore: a conversation with Ewe Jin Tan

By Tessa Shaw

The future of business and economics lies in our students, who demonstrate the value of the Faculty’s teaching, industry engagement and scholarship programs when they successfully navigate into careers of their choice. Commerce Opportunity Bursary recipient Ewe Jin Tan shares his recent internship story with us, and tells us about his experiences in Hong Kong and Singapore with Deutsche Bank.

Successfully selected as one of five students to intern at Deutsche Bank, Ewe Jin Tan returned to Melbourne after spending his summer break in their Hong Kong and Singapore offices, in time for the 2016 Foundation Dinner. This annual event hosted by the Melbourne Foundation for Business and Economics brings together some of Melbourne’s most influential business leaders to celebrate the impact of philanthropy.

FD 2016
Guests arrive at the National Gallery of Victoria for the 2016 Foundation Dinner

The Commerce Opportunity Bursary is one such gift to the Foundation, of which Ewe Jin (currently in his third year of the Bachelor of Commerce) is a recipient. The bursary provides financial assistance to high-achieving students and encompasses a program to foster the academic and personal development of the recipients, through the ongoing support of the Commerce Opportunity Network.

Ewe Jin attended the dinner as representative of our student body, amongst recent graduates and fellow students recognised for their academic excellence and extracurricular participation in Faculty activities. He recounted an evening of networking amidst a lively atmosphere.

Ewe Jin remarked, "The Andy Warhol-Ai Wei Wei exhibition provided a vibrant backdrop for pre-dinner drinks. I caught up with several Uni mates whom I have not seen since the end of exams last year. It was refreshing to reminisce our summer break and talk about graduate applications. Some of the firms my peers and I discussed were actually present at the dinner!"

FD _Warhol/WeiWei exhibition
Guests admiring artwork from the Andy Warhol/ Ai Wei Wei Exhibition

FD16 Ewe Jin Tan and Kevin Wong
Ewe Jin Tan (right) with Kevin Wong, former Managing Director of JP Morgan and Senior Country Officer of JP Morgan Chase for Malaysia. Mr Wong was a recipient of the Alumni of Distinction Contribution to Faculty or University Award. He gave Ewe Jin his insights on working in Asia, and shared his views on the cultural changes that occurred in Hong Kong and Singapore throughout his career.

For Ewe Jin, receiving the scholarship is not only a recognition of his hard work and talent, but also a reminder of the future that he aims to achieve. It is a celebration of the faith that both the University of Melbourne and the Faculty of Business and Economics have in his ability to positively influence society.

It is humbling to know that the FBE believes in me, driving me to utilize my passion and interest in commerce to leave a tangible mark in society. Ewe Jin Tan

Aside from the acknowledgment, another benefit associated with the bursary was being part of the network of fellow scholars. “I have participated in case competitions, shared countless memories and sought assistance from this network of friends ever since the initial introduction,” he recalls fondly.

What position did you hold at Deutsche Bank?

I was assigned to the Equity Sales desk in Hong Kong and the Credit Sales desk in Singapore. In both rotations, I saw first-hand the importance of China in the global economy. In my role as Writer Analyst, I was regularly exposed to diverse equity and credit markets in the Asian region, including China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Japan, Korea and India.

No two days were the same, and in both offices, I was assigned projects from day one. I wrote several investment pieces on China's outbound winter tourism, the trading discount of Chinese banks due to its hazy corporate governance, fundamentally undervalued stocks on pricing metrics, asset valuation discrepancies of Chinese property developers, and relative value trading opportunities involving the diverging spreads of similar-rated sovereign and corporate bonds.

Can you tell us what it was like to be part of one of the world’s leading investment banks?

The internship was incredibly unique as it provided me with practical experience in a global investment bank in the context of the Asia Pacific region.

The atmosphere on the Global Markets trading floor was highly driven and motivating. The work culture was lively, collaborative and intellectually challenging. This resulted in open conversations and discussions where stimulating ideas were bounced around on a daily basis.

During my time there, I was given the opportunity to present mock client stock pitches to my colleagues, imitating an integral role of my desk on a daily basis. The stocks I presented were broad in geographic markets and operating sectors.

The internship also involved formal presentations, which were a component of the overall internship evaluation. The presentation topics were open-ended, covering the challenges and opportunities facing clients, Deutsche Bank and the overall financial services industry. These presentations allowed me to connect with fellow colleagues and build my knowledge of other desks around the trading floor.

What was it like living in the busy, metropolitan cities of Hong Kong and Singapore?

Living in Hong Kong and Singapore over the span of two months was exciting, challenging and culturally fulfilling. There were many contrasting aspects of Hong Kong and Singapore compared to Australia. In both cities, the key highlights for me were the friendliness and openness of people, the delicious local cuisine, endless after-work and weekend activities and the bustling nightlife. The geographic proximity also meant I was able to sneak in a weekend trip to Macau and Malaysia!

I believe we all have a personal responsibility to use our skill set and education to benefit local communities and societies globally. My long-term goal is to utilize my studies in Commerce and passion in Finance in the asset management industry - investing in ideas and disruptors that bring revolutionary changes to their respective fields. Ewe Jin Tan

Students at FD2016
FBE Student Representatives at the 2016 Foundation Dinner (l-r):
Vincent Chan, Ewe Jin Tan, Alexandra Kent, Emily Budge, Michael Kerrison, Elizabeth Smith (student speaker), Xafina Dendrinos, George Longbottom, Alexander Howe, Stephanie Priestley, Claire Zheng, Emad Zegami, Celeste Guzzo

Learn more about our undergraduate scholarship opportunities.