Friend and mentor: HSBC's Grace Lloyd with Winnie Wang
When Grace Lloyd from HSBC Australia signed up to be part of the inaugural HSBC Women in Finance mentoring program with UNSW FINSOC (Finance & Banking Society), she knew it would involve helping a university student with career advice. What she didn’t expect was that she’d receive a crash course in social media and Sydney’s food scene.
“I’m passionate about career development and helping young people make the right choices, so it was an easy decision to sign up. I was partnered with a student called Winnie Wang, who is studying Commerce and Finance, and we met every 4-6 weeks over the past eight months,” said Grace, who is a Commercial Banking Manager with HSBC.
Grace and Winnie were one of 35 mentor/mentee relationships who took part in the inaugural program, which ran from September 2017 until April 2018.
The HSBC Women in Finance mentoring program connected female finance students with experienced professionals to help them navigate the financial services industry. It allowed them to begin building the skills that will help them achieve their career aspirations in what has traditionally been a male-dominated sector.
During their time together, Grace gave Winnie advice on applying for internships and preparing her CV, drawing on her experience with HSBC’s own graduate recruitment program as well as her previous role managing the Relationship Executive team.
For Winnie, the benefits of the program were immediate.
“I was able to learn so much from Grace through our catch-ups, ranging from excellent career advice and résumé tips, to having lots of fun talking about our common interests, such as travelling and food. This program offers a truly invaluable opportunity to receive guidance from an experienced mentor. The best part about it is that I've not only gained a mentor but also a great friend!”
The mentoring experience has also helped shape her career goals.
“In terms of future aspirations, I am hoping to pursue a career in either finance or consulting. Talking to Grace about her experience working in commercial banking has really piqued my interest in this area, as I believe I would really enjoy the dynamic and challenging nature of the work, as well as working with large-scale clients to service their financing requests,” Winnie said.
According to Grace, the mentoring relationship wasn’t one-way or just ‘talking shop’: “Winnie taught me how to use Instagram and we talked a lot about our favourite pop-up restaurants. It was refreshing to hear insights from the younger generation… although I can’t believe I’m already at an age to say that!”
The program also gave Grace the opportunity to reflect on her own priorities. “There’s always a risk of getting wrapped up in our own world, but having someone else’s viewpoint helped to broaden my own perspective. It’s definitely given me new insight on what we should look for from our graduates and what we offer them,” she said.