|24 Jan 2022|
|Written by Vera Coetsee|
|Alumni Spotlight Series|
Name: Janice Chung
Graduating Year: 2012
Years at GSIS: 6
University College & Degree: University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School of Business; BS in Economics, Major in Finance, Management and Operations and Information Management: Decision Processes
Current city of residence: Hong Kong
Could you introduce yourself a bit (background & profession)?
I was born and raised in Hong Kong, joining GSIS in Year 8, and then went abroad to the US and studied at University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School of Business. Currently, I work as an investment banker in the Technology, Media and Telecom team at Goldman Sachs.
You are currently working as a banker at Goldman Sachs in Hong Kong. Tell us more about it and how you landed this position?
Going into college, I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do. I knew I was interested in the business world, so I took a bunch of different classes from marketing, to finance, to entrepreneurship. Ultimately, I picked to start my career in finance, as I felt like I wanted to learn quickly in a vigorous and fast-paced environment, with some (and not too much) numbers as part of my job!
I heard you also took a break during your banking career to work for a startup. Can you tell us more about that?
Yup – given I went into banking right after graduating college, it was all I’ve ever known. After 3.5 years in banking, I was interested in new industries, new ideas, and wanted to try something new. Even though I enjoyed working in banking, I wanted the experience of working at a startup, and working for a fintech startup, WeLab Bank and helping launch one of HK’s first virtual banks was a special opportunity that I didn’t want to miss.
At WeLab Bank, I was a Growth Operations and Strategy Manager, where I managed and executed special projects for the bank. It was a completely different experience than banking and I was able to gain a lot of insights into working in a corporate environment, and saw how people build out and launch their own businesses. I would definitely recommend trying out different things, especially at the beginning of your career – you’ll learn a lot!
What do you like most about your work?
My favourite part of the job is the people I work with. Because of the nature of the job, we work on many projects with different groups of people and stakeholders. Being able to learn from all sorts of people is what keeps things interesting.
What is your advice for any alumni looking to enter the banking/finance industry?
I would say go for it! I would recommend it if you are looking for something fast-paced and challenging, (and if you’re good at multitasking) – although sometimes it’s demanding and your day-to-day hours and work could be quite uncertain, it’s rewarding when you see the transactions you work on get completed.
What are your plans for the future?
That’s hard…I can’t even tell you what my plans are for the next few months!
For now, as I’ve only recently re-joined banking, I want to continue to explore new areas that I haven’t tried before, and take on more responsibility within the team.
I still have an underlying passion where I want to do something fitness related though. I became a certified NASM personal trainer last year but I still haven’t really put this certification to good use – maybe I’ll open my own fitness / wellness studio one day!
Tell us about your time as a student at GSIS. What were your most memorable GSIS moments?
Honestly, too many to list out. GSIS idol in Year 11 where I performed “King of Anything” by Sara Bareilles with my friends Natasha Brown and Yiki Liong (and still getting teased about it today), basketball team matches where we had the boys’ team as assistant coaches and getting way too excited when we won games, and Spirit Week in Year 13 where all 52 of us graduating students assembled into a deck of cards and played Big 2 in the courtyard.
Which friends or teachers that you met at GSIS have you stayed in touch with?
I’m so lucky that my closest friends from GSIS still remain some of my closest friends now - Natasha Brown, Michelle Yang, Kelvin Cheung...just to name a few. We still hang out regularly and have the greatest time talking and laughing about the things we did back when we were younger. I’m also great friends with Diana Fung whom I reconnected with during college.
How did your GSIS experience contribute to who you are today?
My GSIS experience definitely played a huge part in who I am today. I definitely became interested in finance because of all the fun I had in economics classes with Mr. Leeds and Mr. Munt, who made all the supply and demand curves so much more interesting than they actually are. I still remember Mr. Leeds teaching us the phrase “ceteris paribus” (I.e. all other things being equal), which I used so many times in our GCSE, AS and A-level econ exams.
I also have to thank GSIS for all the opportunities which gave me the confidence I have today. From being the Tiger House Captain, to organizing GSIS’s annual charity show and to playing in the school’s orchestra in the IB Hall. Each of these activities prepared me for my future in unique ways and helped shape me into the person I am today.
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