Deutsche Bank’s one-year Wealth Management Graduate Program in Geneva.

Interview of Lisa Tyshchenko, a fellow GEM and GFS Alumnus

After completing the MSc Finance at Grenoble Ecole de Management, Lisa Tyshchenko joined Deutsche Bank on a one-year Wealth Management Graduate Program in Geneva. She started preparing her career early on, by networking and keeping herself informed about the finance sector, as she already knew she wanted a career in this domain.

In this interview, she tells us how she gained entry into this prestigious program, how it helped her grow professionally and how she sees the banking and finance sectors current situation as well as future.

Can you tell us more about your educational background? 

After completing a bachelor in Italy, I enrolled in the MSc Finance program in Grenoble Ecole de management in September 2018. 

Would you recommend GEM’s MSc Finance? Did it help you get the job you wanted?

I highly recommend the Msc in Finance at GEM to students who desire to work in this sector. It ranks #16 worldwide according to the Financial Times and it enabled me to learn from expert researchers, highly talented peers and industry experts teaching in the program.

The Career Center also provides a valuable network of alumni and professionals who supported me a lot. They organise numerous fairs, workshops, conferences and one-to-one sessions to help you fast-track your career throughout the year.

What set of skills and qualities helped you obtain your position in Private Banking?

I would go with having the right attitude before the skill sets. What sets me apart from other students is my personality and being proactive. I clearly knew what I wanted and invested time and effort to gain certain skills for the job. For example, becoming a student representative for my master helped me cultivate my cross-culture communication, teamwork and leadership skills, which I believe are essentials for the world of business.

You also need technical knowledge and practical experience. To work on those skills, I joined GEM Finance Society as an Investment consultant. Every week, we would meet in the Bloomberg Trading Room to perform trades and manage our portfolio, which is where I started advising colleagues regarding investments. This enabled me to largely improve my competitive advantage in technical knowledge.

I also made sure to keep myself informed every day to form constructive opinions on what was currently happening worldwide. This helped me during my interviews, but also enables me, as I have kept this habit, to advise my customers to the best of my abilities today.
All employers really appreciated it!

What advice would you give someone starting out in finance, something you might have wanted to know yourself? 

Here are my top recommendations :

  1. You should start by finding your Unique Selling Points. Think about what particular set of skills you have, what sets you apart. Communicating on your unique qualities, will pay huge dividends.
  2. Network, network, network. Business Schools have an expansive alumni network which gather thousands and thousands of graduates. It is the most precious and powerful tool you could ever have! You have to network both externally (with Alumni’s) and internally (with colleagues). Participate to as many conferences and events as you can. It is one a lifetime opportunity, catch it! Never say no for a 5 min coffee.
  3. Be proactive and promote yourself. Let everybody know about the work you have done. Share your work on social media. Employers are looking for recruits with a creative mindset.
  4. Lastly, the way you dress has enormous impact on people’s perception. Whatever you wear, make sure you feel good and confident. Dress to impress!

How important is networking and how did it helped you?

Not networking puts you at risk of being forgettable. The one advice I would give students is to attend as many conferences as possible. Even if the topic is not your main interest, you never know who you could come across. For instance, I once went to a conference regarding a sector I knew for sure I would not work in and met someone from HR in Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

It can also give you exclusive access to information. For instance, I am currently working on a project concerning Mexico, which isn’t my domain of expertise. Some of my connections are experts in the field and agreed to help me, simplifying the whole research part of the job.

I truly believe that networking is the key for success. Building connections will provide you with opportunities to best prepare for your career goals. It, also, increases your chances to find out about job opening otherwise not advertised.

Remember that one person, one meeting and one opportunity can change your entire life!

How did you come to be a part of Deutsche Bank’s Graduate Program? Could you give us more details regarding the recruitment process?

I found the Graduate Program offer on Job Teaser and decided to send in my application then and there. After three weeks, I received the invitation for the assessment centre in Geneva.

In total, I had four interviews, one with every team I would join during my Graduate Program, and the investment advisory team was the first one. Questions during the interview were asked to evaluate my personal skills, but also to challenge my knowledge of the finance sector and its current events.

Finally, I was assigned a group for a Case Study. We had one hour to read the documents provided, and six projects to recommend during a group presentation facing a jury of ten recruiters. In the end, we had to select two of those projects.
I think what enabled me to stand out was to work within the team, while also presenting my own ideas and using my leadership skills.

Another advice, always remember that an interview never ends when you leave the room. Then comes the time for networking.

Why did you decide to start your career in Wealth Management? What is your career plan?

A career in wealth management is characterised by helping clients reach their financial goals in the most effective way. For somebody who has an entrepreneurial spirit and is able to carefully listen, this is a great start for a career.  In Private Banking, clients need special attention and I truly enjoy to identify innovative investment opportunities to help high net-worth individuals and families to develop their wealth for the future.

As of today, I would like to continue my career in Wealth Management and specialise in Investment Advisory. But I am also working on many different projects in addition to my current position as a banker.

Could you explain how Deutsche Bank’s Graduate Program is structured?

You start with a 13-month program made up of four three-month rotations across different teams that give you maximum exposure to different areas of Wealth Management.
You are supported by a Managing Director of the bank who provides regular feedback, a Line Manager (head of the team you are rotating in) and a Mentor, who helps you with practical advice from his experience.

You start with one month of training in Canary Wharf. This year I had the pleasure to be invited in Kensington Royal Palace Garden for a networking event where I had the opportunity to get to know my colleagues from all divisions across the world.

After completing the Graduate Program, you are offered a position in one of the departments you rotated in.  Another advantage, specifically in Switzerland, is that you have the privilege to rotate both in Geneva and Zurich offices, which gives you the possibility to see two sides of the business.

How many graduates integrate this program? Do you all have different rotations?

Globally, we are around 35 graduates split between New York, Hong Kong, Singapore, London, Milan and Luxembourg.  There are six of us in Switzerland, of which three are based in Geneva and Zurich.

We all have different rotations. For instance, my rotations are in the following teams: Structured Lending, Investment Advisory, Global Funds and Relationship Management with the Russian team. While my colleagues’ rotations might be in Portfolio Management, Structured Products, Capital Markets and Institutional Wealth Partners for example.

What is your plan once this Graduate Program gets over?

The most fascinating thing about this program, is that you can rotate between many teams with the final goal being to find your “best fit”. For me, it will be the Investment Advisory sector. Not only does this sector fascinates me, but I feel like it fits my skills and what I look for in a job. To go into Investment Advisory takes a lot of communication skills, as you are in direct contact with clients. You need to understand clients’ needs and tailor your advice to them. It also demands of you to be passionate about finance. You have to keep yourself well informed. Be curious, but also flexible as you have to be able to adapt quickly.

You wrote an article concerning the risks investors should watch out for during 2019. Now that the year is coming to an end, what is your analysis? Do you think 2020 may differ?

I personally don’t except a global crisis in 2020, but greater market volatility is likely next year with growth deceleration. The trade war between the USA and China and disappointments in corporate earnings, especially in manufacturing sector, are potential causes of this volatility. However, the Fed, the ECB and the Bank of Japan have cut interest rates several times this year in order to boost economic growth, which is a positive sign for the economy.

What should an investor do? The answer must be to continue to recalibrate their investments and stay prepared for any potential issues ahead.

You will find the article for my outlook on 2020 on my LinkedIn page:

Do negative interest rates affect the Private Banking system and, if so, how?

Definitely yes, especially in Switzerland as we are in a negative interest rate territory.  All European banks have taken the difficult decision to pass on charges arising from negative interest rates from 2020, not only to offset the ECB’s policy and protect their profitability, but also to encourage investors to put their cash holdings elsewhere. It means that it will be very challenging for banks to take on new deposits, but hopefully easier to issue cheaper loans. Thus, the main risk is the effect on banks profitability.

I find this topic very interesting and have chosen it as the topic for my thesis. My research will focus on the impact of negative interest rates on the stock market in the US and Europe.

Lisa is well on her way to meet her goals. Her interview gave us insight on how Graduate Programs work and how interesting they are as an experience. They enable new graduates to get to know the sector and experience different jobs before committing to a fixed position.

Whether you plan on joining the finance sector or have another career in mind, her advice still stands. Going to conferences, getting to know different sectors, keeping yourself informed and networking are the keys to make the most of your studies.

Claire Oaks
Edited by Florianne Romanet

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