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Economics Alumni Feature: Yuki Feng (BA, 2016)
Xueqiong (Yuki) Feng is an Investment Specialist with RBC. Prior to her current position, she worked for five years at BMO Financial Group where she worked her way up to the position of senior banker. Yuki graduated from SFU in 2016 with her undergraduate degree majoring in economics with a minor in statistics.
What does a typical work day look like for you?
I like to start my day by swimming at 6:00am in the morning, then have breakfast while checking my schedule and emails. After responding to all my emails, I would start reading the daily news and market updates. It is imperative in my role to catch up with global financial events and economic trends.
Throughout the day, I would make phone calls to my existing clients to discuss their current investments and follow up with any inquiries or needs. I would also initiate contact with new, potential clients and recommend the most appropriate products to them, tailored to their financial needs. I typically would have lunch with my colleagues, before joining the afternoon meetings either with my team or my clients.
What is something students should know about the banking/finance industry when considering it as a career path? Any advice or any mistakes students should try to avoid?
I understand that a long list of certifications might make your resume stand out. But for the banking/finance industry, the Canadian Securities Course (CSC) or Investment funds in Canada (IFC) course will be sufficient for beginners. Generally speaking, you will get a better sense on what career path you would like to pursue after working for a few years. Taking too many certifications in an area that you are not interested in going into will not only waste your money but also your time. I highly recommend students to enjoy their university life while they can and make more friends.
What skills or credentials does one need to succeed in your industry/profession?
Time management is a really important skill for my position, and being a full-time student at SFU definitely helped me develop that.
Looking back at your university experience, what is one piece of advice you would give to current students?
Be open-minded! You should try a lot of different things while you are still at school. Please never limit yourself. I valued every single experience that I had in university. It can be as small as a presentation, a group assignment or your first volunteering experience. To learn how to adapt and embrace new things is crucial for your future career.
Is there anything you would have done differently as a SFU student or fresh grad?
I would have built up more connections during my early university years, and I would have applied for the co-op program. University is a very good place to make friends because we can meet a variety of people from different academic fields. Interacting or collaborating with peers from other disciplines will not only help you broaden your perspectives, but will also enhance your problem-solving skills.