Required Skills - Sales
- Communication skills
- Interpersonal skills
- Collaborative / team player
- Critical thinking skills
- Creative / Idea generator
Required Skills - Trading
- Disciplined / self-motivated
- Attention to detail
- Critical thinking skills
- Works well under pressure
- Adjusts well to change
- Analytical skills
Meet Natalie Kovalchuk, Fixed Income Sales
Why did you pick your program and university?
I picked Ivey Business School at Western University because I wanted to attend a top Canadian university that was outside my hometown of Montreal. Ivey’s case method approach is challenging and therefore, it provided me with a fantastic analytical skill set that I use daily in my career. Ivey also offers a wide variety of extracurricular activities that cater to a variety of student interests and passions, which was important to me since I always loved to get involved with student life. It’s also hard not to fall in love with the beautiful building!
What made you decide to pursue finance once you started university?
When I first started university, I thought that I wanted to go into accounting as it was something that made sense to me – every number had a place on the financial statements and everything needed to add up perfectly. My inner love for organization was thrilled. However, after I completed an internship in accounting, I realized that in practice, it was not something I was passionate about. Therefore, when I heard about Sales & Trading – the fast paced environment, the mix of soft skills and technical skills and the energy on the trading floor - I was really intrigued. I knew from my first couple weeks on the floor as an intern at HSBC that it was what I wanted to do, and therefore I shifted my focus with elective courses in my second year at Ivey to more finance-related classes. This means that I only really “studied finance” for one year! Even though I leaned towards accounting when I first started university, it is totally normal to have no idea what you want to do. The best way to figure it out is by talking to people in different positions and of course, if you have the chance to complete an internship, this will help a lot too.
What kind of internships or job experience did you complete while in school?
During the summer after my second year of university, I completed an internship at a pension fund in their Investment Finance division, which was responsible for the accounting of their different investment teams. The internship served as a fantastic introduction to pension funds, I loved the people I met, and I have a very high regard for the company, however as mentioned, I quickly realized I did not love accounting as much as I thought I would. During the summer of third year, I interned with HSBC on the trading desk and I immediately knew it was what I wanted.
Describe your current role and your typical day.
I completed the Graduate Programme at HSBC, which means I have rotated through a variety of sales and trading desks, and even spent a couple months with the Debt Capital Markets team. However most recently, I have landed as an institutional salesperson full-time. This role mostly entails liaising with clients and traders to provide market colour, presenting trade ideas and opportunities, and building relationship with institutional clients.
What's one piece of advice that you would give someone in high school looking to a career in your field?
Given that the industry is quickly changing as technology advances, anyone looking to work on the trading floor a couple years down the road will absolutely need coding and strong quantitative skills as table stakes. Building those skills throughout university coupled with developing soft skills through extracurricular involvement would provide any university student with a strong and competitive foundation for a career in sales and trading.
Meet Veleyny Saavedra, Institutional Equity Sales