At BNP Paribas, we offer an environment and working culture that enables you to grow and develop as you gain knowledge, so that you can prepare for success in the future. Regardless of which business area you choose, the programme teaches the skills needed to pursue your goals with confidence. But don’t just take our word for it – read about the personal stories and experiences of people who have already completed the BNP Paribas Graduate Programme. And see how what they have learnt has equipped them for rewarding careers with us.

Meet Our Graduates

“Being part of a global network; a bank that puts the emphasis on communication across regions – it’s where I want to be. It’s where I am.”

As somebody who lives in thriving Shanghai, I feel close to the latest developments in China’s economy and how it affects the world stage. So when I finished university, I wanted to work for a bank that shares the same global vision as me, and belong to an organisation that is truly multinational.

The underlying function of my role in Global Client Risk is to perform credit analyses of financial institutions. It involves a lot of reporting and monitoring, and as a risk-aware person, it really suits someone like me. I spent three weeks receiving training in London in preparation for my role. As well as getting support from others on the programme, my line manager has been really helpful. I try and learn something new from her every day; she has taught me so much – from the structure of the bank to advice about non-work issues. My colleagues across the region are supportive, too, because we communicate every day. We ensure that we know what everyone else is doing; that we are all on the pulse, regardless of whether they are in Hong Kong, Singapore or Shanghai. This environment has definitely inspired the confidence I need to launch my career in banking, and has paved the way for my own growth and development.

“The most innovative solutions come from open conversations with colleagues and managers.”

I’m now into my second year with the bank, and soon will be finishing the Graduate Programme. I wanted to come and work here after taking several internships with other organisations, but it was BNP Paribas’ positive image that really drew me.

When you first start, the world of finance might seem slightly daunting because there is so much to learn. However, I was very lucky to get lots of support from my manager who helped me to adapt quickly into the friendly working environment here. Managers are always willing to discuss any concerns about various aspects of your role. My colleagues are very encouraging, too, and it’s good to know that help is always at hand if needed. A part of my current duties is to ensure that accountancy figures that go to senior management and head office are correct. Accuracy is important, and for much of the time we work as individuals. But there is always the need to communicate with other local and regional departments in order to procure the figures. My teammates and I frequently share ideas about control procedures and give one another advice and support. So my advice to you as a prospective graduate is to always try and keep an open mind and listen to what others are telling you. The work environment here is flexible, so embrace this and be willing to take on new challenges.

“My experience so far? A blend of comprehensive training and outstanding support.”

My role in Corporate Banking is focused on Microfinance Institutions in India, and in particular developing our relationships with them. Several times a year I fly to different parts of the country to meet with our clients, and I’m responsible for the entire process of writing credit proposals through to the final distribution of loans.

I chose to work at BNP Paribas because in India it is considered one of the strongest banks for credit. I was offered a position as a Credit Analyst after completing my MBA, and as the bank’s reputation was so highly esteemed, I was eager to accept. After two and a half years I wanted to broaden my horizons and interact with our customers more, so I took on my current role, which is more client-facing. These new experiences have helped me develop both my existing skills and new ones, which is really rewarding. I have been with the firm for three years already, and I’m looking forward to continuing to expand my knowledge and skills. At some point in the future I would like to work in another location in Asia Pacific, perhaps within Corporate Finance, but first I want to make the most of the learning opportunities that my current role continues to offer. If you are really keen to pursue a career in banking, BNP Paribas is the ideal place to be. The level of support for graduates is exceptional, whichever line of business you are in.

“There’s a sense of connection; not just within Asia, but globally as well.”

My interest in banking started when I was at university studying Economics. I heard about BNP Paribas when I was still a student, and I went on their intensive insight programme. I really enjoyed it, so I joined the graduate programme after I completed my studies.

What’s exciting here is that there is a strong emphasis on learning about other parts of the business, as well as your own. So in my case, I did desk rotations in various departments such as Equities, Debt Capital Markets, Compliance, Risk and Operations while training for Corporate Coverage. Even now, the bank is flexible about allowing me to participate partially in other teams outside of my own so that I can get exposure and insight into other parts of our business.

I really enjoy my current role because it touches clients across the world, and as such it has a lot of variety. One day I might be writing analytical reports, the next developing business with local clients. One of the best things I worked on was the Europe Japan Initiative which helped to streamline information sharing between corporates in Japan and Europe, which had a big impact. The flexibility to get involved in collaborative projects is one of the core strengths of the bank, and one of its most attractive features.

“In Project Finance, a holistic skillset is crucial; take advantage of all the training and knowledge around you.”

When I was still a student in London and Paris, I realised that the focus of the global economy is on Asia Pacific. I wanted to play a role in that story. And while I felt there were fantastic opportunities for me in Singapore, I wanted to work for an organisation that embodied the international culture I had encountered during my studies. BNP Paribas was my choice; not just because of growth plans within the region, but because they are prudent. This is a rare quality, and is both attractive and essential for building the foundations of a solid career in a strong organisation.

It’s important to gain as much experience as possible in your first three years, because when you are promoted, you get greater responsibilities. This is particularly true of my role. Currently, I ensure that loan repayments are made smoothly, as well as write bids for new projects. Good communication skills are essential, as is building relationships with colleagues in other departments. We are a multidisciplinary team that finances a whole range of long-term projects, including oil refineries and power stations. Some of these projects can take several years, and during that time economic or environmental conditions may change. You need to develop your understanding by drawing off as much knowledge as possible from peers and managers. I’m looking forward to experiencing even more.

“Embrace the long-term vision of the bank; make it your vision, and success can follow.”

I wanted to work for one of the leading banks in the world, especially one that has such a strong reputation in India. This became apparent as soon as I took my internship while still at Business School. From there, it was just a matter of time before I could apply for the Graduate Programme.

I chose to focus on the business area where I still work – Fixed Income – because it’s what I really wanted to do at the time, and obviously still do. I’ve been here for six years already, but training and development never really cease. I’ve always found that I get the backing of my manager and team when I need it, and learning from all kinds of challenging experiences doesn’t stop. A typical day for me involves talking to our clients in India – usually local banks and other financial institutions. I help them cover their currency and interest rate risk by offering various solutions, like derivatives or FX options, for example. And while our projects don’t take a lot of time to execute, getting our clients on board does, so we need to collaborate with lots of other departments. If you have the patience to follow yours and the bank’s goals over the long term, you will achieve success.

“Learn from people around you; tap into the breadth of knowledge and expertise at the organisation.”

As a Relationship Manager, it’s my job to be at the forefront of what we do for our clients and ensure that we are giving them the best possible service. I was initially attracted to BNP Paribas because the bank is one of the global leaders in Commodity Finance, with strong expertise in the field and a deep knowledge of the industry. A typical day is never the same, but it often involves interaction with different teams within the bank, conference calls with colleagues all over the world or face-to-face meetings with clients.

One of the most interesting projects I worked on involved supporting commodity flows into emerging countries in Asia. It entailed flying into the countries and working with domestic banks and commodity players to understand the dynamics of the local markets. Throughout the project, I gained an insight into how markets in these countries were growing and an appreciation of the workings of different emerging economies. It was a gratifying experience.

I’m currently in the fifth year of my role, and I’m still learning every day. My managers have played a pivotal role in structuring my learning path and given me opportunities for my professional growth. This kind of support has been invaluable to my career advancement.

“Here, the fast paced environment is very satisfying, and I have learnt new skills to adapt to constant changes in the market.”

I wanted to join a bank that offered a flexible environment; one where I could build a solid platform to launch and grow my career. The graduate programme at BNP Paribas provided just that. As well as getting familiar with how ALM Treasury operates, I spent a lot of time on desk rotations in other areas so that I could understand different parts of the business. It was an inclusive programme, too, and covered topics as diverse as business etiquette, as well as general financial knowledge, and even included some volunteer work.

As a graduate on the programme, you are given responsibility for you own actions at an early stage in your career, so a lot of what you will learn is on the job. This was exactly what I was looking for, and I had the support of some extremely knowledgeable and professional colleagues who gave me the confidence to guide my career, from the beginning. I feel that I’ve made a solid contribution to the business so far. Because I’ve travelled across the region to meet my colleagues in other countries, I’ve adopted some of their tools and ideas, and implemented them in Tokyo. So you should be willing to take on new challenges and learn from your peers. It’s a solid way to begin a successful career.

“Experienced colleagues are happy to share their knowledge; the flat hierarchy encourages this exchange.”

I chose to become a Relationship Manager because I enjoy interacting with people and understanding business models. Prior to joining BNP Paribas, I did internships with several banks to get an insight into the industry. However, I always knew that this is the role for me, and BNP Paribas was where I wanted to launch my career.

What lies at the heart of our success is our dedication to building long–term, profitable relationships with clients. My team is the first point of contact for them: we seek to maximise the value of each relationship by understanding their business goals and needs, and identify opportunities to offer them tailored products from our extensive offerings. We come up with solutions and connect the dots within the bank to ensure smooth execution of deals. And because the team is located in Singapore, we are a focal point of contact for clients based throughout Asia Pacific.

At BNP Paribas, there are many opportunities to work with colleagues from different backgrounds and cultures thanks to our global network. We are also given a lot of responsibility on the job, which is a good chance for us to step up and challenge ourselves. Personally, I hope to establish myself as a knowledgeable and well-respected Relationship Manager in time to come, and thanks to my own manager’s guidance and support, I am on the right path.