Have you ever imagined our life without bank? In general, we can define bank as a financial institution to receive deposits and make loans. With the economic growth and changes in the industry, the services offered are diverse. What do you think about working in a bank? We have an alumni who decided to pave her career in the banking industry. Marsha Hermanda (Finance 2008) is the Corporate Commercial Card Product Manager in Citibank. She has been with the company since 2012. Without further ado, let’s get acquainted with Marsha.
Marsha’s Story as a Student
As a high school student, the first big decision to make is which higher education institution to enroll in. Being in science class, Marsha was considering in becoming a doctor. Yet, she was interested with Finance. Her biggest concern if she enrolls in Faculty of Medicine was her commitment. With that in mind, she was determined to study Finance.
At that time, Prasetiya Mulya’s undergraduate program has been running for three years since 2005. Marsha became aware of our school when one of high school teachers informed the students about Prasetiya Mulya. She was then interested to enroll. She continued her search about our school and her parents were supportive since they knew about the graduate program. They all agreed that it is a good school. Marsha was more self-assured after reading the offered program. She had been considering national universities but when she found out she was accepted in Prasetiya Mulya, she no longer had doubts.
Marsha followed the learning program in our school. At the time when she had to choose a concentration, she decided on Finance. “Personally, I didn’t see myself in Marketing or Business. I was more attracted with numbers. So, if I have to read a book filled with theories without numbers, I would be so bored.” She added that Finance is a challenging major. She explained that she learned through projects. Marsha provided us with an example when she was required to make a company valuation. She understood the theory but to apply it was tricky. She had to analyze data from the published financial report.
Despite the challenges she faced in campus, Marsha has a positive impression about our school. “At that time, I loved the exclusive environment in terms of the number of students. The campus area was also comfortable. In addition, the experienced faculty members who are accustomed to teach the graduate students were something I highly appreciate. It was nice that we were provided a complete facility. Not to mention the comfortable and complete library, I didn’t go anywhere else when I was working on my final project.”
Our first impression when we met Marsha was she seems like a quiet girl. Looks can be deceiving. During her years in our school, she took part in organizations. She participated in Introductory Program (IP) and she was a committee in one of the school’s events. She surprised us when she said she joined TIMA (Traditional Indonesian Martial Arts) in her first year. Marsha explained that organizations are beneficial for the future. “From organization, we expand our network. We become acquainted with our seniors and juniors. We also learn how to work in a team.”
Marsha’s Career Journey
Every student has a different path since each of them has aspirations. As for Marsha, she began to have career aspiration when she first enrolled in campus. She was thinking to work in a bank. That aspiration became bigger during her third and fourth year. She was then determined to apply to banks. Therefore when Career Development Center organized Talent Fair, Marsha was eyeing on banks. She went through recruitment process in some banks. Yet to her surprise, she received a call from Citibank. She believed that it was CDC who sent her résumé.
“Recruitment process in Citibank was long. I went to interview with HR twice. The next stage was one-on-one panel interview with the group head. Thankfully I passed that stage and went to the final stage. It was held in a hotel and the big bosses attended it. There were 10 other candidates and we were divided into two teams for debate. Afterward, it was the final presentation. To be honest, I was very nervous.”
Marsha proved to excel from her peers and she became one of the chosen Management Associate (MA). She explained that Citibank’s MA program is usually three years. The program guides MA straight to on-the-job training (OJT). The first OJT runs for six months with short classes in between. The second is the same but afterward, it would be a year. The program will differ for each individual. Just like Marsha, she secured a position after her second year.
Her first assignment was in Consumer Banking, specifically in Retail Bank. The project she worked on was debit card project related with rewards program. At the beginning of the program there was one mentor assigned for her and a buddy who was a more senior MA. Her second OJT was in Global Function. “In Citibank we have Consumer and Corporate Banking. Behind it all, there are supporting functions such as Finance, Risk, and Technology. At that time, I was assigned in risk. It was a bit different. The previous role required me to see from the business perspective and this one, it was the operational point of view. I must ensure that it was secure and based on procedures.”
Listening to her first working year, we wondered how long she needed to adapt. Marsha explained to us that it was easy. She said she has been accustomed with high demand of school assignments in Prasetiya Mulya. That helped her in adjusting. “I must admit the biggest impact that Prasmul has on me is in my adaptation skill. Students were required to adapt quickly. For example, one day we have marketing class with its project but the next day we have another project from finance class or operation. We have to adjust.” In Marsha’s opinion, the challenge for fresh graduate would be interacting with senior staff; knowing who to contact and how to approach them. She didn’t see any major problem regarding workload because most of Prasmulyan are quick learners.
Marsha was then assigned in Corporate Banking product. She explained that the clients are big companies and she was responsible in ensuring the company’s cash flow and working capital. She also provided cash management and deposit account structuring. At her third OJT, she had many projects including payment and trade. By the end of her second year of MA program, there was a vacant position in ASEAN Liquidity. She further explained that it was common in Citibank to have head count and MA placement after two years. Marsha was asked about her career aspiration and she was determined that she wanted to learn more about corporate product.
Her assignment is as ASEAN Product Analyst Liquidity. “Liquidity is about deposit. So my role was to analyze deposits in five ASEAN countries. This task was more time consuming but it allowed me to work across countries. It is almost definite to have projects in other countries. For example, when we want to enhance our deposit system, we have to lead. In addition, our team is a small one. Since it is a product division, there are only 2 people and I’m the youngest. I didn’t have a team to lead either remembering the size of the unit. Usually, it is the operation team that provides bigger chance to lead others.” Marsha considered this position as her most memorable experience.
After 2,5 years, she took a new challenge as Corporate Commercial Card Product Manager just in this May 2017. She explained that it differs from her previous role. “The first difference is the product. Previously, it was deposit and now is credit. Secondly, as an Analyst, I didn’t have full control but now, all of it becomes my responsibility. Starting off with clients, I have to see what product that we can approach to our clients. Then I have to consider the revenue for us and the added value for the clients. To top it all, I have to manage the risk control which means handling all the product management documentations. In addition, our clients are multinational companies with headquarter abroad and top tier local companies.” Marsha added that she has the opportunity to meet clients with the Relationship Manager to provide product knowledge to clients.
As we all know, every experience must have an impact to our future. Marsha admitted that her role as analyst benefited her greatly. She explained that she handled many back project in ASEAN Liquidity. That knowledge allows her to understand the flow and it helps her to work faster. It also applies to the product knowledge. Marsha has been accustomed to understand product. She becomes quicker to see what the positive and the negative of a product therefore she is able to consider what steps needed to improve it. Since she is new in product management, she perceived that the future challenge would be approaching clients.
Based on her explanation, we became curious about how much the knowledge she gained in campus is used at work. She said it is not 100 percent used at work due to her position. If she was in investment banking, she might used of her knowledge. Marsha emphasized on the soft skill. She felt that it is more impactful for her work.
Her working environment in Citibank is lively. The smaller number of employees in her bank compared to national banks may have resulted in the closer relation among them. Based on Marsha’s information, consumer banking has more staff compared to corporate banking. In addition, she felt it was easy to communicate and articulate her opinion based on data. She didn’t feel complicated bureaucracy exists within the company. It is more about standard operating procedure. “For example, product management is standardized within the Asian region. Therefore, if I have any concerns, I will refer to them since they have more knowledge.”
Marsha is still loyal to Citibank because she believes there are more to learn. She hasn’t been thinking of moving to other industry or other banks. First of all, it is because Citibank always encourages her to learn more and she always feels challenged through various opportunities. She also mentioned that the clear career path is one of her reasons to stay. “If you join Citibank from the Management Associate, your career level would be Assistant Manager level 1 and it was when I was in Consumer Banking and Risk. To enhance your knowledge, we will be in training. I experienced the training in Shanghai. Once we finish, our level is upgraded to Assistant Manager level 2. I was in corporate banking at that time. But after that, it’s all on us. They will promote you fairly based on your performance. And if you ask me what I have in mind for the next five years, I still see myself in banking. I aim to learn new product too. I believe building a career in banks will be easier and better if we master many products.”
Banking Industy in Marsha’s Perspective
We become familiar with students having negative mindset about working in bank. For them, banks are conventional and rigid. We believe that students these days are looking for creative and flexible environment. Despite this existing mindset, we still witness many fresh graduates apply to banks. How about Marsha? What does she think about bank?
“I know that most people think banks are old fashioned and strict. To be honest, it is the contrary at least in my experience. We also have to keep up with the growth of various industries and also technology. Updating our knowledge allows us to innovate internally. It would also enable us to see what we can do with the existing products to fulfill clients’ needs.” She added that the business process in banking varies depending on the department. It may be complicated because your work might be related with so many parties. The other challenge in bank would be the work life balance.
Marsha added that banking is interesting because it is dynamic. The dynamic is highly related with regulation, global economic condition, and the development of technology. Working in bank requires her to adapt and adjust quickly to the changes. She provided us with an example: if the market demand descends and no one wants to deposit, we have to be creative to make them save their money. It also applies in credit. As for government regulation, we know it keeps changing and become stricter. We have to find a way to comply but still benefit us. And with many banks developing their digital banking, we also start to think how to create a more sophisticated and state-of-the-art technology.”
Despite the changing government regulations, Marsha believes that the industry will still grow. She mentioned that based on the positive outlook international market to Indonesia. Subsequently, they will be attracted to invest their capital in Indonesia which means banks will play a role. Related to the growth of banks, the career opportunity is big. They are also very open to fresh graduates. Marsha explained that you can start a career in a bank from the internship program but mostly banks have management trainee program. She advises to be persistent if you want to work in a bank. “You must be persistent. They expect highly of their employees. So, you can’t quit halfway. You must also be a quick learner so you don’t get left behind.”
Marsha’s Words of Advice
From this interview, we got the impression she likes something stable and secure. It is then no doubt that she still envisions herself working in a bank up to certain level. With approximately five years of experience, here is her two cents. “Being a student, you have to maximize your participation in projects. Don’t be a free-rider. You will not survive in the working life. Use the chance to take part in organization because it is important to enhance your skill in interacting and communicating with others.”
Whether you want to work in bank or FMCG, Marsha emphasized one thing and it is on point. “Prepare your knowledge about the industry you want to work in. Be well informed with everything that happens around you. Read the paper and update your knowledge about the national condition and worldwide. You are highly to be asked question about the industry during your interview.”
We believe you can always learn something from someone’s journey. We had a nice interview and she was so kind sharing her story with us. She left us with her thought. “You never know what you can do until you try. Trust me! I have been assigned tasks that seem impossible at first. Yet I didn’t give up and I prove to myself that I actually can do it.”
|Citibank N.A. Indonesia||Commercial Card Product Manager||
May 2017 - Present
|Citibank N.A. Indonesia||ASEAN Product Analyst, Liquidity Management||
September 2014 - May 2017
Citibank N.A. Indonesia
|Management Associate||September 2012 - August 2014|
|Prasetiya Mulya Business School||Microeconomics Tutor||March 2012 - July 2012|
|JobsDB.com||Internship - Sales Division||January 2009 - February 2009|
© 2014 Prasetiya Mulya
PMSBE - BSD CAMPUS Edutown, Kavling Edu I no. 1
Jl. BSD Raya Barat I, BSD City Serpong - Tangerang 15339
p +62 21 304 50 500
F +62 21 304 50 555
HP +62 815 1166 2005
|FOLLOW OUR SOCIAL CHANNELS|