GET TO KNOW UBS: Megan Chung
Name: Megan Chung
Grade: 3rd Year
Major: Business Economics
Career Interests: Investment Banking
Q- What got you interested in investment banking?
A- Prior to coming to UCLA, I had never heard the term “investment banking” or planned for a career in finance. I entered as a pre-business economics major and was simply eager to get involved, so I applied for Bruin Asset Management. I was one of three freshmen in the organization at the time and was enamored by the upperclassmen who were both humble and incredibly bright. What began as an effort to follow in their footsteps evolved into a genuine interest in finance. After several internships and case competitions, I realized that investment banking fit my personality and would be the most efficient way to touch dozens of blue-chip companies in a short amount of time.
Q- Any memorable internships or professional experiences?
A- The summer after my sophomore year I interned in Charlotte, NC for ten weeks. Seeing as how I’m from Orange County, CA, I’ve never been so far away from home for a significant duration of time. The hours were long and relocating before spring quarter finished brought its own breadth of challenges. However, I’m thankful for the experience because it not only makes my upcoming move to NY less intimidating, but also introduced me to some amazing people. College is such an easy time to break out of your comfort zone and I think it’s important to take advantage of that as opportunities arise.
Q- Any advice to students pursuing the same career path or internship experience?
A- Whether you have family in finance or are trying to navigate the industry on your own, early preparation is key. Investment banking has become such a buzz word that competition is high and candidates are better prepared each year. Luckily, there are so many organizations on campus such as BAM, BVI, BHF, BC, etc. that provide mentorship and immediate networks. If you’re interested in finance in general, I would take advantage of these people who have experience recruiting and interning at top tier firms. They’re well-equipped to teach you how to polish your resume, write a cold email and conduct mock interviews - in other words, things that our curriculum doesn’t cover.
Q- What networking tips do you have?
A- The best thing you can do is approach networking like you’re trying to build a friendship, as opposed to a means to an end. When people focus on forming relationships, the conversations tend to be more genuine and natural. The person on the other end of the phone or a representative at an info session already knows why you’re there. Thus, you shouldn’t make them feel any more used than they already do.
Q- How did you first get involved with UBS?
A- As a freshman, I signed up for the UBS listserv. Reading the email blasts is the easiest way to become aware of upcoming club and professional opportunities. My sophomore year I was a Manager of the Leadership Development committee and most recently Director of Financial Services. UBS has been the perfect avenue of giving back to the broader business community on campus and I’m appreciative of the diverse individuals it has introduced me to. The organization is so expansive that it’s especially useful if you’re unsure of what you want to pursue post graduation.
Q- Best advice someone has ever given to you, in general or in relation to your career interest?
A- In relation to recruiting, the best advice I received was to understand that if I didn’t get an offer despite having a flawless interview, then I didn’t fit with that group and the outcome was for the best. There’s a reason that the airport test exists - ninety hour weeks in a bullpen means that work life will be much more pleasant if you like your coworkers.
Q- What did you do last summer professionally or for fun?
A- Last summer I interned in Charlotte, NC and had a couple chances to explore the area. I had a blast visiting different breweries with my colleagues because it’s such a different environment than L.A. One intern event was at a white water rafting center where we rode the rapids, rock-climbed, and zip-lined. Although I did end up back at the office by the end of the night, it was great to decompress and get to know my co-workers in a casual setting.
Q- What else are you involved with on campus and why?
A- Aside from the business organizations, I’m in a sorority called Pi Beta Phi. I initially joined because of a desire to introduce myself to a new part of campus. It’s refreshing to meet equally smart and hardworking people who have no idea what finance is. It’s given me some of my closet girlfriends and the quintessential college experience.
Q- Favorite/most useful/best class at UCLA so far and why?
A- The best (and also the first) class I’ve taken at UCLA was Communication Studies 10 with Professor Suman. I took it as a General Education course, but it’s better known as a weeder class for students looking to get into the communications major. Suman is old-school; he doesn’t allow electronic devices and is very precise with what he says during lecture. The content focuses on how men and women interact and is therefore very relevant to young adults. Although lectures are dense and the workload is on the heavier side, it’s extremely informative and satisfying by the end of the quarter.