GET TO KNOW UBS: Darren Tan
Name: Darren Tan
Major: Business Economics, Statistics minor
Career interest: Finance
Q- What got you interested in said investment banking?
A- Like many of the pre-Business Economics majors, I arrived at UCLA with an interest in business, but didn’t know what I wanted to do specifically. After joining Bruin Asset Management my freshman year in winter, I had the opportunity to learn more about the investment banking industry from the older members and this sparked my interest for the field. I proceeded to take part in case competitions on campus to learn more about what the role entails and later had the opportunity to intern at a few banks. These experiences ultimately solidified my goal of working in investment banking after graduation.
Q- Any advice to students pursuing the same career path or internship experience?
A- First, be proactive from day one - it’s never too early to start. I strongly recommend students who are interested in investment banking to pursue at least one finance related internship during freshman year, and a couple more sophomore year. This will help you showcase your interest in the field and prove that you are familiar with what the job entails, especially if you have work experience at an investment bank. Second, surround yourself with individuals who are committed to a similar goal – whether it is joining a student club or finding a group of friends who are keen on pursuing a similar career path. Having a group of highly motivated individuals to bounce ideas off of and discuss ideas with will help you tremendously.
Q- What interview tips do you have?
A- Prepare, prepare, prepare. The first ‘prepare’ refers to the basics – be punctual, dress professionally, have a well-organized resume, and learn the required technical knowledge. If you are unable to master these fundamentals, the likelihood of getting an offer will be slim. The second involves doing your research – not only on the firm (industry/sector focus, recent deals etc.), but also on the individuals you will be speaking to. Many students often overlook the importance of the latter, but knowing the interviewer’s background will help you carry the conversation better and prepare insightful questions (the next point). Finally, always be ready to ask intelligent questions at the end of the interview. Again, many interviewees underestimate this stage of the interview, but this is a key opportunity to showcase your ability to synthesize information learned during the interview and demonstrate how thoughtful you are. This is also a great chance to learn more about the firm and see if the group is the right fit for you.
Q- How did you first get involved with UBS?
A- I first got involved with UBS during my freshman year when I was selected to be part of the Excel and Financial Modeling workshop. After learning more about the organization and its goals, I wanted to contribute more and was given the opportunity to do so through a committee member position on the Financial Services committee my sophomore year. During my junior and senior years, I took on the roles of Financial Services Director and President respectively. Joining UBS has been one of the most fulfilling experiences I’ve had at UCLA, and I strongly recommend those of you looking to make an impact on the business scene to get more involved.
Q- What are some great career resources you like to use (website/people/institutions etc.)?
A- For students interested in finance or investment banking, besides familiarizing yourselves with the typical interview resources such as M&I and BIWS, be sure to stay up to date with recent transactions and general financial news (WSJ, NY Times etc.).
Q- What do you like most about UBS? / How has UBS helped you?
A- As an individual who benefited tremendously from prior UBS events, I was looking for an opportunity to utilize my experience and give back to the business community here at UCLA – joining the UBS Board provided the perfect avenue for me to do so. Additionally, the people I’ve met through UBS have been amazing - over the last three years, I’ve had the opportunity to work with a group of ambitious and goal-oriented student leaders and meet many other talented individuals through our events.
Q- Favorite quote?
A- “If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door”
Q- What did you do last summer professionally or for fun?
A- I interned with Credit Suisse in the Mergers and Acquisitions group. Living and working in NYC was a great experience and I will be returning there full-time in July.
Q- What are your best memories of UBS?
A- Hosting the 2017 industry nights, our biggest event of the year, was certainly a great moment for me after months of preparation and hard work. Our annual retreats and banquets are always a blast as well.
Q- Choose one food to have for the rest of your life.
A- Sashimi (If I have to be specific, probably salmon)
Q- What’s on your bucket list this year?
A- Hike Machu Picchu
Q- If you could master one skill you don’t have right now, what would it be?
A- Flying a helicopter