Wednesday, June 27, 2007


After coming back from the cruise (will post pictures later), it has been so hard to get back to work. It is especially hard when my work is not required... when I work on my own hours... and when they can't fire me or replace me. So, the work that needs to be completed has idled for 2 weeks now.

On the other hand, I have continued with my crazy job process with Bank of America and HSBC. Let's see. For HSBC, the process was as follow: (1) Career Fair; (2) Interview with Financial Advisor in Queens; (3) Interview with Regional Manager; (4) Interview with Financial Advisor in Manhattan. Step 4 was today. I have been nailing interviews. Everyone was so recessive and timid that it seemed as if I was the one hiring for the position. Now, I wait for phone call from the regional manager - a guy who made 6-figures when he was 24. Soon, I will FINALLY find out how much my salary is.

As for Bank of America, the process was as follow: (1) Applied online; (2) Questionnaire; (3) Brief Phone Conversation; (4) Assessment; (5) Survey Questions; (6) Phone Interview. Step 6 was today also. I did horribly. I mean, I nailed the interview, but it sounded terribly. What happened was that I scheduled the interview with HSBC and Bank of America too closely with one another. As a result, I failed to find a quiet place in Manhattan (after my interview with HSBC) to take the phone call with Bank of America. So, I had a half-hour phone interview with a tremendous amount of background noise. The recruiter kept asking if everything was okay, because it sounded as if I was in the middle of some major construction. Now, I have to wait for a background check. I am scheduled to call her next Wednesday to see if I make it to the final interview.

Now, the dilemma. If given both offers, which job should I take? Both jobs are so different.

HSBC is a sales assistant to a Financial Advisor job. I will not be in the Banking side of HSBC; instead, I will be in the Securities side. I will have a set salary (which is unknown at this time). They will sponsor for my licenses. I will be doing clerical/sales things in assistance to 2 Financial Advisors in Chinatown, Manhattan. (I was chosen to be placed there because of my language skill... duh.) After a few years of experience, I would be promoted as a Financial Advisor. As a FA, it is the fastest way to make 6-digit. However, either you're good at it or you're not. It usually takes 2 years to differentiate. The BIGGEST problem is... there is no salary (apparently). My income would be entirely based on commission. As you can see, it is an extremely unstable job. Although I strongly believe in succeeding in the profession, the economy plays an important role on your income as well.

In the so-called "Asian Market" of HSBC in NYC, all of the FA makes a range of $60k (for FA starters) and $500k. They make an average of $100k, with most of the FAs making above that mark. Generally, it is extremely rewarding.

Commuting to Chinatown is definitely unpleasant. Originally, they were to place me at a branch that was only 15 minutes away from home. However, because of my inability to speak Mandarin fluently and my fluency in Cantonese, they are placing me at Chinatown (a 50 minute commute). If you know NYC Chinatown, it's dirty, loud, and croweded. My plan is to never walk more than 2 minutes in Chinatown. The subway station is right in front of the HSBC branch (literally within 5 steps). So, jump in, jump out.

Bank of America's position is a Assistant Manager Associate position. I will start as a unlicensed personal banker. In 1-2 yrs, I will be promoted as an Assistant Manager. It is a stable position with a set salary. However, promotion after Assistant Manager is extremely difficult in the competitive banking industry. The salary is average for entry-level, but it is extremely low in my standard. Even when I am promoted as an Assistant Manager, the salary remains the same. So, raise and promotion is nearly non-existence.

At last, I think I am pretty set that I would take the HSBC job instead of the BOA job... if given the opportunity. The problem is... do I take the offer? Or, do I wait and continue to apply to other jobs? I think the salary (if I EVER find out) for HSBC will make the decision easier.

Sunday, June 10, 2007


Bahamas, parasailing, pearl-looking, sun-tanning, artificial wave surfing, eating, gambling... here I come!

Friday, June 08, 2007

When will I ever get a job?

I'm going back and forth between job opportunities. HSBC didn't call me. "Yet," I say! *sigh* I could have sworn that I was promised a second interview. I called the recruiter/Financial Advisor yesterday; in the end, I only left a phone message because no one was there to pick up. Let's just hope I'm neglected because they are busy, and my resume wasn't tossed out.

In case I don't get this position, I have taken the necessary steps to secure other positions. So, I finally contacted the recruiter for Bank of America's Assistant Manager Associate. I was suppose to set up a phone interview a few weeks ago, but I was forgotten. I spoke to the recruiter on the phone, and she was extremely informative. I found out about the salary, bonuses, work schedule, advancement opportunities, etc.

If I get the job, I will start out as a personal banker. I will be getting licenses (I think, or take classes) to sell CDs, credit cards, etc. If successful, the next step will be Assistant Manager within an average of 12-24 months. Strangely, both positions pay the same. The only difference is the bonuses. I spoke to the recruiter about my career path. It will definitely still be able to become a Financial Advisor. I will get the necessary experience, and the inernal "connection." The good thing about this position is that I don't need the years of experience to become a personal banker as required by other banks.

It is such a long process. At this rate, I'll never get a job. 1. I applied; 2. got a call for a phone interview; 3. completed questionnaires and I'm still being considered; 4. now, I have to take assessment tests online... then, 5. I'll have to wait to get a call back to see if I did well on the assessment; 6. I'll be referred to a hiring manager..... THEN, I'll get a formal interview. *sigh*