Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Well, It's that time again to Update!

Yep, I have a test tomorrow, so what better way to procrastinate than writing in my blog that I pretend more than like 4 people read.

Anyways, the past few weeks have been pretty fun with trips and nights out including a random holiday (vacation) in the middle of the week. A bunch of us IG's (International Graduates) went to Langkawi which I believe is in the south indian ocean just off the coast of Malaysia by an hour south (flight). It was fun as we stayed in a resort (yay paycheck!) and spent most of the time relaxing at the beach, drinking at the swim up bar, going out drinking, eating, and parasailing/jet skiing (seadooing). See the following few pictures:

Yes, I ate at McDonalds in the airport while waiting for the 3 hour (80% on time my a**) Go Air Asia!!

Other than the island trip I have stayed around Kuala Lumpur for the past two weekends. I love the hotel but it is getting kind of old to live in a hotel, and I never thought I would say this, but the room service is getting old! Also, I'd like a home cooked meal sometime.

The world markets seem like they are in a shit storm as the governments around the world are bracing for a recession that is surely here. I hope my job stays safe, as that is what the bank is telling us that our jobs are sound and that Standard Chartered continues to lead the way in the markets we operate in.

I just can't believe how poorly some of the UK banks are doing now, especially Barcleys. With its recent acquisition of Lehman, you'd think they would have been reacting stronger to global events, but it seems they need to borrow from the UK gov't, seen here: Bloomberg. Poor guys.

Well, leave comments, I'll try to update more frequently.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Studying and other ramblings.

I'd just like to point out that I thought I had left College in May (or, how the semester turned out December of 2007). Anyways, I have been in a classroom for the past 2 weeks. From 9am till 5:30pm learning Finance topics. Now I am studying for a test in two days.

I guess it is kind of competitive, especially since all the Asians have MBA's and stuff so I need to keep my test scores up there.

Well, that's training for you.

On another note, being in Malaysia I feel like I'm pretty disconnected from all the recent market events. Pretty much all I hear is how everything is going to shit.

Luckily, as the media ignores, Standard Chartered continues to be one of the (if not the largest) bank that continues to profit. So, luckily I still have a job.
Two weeks ago there were 4 large Investment banks. Now there are none.
Time to start thinking differently people! Investment banking is dead pretty much in bulge bracket, it now should be "in" to work for a bank that does investment banking but also has a large consumer banking side for retail deposits, instead of funding their operations on borrowing! There we had to fall sometime I guess.

The Email I sent out to Friends and Family

I know, it's been a while. Here is an update I sent out via email last week.
I'd just like to send you a quick update on my time so far in Kuala Lumpur (KL), Malaysia. I have been here for a week and a half already, and thought it prudent to send some type of update! It took 25 hours of flights, and 34 hours total to make it here from door to door. We flew from New York JFK- Vancouver, BC - Hong Kong - to Kuala Lumpur. It was exhausting, but at least I slept for a good 4 hours on the flight! Being 12 hours ahead by time zone, we are the farthest traveling group.

I can pretty much sum up my experience so far in two words: awesome and lucky. Awesome because Malaysia is a very different country, and being in Asia, very unique to the rest of the world (more on it later). Lucky because I feel very lucky to have a job in banking, especially with recent events happening in the market, Standard Chartered is pretty insulated, and is actually growing faster, because of the challenging conditions in the global markets. I feel blessed!

I am in my second hotel, the Imperial Sheraton. I thought the first hotel was great, but this one is even better. I have a walk in closet and a jacuzzi in my bath tub! I feel like I'm on a luxury study abroad trip being spoiled. Every morning we get a breakfast buffet of foods from around the world. I stick to the eggs and bacon (not pork bacon)

The reason I am in KL is for an induction week for the International Graduate program that I am a part of. There are approximately 166 of us from around the world, with only me being 1 of 5 from America. It is truly a diverse group. Most of them, however, studied at a University either in the UK or in the US so their English proficiency for most is pretty much perfect. It makes it really easy to get along and converse, although a british accent tends to pop up from time to time it is great.

Everyone is really nice, and the people I hang out most are from Hong Kong, Singapore, and the UK. We go out to dinner and bars, etc... in KL. It is interesting hearing everyone's life stories as they are mostly from international schools starting in High School and College. It seems like our cultural differences aren't really present- a definite positive!
The induction program last week was all based on building teamwork skills, networking, different attractive aspects of the bank to work in upon graduation of the program, and developing and finding our strengths. Standard Chartered is a strengths based organization and once they realize your strong points, you have a quick expedited career path it seems as it is taught in our training. We did an amazing race style event across KL with my team coming in 4th place out of 21! We were pretty happy with the placement.
Senior management also are flown in from all over the world to give talks and meet with us. We are considered future leaders of the bank, so they want to make sure we feel we have access to them and understand their career paths, and any questions we may have now can be answered. Friday night, we had a costume party to represent our nationality, we came as movie stars- I was Indiana Jones. We were the hit of the event, with many pictures taken of the Americans! China did a presentation of singing and dancing that was pretty amazing, and then we wrapped up the evening by going out in KL. These next 5 weeks are academic training in Finance, so pretty much my past 4 years is being taught back to me it seems, only with the bank's spin on it!

Malaysia is an interesting experience, especially because it is a Muslim country. The women wear headscarves and there is no pork served anywhere, which is quite annoying but I'll live. Turkey bacon, chicken bacon, and beef bacon and other products that should be pork are not that appetizing! Other than that the food is pretty good, however, portions are small and it seems that I am always craving Applebees' fiesta lime chicken. We have eaten at California Pizza Kitchen and their is a Chili's and Ruby Tuesday's we'll be going to soon! There is a lot of oil money from the company Petronas, and it is evident in the very western shopping malls. Most of them I get lost in because they are so large and have so many stores! It is hard not to spend my first paycheck on everything.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Malaysia! And my friends never update their blogs

Yep, tomorrow I leave for Malaysia at 11:00pm. I fly from New York JFK- Vancouver, BC- Hong Kong- Kuala Lumpur and finally arrive 12:30 on Sunday in KL. I'll be traveling for like 25 hours since there is a time difference of 12 hours between KL and New York (13 hours for St. Louis).

I can accept text messages, as well as phone calls on the regular number, plus keeping updates here.

Unlike my friends, who never updated their blogs.

Monday, September 1, 2008


I have this weird feeling that I don't want to start work tomorrow (Tuesday). My Dad, Step Mom, and Maggie left this morning to go back to Medina. It's a strange feeling not returning to your hometown, like normal, with your family.

I don't know why, but I am rethinking this whole new york working thing. Maybe its just right now, but I feel I have left a lot behind me, only to have to start over AGAIN in a new city. I mean college was a fresh start from Medina, but now work is a fresh start from Medina and St. Louis, and now I am going to Malaysia for 6 weeks starting on Friday for training for work.
I guess I'm seeking consistency. For now, I guess I am lonely.

Well, we will see how this all works out.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

New Jersey, here I am

I'm all moved in to my step Uncle and Aunt's house out in Middle Park, NJ only 45 minutes from my future work, which starts Tuesday. I have a nice room on the top floor all to my self, and the bus to the city is within walking distance! Gotta love public transportation!

More on starting work later...

I actually miss Medina. I definitely miss St. Louis!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Unions are pretty much worthless now

Boeing is taking a radical step in making the Labor Unions feel pretty much worthless with their new website: Click here. With this, they can offer up new contract terms without Union Management trying to skew the facts and present it to the machinists, etc...
They can then process and think about the new terms days, instead of hours, before they vote to strike. GM, Ford, Chrysler, take hints!

I still think the entire Boeing Union is overpaid. Average wages for a MACHINIST is $91,500 a year, and they are getting a $24,000 to $28,000 pay raise. How ridiculous is that? Read the bloomberg article here.

Boeing needs to move to China/India and open up more plants there, average wages would decrease pretty quickly and airline travel could become cheaper!