Syeda Fariha Preanka

Global Maybank Apprentice


BSc in Pharmacology, King’s College London, 2012; MSc in Management, Imperial College London, 2013

At university 

I majored in pharmacology and engaged in various clubs where my main focus remained in taking up leadership roles and managing teams. Upon graduation, I acquired many skills from dissecting rodents, culturing bacteria and analysing research data to presentations, teamwork and leadership skills. I was then accepted into the MSc Management course at Imperial and I saw it as my gateway to endless opportunities in which I chose to specialise in strategy and leadership.

My background
In my first job, I was a writer for a local publication in Bangladesh. Upon moving to London, I juggled between various part time jobs while pursuing my tertiary education. I also had the opportunity to work in the National University of Singapore under its student exchange program.

My company and job
At Maybank, I have the privilege of rotating across the key sectors to gain hands-on learning experience of the operations as well as various banking functions. I started in the retail arm of the bank branch and business banking. I am also in the project team for Maybank GO Ahead Challenge 2014. My duty entails designing business case challenges that would be used during the competition. I am also slated to pursue further rotations in the global banking sector in addition to going for international assignments.

The best and worst bits
The best part of the job is that I am given the opportunity to handle big roles which include managing a big project from the start which is an invaluable experience for a fresh graduate. The worst part is more on a personal level, which is the language barrier I had to overcome.

My most memorable achievement at work
The moment I won the Go Ahead Challenger Award during Maybank’s GO Ahead Challenge 2013. Another was when I was officially selected to be in the new organising committee of Maybank GO Ahead Challenge 2014 edition.

Getting the job
The process was intense yet exciting! I started with a psychometric test in an assessment centre which tested my lateral thinking skills, followed by an engaging focus group discussion on a case study. I made it to the grand finals where together with a diverse team of international graduates, I had to analyse a business case, prepare a presentation, secure funding from top bankers, prepare and execute marketing plans, in addition to going through various roadblocks.

Be prepared for
...long hours and the need to maintain a high energy level at all times.

Some advice
A degree or work experience does not ensure a letter of employment but they do tick as prerequisites. Enrich your university experience with several internships, volunteering, and part-time work to find what suits you best.