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The Transformative Tri-city Learning Experiences: Insights from Tu Tran (BBA 2020)

 

Curious about our undergrad alumni and their unique academic journey through Singapore, Dubai and Sydney?

tu tran

Meet Tu Tran. By the time he completed his Bachelor of Business Administration degree at SP Jain Global in 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic had turned the world upside down. Amidst the chaos, his anticipated job offer was rescinded, plunging him into a landscape of widespread layoffs and uncertainty. Fast-forward to today, Tran skilfully manages a Danish-Australian family office while using his finance expertise to provide consultancy services to banks, fund managers, and companies.

Join us as Tu Tran shares his candid insights and experiences and the reason he chose SP Jain Global for his undergraduate studies.

 

Why did you choose SP Jain Global for undergraduate study?

The decision to enrol at SP Jain Global was primarily influenced by the unique opportunity to live and study in three different cities and the attractive scholarship package. This combination of international exposure and financial assistance made it an appealing choice, aligning well with my academic and personal goals.

How did your academic coursework and extracurricular activities at SP Jain Global contribute to your career?

Academically, SP Jain Global provided me with valuable coursework that significantly impacted my career trajectory. For instance, Prof. John Talbott's corporate finance course in my sophomore year laid a strong foundation that proved invaluable in my subsequent roles in investment banking and private equity. During my senior year, Prof. Brian Chu's Risk & Financial Modeling class equipped me with practical skills essential for running quantitative investment strategies at a hedge fund.

Regarding extracurricular activities, SP Jain Global's industry visits were particularly insightful and aligned well with my professional interests. These visits provided firsthand exposure to various industries and organisations, offering valuable insights that complemented my academic learning and contributed to my career readiness.

 
Would you like to share some Internships or work experiences that shaped your skills and knowledge?
 
My first internship was a finance internship at a company named Finquest during my freshman year in Singapore. And the greatest part: the internship was a paid one! Imagine earning an income in your domain of interest as early as freshman year. SP Jain Global had made this possible.

SP Jain Global Career Service assisted me with the placement. This amazing internship led me to a finance career, as I had the chance to learn a lot about mergers and acquisitions and private investment markets. During the internship at Finquest, I worked on a project to help Singaporean institutions browse investments in Southeast Asia. This internship helped me build a strong resume early on and made subsequent internships and job searches much more accessible. 

 

How did SP Jain Global’s alumni network help you with networking and mentorship?

You'd be surprised by how many alumni SP Jain Global has across industries, which creates many opportunities when you reach out to alumni on Linkedin. For instance, during my junior year, I secured an internship at Pemba Capital, a private equity firm, thanks to a connection with a former SP Jain Global student who had previously interned there. Similarly, during my senior year, I landed an internship at Newport Capital, an investment banking firm, with the assistance of two SP Jain Global alumni who were associates at the firm. Their guidance and mentorship significantly contributed to my professional growth, fostering a lasting connection that continues to benefit me today.


How did the tri-city exposure impact you professionally and personally?

The tri-city exposure profoundly influenced my professional and personal growth. From a professional standpoint, spending a year in each city allowed me to fully immerse myself in different cultures and gain valuable insights into societal nuances. This experience enriched my resume with diverse internship positions, significantly expanding my career opportunities.

On a personal level, the tri-city model constantly pushed me out of my comfort zone, fostering continuous growth and development. It served as an exhilarating catalyst for personal growth, encouraging me to embrace new challenges and experiences enthusiastically.

How did SP Jain Global assist in your interview preparation?

SP Jain Global gave me the essential skills to navigate the interview process and secure my first full-time position.

Specifically, the Communication and Business Writing courses gave me valuable tools for crafting personalised and compelling cover letters. Additionally, these courses honed my ability to present myself authentically during interviews, ensuring that I came across as genuine and natural rather than rehearsed or robotic.

 

Can you share some memorable experiences and your bond with a diverse cohort that have influenced your growth?

Reflecting on my time at SP Jain Global, one standout memory is the outdoor activities, particularly during our year in Dubai. The dedication of our Student Life Manager, Megna, ensured that we had unforgettable experiences and forged lasting bonds with our peers. While I also enjoyed the activities in Australia and Singapore, my second year in Dubai holds a special place in my heart. These experiences have contributed to my personal growth, fostering a spirit of adventure, increasing my risk tolerance, and reshaping my approach to challenges.

Interacting with my peers was enriching. We shared experiences, supported one another through academic and personal challenges, and celebrated successes. These interactions fostered a sense of camaraderie and mutual respect, creating a supportive community that continues to influence me today.

 

Any significant challenges you faced in your career journey, and how did you overcome them? Your insights could inspire students on similar paths and offer them valuable lessons.

One notable setback I encountered was the rescinding of a full-time job offer just before my graduation due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Initially, I felt cornered and uncertain amidst the challenges of securing employment during widespread layoffs. However, drawing upon the adaptability and resilience instilled in me while at SP Jain Global, I persevered and pursued opportunities.

Securing a position at a stockbroking firm, ACY Securities wasn't initially my ideal choice, but it provided financial stability and aligned with my academic background. In hindsight, I realised this flexibility was crucial.

One such connection introduced me to a derivatives brokerage house, OnePrime, where I managed a trading desk facilitating substantial monthly trading volume.

This trajectory eventually led me to my desired Magnolia Capital hedge fund role. Reflecting on this journey, I've learned the importance of remaining open-minded about early career opportunities. Flexibility and perseverance are key, especially in dynamic job markets like Australia's.

The experience taught me that while your first job may not be your dream role, it can be a stepping stone to greater opportunities.

In times of adversity, leaning on the support of friends and family and maintaining a positive mindset proved invaluable. I advise aspiring professionals to embrace challenges with resilience, stay adaptable, and never underestimate the power of networking and self-belief in overcoming setbacks. 

 
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