AS A management associate at Citibank N.A. Singapore, Ms Emily Pan YanJun, 27, relishes the doors of opportunities that have been open for her.

For instance, she has worked in different departments and across businesses — from Consumer Banking to Corporate and Investment Banking.

Citi’s Management Associate (MA) programme places outstanding individuals on the fast track to leadership positions by providing them with a broad exposure to Citi’s businesses, mentorship by senior management and structured training programmes over the course of three years, says Ms Pan.

In 2010, Citi put her in an international team together with four other senior bankers to launch its first consumer assets business in Vietnam.

She recalls: “The two-and-a-half-year journey in Ho Chi Minh City was remarkable. I was involved in incubating a business from scratch and had the opportunity to embrace a fascinating culture and gained valuable insights.

“The depth of what I was able to experience and learn far exceeded what I had expected. This is possible due to the size of Citi’s businesses and its global footprint.”

Ms Pan joined Citibank in 2008 after graduating from the Singapore Management University with a Bachelor of Business Management, magna cum laude.

A year after joining the company, the gungho young woman was tasked to lead a group of 15 employees in the Credit Control team through uncharted waters during the financial crisis.

Even though she faces steep learning curves whenever a transition is made, she is ready to take on the challenge.

To assimilate into every new role, she learns on the job and seeks guidance from her seniors and other colleagues.

“Fortunately, being with a bank with a long history gave us that extra edge.

“My seniors also drew from their past experiences and best practices to help shape an effective strategy for the environment,” she says.

“The empowerment that Citi places in its employees gives me the confidence to continue to pursue bigger dreams, both on the corporate and personal front.”

Relationship management

As a relationship manager in the Corporate and Investment Banking arm under Citi’s Institutional Clients group, Ms Pan enjoys the satisfaction gained from transforming her knowledge into financial solutions for customers and seeing her efforts bear fruit for her customers over time.

She is part of the nearly 20-member team in the Asia Square office that manages the bank’s relationships with public sector clients and leading Singapore corporates.

“At Citi, we strive to create the optimal outcomes for our clients and customers with financial solutions that are simple, creative and responsible.

“Time-to-market is important, and to ensure that our clients’ needs are addressed in fast turnaround times, there is a strong emphasis on teamwork across functions,” she explains.

She never faces a dull moment at work.

A significant part of her time is devoted to meeting corporate clients to share market updates and industry best practices, understand their evolving business needs and develop opportunities to deepen their corporate relationships.

In addition, she does market and credit analysis, and coordinates with her foreign counterparts to ensure that their clients’ needs are well served.

“We work at an intense pace, especially when pitching for new clients and when executing time-sensitive deals for our existing clients.

“As our clients come from a wide spectrum of industries, we are expected to be knowledgeable about the latest market developments on the industries that we cover,” she explains.

Citiclub for work-life balance

Ms Pan is a member of Citi’s recreational club, Citiclub. She has organised several bank-wide events including a sports fiesta and car rally. The club is looking into expanding its activities to community, volunteerism, sports and cooking classes.

Other initiatives to encourage work-life balance include flexible work arrangements depending on staff’s personal commitments, such as caring for family members, academic pursuits and community service involvement.

Spanning over 160 countries and geographies, Citi gives its employees the chance to be functionally and geographically mobile.

Citibank has a rich history in the financial services sector spanning over 200 years.

Citi Singapore is the largest banking employer here with nearly 10,000 employees. Its wide spectrum of banking services is supported by the regional operations and technology hubs at Changi Business Park.

“Our people are not only brilliant and motivated, but they also come from diverse backgrounds. These factors boost competition, creativity and meaningful interactions, all of which I look forward to daily,” says Ms Pan.

“Networking is important and can open many doors for an individual. However, being sincere, humble and true to oneself are what will take you far,” she adds.