By undertaking a Master’s in Finance at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), Clement Dumur was able to kickstart his financial career, landing an investment management role with Credit Suisse in Zurich before he’d even graduated.
Clement grew up in Luxembourg, and moved to Paris aged 18 to study at ESSEC. During this time he explored career options in a bid to find his niche. In the final year of his bachelor’s degree, he specialized in finance, and an internship with financial services firm, Kepler Cheuvreux, confirmed his excitement to enter the industry.
“I wanted to deepen my knowledge and specialize in finance more,” he explains, “the only question was: where?” This question led him halfway around the world to Hong Kong.
Although he had considered schools in Europe or North America, Clement found himself drawn to somewhere less familiar. “I was really missing some Asian experience on my CV,” he says. “I think the perspective there is really different from the USA or Europe.”
While researching top schools in Asia, he came across HKUST and was impressed by its reputation. In 2019, HKUST climbed to first place in the Times’ Young Universities Rankings, and number two in Asia for business and management studies by QS (2019).
When he arrived in Hong Kong, Clement was excited by the city’s dynamic atmosphere. “I loved the place,” he recalls. “Even after a long day’s work you feel so energised. It was like a mix of China and New York.”
The learning experiences on offer at HKUST helped Clement to familiarize himself with the financial market in this new environment. One particular highlight was a module taught by CitiGroup’s head of trading strategies.
“This gave us a flavor of day to day trading floor work, looking at the equity market from a strategy perspective,” Clement explains. “It confirmed my desire to work directly on the market.”
Even today, eight years on, Clement returns to his class notes when he needs to brush up on a topic. “The professors at HKUST are true experts in the field, and they can really go deep on a subject, but still be quite practical,” he says.
Furthermore, Clement was able to speak with his professors beyond classes, and make the most of their insight, he notes.
Kickstarting a new career
Discussions with his peers were another valuable resource for Clement as he set out on his financial career. Because many of his classes were taught alongside a mix of MSc in Finance part-time students and MBA students, he could access first-hand knowledge from professionals with recent, hands-on experience.
Discussions with these students provided some useful context, and also helped Clement on his way to a full-time finance role. “They gave me a lot of insight from the industry,” he recalls. “They know what specific companies are looking for in their employees and where they specialize.”
Along with these insights, HKUST’s careers and professional development service proved a valuable resource. Resources like resume workshops and interview guidance sessions helped Clement as he prepared to enter the finance industry.
“This was a game changer to pass interviews,” he says.
Imparting a passion for finance
Clement’s Master’s in Finance left him with more than this practical knowledge. The program also helped cement his passion for the topic, he says.
“What HKUST has helped me recognize is a passion for my work,” he reflects. “It sounds a bit cheesy, but it’s really made a difference in my career so far. I’m really happy to go to work every day.”
Clement brings this passion to his current role as portfolio manager at Credit Suisse, working with the equities and derivatives team. The job is exciting and varied, he says, with plenty of human interaction.
This element of his work gives Clement the chance to share his passion for financial markets with others. “Many of my clients don’t know much about finance, and I have to explain a lot of concepts,” he notes. “The way I do this has been influenced by my teachers at HKUST, who made things very accessible.”
Equipped with the skills and energy he learned during his Master’s in Finance at HKUST, Clement is excited to continue his career in investment management.