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From finance to renewable energy: A non-linear journey to career fulfilment with Victor Lam

Hannah Johnston

Oct 12, 2023
min read

We caught up with community member Victor Lam, to learn more about his non-linear career journey and landing a role through Hatch.

We can all probably agree that finding work that’s the right fit for us isn’t always easy or linear. Hatch recently sat down with community member Victor Lam, who secured a job through Hatch in his early career. We got the inside scoop into Victor’s journey from high school to landing exciting roles in finance, renewable energy, and beyond. Victor's story is proof that it's okay to explore various career options and take unexpected turns along the way. So, let's dive in!

High School Dreams: Finance and Actuarial Studies 

Victor started with a clear goal in mind – to work in finance and investment. Inspired by role models like Warren Buffett, Victor embarked on his academic journey by studying finance at University, alongside actuarial studies. However, early on, things didn't go as planned, as he faced academic challenges in actuarial studies. 

Victor said, "I almost thought I wanted to become an actuary at one point." However finding a role in his chosen field proved tough, and he took a job at a call centre, a challenging experience that gave them newfound respect for call centre employees.

The Turning Point: Landing a Role at Canon

Victor's first big break came when he secured a role at Canon in the supply chain and procurement team. He secured this through being exposed to the opportunity via his University. At this point, he was open to any opportunity that came his way. Victor said, "I'll just apply and see whatever I can get”. This marked his first experience in a corporate setting and laid the foundation for his future career. 

Venturing into Payments: A Pivotal Experience 

After Canon, Victor's career took quite a big turn as he ventured into the payments industry. Victor was excited by the fintech boom and the evolving payments landscape fascinated him. After exploring the consumer side of payments through his internship at Mastercard, he saw an opportunity to explore the business side of payments.  Excitingly, this is when Victor landed a paid internship at JP Morgan through Hatch. Victor emphasised, "I found the payments industry very interesting because fintech was blowing up at that time." 

Landing a role through Hatch: Staying Authentic 

Victor recalled his hiring manager at JP Morgan commenting on his ability to be authentic and genuine in his profile video on Hatch. It was important to the hiring manager for anyone in their early career applying for a role to show that they cared on a personal level. 

Victor also emphasised the importance of drawing on previous experiences and bringing them into the context of the role you’re applying for. Anything from volunteering or previous work experience, but make sure to bring it into context for the employer. By providing examples, you’re able to validate your skillset, rather than just talk about what you’re good at. 

Internships Aplenty: Gaining Diverse Experience

Victor's journey continued with internships, each offering valuable insights into different aspects of his fields of interest. He shared his experience of where he works now at Magellan, where he’s exploring environmental, social, and governance (ESG) aspects of finance. So far, this experience has already broadened Victor’s skillset and supported him in realising his passion for building something more impactful. 

Alongside Victor’s work at Magellan, he also does contract work in Telstra’s Energy team which is driving Telstra’s renewable energy strategy. Victor sits in the hedging and trading portfolio that’s responsible for ensuring Telstra’s energy costs don’t surge too high. He also supports a lot of back-end work financial work that feeds into renewable energy deals at Telstra. 

On top of this, Victor also works on a passion project related to renewable energy which he loves as it allows him to explore his entrepreneurial side. 

Balancing Finance and Startup Dreams

While Victor has secured a great graduate role for when he finishes university, he still remains interested in the renewable energy space and how he might be able to innovate here. He believes that his financial experience will eventually blend seamlessly with his entrepreneurial dreams to make an impact here. 

Victor is also interested in the venture capital space but believes that it requires a different set of skills that he looks forward to developing throughout his early career. 

Takeaways for The Hatch Community: Explore, Learn, and Adapt

So, what can you take away from Victor's journey? Here are a few key lessons:

Don't Be Afraid to Explore: It's okay to pivot and explore various career options. Your early choices might not define your entire career.

Seek Diverse Experiences: Internships and short-term placements can help you discover your interests and gain valuable skills. Hatch is a great place to start. 

Stay Authentic: Authenticity matters. Show your passion and genuine interest in your chosen field during interviews and applications.

Keep Learning: Embrace opportunities for personal and professional growth. Continuous learning and adaptability are essential.

Combine Passions: If you have multiple interests, look for ways to blend them into your career. You can find unique opportunities at the intersection of your passions.

Victor's journey exemplifies the idea that your career path can be a winding road filled with unexpected opportunities. Embrace the twists and turns, and always stay open to new experiences. Who knows where your career journey will take you? As you embark on your own professional journey, remember Victor's story as inspiration to chase your dreams and build a career that excites and fulfils you. 

What’s next for you? Explore roles on Hatch and make your profile stand out to your dream employers. 

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