Day 18 – Banking industry and welfare dinner

The last day of our China trip started as usual in the lobby of our hotel from where we left for two very interesting meetings with Swiss expats. The visits gave us an insight in the banking industry in Hong Kong and the especially the Swiss banks in this area as well as the life as an expat working for those banks. First we took the boat to set over to Hong Kong island and soon arrived in the Hong Kong branch of the UBS. Due to connections of Mr. Ruettimann we were able to talk to a Swiss expat who worked abroad for 12 years already and therefore was able to give us a unique inside what banking in Asia and Hong Kong is all about. We were received on the 52. Floor in a nice meeting room from where we had a great overview, although most of us first went for the `hen hao chi` croissants they offered us. The speech was great and helped us to understand why the banks rush into this region and opened us the eyes for the fact that we should be more aware of the coming, yet already ongoing competition from Asia to the West.

Secondly, thanks to a contact of one of our students, we could dig in further into the banking sector in Hong Kong by visiting a Swiss expat at the Credit Swiss. This meeting was for some of us of special interest, because it was a former student of the ZHAW and an example of how a career could look like in the first few years after graduation. As a Swiss banker sent to Hong Kong on a two years contract he could tell us firsthand experience about the value of gaining experience abroad, but didn’t hide the difficult side of it. Overall we think he gave us a good and honest overview about what he experienced so far and it will be for sure a help for some of us when the question comes up about going a step further and becoming an expat.

The afternoon offered us some hours to explore the city on our own, some did a bit sightseeing or shopping others slept and recovered from the hard trip that was already behind us. It went everything so quickly that we didn’t really realize that it’s over before all together went for the farewell-dinner in a Taiwanese restaurant where we officially got the message that the trip is over. Even though most went for a farewell drink after and expressed Mr. Ruettimann a special thank for his work and contribution to this trip, without him we would not have had the chance to see China from that perspective and therefore again, we thank him a lot.

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