University of Nottingham Malaysia

Career Journey: Kwan Wan Hong


Kwan Wan Hong (BSc (Hons) in Economics, 2014) shares his career journey with us. He is currently an Assistant Vice President at Khazanah Nasional Berhad, Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund. He shares with us his journey from a UNM graduate to charting a career as a macro & equities analyst in the asset management industry.

His first job after graduating from UNM was a Junior Economist at Alliance Bank, an opportunity that the School of Economics helped him to connect with. Wan Hong shares that in his line of work of analysing macro trends to help make investment decisions, solid classroom knowledge is essential, but insufficient. Accumulating experiences, practicing being ‘street-smart’ & maintaining a ‘hungry’ attitude will advance one’s career, which helped him to land a position at Khazanah Nasional Berhad.

When it comes to the most challenging aspects of his career, Wan Hong tells us that having the temperament and the conviction to stick to the right investment decisions despite market volatility can be the most difficult.

However, despite this challenge, he also finds it rewarding to be proven right by long-term market trends, or be humbled by the market and learn from the mistake.

Reminiscing his university days, Wan Hong adds that his Economics degree at UNM gave him a solid technical foundation that was critical to open doors in his career. Moreover, he speaks fondly of his time at UNM, where his classmates became his close friends.

Finally, he leaves us with some advice for budding economists:

“Your life and career, is never set on a linear path. We tend to think of things in a linear fashion (i.e fresh grad income, multiplied by average salary growth to estimate potential earnings) because it gives us comfort and a sense of grounding. But that is not your destiny. Carve your own path. Think big, think exponential when you're young, because your upside has no limits.”

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Posted on 16th June 2021

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