Alum of the Month - November 2016

Rabab Rashid

I firmly believe that you don't have to be masculine to succeed as a corporate banker - but you do need to be confident and assertive. Rabab Rashid

  • Programme studied: MSc International Employment Relations and Human Resource Management
  • Year of Graduation: 2006
  • LinkedIn Profile

What's your current job?

I work as an Assistant Vice President at Askari Bank Limited in Lahore, Pakistan. My role is to advise companies and institutions on how to achieve their financial goals and implement long and short-term financial plans. This involves thoroughly researching market conditions and developments; identifying new business opportunities; carrying out financial modelling, then developing and presenting appropriate financial solutions to clients. I also have to liaise with chief executive and chief finance officers of large organisations and coordinate with teams of professionals - including accountants and lawyers.

Where have you worked previously?

For seven years I worked with Bank Alfalah which is a private bank in Pakistan owned by Abu Dhabi Group. For almost a year and a half I served FINCA Microfinance Bank Limited (formerly Kashf Microfinance Bank Limited) as a member of their management team.

What advice would you give to someone who aspires to follow a similar career path?

There is a preconception that corporate banking is a male industry and that you need masculine qualities to have success. However, I firmly believe that you don't have to be masculine to succeed as a corporate banker - but you do need to be confident and assertive. Try and align your passions with your job and steer your career in that direction. Be honest about what you don't know and diligent about filing the gaps.

You may encounter setbacks during the recruitment process and after you secure your first graduate job. For the first seven years of my banking career, I wasn't able to secure a position in corporate banking. You have to be resilient and believe in yourself.

How has the programme you studied had an impact on your career and who you are today?

Teamwork, attention to detail, leadership, resilience, a sense of values and citizenship were deeply instilled in us throughout the course. These are traits typically sought by recruiters. We were taught that nothing is set in stone and there will always be challenges on the horizon which I can so relate to - especially after the financial crisis that hit the world post-2008.

Are you involved in any activities or projects outside of work?

Besides work, I try to devote my time to a number of humanitarian and social causes that are close to my heart. I have been involved in a voluntary capacity for a number of philanthropic endeavours that primarily focus on healthcare and education. 

What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment?

My greatest accomplishment to date was when I was selected as part of the management team at FINCA Microfinance Bank Limited. I was entrusted with the challenging task of recruiting quality staff, preventing turnover and offering relevant training and capacity building initiatives in the start-up phase of the organisation.
I think that if you want to get broader experience, smaller firms give you more opportunity and the experience that I gained in those 18 months at a senior management positive has really helped me in my career.