Tackling global business in Hong Kong

20 July 2017
Alex Churchill

When student Alex Churchill joined a team from the University of Auckland taking part in the HSBC/HKU Asia Pacific Business Case Competition in Hong Kong, he did not know the impact it would have on his future.

Later this month, Alex, a conjoint Law and Economics honours student, will head back to Hong Kong to begin his new job as an investment banker at HSBC.

Alex was offered the job after taking part in the 2015 HSBC Business Case Competition, a contest that the team from the University of Auckland won, taking home a cash prize of US$10,000.

For Alex, 23, who was born in China but moved to New Zealand with his family when he was three, ‘the opportunity to work in Hong Kong dealing with global business is brilliant.’

He’s looking forward to the huge cultural difference and the chance to speak Mandarin – his first language. His role will see him liaising between American, European, and Chinese clients and will provide him with the experience of working on global mergers and acquisitions.

If the job sounds a little overwhelming, for Alex, who was the president of the Auckland University Law Students Society last year and the Social Officer the year before, it is simply another challenge in an already full life.

His CV is impressive. In his final-year of high school Alex received a Russell McVeagh School Leavers’ Scholarship which provided him with financial support while he studied, work experience and a mentor. He credits his time with the firm as the impetus for his interest in transactions. 

Rarely daunted by a challenge, Alex took a semester off from his university study to take up an internship as a finance and strategy analyst with Google in Australia, advising the Australian CEO and management team. Based in Sydney, he says the culture in the Google office was eye-opening.

“They had baristas and three restaurants on site with ever changing menus. Everything was provided to make being at work as enjoyable as possible,” he says.

The oldest of three siblings – with one sister at medical school and the other still at college – Alex’s only concern about his new position in Hong Kong is feeling homesick.

But he plans to fill his spare time with another of his passions, travelling. “There are many cultural hotspots in Asia that are a stone’s throw away from Hong Kong which I’m looking forward to exploring.”

“I’m aiming to travel to 100 countries before I turn 30,” he says. Watch this space…