Senior Associate, Investments at Temasek
Double Degree Programme in Electrical Engineering and Finance, 2019
Having graduated in 2019 with a double degree in electrical engineering and business administration, Jeremiah has amassed experience in the realm of finance, having completed two internships at Deloitte and subsequently at Temasek where he is now a Senior Associate with the Investment Group.
Apart from his professional job in investments, Jeremiah also distinguishes himself having represented Singapore at the 2015 SEA Games, achieving the coveted Gold Medal in the men’s sailing event. Being the Co-Founder and Vice-Captain of the NUS Sailing Varsity Team is testament to not just his commitment but also his competency in fields that he has a passion for.
Could you run us through a realistic and unfiltered day in the life of an investor?Generally speaking, no day is the same, but if I break down my day, there would perhaps be three things that we do on a regular basis. The first would be looking at new investments, be it companies or funds. The second category involves portfolio monitoring where we review quarterly and annual results and engage management on any other recent developments. Finally, we spend a lot of time doing industry deep-dives, where we seek to understand the value chain and competitive dynamics for various industries. For such deep-dives, we study available industry reports and frequently engage equity research analysts, industry veterans (e.g. C-suite or department heads and consultants to learn and map out the space. This helps us identify investment opportunities and form stronger theses around potential investments.
You were studying for a double degree in electrical engineering and business, what ultimately compelled you to view a career in investments as the right one for you?
To me, these degrees are highly complementary. Engineering trains you to get into the weeds and trains your problem-solving thought processes. On the flipside, business offers valuable business concepts that help you understand what makes a good business and trains your thinking around bigger picture issues of an industry or company. Together, these skill sets are very relevant for a role in investing. My first 2 years in university were exploratory, and I had not set my sights fully on a career in finance.
What eventually drew me to this career path is the fine balance between breadth and depth in terms of the industry knowledge and technical skills required for the job. The exit options that finance offered is also something I greatly valued, as I wanted to position myself for the many interesting career paths that may come my way. This led me to my internship with Deloitte, where I worked with the M&A Transaction Services team which piqued my interest around how businesses are valued, and the motivations behind certain investments. It was intellectually stimulating, and that propelled me to explore internships on the buy-side instead, which finally culminated in me taking on a full-time role as an associate at Temasek.
How did you secure internships in Deloitte as an M&A intern and subsequently a role in Temasek where you currently are working as an Investment Associate? What do these companies look out for in the recruitment process?
I would say expressing genuine curiosity and interest around the role I applied for and in general the nature of work that I expect to be doing. Being able to ask thought-provoking questions goes a long way in telling the interviewer that you have done your work and that you are genuinely interested in the role. Being able to offer insights and logical conclusions is also something that recruiters highly value.
Coming into Temasek after 2 internships with Deloitte, there were definitely some expectations around my knowledge of finance. It was important to display a logical thought process and be able to articulate views around certain investments. One should also be able to articulate what experience and knowledge they have accumulated from past internships.
What advice do you have for undergraduates seeking a career in investments? What didn’t you know before you got into this industry that you wish someone had told you? What would be a good way to start?
It helps to have a related corporate finance or investment internship in the summer prior, however, I would not say it is always necessary. If you are able to display genuine interest or curiosity around investing, that would still make you an attractive candidate. It is normal to be uncertain about your interests at the beginning, but the key is to develop and build that interest over time. It also helps to spend time reading up on investment-related news and discussing this with peers – why you think certain investments may be good or bad etc. These discussions serve as good practice for your future interviews and is also a great way to build your network of peers who are pursuing similar interests – this goes a long way in knowledge sharing and even career opportunities in future.
If you have bandwidth, you could also start learning financial modelling during your free time or through various online courses and university interest groups. This would give you a head start on the technical skills that are required for an investment role.
Ultimately, I believe that being a genuine person and always adopting a positive learning attitude will set you up well for any career you wish to pursue!
Key to Success: "It is normal to be uncertain about your interests at the beginning, but the key is to develop and build that interest over time.”
Interviewer/Editor/Writer: Matthew Thia, NUS BBA Year 2 and Alicia Teo, NUS BBA Year 3