Career mobility: From London to Singapore – Claire takes us on a trip across the globe

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Claire Herbert works in our Singapore office as an ESG Manager. Her colourful career journey has been full of life changing conversations and exciting twists. From London to Singapore, and from contractor to manager, Claire shares her career journey.

What was your first role?

Claire: I joined Schroders in the Trade Operations team on a six-month contract. I felt incredibly lucky to get the job after being rejected by every graduate scheme I applied to! Dealing with rejection wasn’t easy but instead of losing motivation, I pivoted to entry-level jobs instead. My morale was buoyed and finally I got my Schroders role. 

What kickstarted your career move?

Claire: While Trade Operations was a great way to learn first-hand about investment, I wanted to explore roles that harnessed my analytical, creative and communication skills. To learn more about different roles at Schroders, I signed up to the ‘coffee connections’ programme, where you’re randomly matched with someone in another business area. After several connections, I had an inspirational catch-up with Ben Arnold – a Product Executive at the time. His role and team’s culture sounded so exciting to me. They clearly had so much passion, and I wanted to be a part of that. Product was the route for me to develop in the direction I wanted.

I’d also been studying for lots of exams. First, the Investment Operations Certificate to help me in Trade Operations; then the Investment Management Certificate to build my investment knowledge, and finally CFA Level 1 to further my knowledge and to show commitment and tenacity.  

Why ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance)?

Claire: A few months after our coffee, Ben suggested I apply for an ESG Product Executive position. I spoke to his manager to understand the day-to-day tasks involved in a typical Product role, where my skills could shine and any resources I should read in my interview preparation.

Before I applied, I didn’t know how passionate I’d be about ESG. Whilst preparing, I read through as much of Schroders’ sustainable investment research and reports that I could find. I fell in love with the perfect combination of finance and science.

How have you ended up in Singapore?

Claire: After 18 months in my ESG role I was promoted to Associate Investment Director and got asked whether I’d be interested in moving to Singapore. I almost turned it down.

But I spoke to colleagues that had made similar moves, and my future key contacts in Singapore to understand what to expect. Plus my friends, including one that had moved to Malaysia to teach, helped me realise that if I turned it down, I’d be left wondering ‘what if’. 

I can’t believe I almost didn’t go for it – it’s been incredible, I can see myself staying here for a long time, with so many personal and professional opportunities.  

Who’s had the biggest impact on your career?

Claire: My managers, they’ve trusted me and provided opportunities. I knew I had to keep working hard to prove that they’d made the right choice in giving me opportunities. They‘ve been a huge catalyst for my growth, from helping me to develop my brand and network to pushing me outside my comfort zone and expanding my knowledge.  

What advice would you give?

Claire: Never be afraid to ask questions or ask for support. It turns out people quite enjoy helping others and there’s usually someone else in the room pondering a similar question!

For anyone thinking about expanding their horizons, whether that be exploring a different part of the business or moving to another region, speak to your manager. People need to know your ambitions, to think of you for opportunities.

Plus, we have a great culture here – people want to help and see you succeed. But it’s also really important to demonstrate why they should choose you, to show your value. Take initiative, seek out new projects, improve processes, connect with people and build your network.

Biggest highlight?

Claire: It’s hard to pick one! The community at Schroders is second to none and I have made life-long friends. But presenting at a two-day live-streamed event we ran during December 2020 stands out. It was my first experience of such a large-scale event (with a full TV camera crew!). I had a pinch-me moment of realisation of just how much I had achieved.

What’s next?

Claire: I’m excited to make the most of my time in Asia, to continue learning about a completely new market and exploring the diverse cultures on my doorstep.


Related news: 

Careers: Miki shares her journey from Office Administrator to Trader in Shanghai 

Thinking of your own move? Find out more about working here 

What does flexible working really look? How we’re making flexible working a reality 

Career mobility: Nicolas Baumgartner relocating company and country to Schroders Luxembourg 

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