Working part-time at CHOM Capital during my studies in the Master of Finance program was a challenging, yet valuable experience. Having the opportunity to apply theoretical knowledge gained through academia to real life scenarios enabled me not only to learn more about how frameworks and concepts are actually used, but also how these concepts are relevant in various economic circumstances.
What shaped my experience in a small asset management boutique? Here are my four key takeaways:
“Performance driven by fundamentals” – CHOM’s investment approach is based on fundamental qualities, as is a team’s performance. I realized that teamwork within a company or within a case study group during class is a key fundamental factor to success. If this fundamental factor is not functioning or is not established at all, quality is hindered.
As a junior analyst at CHOM, I had the opportunity not only to grasp the entire process in portfolio management, but also the functionalities and daily life of a small financial services company itself. To be able to gain a holistic view in these two dimensions is particularly valuable. Such insights are rare, if not impossible, for working students in larger corporations. Although I was especially interested in portfolio management and the analysis of investments, exposure to topics such as managerial accounting and legal provided a holistic picture of the firm’s operations. Being responsible for a wide range of tasks gave me a valuable opportunity to widen my horizon.
To be provided with such opportunities is extremely difficult for a working student, since projects are handled under high time pressure and usually demand employees that can be present full-time. In addition, hierarchies can be steep and tasks can become divided granularly. As a rather small company, CHOM has a flat hierarchy, and senior personnel is more approachable. This advantage has enabled me to be part of senior projects and fulfill diverse, interesting and challenging tasks. Tasks often concern different sectors, countries and companies with differing market capitalizations and maturity stages.
In general, working student positions offer the opportunity to combine academics with the professional world. This allows students to gain valuable insights into the working world and prompts students to distinguish themselves from their peers. However, there is more than learning opportunities and a good team to it: to make it work.
Over the course of my studies at Frankfurt School, I had two different working student positions – one as a Bachelor student and the second as a Master student in the 3-day model. During those experiences, I have identified the one key aspect essential to make these positions work for me: flexibility. Although the 3-day model already offers a lot of plannability, the flexibility at CHOM has been a real gamechanger for me.