Staff Spotlight: Anthony Woo

CFO and Director of Strategic Planning at Next Step Connections
Anthony is the Chief Financial Officer and Director of Strategic Planning of Next Step Connections. Anthony used to be an investment banker at Morgan Stanley, primarily focusing on Hong Kong corporate. Prior to that, he spent several years at J.P. Morgan in portfolio management, equity derivatives and investment strategy in San Francisco, London and New York. Anthony has accumulated operational and business development experience from a number of startups. He has also served in multiple capacities (e.g. resume reviewer and mentor) at various educational organizations, including ChaseDream in China and finance communities in the US. Anthony completed his MBA at Harvard Business School.

Anthony Woo - CFO and Director of Strategic Planning at Next Step Connections

What makes interning in Hong Kong a unique experience for participants?

Anthony: Hong Kong is a unique city -- a blend of the East and the West. It is the New York of North America and the London of Europe. The city is very dynamic and it "never sleeps". Despite the small size of the city, Hong Kong is "global" in many different aspects.

What can you tell us about the workplace culture in Hong Kong?

Anthony: The workplace culture in Hong Kong is intense and highly efficient. Forget about the laid back environment. It is common for people to work till 8pm and "working late" often means you are still in the office past 10pm. And don't be surprised if everyone seems to be in a rush to work in the morning.

Our Advice: Be prepared to work in an intense and highly-efficient culture (like New York and London). Don't be afraid to ask questions -- efficiency is greatly cherished and no one wants you to be stuck in something working inefficiently. Don't worry too much about blending in -- Hong Kong people are very receptive to foreigners.

What level of Mandarin/Cantonese proficiency should interns have when considering this internship?

Anthony: Proficiency in Mandarin is an advantage as a lot of business is now conducted with our Mainland Chinese counterparts. With that said, a lot of foreigners in Hong Kong still do very well with a good command of English. Fluency in Cantonese (the local dialect) is always useful but not required

Is prior work experience required?

Anthony: Generally speaking, no, but this depends on the nature of the internship. Brand name companies and more senior positions usually require prior experience.

What are some extra-curricular activities participants enjoy while interning in Hong Kong?

Anthony: Hong Kong prides itself in the diversified shopping experience and traditional local cuisine that the city offers. Visit the many shopping malls at Causeway Bay and Tsim Sha Tsui and indulge yourself in local Cantonese food around the city.

Places to visit include: the Peak, Ocean Park, Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade, Sik Sik Yuen Wong Tai Sin Temple, the Clock Tower, and the Temple Street Night Market. NSC organises monthly events around town.

What is one piece of advice you would offer someone considering interning abroad in Hong Kong?

Anthony: Sleep LESS! The city itself has too much to offer for anyone to spend unnecessary time in bed.