Maguette Kebe

It feels like the backbone is the one of a large organization, but then we are able to act as a nimble specialist in different segments of the market.

Graduate 2022

Role: Fixed Income Risk team at Pictet
Asset Management
Based in: London

Graduate journey

After my studies at Bocconi University in Milano, I moved to London and joined Pictet as a graduate within the Institutional Distribution department. This was a great learning experience for both my professional and personal development, as it gave me the chance to rotate across two business lines, Pictet Asset Management and Pictet Alternative Advisors, in five different teams across the Distribution, Marketing & Products and Investment departments in London and Geneva. At the end of the graduate programme, I returned to my home team, the Global Client Group, and started my full-time role as a Client Servicing Officer. 

What inspired you to pursue a career in financial services and why did you choose Pictet specifically?

I would say that definitely my studies at University prepared me for a career in the financial services industry. The fact that there are so many different fields, sectors and sub sectors within it, as well as the impact it has, was all quite appealing to me.

What have been some of the most exciting projects or initiatives you've been a part of since joining Pictet?

The most interesting project was the one that we, as a graduate, were asked to work on at the end of our graduate programme. We were divided into teams and tasked with generating innovative ideas. We then had the opportunity to pitch our ideas to a jury composed of senior employees. My team didn’t win, but it was a great experience anyway! 

Can you describe the company culture and what it's like to work in this environment?

If I had to pick three: Long term oriented, welcoming, and I guess a “sense of belonging” in the sense that that you can really feel part of the firm. You can really feel the fact that it's not a listed company, it’s a private firm funded by a family. And you can really feel that the firm has been around for a long time, and, because of that, the firm adopts a long-term oriented view in everything it does; be it on the employee side, on the relationship that we have with our clients, or when it comes to the strategies and the products that we launch and offer to clients.

What sets Pictet apart from others in the Financial Industry in your opinion?

Do you say backbone in English? Yeah, the backbone. It feels like the backbone is the one of a large organization, but then we are able to act as a nimble specialist in different segments of the market. We are a robust organization, and usually that's a characteristic that you will find in a large organization, but we are also able to be as dynamic as the smaller boutiques. I think it's not easy to find that combination. A common saying at Pictet is that we are a start-up with 200 plus years of experience.

What advice do you have for someone just starting their career in the financial services industry? 

I would say just go for it. I think it's an industry where we, as young people and young talent, can learn a lot, but it's also an industry where we as young people and young talent can bring a lot in the sense that we do have a different perspective on the world. I would say we are really bringing in a fresh mindset. It’s an industry that has such a huge impact on the world. I think that it's intellectually stimulating, but also challenging to be a part of it. I believe that the industry can greatly benefit from the diverse academic backgrounds and experiences of young people.

How has the Pictet graduate programme challenged and stretched you so far and what have you learned from these experiences?

I think that the rotational aspect of the graduate programme is an interesting one in the sense that, as a graduate, we tend to change team or department or business line every three to six months. And it's interesting because, basically, it will take you a few weeks to, let's say, settle in in a team, and then it will take you a few months to be able to do the work without any support, and will take you a few months to kind of become more independent with your work and as soon as you reach, I would say the top, or the peak of your learning curve,  you're actually asked to leave and change team and change the environment. It makes you humble; you need to be willing to learn

How does the Pictet graduate programme support your professional development and growth?

I will say that when you are part of the graduate programme you get trained quite a lot, both on the technical and the soft skills side. They see us as potential as employees that might stay for a long time within the firm, so that's good. Mobility is also something we are trying to promote as well.

What skills did you develop from the Pictet graduate programme and how did it prepare you for the next step in your career?

I feel like the graduate programme really helps a young person in the sense that you need to be able to build connections with people. You need to be able to build those connections quite a few times, every 3 to 6 months again. Some people might struggle when it comes to being able to meet new people and build relationships that frequently. Thanks to the graduate programme, everyone eventually becomes more comfortable. Even if you are an introvert, the graduate programme provides numerous opportunities to meet and collaborate with people across the firm, which can help build your network naturally.

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