Elson Ong

Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Urban Studies

Class of 2017, Singapore
Analyst, Finance Division at Goldman Sachs

Elson joined Goldman Sachs in July 2017 and is now working as a Funding Product Control Analyst in the firm’s Finance Division in Hong Kong.

Elson initially applied to Goldman Sach’s Operations Division in Singapore, but was offered a chance to consider a role in its Finance Division in Hong Kong. He went through five rounds of interviews before clinching the job.

During his time with Yale-NUS, Elson had many opportunities to garner international experience through various programmes and initiatives. Those experiences proved useful as he navigates the challenges of living alone overseas. Some of the initial challenges include forming a new network of contacts and friends in Hong Kong, as well as logistical matters such as opening bank accounts and finding a suitable place to rent. Learning from his study abroad experience during college, Elson reached out to the Hong Kong chapter of the National University of Singapore (NUS) and Yale University Alumni and joined their activities, which introduced him to other alumni who are living in Hong Kong.

Being part of the pioneer batch of Yale-NUS graduates, Elson felt that the biggest challenge was introducing Yale-NUS to potential employers to showcase what a Yale-NUS graduate was capable of and what skills they could bring to the job without having the benefit of prior alumni that they had recruited and worked with to do so. In every interview, Elson had to spend some time explaining what Yale-NUS was and the learning experience for Yale-NUS students. This, however, gave Elson an opportunity to break the ice with the employers and helped him differentiate himself from other candidates.

“I believe the whole Yale-NUS experience has helped me in my job search: The liberal arts curriculum built my ability to draw connections between different fields and develop critical thinking skills; founding the Yale-NUS Investment Club (now known as Yale-NUS Student Investment Group) and Yale-NUS Fashion Society is testament that I am able to identify opportunities and take the initiative to execute and build something from scratch to fill the gaps that I have identified; my international experiences, such as spending a summer in Taiwan under the Chinese Language Scholarship, mystery internship in New York and semester abroad at Utrecht University also taught me how to adapt to a foreign environment. Most importantly, I believe my interviewers felt that I was an interesting candidate when I shared with them about my passion in Chinese Language and Culture, where I took a Chinese tea-brewing course in Taiwan and modules such as Classical Chinese and Chinese poetry back in Yale-NUS College.”