“You’re not limited by your degree.”

March 28, 2024

Meet Clara Gnanavadivel, Liquidity Reporting Analyst for Mizuho EMEA. We spoke to her about her journey in finding a career path, and how she’s able to apply her chemistry degree to her current role.

Born in France, and raised in East London, Clara, like many, didn’t know what she wanted to be or what was available to her after university.

Studying the traditional sciences and maths for A levels, Clara went on to study Chemistry at Queen Mary University of London.

“I enjoyed the sciences at school,” explains Clara. “At university, I realised that I enjoyed the content and educational side of it. I enjoy understanding and learning chemistry, but not necessarily the practical aspects of it; I’m quite curious, and that was what led me down the this route” explains Clara

It was at a consultancy internship during university that Clara realised she didn’t see herself wearing a lab coat in the future, instead she saw herself interacting with different people and working as part of a team.

“Keep exploring, keep trying things you’ve never heard of. You are not limited by your degree.”

Clara Gnanavadivel,
Liquidity Reporting Graduate

The Mizuho Internship Programme

After getting a taste for the corporate world during her first internship, Clara accepted a place on Mizuho EMEA’s Internship Programme in the Finance department.

“I applied because I thought it would be a good way to understand how an investment bank works,” explains Clara. “I didn’t have any expectations because I didn’t know what it was going to be. I just wanted to understand the environment.”

During this internship she did a rotation of the teams sampling what each area of Finance did, and exploring which elements appealed to her most. It was during her regulatory reporting experience where Clara’s curiosity was peaked once more and linked back to the same driver that led to her studying chemistry in the first place.

“I like being given data and interpreting it. I was reporting on my findings, going off and doing my own analysis,” says Clara. “You’re given raw data has no value, you have to give it meaning or a story and I find that incredibly rewarding.”

“You have to question things – why is this happening? Why doesn’t this work? What’s an alternative way that we can approach this to get a different result and then reporting on those findings.”

“I came into Mizuho and I loved it. This is what I want to be doing.”

When asked what advice she’d give to those students unsure about what they want to do in the future, Clara says “it’s OK to not know what you want to do. There are so many roles out there beyond the traditional roles that you know exist,” she continues. “Keep exploring, keep trying things you’ve never heard of. You are not limited by your degree.”

“The Mizuho graduate programme has a very small intake in comparison to other companies and this was a key factor for me.”

Clara Gnanavadivel,
Liquidity Reporting Graduate

The Mizuho EMEA Internship Programme lasts 10 weeks and comprises of an introduction to financial markets and operations, technical skills training, as well as bespoke soft skills sessions.

When asked to share any advice to future interns on the programme, Clara said. "You need to make sure you use the time to the best of your ability. Speak to people, network, and ask questions – because a lot of the things you learn in an office environment aren’t on google. You’re trying to understand other peoples’ experience and ultimately that will allow you to decide if you want to do this in the future or not.”

After finishing the Internship Programme, Clara was offered a spot on the Graduate Programme.

“The Mizuho graduate programme has a very small intake in comparison to other companies and this was a key factor for me,” states Clara. “So much value and importance is given to making sure you’re picking up the role properly and getting the support you need to succeed.”

What is it like to work at Mizuho?

In her current role as a Liquidity Reporting analyst within the Regulatory Reporting function, Clara’s role involves preparation of daily and monthly calculations of the Liquidity position of the bank (comprising it’s holding of Liquid Assets and projections of cashflows), particularly MHI’s Pillar 1 Liquidity Coverage Ratio.

“I find it really interesting because that gives you an idea of how firms are doing.”

Having little prior knowledge within regulatory reporting, or even finance, Clara credits her team for the continued support given to her in her role.

“When you’re first starting your career there’s a lot of confusion. At Mizuho I was, and still am given the foundation to make sure that my knowledge has been built up rather than being told to follow a process,” she comments.

“I am being taught the understanding behind the reports and why we do them. It allows me to question things and give input into the team, and if things go wrong, I’m able to fix them.”

When asked if she’s enjoying her current role, Clara smiles and responds confidently.

“Yes, I really like interpreting regulations and applying them to the firm, and I enjoy reporting on them; It’s a satisfying process from start to finish with tangible outcomes that you can see for yourself.”

When we discussed looking forward to the future, Clara restates how happy she is in her current role and can’t see herself moving outside of the liquidity space anytime soon.

“I’m currently studying my chartered accountancy qualification through the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants. In the next five years I want to be qualified, progressed in my role and having become a core member of the liquidity team here at Mizuho.”

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