Career Advice Special: Paul Choi – Director of Foreign Exchange at Fifth Third Bank | Episode 83

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Today on the podcast we have Paul Choi who is currently working at Fifth Third Bank Bank.

Paul has moved through different areas during his career and has moved from treasury to banking.

Paul is here to talk with us about making the move between the different areas of finance and the treasury space.

On the episode:

  • After starting his studies in an accounting major, Paul was introduced to the treasury space in his senior years. He then began an internship that helped him make an informed decision on where he wanted his career to go.
  • The differences between corporate and retail treasury differs a lot when it comes to the size and scale of the businesses. Career development opportunities are higher in the retail space.
  • Moving into the advisory space, Paul spends a lot of time on the road and suggests that others in similar roles should be ready for spending a lot of their time on the road.
  • Working in the corporate side of treasury means that you are able to own the tasks from the start to finish, where when working in advisory you don’t have the ownership of the task and normally only complete up to 80% of the task – such as a project manager.
  • Now that Paul is working in the banking sales side of things, he has gone through one of the bigger changes of his career. The day to day shows a lot of differences in the tasks that he completes and works through.
  • There is a lot of unpredictability that needs to be managed in the sales side of the business. It can result in long days at times and others when you are left waiting to hear from clients.
  • Sales and trading is the area that Paul finds to be the least forgiving.
  • In the corporate side of treasury there are a lot more focus points that you have to work with.
  • You need to focus on more than just the transactions and have some consultant type skills behind you as well to help with growing the business.
  • When looking for a position, look forward and whether there are future barriers that you may need to work through and what the growth for you and the business would be.
  • When transitioning from one position or one business to another, it is important that you have a reference behind you to help with the move forward.
  • If you are choosing to move forward into he advisory space there are life changes that come with he job including a lot of travel and time away from your family.
  • Networking and speaking with specialists in the field you are in will help with furthering your career and finding new positions.
  • Paul’s advise for others is to make sure you have good mentors through your career.
  • Networking will help you to find the mentors you need throughout your career.
  • Across all three areas that Paul has worked, he finds that capacity for growth is one of the most important things when hiring someone to work with.
  • Your level of character comes in very importantly for those who Paul would recommend to work with.
  • On the technology side of things, Paul believes it will help to remove a lot of tasks that take up the time of the treasury team.

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