Name: Gaurav Chopra
Age: 25 Years
Degree and university: B.A (Hons) Mathematics, St. Stephen’s College, Delhi, India
MSc. Operational Research, London School of Economics
Work Title: Manager, Credit Risk Management, Capital One Europe.
What do you actually do? My role involves advising decision makers on issues related to credit risk. This is based on in-depth analysis and looking at internal data, external events and the economic outlook. Decisions are then recommended for implementation if their risk/reward relation fits in with the corporate objectives.
Were you always interested in this sector as a career? I was always interested in the financial sector and started my career as an Analyst at Capital One doing a financial modelling role. I also wanted to explore other opportunities that were being offered and took up roles in product strategy and business development to enhance my skills and learn more about the business. The recent credit crunch and the challenges associated with credit got me interested in credit risk management and I was given the opportunity to pursue my current role.
Have you ever experienced any racial discrimination in this sector? Never. Capital One is an Equal Opportunity Employer and doesn’t differentiate people on the basis of race, gender, disability or sexual orientation. The fact that I work in a place that employs people from all spheres of life enjoying similar employee benefits and career progression opportunities has never made me question my employer’s diversity policy.
Would you undertake further study to gain promotion? I think today’s business environment is highly competitive and to stay on top you need to enhance your skill-set whenever the opportunities arise. Hence, an MBA (sponsored by Capital One) is an option I will consider.
What do you like most about what you do? The one thing that stands out for me in my job is that I am involved in decision making. This makes me feel that the work I do is valued and my presence makes a material difference to the organisation. You need to think logically because expectations are always high and you always need to be at your intellectual best
What advice would you give other graduates coming into this sector? Knowing what you want is the key for success in the financial sector. There are numerous options and though they might seem similar, they can be extremely different. For example, you might be tempted by the remuneration in the investment banking industry, but not weighing it against the number of hours you need to put in can cause major disappointment. Hence, doing thorough research into the available options is a must for anyone wishing to enter this sector.