What do you immediately picture when the word banker pops into your head? For me, it is suits and pencil skirts, endless Excel sheets, caffeine-powered mornings and takeout fueled late nights. Lo and behold, when I finally became one myself, it was not all that. So what exactly is it like to be a banker in my city?
I am an analyst in a Central Bank and the best way to describe what I do is that I use a variety of financial and economic knowledge to construct and enforce policies and penalties to ensure the financial stability and economic health of the country is sound.
Due to the pandemic, we have all officially moved to a working from home policy. Without further ado, let me take you through a day in the life of a Central Bank analyst.
8:00 am: After waking up and washing up, I head downstairs to make breakfast. I then get my workspace set up and that usually entails making sure that there is enough water by my side and that my laptop is plugged into the outlet.
10:00 am: I check all my emails and reply to a few of them. Being in a big organization like mine means that there is a lot of bureaucracy. So, as an analyst who is only about 6 months in, before I send out emails to non-bank personnel, I need to have that vetted by my manager. Once I clear all my emails, I revisit my to-do list for the day.
12:00 pm: I attend two meetings, one with external parties from the Securities Commission to discuss a policy that would be announced soon and another one with the Monetary Policy department to get a better idea of what criteria go into deciding the overnight policy rate.
1:00 pm: Favorite time of the day, lunch! I munched on my prepped sandwich and a small bowl of salad while watching YouTube videos. I then took a 15-minute power nap to reduce a post-lunch doze mid workday.
3:00 pm: After updating a fact file (a master template containing data of banks that are under our purview), I turned my attention to updating a model. With the recent pandemic, a few organizations stepped up to help with stimulus measures. My job was to figure out what parameters are logical to estimate the impact of these measures both on the government end as well as the people’s end.
5:00 pm: Following that, I turned my attention to my coordinator role. The Bank publishes reports every quarter and I was on the team that strings it all together. I sent out a few messages to nudge people on deadlines and then focused on collating all the slides that were sent to me. I ensured all of them were formatted the same and wrote a summary for each section. After triple checking my word, I sent it off to the Managing Director to approve.
6:00 pm: Before I call it a day, I started a deck of slides on a project I was just staffed on. I needed to check what the impacts are on banks of different sizes and their holdings in bonds and equities as the market fluctuated. To do that, I charted the equity market prices against their holdings of certain equities and analyzed what the movement meant.
7:00 pm: End of a busy, busy day.
My life as a banker varies from day to day but boy, I definitely am extremely busy about 80% of the time. Regardless, the Central Bank is a great organization to work in and you get to work with superbly smart and nice people. If finance and policy interest you, you should definitely consider a career in your country’s Central Bank!