Akta J. Joshi
Associate, New York
Seconded to Standard Chartered Bank
Akta spent three months seconded to Standard Chartered Bank. Akta hadn't had any exposure to the client before this, but quickly got up to speed. Although Akta's direct supervisor was the head of transaction banking, she was soon exposed to a wide array of matters including credit, wholesale banking and export/import products. Her days were "just as exciting as my days at S&C," though they started earlier. She also enjoyed how Standard Chartered's open floor plan allowed for easy collaboration with colleagues, which extended to her work with other offices. "I often worked closely with the business side of the various products I was working on and, since Standard Chartered's main markets are Asia, Africa and the Middle East, I would frequently be on calls with international Standard Chartered offices."
Akta gained numerous skills from her experience that she uses daily back at S&C --- drafting agreements, negotiating with outside counsel, coordinating with various in-house departments and thinking through new legal issues that might have implications for Standard Chartered Bank. Her biggest takeaway, though, was truly learning how the in-house legal department at a company like Standard Chartered functions. "Although I had worked with financial institution clients before, I had not realized the extent of coordination required on their end in order to get the approvals required to make certain decisions. A lot goes on behind the scenes in-house!" In all, Akta values her secondment experience and encourages other associates to jump at the chance. "It's a wonderful way to gain insight into how clients work while meeting new people and learning about new legal issues."