Melania Edwards is part of HSBC’s International Manager program, which trains senior executives for leading international bank by putting them in top roles across different businesses around the globe.
Through this program, Edwards gained experience working in Asia, the UK, and the Europe. Now she is based in Northern California and serves on the bank’s Global Venture Capital Group. Part of her job is connecting venture capital firms and their portfolio companies to HSBC’s global network.
She recently broke down her daily routine for Business Insider. Here is what her day looks like.
Edwards wakes up at 5:30 a.m. everyday and always kicks off her day with meditation.
“I find that the best way to set the tone for the day ahead is a short meditation where I focus on deep breathing and determine my priorities for the day,” she said.
At 6:30 a.m it’s time to catch up with friends and family.
Having lived and worked across the Europe, Asia, and US, Edwards’ family and friends are based all over the world. So she spends some time in the morning to catch up with them through FaceTime.
She eats breakfast at 7:00 am. It’s always a fresh bowl of fruit or a bottle of green juice.
“The healthy Californian lifestyle is contagious,” she said.
At 7:30 a.m, it’s time for a game of tennis before work.
Before heading to work, Edwards likes to play a good game of tennis at a court near her home.
Around 8:30 am, she heads to work.
She then walks to her office, wearing a pair of sneakers, which are a must for her morning commute as she lives in San Francisco’s Russian Hill, near the the famous “crooked street” which is full of hills.
She gets into the office around 9:00 a.m.
Once she gets into work, Edwards’ day is full of meetings with venture capital firms, technology companies and new start-ups. During these meetings, she and her colleagues help these companies identify various ways that they can work with HSBC, from providing them with international banking services to connecting them with HSBC’s digital and investment teams.
Around 10:30 am, it’s time to meet with tech companies.
Edwards talks to emerging tech companies to understand their businesses and match their needs with HSBC’s international banking services.
To Edwards, this is a great opportunity to expand her knowledge in the tech industry. “It’s exciting to learn about new technologies changing the way live and work,” she said. “Living in the Bay Area exposes me to a plethora of new companies pushing the boundaries.”
It’s time for lunch around noon
To Edwards, “lunch is a time to refuel” after an intense morning at work. Her lunch break usually starts at around noon, and she likes to grab a bowl of salad from the famous farmer’s market at the SF Ferry Building. “There is always fresh seasonal produce, and the waterside views refresh me for the rest of the day,” she said.
Around 1:30 pm, she goes back to work.
Back at work, Edwards starts a conference call with her working group. Recently, they launched a new initiative called “HSBC Women on the Rise in FinTech,” a program that celebrates and promotes 10 inspiring women in the fintech space across the U.S.
“We recognize there is an issue with underrepresentation of woman in senior positions within technology, specifically in fintech, so we just wanted to do something to help,” she said.
Now, it’s time to travel to Palo Alto. Edwards has two work locations. Her office is in San Francisco but she works with many venture capital firms based in Palo Alto. She takes the CalTrain to go between the two cities.
While she’s commuting, she plugs into podcast or checks emails on her laptop. Her favorite podcasts include The Pitch, Dorm Room Tycoon, and The Goop Podcast.
Edwards said she loves both cities. “San Francisco has a lot of culture, and it’s exciting to be in the city. However, in Palo Alto there are a lot of exciting tech companies. I’m grateful to live in two innovative and thriving environments, surrounded by inspiring people,” she said.
Working between two locations, Edwards uses a portable office set-up to help her make the most of the time at work. Sometimes, she likes to grab a cup of coffee or tea from the Starbucks shop sitting next to her office.
“English breakfast tea is my favorite as I am a British. I will have one coffee in the morning, and English breakfast tea for the rest of the day,” she said.
A big believer in continuous learning, Edwards is getting a certificate in Innovation and Entrepreneurship from Stanford University.
At 7:30 pm, it’s time to do some yoga stretches.
As a lot of her day is spent on her laptop, Edwards likes to fit in a yoga session to stretch out and relax.
Still, the best way to wind down after a busy day is cooking with her boyfriend and experimenting with new recipes.
“He never fails to put a smile on my face!” she said.
After dinner, they walks around the local neighborhood, which has become their evening ritual.
“On the evenings that we stay in Palo Alto, we walk down the tree-lined University Avenue, reflecting upon our key wins and challenges and preparing for the adventures of the next day!” she said.