You often find that no amount of research into an industry is as insightful as hearing about the real life experiences of people who actually work within it themselves. Queen Mary students were given insight into banking and investment roles from industry professionals who were also Queen Mary Alumni.
Attendees were given the opportunity to ask questions and here are a few of the key points that I gathered from some of the responses that were given in regards to pursuing a career in banking.
Internships: Do not underestimate the value of securing an internship. Most banks will hire interns and the majority of graduate roles are filled by their interns. Don’t be selective when it comes to where you apply for an internship or graduate scheme. It could even be a good idea to consider relocating as there may be more opportunities available outside London.
Commercial awareness: as bankers it is important to remain up to date with what is going on in the world of banking and beyond. Employers want to see that you are able to make a valid contribution to their business and that you can actually demonstrate an interest in what goes on within the industry of banking.
Qualifications: financial education is an on-going process – make use of any opportunity to get professional qualifications.
Remain within the market: One of the most damaging things you could do is be out of the market. Make sure you remain in the market as the more gaps on your CV, the more difficult it becomes to get into banking. Employers want to see consistency and that you are actually committed to something. Use work shadowing, placements and temping to avoid gaps and use your network of contacts from previous work experience who may be able to let you know of future opportunities.
Hard work and commitment: a successful career in banking requires a lot of hard work and commitment, be prepared to devote a lot of time and effort into your work.
Managing your reputation: be smart about everything you decide to do. Employers want to know that they are employing people of a reputable character– this includes your online reputation. Don’t be surprised to hear that your future employer may decide to Google you!
For information about future events about finance and other industries see our calendar.
Careers Admin Assistant
Queen Mary Careers & Enterprise Centre