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To everyone aiming to get into finance or banking watch

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    (Original post by TDWM)
    Banking can be a good springboard into other careers. When I started looking for work, I was initially going for accounting firms, but was turned away due to lack of experience.

    I found a position at a bank, was able to work my way up to a department I wanted to be in, and now have a gleaming CV which is getting me interviews at my top choices.

    Finance careers are a means to an end, whatever that may be for the individual. I wouldn't knock the industry due to recent controversy, remember, there have been numerous political scandals, but no major changes to government in recent times.
    Just out of interest what level did you go in at when you started at the bank?

    I'm struggling to get into accounting, i'm currently doing an internship (which looks likely to be made permanent) but it's not finance related. it's good for office experience but I think I could do with some more finance on my CV other than my degree.
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    (Original post by Chlorophile)
    Why? If you're looking to go into this sector, I'm assuming you're very intelligent. You probably have a huge amount of academic potential. So why are you planning to waste it all in an industry that produces absolutely nothing?

    Sure, you'll probably get very rich. But when you look back at your life, won't you feel an immense sense of dissatisfaction? You could have immortalised yourself by becoming a scientist and contributed nuggets of information to the collective human knowledge that will benefit humanity forever. You could have transformed the lives of young people by becoming a teacher, lighting the sparks of young minds and sharing your love of a subject. You could have become a humanitarian, spending your life creating solutions to problems that could rescue thousands of people from dire destitution and elevating their living standards to something remotely comparable of the standards you enjoy.

    I understand the temptation of a huge salary but I also want to achieve something with my life. I know a few people personally who want to go into finance (or other typical money making jobs) and most of them simply refuse to think about the above. They're so obsessed with making money that they are literally unable to think about the bigger picture. Another argument I hear is "As soon as I get rich, I'll get lots of money". This is a ridiculous argument because it's firstly not true (it's very easy to say you'll give away money you don't yet have) and secondly if you really cared about doing good, you would do the good yourself rather than getting other people to do the dirty work for you. I honestly cannot understand how people who want to go into finance do not feel that they are throwing their lives away simply in order to get a slightly more expensive house or a slightly more luxury car, but I would be interested in hearing your views. Is it simply a case of ignorance is bliss; that you can find self-contentment by only thinking about the comfortable truths? Or do you actually believe that you are achieving something real?
    I'm afraid I'm one of the many who want to go into the financial services industry and, more specifically, investment banking. Hopefully I can offer a sensible and reasoned explanation for my interest in investment banking, and I hope that people will take the time to read it carefully and respectfully.

    Firstly, as you say, banking is full of highly intelligent people. However, they aren't just clever: the vast majority of people in banking are outgoing, highly eloquent and extremely driven. Personally, these are the kind of people I'd like to work with. Despite the level of intellect in academia, presumably exceeding that in financial services, I don't think there's the same type of person. Moreover, academics undertake most of their research work independently. In banking you are part of a team with these people of equal and outstanding intelligence. The majority of teams on the investment banking advisory side of banks offer a very collegiate atmosphere. Again, these are the people I'd like to work with, in the environment I'd like to work in.

    Banking is also a career with incredible responsibility at a very early age. In M&A, ECM and DCM, people under the age of 30 are able to talk to and advise board level representatives of some of the world's largest companies. What's more, CEOs, CFOs and so on regard bankers as experts in their fields and as such they listen to the advice you offer. I think it's fairly hard to deny that such exposure is an incredible opportunity.

    Equally, the work in banking is challenging and stimulating, especially after the first few years where the work tends to be based more heavily on modelling etc. There comes a point in the banking hierarchy where you effectively become a relationship manager. You get to build and maintain relationships with some of the most influential business leaders in the world. In effect, this isn't dissimilar to the role of a high end art dealer. You build and maintain relationships with people so that when they need a product or service they come to you first, and you use your expertise to sell it to them. Of course this is a grossly simplified view, but no one questions why a person would choose to be an art dealer or a cars sales person. And, similarly, the sense of achievement when months of work comes together for the completion of a huge deal is incredible, because you know that you've changed the shape of a certain market and made history for a certain company. If someone likes the sound of this job - they think they'd enjoy it - then why shouldn't they follow that career path?

    The industry is very interesting too. It's currently a very interesting time for the economy and banking gives you a far greater understanding of this. There's virtually no job that allows you to better understand how companies and financial markets work because you are at the heart of those companies and those markets - it is your job that shapes them. Once again, can you criticise someone for pursuing a job they find both interesting and enjoyable?

    Many use finance for the exit opportunities. Lots of former financiers use the money they've earned to do something they've always enjoyed or wanted to do. To become an interior designer or landscape gardner, for example. I know one former banker who describes himself as a "scout-leader and occasional mountain guide". He's used finance as a way of ensuring the financial security to do something he really enjoys. Some use banking to fund further study that they couldn't otherwise afford, leaving the company to pursue a masters degree as so on. Likewise, you'd be surprised how many former bankers start second careers in teaching.

    Admittedly most of the reasons above involve a level of self interest, although not necessarilly financial self interest. But who says that every single career needs to give back to society. Some people do jobs because they enjoy them and because they want to do.

    Of course the money is a factor. The incredibly vast majority who say it isn't aren't telling the truth. It's increasingly difficult to provision for a comfortable retirement, for building a family and so on. I challenge you to tell anyone from a less economically privileged background that they are being selfish by trying to earn enough money that their children enjoy the privileges and opportunities that they were unable to enjoy themselves. You may notice that money comes quite a long way down this list of reasons. That's not because it's unimportant, but because there are other equally important and, indeed, more important (and - in the eyes of some members of society - more legitimate) factors to be considered.

    The fact that finance doesn't create anything is irrelevant, and is actually a questionable assumption in itself. The "financial services industry" is about exactly that: providing a service. It isn't supposed to make anything directly. But the service it provides does result in the creation of something. If a bank finances a £2 billion corporate bond offering for an airline, they can use that money to commission new planes. When Apple was growing in the early 2000s, by releasing new equity through an investment bank, it could fund research into new products and could fund the production of those products.

    Finally, whether you like it or not, finance has a social purpose. Finance allows companies to grow and sovereign states to function. The industrial revolution in the 18th century is now considered by too gradual, by most historians, to warrant the use of the term 'revolution'. But the financial revolution that proceeded it is still considered genuinely revolutionary. Without finance, there would have been no scope for commercialisation or, indeed, the growth of the modern form of government state. The lack of a national bank in France bought the country to it's knees in the days building up to the French Revolution. Without finance, companies can not grow to their full potential and new products and jobs can not, therefore, be created. No one is harking back to the days of an agrarian economy before the industrial revolution. And they can not, therefore, wish for the days before finance. The countries in the world without effectively functioning financial systems are the least developed, have the highest mortality rates and so on. The development of a financial system is integral to socio-economic development and advancement. Bankers may not be as socially beneficial as teachers and doctors, but that doesn't mean that they aren't vital to the operation of modern society. And this is even without mentioning the new wing of Great Ormond Street Hospital funded by donations from Morgan Stanley, Barclay's 5 Million Young Futures project or the $190 million and 468,000 volunteer hours JP Morgan employees donated in 2012.

    I hope this gives some idea of why I'm interested in finance and perhaps, even, some idea of why finance is important. I'm sure that this post will not change the majority of people's minds: a quite understandable antagonism towards finance is deeply rooted in society at the current time. But if even one person takes the time to read this, and at least appreciates why people want to go into finance and why I think finance is important, then it's been worthwhile.
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    (Original post by blue n white army)
    Just out of interest what level did you go in at when you started at the bank?

    I'm struggling to get into accounting, i'm currently doing an internship (which looks likely to be made permanent) but it's not finance related. it's good for office experience but I think I could do with some more finance on my CV other than my degree.
    I actually started an apprenticeship in a customer service role. A post opened up in the retail operations department, and I spent about 2 months doing account-opening; stuff like background checks, credit checks and account maintenance. I got to know a senior in the risk department who later offered me a position, so I transferred again, and spent the rest my year working there.
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    (Original post by Chlorophile)
    Why? If you're looking to go into this sector, I'm assuming you're very intelligent. You probably have a huge amount of academic potential. So why are you planning to waste it all in an industry that produces absolutely nothing?

    Sure, you'll probably get very rich. But when you look back at your life, won't you feel an immense sense of dissatisfaction? You could have immortalised yourself by becoming a scientist and contributed nuggets of information to the collective human knowledge that will benefit humanity forever. You could have transformed the lives of young people by becoming a teacher, lighting the sparks of young minds and sharing your love of a subject. You could have become a humanitarian, spending your life creating solutions to problems that could rescue thousands of people from dire destitution and elevating their living standards to something remotely comparable of the standards you enjoy.

    I understand the temptation of a huge salary but I also want to achieve something with my life. I know a few people personally who want to go into finance (or other typical money making jobs) and most of them simply refuse to think about the above. They're so obsessed with making money that they are literally unable to think about the bigger picture. Another argument I hear is "As soon as I get rich, I'll get lots of money". This is a ridiculous argument because it's firstly not true (it's very easy to say you'll give away money you don't yet have) and secondly if you really cared about doing good, you would do the good yourself rather than getting other people to do the dirty work for you. I honestly cannot understand how people who want to go into finance do not feel that they are throwing their lives away simply in order to get a slightly more expensive house or a slightly more luxury car, but I would be interested in hearing your views. Is it simply a case of ignorance is bliss; that you can find self-contentment by only thinking about the comfortable truths? Or do you actually believe that you are achieving something real?
    I'm not sure i'll be going into banking or finance myself but its an option provided i do my masters in Economics (subject to finance and a good degree grade). At the very least however i will be using the finance system to accrue wealth through investments.

    For me the simple logic of being a 'wage slave' or not perusing a career in astrophysics or meteorology for example (my two big interests outside of politics and economics) is that i require the shortest possible route to what i see as victory. In this case victory is accruing enough wealth to cover my pension and provide for all my material wants, the motivation for this being that i was brought up in British poverty. As nice as the idea of indulging in a passion for a career is i would much rather be in a situation where i could earn £100k helping people avoid tax than earning £30k doing something i like more but the alternative does not make me unhappy.

    There may possibly come a point at which i accrue sufficient wealth to have satisfied my wants and at that point i may take a job with reduced hours to indulge in passions like gardening but if i am to provide for myself and my family for the next few decades i need to find a career in which i will be happy but which has the potential for enormous pay and there are several of those which interest me. That's also ultimately the flaw in your statement that these people could do something productive, in doing so they may for example sacrifice their future child's private education for example.
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    Dont know any white following these careers. Generally its for vulgarians.
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    I met some people who are retired but they worked in an investment bank. A lot of them have opened charities and their own businesses, so they don't stick to finance for the rest of their lives
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    (Original post by SecretDuck)
    I met some people who are retired but they worked in an investment bank. A lot of them have opened charities and their own businesses, so they don't stick to finance for the rest of their lives
    A lot of people who work in the city for 20 years start to hate it as well, treadmill of life losing its shine and all that.
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    (Original post by ZakV)
    A lot of people who work in the city for 20 years start to hate it as well, treadmill of life losing its shine and all that,
    Yeah, this is why I plan to work for 20-30 years in IB, build up a nice nest egg for myself and my family, and make investments in my own businesses. I also would open a dyslexia/dyspraxia charity in Russia as there's virtually no support for learning difficulties there.
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    (Original post by Chlorophile)
    Why? If you're looking to go into this sector, I'm assuming you're very intelligent. You probably have a huge amount of academic potential. So why are you planning to waste it all in an industry that produces absolutely nothing?

    Sure, you'll probably get very rich. But when you look back at your life, won't you feel an immense sense of dissatisfaction? You could have immortalised yourself by becoming a scientist and contributed nuggets of information to the collective human knowledge that will benefit humanity forever. You could have transformed the lives of young people by becoming a teacher, lighting the sparks of young minds and sharing your love of a subject. You could have become a humanitarian, spending your life creating solutions to problems that could rescue thousands of people from dire destitution and elevating their living standards to something remotely comparable of the standards you enjoy.

    I understand the temptation of a huge salary but I also want to achieve something with my life. I know a few people personally who want to go into finance (or other typical money making jobs) and most of them simply refuse to think about the above. They're so obsessed with making money that they are literally unable to think about the bigger picture. Another argument I hear is "As soon as I get rich, I'll get lots of money". This is a ridiculous argument because it's firstly not true (it's very easy to say you'll give away money you don't yet have) and secondly if you really cared about doing good, you would do the good yourself rather than getting other people to do the dirty work for you. I honestly cannot understand how people who want to go into finance do not feel that they are throwing their lives away simply in order to get a slightly more expensive house or a slightly more luxury car, but I would be interested in hearing your views. Is it simply a case of ignorance is bliss; that you can find self-contentment by only thinking about the comfortable truths? Or do you actually believe that you are achieving something real?
    What gives you the right to tell people what to do or judge them? You are no better. If somebody wants to work in finance let them, you have no right to tell them otherwise.
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    (Original post by Mutual_Euphoria)
    Dont know any white following these careers. Generally its for vulgarians.
    Is this a racial point?

    Or an attempt to call people going into finance vulgar and unrefined?
    You obviously haven't been to any of the finance societies at Oxford or Cambridge recently. Some parts of finance are exceptionally elitist and rather dominated by old public school boys.
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    (Original post by Padwas)
    why ????
    Didn't think I'd get this far

    Erm... honestly?

    I have 2 years experience in Accounting and I loved it to the very last day. Although I want to be a financial advisor in the near future and will soon embark on CIMA, I can easily see myself being an accountant for many years... until the spark died anyway. I just loved the back entrance role of it. Seing how, where and when a business spent it's dosh without having any influence on it was quite interesting. People in marketing don't know how much is spent on wages unless told so, the accounts guys know it all . I shadowed a senior for a few weeks she did some forensic auditing for a client facing fraud charges and that was really fun! People say it's boring but I find it all interesting and I used to get a lot of free lunches at restaurants when working out of office, at clients' premises

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    (Original post by ipoop)
    Didn't think I'd get this far

    Erm... honestly?

    I have 2 years experience in Accounting and I loved it to the very last day. Although I want to be a financial advisor in the near future and will soon embark on CIMA, I can easily see myself being an accountant for many years... until the spark died anyway. I just loved the back entrance role of it. Seing how, where and when a business spent it's dosh without having any influence on it was quite interesting. People in marketing don't know how much is spent on wages unless told so, the accounts guys know it all . I shadowed a senior for a few weeks she did some forensic auditing for a client facing fraud charges and that was really fun! People say it's boring but I find it all interesting and I used to get a lot of free lunches at restaurants when working out of office, at clients' premises

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    what did you study at uni
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    (Original post by Padwas)
    what did you study at uni
    Didn't go to uni, did an AAT apprenticeship and now I'm just a free loading 'jobless' twit messing about until I grow up and call those guys at CIMA :yep: or until my parents have had enough of my lazy self in their house I don't want to grow up :puppyeyes:

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    (Original post by ipoop)
    Didn't go to uni, did an AAT apprenticeship and now I'm just a free loading 'jobless' twit messing about until I grow up and call those guys at CIMA :yep: or until my parents have had enough of my lazy self in their house I don't want to grow up :puppyeyes:

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    Did you do AAT level 4?

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    (Original post by qr95)
    Did you do AAT level 4?

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    :yep:

    3 & 4 :yy:
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    It's a shame.
 
 
 
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