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    I've recently 'discovered' finance and after reading as much as I can about it, decided that I would like to pursue a career in the industry. It seems the only solid way in is to become a FO analyst at a top bank. Unfortunately I've left things a little late and I am looking for advice on how to proceed.

    I'm in my penultimate year studying Physics at ICL, on course for either a 1st or a 2.1, with AAAA at A level and some ECs that show I can talk to people, so I meet the minimum requirements. I have recently sent off a load of applications for summer internships, but given that they are quite late I am not holding out a great deal of hope. If I get a summer internship, great, but otherwise, I have about a year to make myself worth looking at by graduate recruitment. My main problem is that I have little relevant experience. I have various business-y school things such as Young Enterprise that I've tried to play up as best I can for my internship apps, but even if this cuts it for internships I really doubt it will for graduate recruitment.

    What can I do in the next year to improve my situation, assuming I don't get an IB internship?

    I'm currently looking at finance-related internships and summer placements in industry, but I'm not sure how well this is viewed. Can networking help me, and if so, how should I approach this? Mergersandinquisitions seems to rate it highly, but I'm not too clear either how to go about it or what the end goal is - expedited to interviews? Directly hired without going through the formal process? Can sending emails to people I don't know really achieve that?

    I don't particularly want to stay in education, especially doing a financial masters that is talked about so much on this board: it's a huge amount of money for dubious return, and judging by what my IC Business School MSc Finance housemate was doing last year, the degree itself seems pretty trivial. So I would really like to do as much as humanly possible in the next year and would appreciate any helpful suggestions or advice.
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    get an internship for summer 2012. hopefully that will land you the job and you can enjoy a post-uni gap year
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    (Original post by noodles_555)
    get an internship for summer 2012. hopefully that will land you the job and you can enjoy a post-uni gap year
    Fair enough - I was considering this. But it still leaves me a year to strengthen my internship application. I'd rather be doing something productive even if I don't strictly have to.
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    (Original post by Hilux)
    I've recently 'discovered' finance and after reading as much as I can about it, decided that I would like to pursue a career in the industry. It seems the only solid way in is to become a FO analyst at a top bank. Unfortunately I've left things a little late and I am looking for advice on how to proceed.

    I'm in my penultimate year studying Physics at ICL, on course for either a 1st or a 2.1, with AAAA at A level and some ECs that show I can talk to people, so I meet the minimum requirements. I have recently sent off a load of applications for summer internships, but given that they are quite late I am not holding out a great deal of hope. If I get a summer internship, great, but otherwise, I have about a year to make myself worth looking at by graduate recruitment. My main problem is that I have little relevant experience. I have various business-y school things such as Young Enterprise that I've tried to play up as best I can for my internship apps, but even if this cuts it for internships I really doubt it will for graduate recruitment.

    What can I do in the next year to improve my situation, assuming I don't get an IB internship?

    I'm currently looking at finance-related internships and summer placements in industry, but I'm not sure how well this is viewed. Can networking help me, and if so, how should I approach this? Mergersandinquisitions seems to rate it highly, but I'm not too clear either how to go about it or what the end goal is - expedited to interviews? Directly hired without going through the formal process? Can sending emails to people I don't know really achieve that?

    I don't particularly want to stay in education, especially doing a financial masters that is talked about so much on this board: it's a huge amount of money for dubious return, and judging by what my IC Business School MSc Finance housemate was doing last year, the degree itself seems pretty trivial. So I would really like to do as much as humanly possible in the next year and would appreciate any helpful suggestions or advice.
    Network
    Intern, its not too late to get something.
    Read alot.


    If you want it badly enough, you'll get there.
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    (Original post by Zürich)
    Network
    Right. But how should I go about this? Cold call random firms? And what is my objective - to get someone to give me an informal offer?

    Intern, its not too late to get something.
    Read alot.

    If you want it badly enough, you'll get there.
    I certainly hope so. I am willing to work very hard to do well at this, just not too sure what exactly is the best thing to be doing at this point.
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    (Original post by Hilux)
    Right. But how should I go about this? Cold call random firms? And what is my objective - to get someone to give me an informal offer?


    I certainly hope so. I am willing to work very hard to do well at this, just not too sure what exactly is the best thing to be doing at this point.
    Mate, you're at ICL. The banks come looking to network with you. Just show face.
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    (Original post by Hilux)
    Right. But how should I go about this? Cold call random firms? And what is my objective - to get someone to give me an informal offer?


    I certainly hope so. I am willing to work very hard to do well at this, just not too sure what exactly is the best thing to be doing at this point.

    Attend presentations at Imperial and talk to the people. If they like you, they could be very useful contacts.

    Join linkedin. Search for people in the City who studied your degree, went to Imperial and send dozens of messages asking for advice.

    Networking is obviously hit and miss. Just try to make contacts any way you can.
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    (Original post by Zürich)
    Attend presentations at Imperial and talk to the people. If they like you, they could be very useful contacts.

    Join linkedin. Search for people in the City who studied your degree, went to Imperial and send dozens of messages asking for advice.

    Networking is obviously hit and miss. Just try to make contacts any way you can.
    This.
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    Mate I wish you all the best! You've got all the right background ingredients to make it (ICL with good A Levels). Although you haven't got experience, as you mentioned, you can get an internship and use the whole year to learn financial modelling or learn about derivatives (or whatever you're interested in). A lot of people don't get the time so you're possibly in a really good position - do the CFA level 1 if you can. That'll really help you!
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    Im no expert but if I had a year, I would learn a second language, you could even do a bit of travelling to a country that speaks it for a few months?
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    Jobs in the City have traditionally involved family connections. For the majority who don't have the inside track you have to go the extra mile. Firstly you have a lot going for you given your academics to date, but so do many others. If you haven't already, consider the following action plan;

    Apply early for roles in the City and be mindful of deadlines
    Tailor your CV and get interview practice
    Start reading the financial press
    Attend careers presentations
    Use a specialist graduate recruitment agency
    Use specialist graduate job sites
    Network - tell people you know what you are looking for
    Apply for internships
    Use ICL Careers service
    Speak to alumni
    Offer to do a short stint of unpaid work experience
    ...and don't give up
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    (Original post by giorgio1712)
    Im no expert but if I had a year, I would learn a second language, you could even do a bit of travelling to a country that speaks it for a few months?
    Waste of time, wouldn't become fluent in a year (unless you devoted a redunkulous amount of time to it, and in this case it would be much more efficient to do other things).
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    (Original post by giorgio1712)
    Im no expert but if I had a year, I would learn a second language, you could even do a bit of travelling to a country that speaks it for a few months?
    Waste of time.
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    Thanks for the advice.

    As far as networking goes, what are good ways to contact people, and what do I want them to do - give me an interview/recommend me later/remember my name? I've just made a LinkedIn account anyway.

    Also, if I don't get an IB internship what's a good way to spend my summer (I've been thinking about finance-related internships in industry, like BP head office), and can/should I actually apply for a summer internship in my final year, rather than a graduate position?
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    (Original post by Hilux)
    Thanks for the advice.

    As far as networking goes, what are good ways to contact people, and what do I want them to do - give me an interview/recommend me later/remember my name? I've just made a LinkedIn account anyway.

    Also, if I don't get an IB internship what's a good way to spend my summer (I've been thinking about finance-related internships in industry, like BP head office), and can/should I actually apply for a summer internship in my final year, rather than a graduate position?
    Learn the CFA at home if you don't get an internship.

    A lot of people dont find the time to do this once working.
    Do it now.
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    (Original post by grarussell)
    Learn the CFA at home if you don't get an internship.

    A lot of people dont find the time to do this once working.
    Do it now.
    Waste of time, it takes like 300 hours to prepare for it and unless you get the full thing it doesnt carry any weight. Time much better spent doing other things.
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    (Original post by grarussell)
    Learn the CFA at home if you don't get an internship.

    A lot of people dont find the time to do this once working.
    Do it now.
    M&I advises against this - http://www.mergersandinquisitions.co...anced-degrees/

    And I see their point. I don't really have the time to learn this apparently substantial exam and do a Physics degree at the same time anyway, but why on earth would I if all it adds is one line to the bottom of the CV that isn't actually necessary for the career?

    I'm more concerned about getting some sort of work experience if my rather late internship applications don't work out.
 
 
 
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