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Really need help getting into Investment Banking

Hi,

Really need some advice on my dilemma. I recently graduated from the University of Nottingham with a 2.2 in Computer Science. I literally hated my degree. I then decided to switch my chosen career path from the technology industry to banking (preferably investment). I always felt that that was the choice I was going to end up making, so during the summer I made masters applications for both Electronic Engineering (only because it related to my undergraduate degree) and Finance related degrees. I made about 5 applications and got two accepted, Electronic Engineering from University of Birmingham and Finance and Management from Loughborough. Right now I don't have the money to go straight back to uni, so I'm thinking of deferring Lougborough and rejecting Birmingham (because I don't want to waste my time with a degree I really don't want to do). What I plan on doing, is getting off cycle internships for the whole year, thus enhancing my CV and giving me the necessary experience I need, to crack the Financial Services and Banking industry, as well as earning enough to put myself through my masters. I am currently interning at a bank (UK branch of a well known bank in Africa) as a financial trader.

I absolutely hated Computer Science, but I'm completely focused and determined to succeed this time round. I will be going for a distinction or at the very least a merit, so as to somewhat gloss over my 2.2.

What companies in the IB should I try and apply to for off cycle internships, that will realistically give me a chance?
I'm hoping with a full year of experience in a few highly respectable banks and a distinction, I should be able to get consideration for some of the top firms graduate schemes like Goldman, JP Morgan Barclays and the rest or into top second tier banks like RBS or Standard Chartered.

I also plan on applying to a few other unis during the year. I applied for Queen Mary, (didn't get rejected), but they were full. Is Loughborough good enough for my circumstances or do I need a bigger name uni?

Which ones do you think I should apply to?

What chance do you think I have in achieving my goal?

Do you have any advice at all?

Thanks!!!!!
Reply 1
-Which part of investment banking do you actually want to work in?
-Do you have any (verifiable) mitigating circumstances explaining why you got a 2.2 classification?
-Loughborough may not be enough - unless you are very proactive in networking (usually at the bachelors level). At the masters level it will not be enough of a target for most front-office roles if you do not have experience.
-You will find it very difficult to get an off-cycle internship at most of the places you mentioned because of your 2.2 undergraduate degree classificatin.
-To avoid being autorejected and overcome this you should find peope who work for one of these institutions (ideally a Notts alumnus), organize a series of informational interviews/pitches and pass them your CV.
-If you are targeting Markets' positions maybe highlight programming skills you have learned during your degree. You may get interest from certain desks.
-Get some product knowledge from books/journals online that is relevant to the people you may be speaking to.
Reply 2
@effofex: I currently work in technology department, but I'm moving on to financial trading for a month next week. I am also in the process of getting an extension so I can work in the sales and trading department.

I don't really have any mitigating circumstances, I just didn't like the degree that much.

Would you say Queen Mary is good enough?

Plus I didn't mean getting an off-cycle internship in those places. I meant getting into their graduate programmes.

Can you recommend any companies that I could apply for internships with?

What is my ceiling in this scenario???

Thanks
Reply 3
Original post by DamionFire
@effofex: I currently work in technology department, but I'm moving on to financial trading for a month next week. I am also in the process of getting an extension so I can work in the sales and trading department.

I don't really have any mitigating circumstances, I just didn't like the degree that much.

Would you say Queen Mary is good enough?

Plus I didn't mean getting an off-cycle internship in those places. I meant getting into their graduate programmes.

Can you recommend any companies that I could apply for internships with?

What is my ceiling in this scenario???

Thanks


-Do not work in a technology department for too long - otherwise you will be 'pigeonholed' and find it very difficult to move to sales/trading (which I seem to identify as your ambition).

-Queen Mary is not good enough, unless you have prior experience and a network. It will be marginally better than Loughborough since you are actually in London and thus have more opportunity to take the tube/bus from Mile End to Liverpool St./Canary Wharf to meet people for coffee/drinks etc. On an application form/CV Queen Mary will not give you any advantage in itself over L'boro.

-You will really need to be targeting (quantitative) masters programs at one of these institutions to stand a chance: Polytechnique, Supelec, HEC, Paris Dauphine, Bocconi (quantfin), LSE, Imperial, Oxford, Cambridge, Warwick - this is more applicable to the trading side. For sales, solid language skills from the likes of SSE, RSM, HSG maybe fine too. Even then, being on one of these programs but lacking experience will mean it will still be difficult.

-Graduate programmes will be more difficult to secure places on than off-cycle internships. With a 2.2 and no experience your chances are near non-existent. Basically everyone (on the Markets side at least) will be expected to have completed an internship, especially in this environment. Exceptions may apply to PhD holders joining a quant team that build/updates pricing libraries.

-Your ceiling with just a 2.2. and no experience is back-office roles. However, with alot of networking, emphasis on your programming skills, creation of a track record at the company you intend to trade with at the moment and a quant masters then any sales/trading role (with the exception of those that demand a certain language skillset you may not have) will be accessible.
Reply 4
Thanks for the advice. I get what you're saying but I DO PLAN ON GETTING EXPERIENCE FOR THIS WHOLE YEAR (not trying to be rude).

What I'm saying is that if I get into a decent masters program, excel, with a full year of experience behind me (including what I'm doing now), then shouldn't I have a chance?

Right now my main goal is to secure more internships. Do you know any firms I can approach for internships ranging from now till summer (off-cycle)?

Thanks for the advice so far
(edited 11 years ago)
Reply 5
Original post by DamionFire
Thanks for the advice. I get what you're saying but I DO PLAN ON GETTING EXPERIENCE FOR THIS WHOLE YEAR (not trying to be rude).

What I'm saying is that if I get into a decent masters program, excel, with a full year of experience behind me (including what I'm doing now), then shouldn't I have a chance?

Right now my main goal is to secure more internships. Do you know any firms I can approach for internships ranging from now till summer (off-cycle)?

Thanks for the advice so far


I think you'd need a contact to be considered for an internship with a 2:2 as all the off-cycle ones will filter you. Unless your applying for smaller places, someone put an excel doc on the forum somewhere of lots of places to try..

Remember, you have to ask yourself: why would they choose you? If you don't have as good work experience or degree as others, then you need to have a personal connection to them, having been in contact/networked etc.

Or you should have a good reason to explain/show why your better than all the other grads kicking around with much better degrees who will also desperatly be looking for jobs or off-cycles.

I think it would be a lot easier to explain getting a 2:2 if one were studying Nuclear Engineering at Imperial and missed out but..
(edited 11 years ago)
Reply 6
Original post by DamionFire
Thanks for the advice. I get what you're saying but I DO PLAN ON GETTING EXPERIENCE FOR THIS WHOLE YEAR (not trying to be rude).

What I'm saying is that if I get into a decent masters program, excel, with a full year of experience behind me (including what I'm doing now), then shouldn't I have a chance?

Right now my main goal is to secure more internships. Do you know any firms I can approach for internships ranging from now till summer (off-cycle)?

Thanks for the advice so far


With a decent masters program and the experience you plan to get (again, depends on where the experience is and in what function) you should definitely have a good chance of securing an off-cycle internship.

But it will still be difficult to get a full-time position at one of the institutions you mentioned unless the experience you have is really directly relevant (and at a similar standard of institution). In fact, in the current environment hiring managers looking for graduates may be picky about asset class (i.e. someone with an internship spent on a rates desk but with stellar academics may be overlooked for an opening on a sovereign credit desk if there are already a few people with sov. credit experience available for interview). Your best chance is to convert the off-cycle internship you would secure into a full-time position.

I think Barclays Investment Bank, BNP Paribas, Societe Generale and JPM are all open to someone like yourself (who has already graduated and got some working experience at a financial trading house). I recommend actually speaking to someone within the business (not HR) given that if you go through the conventional route you would be auto-rejected because of the 2.2 degree. You can also target smaller trading houses (beware, there are lots of scams though and you should avoid arcades where you have to pay substantial desk fees, unless you have a really solid and replicable trading strategy at your disposal already).
Reply 7
qwq
(edited 11 years ago)
Reply 8
Do you have examples of some smaller (but still reputable) trading houses?

What are your thoughts on getting a Masters degree, from an institution in another country ie. Holland. I'm thinking about this as the fees are very much cheaper that in the UK.

You've been a great help, thanks.
(edited 11 years ago)
Reply 9
If you really want to get into trading, prop desk is an option.

Some ask for a desk fee, £50K is not unusual, others pay you a low salary and there are some that don't pay a salary but you split the profits made (but not the losses).
Reply 10
Original post by DamionFire
Do you have examples of some smaller (but still reputable) trading houses?

What are your thoughts on getting a Masters degree, from an institution in another country ie. Holland. I'm thinking about this as the fees are very much cheaper that in the UK.

You've been a great help, thanks.


Dutch masters degrees are relatively inexpensive - but nowadays it is very rare for someone who has recently graduated and only studied in the Netherlands to be working on a London-based investment bank's trading desk. However, you will have quite a few opportunities in the Netherlands open up to you - mainly for risk analyst positions though (Dutch banks do not recruit graduates into trading roles - you have to wait about 3-4 years at least).

Trading houses you may want to look at include Virtu, DRW, Optiver, Tibra, IMC, Mako, Spot, Getco, FlowTraders, Nyenburgh, and Maven. If you can show that you are a maths whizz and can program really well, they may overlook the lack of a 2.1/1.1 or masters degree.
Reply 11
dd
(edited 11 years ago)
Reply 12
Original post by effofex
Dutch masters degrees are relatively inexpensive - but nowadays it is very rare for someone who has recently graduated and only studied in the Netherlands to be working on a London-based investment bank's trading desk. However, you will have quite a few opportunities in the Netherlands open up to you - mainly for risk analyst positions though (Dutch banks do not recruit graduates into trading roles - you have to wait about 3-4 years at least).

Trading houses you may want to look at include Virtu, DRW, Optiver, Tibra, IMC, Mako, Spot, Getco, FlowTraders, Nyenburgh, and Maven. If you can show that you are a maths whizz and can program really well, they may overlook the lack of a 2.1/1.1 or masters degree.



I looked into some of these trading houses and most of them are based in Holland. I think that the requirement of being fluent in dutch will rule me out of one of their vacancies. Do you know any trading houses based in the UK of similar stature. I can see that working with some of these companies will give me the experience to begin a career in trading. But will bigger firms see these as sufficient enough.

Plus, I forgot to mention, I am also interested in the Research side of trading.

Thanks
Reply 13
Original post by bluenose53
I think you'd need a contact to be considered for an internship with a 2:2 as all the off-cycle ones will filter you. Unless your applying for smaller places, someone put an excel doc on the forum somewhere of lots of places to try..

Remember, you have to ask yourself: why would they choose you? If you don't have as good work experience or degree as others, then you need to have a personal connection to them, having been in contact/networked etc.

Or you should have a good reason to explain/show why your better than all the other grads kicking around with much better degrees who will also desperatly be looking for jobs or off-cycles.

I think it would be a lot easier to explain getting a 2:2 if one were studying Nuclear Engineering at Imperial and missed out but..


Do you know where I can find this excel spreadsheet?

Thanks
Reply 14
Original post by DamionFire
I looked into some of these trading houses and most of them are based in Holland. I think that the requirement of being fluent in dutch will rule me out of one of their vacancies. Do you know any trading houses based in the UK of similar stature. I can see that working with some of these companies will give me the experience to begin a career in trading. But will bigger firms see these as sufficient enough.

Plus, I forgot to mention, I am also interested in the Research side of trading.

Thanks


You have to be vloeiend in Nederlands for FlowTraders and Caerus.

Not for Tibra, Optiver, IMC, All Options, 323, Nino or WEBB. Just English is fine.

In the UK you have Tibra, Virtu, DRW, Jump, Getco, Maven, Mako, Cusaru, Liquid.

If you are interested in the research side then target firms which do more quant/algo trading rather than intuition-based market-making.
Reply 15
Original post by effofex
-Which part of investment banking do you actually want to work in?
-Do you have any (verifiable) mitigating circumstances explaining why you got a 2.2 classification?


Hi, sorry to dig up an old topic, but do you know if banks actually check this? I have very verifiable mitigating circumstances explaining my 2:2 (unless a death certificate with my family name on it is somehow not clear evidence) but I've never seen a bank ask for it, despite the fact that I even stated it on my CV.
Original post by DamionFire
Hi,

Really need some advice on my dilemma. I recently graduated from the University of Nottingham with a 2.2 in Computer Science. I literally hated my degree. I then decided to switch my chosen career path from the technology industry to banking (preferably investment). I always felt that that was the choice I was going to end up making, so during the summer I made masters applications for both Electronic Engineering (only because it related to my undergraduate degree) and Finance related degrees. I made about 5 applications and got two accepted, Electronic Engineering from University of Birmingham and Finance and Management from Loughborough. Right now I don't have the money to go straight back to uni, so I'm thinking of deferring Lougborough and rejecting Birmingham (because I don't want to waste my time with a degree I really don't want to do). What I plan on doing, is getting off cycle internships for the whole year, thus enhancing my CV and giving me the necessary experience I need, to crack the Financial Services and Banking industry, as well as earning enough to put myself through my masters. I am currently interning at a bank (UK branch of a well known bank in Africa) as a financial trader.

I absolutely hated Computer Science, but I'm completely focused and determined to succeed this time round. I will be going for a distinction or at the very least a merit, so as to somewhat gloss over my 2.2.

What companies in the IB should I try and apply to for off cycle internships, that will realistically give me a chance? I'm hoping with a full year of experience in a few highly respectable banks and a distinction, I should be able to get consideration for some of the top firms graduate schemes like Goldman, JP Morgan Barclays and the rest or into top second tier banks like RBS or Standard Chartered.

I also plan on applying to a few other unis during the year. I applied for Queen Mary, (didn't get rejected), but they were full. Is Loughborough good enough for my circumstances or do I need a bigger name uni?

Which ones do you think I should apply to?

What chance do you think I have in achieving my goal?

Do you have any advice at all?

Thanks!!!!!



Hi how did it work out for you? I'm a 2.2 math grad from Imperial. Not sure how to get into investment banking.
How did it work out for you

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