I have 30 years' experience in Investment Banking and help graduates get a job AMA Watch

Lancaster University
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Students are very drawn to Investment Banking careers due to the perceived 'glamour' and high salaries. Having worked as a Bond Trader for Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan and Barclays I get that! Apart from the fact that IB is extremely competitive, what students often don't realise until someone tells them (!) is that IB is only one sector of about 10 sectors associated with Financial Markets which offers interesting and high paid careers. Other sectors to consider include: Investment Management, Wealth Management, Credit Rating Agencies, Vendors, Retail & Commercial Banks, Financial Consultancy, Investment Consultants and more...


As more and more students are driven to go to university with the goal of securing a lucrative career the pressure is on to choose the right degree programme and university. But do financial market employers really care about if you went to LSE or did History instead of Accounting? Last year I supported 46 students from Lancaster secure places in Investment Banking, Investment Management and similar internships and graduate programmes. Yes, it’s true that there are some employers ‘target universities’ but if you have the skills, attitude, experience and grades they’re looking for, it’s still possible to get a job and go to the university that you really want to go too.

  • Are you considering applying to a grad scheme and looking for advice?
  • Are you wondering if uni is the only route to get into investment banking?
  • Are you stuck between choosing different unis and different degree options?
  • Are you curious to know what it’s actually like to work as a trader?



I’m online to answer your questions and help you out

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Paul has 30 years financial market experience including bond trading positions with Morgan Stanley, Barclays, JP Morgan Chase combined with a passion around helping students secure Internships and Graduate Programmes. Paul has in-depth knowledge of the investment banking and asset management hiring process. He provides assistance on CVs, applications, interviews & assessment centres providing unique insight and market knowledge.
Last edited by She-Ra; 10 months ago
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She-Ra
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I'll kick off

What do you think is the number one attribute employers are looking for in graduates?

If you're applying for a placement or internship, what is the thing you must include in your application?
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OxbridgeRejectTT
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What degrees would you recommend for IB?
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CraigBackner
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do banks take interns/graduates from university college london, ucl or more so oxbridge and lse
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Lancaster University
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Hi She-Ra - good of you to go first!
Attributes (IB) employers looing for:
MOTIVATION - what have you done to show your committment to this sector.For IB are you involved in your uni Investment & Finance Society?
Have you somehow secured some relevant work experience?Do you read financial blogs and list them on your CV?
INVOLVEMENT- at uni. Outside of finance, what other actvities and societies are you involved in?
GIVING BACK - have you got a 1 line volunteering item on your CV.IBs love this as IBs used to be 'bad boys of society'.
PERSONALITY- if I was stuck at an airport with you for 5 hours would I be OK? If you have lots of interests I probably would!
...notice I haven't mentioned academics! As long as your A Levels are good and you're going to get a 2:1

In applying, include 1 line statements on all the above. You can expand on the detail at interview!
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esaevp
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Hey! Thanks for doing this. I have recently been offered a graduate position for 'Financial Advisory - M&A' as at a big four firm that is targetted at the MM level. I know this isn't specifically where you had worked but I assume you would have had exposure to people in a similar area.

What kind of exit opportunities do you think this can open up to, whether it be 3, 5, 10 years down the line? E.g. going directly into a larger IB, or more to the buy-side (this would be my preference), or PE, just as a few examples.

Thanks for your help in advance!
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nabsers
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Is it true that obtaining a relatively unrelated degree to IB such as Theology from a top university, Oxbridge etc, will land you a job in IB with more ease than someone who did Finance from a less well respected university such as Sheffield Hallam etc?
Last edited by nabsers; 10 months ago
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SomMC1
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thanks for doing this, Mr Paul.



I've been reading about how Analysts at IB are mostly doing a lot of Excel work and PowerPoint pitchbook preparation. Should I look to invest money and time into online Excel & PowerPoint courses, in order to gain an edge over other applicants? (if I did do this, I'd do these courses during my Y13 summer holiday, after completing my A levels.)

I suppose you'd recommend doing an internship during the Y13 summer (just before entering uni), as that's something I could include on my CV when applying for Spring Week? I've already had an internship with that PE firm during my Y12 summer. So doing another internship would further show motivation for the sector at still a young age.


A lot of times, the stereotype at IB is that it's very much a 'dog eat dog' situation, where your fellow analyst would do anything but to help you. Is this a realistic and actual representation of how things occur at IB between colleagues, or is it just Hollywood drama? -> How's the general work life between Analysts?

(Original post by Lancaster University)
Hi She-Ra - good of you to go first!
Attributes (IB) employers looing for:
MOTIVATION - what have you done to show your committment to this sector.For IB are you involved in your uni Investment & Finance Society?
Have you somehow secured some relevant work experience?Do you read financial blogs and list them on your CV?
INVOLVEMENT- at uni. Outside of finance, what other actvities and societies are you involved in?
GIVING BACK - have you got a 1 line volunteering item on your CV.IBs love this as IBs used to be 'bad boys of society'.
PERSONALITY- if I was stuck at an airport with you for 5 hours would I be OK? If you have lots of interests I probably would!
...notice I haven't mentioned academics! As long as your A Levels are good and you're going to get a 2:1

In applying, include 1 line statements on all the above. You can expand on the detail at interview!
Last edited by SomMC1; 10 months ago
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Lancaster University
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(Original post by OxbridgeRejectTT)
What degrees would you recommend for IB?
Obviously 'business subjects' go down well i.e. economics, accounting & finance, management but STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths ) are very in demand too.
You can go non-business e.g. History, Geography but they may well question your true motivation for the sector if you choose these PLUS you will find it harder to build commercial awareness i.e. knowing what is going on in financial markets for interview.
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username1815085
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Hi. For investment banking is better a degree in Finance or In Economics?
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(Original post by CraigBackner)
do banks take interns/graduates from university college london, ucl or more so oxbridge and lse
UCL, LSE and OXBRIDGE are all 'target universities' i.e. Banks visit the uni a lot and are looking out for talent.
OXBRIDGE does not do as well as you might think as they don't seem to produce the 'hungry' IB grads who are 'on it' from the first /second year.
If you are in a UK top 20 university then ALL IB and more doors are open to you if you are 'up for it'.
Lancaster is 'Top 10' - we sent 46 people interns, palcements and grads to financial market sector ie IB, Asset Management etc...last year
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Lancaster University
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(Original post by esaevp)
Hey! Thanks for doing this. I have recently been offered a graduate position for 'Financial Advisory - M&A' as at a big four firm that is targetted at the MM level. I know this isn't specifically where you had worked but I assume you would have had exposure to people in a similar area.

What kind of exit opportunities do you think this can open up to, whether it be 3, 5, 10 years down the line? E.g. going directly into a larger IB, or more to the buy-side (this would be my preference), or PE, just as a few examples.

Thanks for your help in advance!
Hi there- 'Financial Advisory - M&A' at a big four is a great start and leaves ALL career options open. So that includes an 'exit' into IB as you are broadly targeting. PE might be tougher as they take so many directly from IBs once they've got a couple of years IBD Analyst experience under their belt. At this stage I would not worry about it. Do a great 18 months start and take it from there.
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(Original post by nabsers)
Is it true that obtaining a relatively unrelated degree to IB such as Theology from a top university, Oxbridge etc, will land you a job in IB with more ease than someone who did Finance from a less well respected university such as Sheffield Hallam etc?
Yes I would agree with that. Just placed a History student at M&G Asset Management. No disrespect to Sheffield Hallam but you'd probably have to target IB Operations if you realy want IB rom that uni. To mention you can have a garet IB Operations career but not 'Front Office' as you know.
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(Original post by SomMC1)
thanks for doing this, Mr Paul.



I've been reading about how Analysts at IB are mostly doing a lot of Excel work and PowerPoint pitchbook preparation. Should I look to invest money and time into online Excel & PowerPoint courses, in order to gain an edge over other applicants? (if I did do this, I'd do these courses during my Y13 summer holiday, after completing my A levels.)

I suppose you'd recommend doing an internship during the Y13 summer (just before entering uni), as that's something I could include on my CV when applying for Spring Week? I've already had an internship with that PE firm during my Y12 summer. So doing another internship would further show motivation for the sector at still a young age.


A lot of times, the stereotype at IB is that it's very much a 'dog eat dog' situation, where your fellow analyst would do anything but to help you. Is this a realistic and actual representation of how things occur at IB between colleagues, or is it just Hollywood drama? -> How's the general work life between Analysts?
I'll do bottom first. It's not 'dog eat dog' . you'll always get some dicks on the trading flloor etc..but generally most people get on pretty well and camaraderie is good.

Anything you can get work experience/internship ahead of 1st year Spring Week applications would be good.I'd add..it doesn't actually have to be financial wprk experience as anything taht gives you 'life experience' is valued. As well as a PE focus..try and ad a volunteering item...it will be valued.

Excel more than PPT for me...if it costs your own time and money ...that then becomes a great interview discussion.
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Lancaster University
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(Original post by eustudent93)
Hi. For investment banking is better a degree in Finance or In Economics?
Absolutely no difference...do what you think you will enjoy and succeed at!
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Zoqua
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(Original post by Lancaster University)
Students are very drawn to Investment Banking careers due to the perceived 'glamour' and high salaries. Having worked as a Bond Trader for Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan and Barclays I get that! Apart from the fact that IB is extremely competitive, what students often don't realise until someone tells them (!) is that IB is only one sector of about 10 sectors associated with Financial Markets which offers interesting and high paid careers. Other sectors to consider include: Investment Management, Wealth Management, Credit Rating Agencies, Vendors, Retail & Commercial Banks, Financial Consultancy, Investment Consultants and more...


As more and more students are driven to go to university with the goal of securing a lucrative career the pressure is on to choose the right degree programme and university. But do financial market employers really care about if you went to LSE or did History instead of Accounting? Last year I supported 46 students from Lancaster secure places in Investment Banking, Investment Management and similar internships and graduate programmes. Yes, it’s true that there are some employers ‘target universities’ but if you have the skills, attitude, experience and grades they’re looking for, it’s still possible to get a job and go to the university that you really want to go too.

  • Are you considering applying to a grad scheme and looking for advice?
  • Are you wondering if uni is the only route to get into investment banking?
  • Are you stuck between choosing different unis and different degree options?
  • Are you curious to know what it’s actually like to work as a trader?



I’m online to answer your questions and help you out

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Paul has 30 years financial market experience including bond trading positions with Morgan Stanley, Barclays, JP Morgan Chase combined with a passion around helping students secure Internships and Graduate Programmes. Paul has in-depth knowledge of the investment banking and asset management hiring process. He provides assistance on CVs, applications, interviews & assessment centres providing unique insight and market knowledge.
I've been thinking of a career in IB or something similar(like Investment Management or Wealth Management), what degree's are best for this sector in your opinion? Thanks for doing this by the way!
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username1815085
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(Original post by Lancaster University)
Absolutely no difference...do what you think you will enjoy and succeed at!
Thank you so much!
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Lancaster University
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(Original post by Zoqua)
I've been thinking of a career in IB or something similar(like Investment Management or Wealth Management), what degree's are best for this sector in your opinion? Thanks for doing this by the way!
Hi Zoqua...firstly the degree subject won't matter much. Something 'business' obviously fits in well ie economics, accounting& finance, management but choose a degree you are going to enjoy and excel at is key.
Quite a lot of difference between your career targets so more exploration needed.ie there are several - very different - IB divisions to choose from and WM is all about 'relationship building' and becoming a 'trusted advisor' to the client. IM is different again.If you're not yet at uni..then applying for a 1st year Spring Week (mini internship at Easter) is needed..you would apply in the October you arrive at uni. At Lancaster..I get my students right on it within 3 weeks of arriving!
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esaevp
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(Original post by Lancaster University)
Hi there- 'Financial Advisory - M&A' at a big four is a great start and leaves ALL career options open. So that includes an 'exit' into IB as you are broadly targeting. PE might be tougher as they take so many directly from IBs once they've got a couple of years IBD Analyst experience under their belt. At this stage I would not worry about it. Do a great 18 months start and take it from there.
Thank you for your response! As a follow up question; what about exit ops in terms of the buy side, like asset management/investment funds, and do you not think LMM/MM PE could have direct entry or would it still be wise to go through traditional IB to get into that? As part of my programme I will have to study for the ACA – thought I'd include that in case it adds any value for your response. Thanks again!
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Zoqua
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(Original post by Lancaster University)
Hi Zoqua...firstly the degree subject won't matter much. Something 'business' obviously fits in well ie economics, accounting& finance, management but choose a degree you are going to enjoy and excel at is key.
Quite a lot of difference between your career targets so more exploration needed.ie there are several - very different - IB divisions to choose from and WM is all about 'relationship building' and becoming a 'trusted advisor' to the client. IM is different again.If you're not yet at uni..then applying for a 1st year Spring Week (mini internship at Easter) is needed..you would apply in the October you arrive at uni. At Lancaster..I get my students right on it within 3 weeks of arriving!
Thanks!
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