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

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Lancaster University
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#101
Report Thread starter 3 years ago
#101
(Original post by Calm1237)
Thank you for such a prompt response !

I was considering Lancaster, but the entry requirements are AAB and I feel that I may not stand a chance(with ABB grades) :I
Do you know if there are access schemes or contextual offers made at Lancaster?
Another thing, would sending my application now hinder me from been given options since some people I have told me the courses could be full.
Hi...I am not an Admissions expert so I have to be careful what I say.I believe you would be considered with ABB and I would be happy for you to use my name in support of your application (or to be contacted at that time via Opening City Doors website) given that you have shown your proactiveness by participating in TSR/contacting me.Although courses are filling up I do not believe them to be full / refusing applications.
Last edited by Lancaster University; 3 years ago
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Lancaster University
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#102
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#102
(Original post by Frazzle27)
Hi, so I was considering IB and I just would like some clarification on some stuff:

- Would taking an apprenticeship route be better than joining IB as a graduate?
- Is it true that because the industry is so saturated with people wanting to get into it that jobs have low job security because many are replaceable?

I was reading some articles about how everything is very performance driven and that if you don't hit targets you will be fired in 1-2 years. This kind of put me off IB, is what these articles saying true?

People who are in IB are paid a lot, why is that? What is the cost?

Thanks
Hi...taking each question in turn
Appenticeship Route- it is still early to evaluate appenticeship vs graduate given apprenticeships haven't been around for long and there can be a little tension between both groups at the same firm.
Geting into IB as a graduate is tough! If you have an apprenticeship option this may be an easier way in IMO.

Job security is not as high as other industries as you know.This is because banking is quite cyclical in terms of profits a bit 'boom and bust' but banks are addressing this by building up their asset management arms.Jobs are not insecure because a lot of people want to enter the industry. Most people who lose their jobs move on to other jobs.It might be 5% or 10% who are let go when times are hard ..it is not 40 or 50%.if you are doing a good job you will be OK.

It is quite performance driven but you should have the confidence to do that. As I 've mentioned a few times on this thread..there are several non IB financial market/investment sectors that are more secure/balanced than IB.

IB people are paid well..because
-if you are involved in deals that earn e.g. $10 million in fees for the bank that matters to them and they will reward you.
-or if you are a trader that makes $3 Million for the bank..they can afford to pay you.
-or if you write research that influences important clients..they can afford to pay you.
-or if you do a good job in Finance(accountancy) or Operations ..they can afford to pay you but not as well as above..

Remember there are LOTS of different jobs out there in all sorts of financial sectors.IB is 10-15% of the pie!
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thatapanydude
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#103
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#103
Any tips to avoid coming across as over rehearsed and robotic during interviews? This has been my feedback from summer recruitment at both the telephone and F2F stages this year for IBD.

Thanks in advance!
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JPM19
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#104
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#104
(Original post by Calm1237)
Thank you for such a prompt response !

I was considering Lancaster, but the entry requirements are AAB and I feel that I may not stand a chance(with ABB grades) :I
Do you know if there are access schemes or contextual offers made at Lancaster?
Another thing, would sending my application now hinder me from been given options since some people I have told me the courses could be full.
I read that around 95% of applicants to Lancaster get an offer - the third highest in the UK - so I'd be optimistic!

(Original post by Lancaster University)
Hi...I am not an Admissions expert so I have to be careful what I say.I believe you would be considered with ABB and I would be happy for you to use my name in support of your application (or to be contacted at that time via Opening City Doors website) given that you have shown your proactiveness by participating in TSR/contacting me.Although courses are filling up I do not believe them to be full / refusing applications.
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Ak_xBlaZe
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#105
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#105
Hi, I have received offers from Loughborough (conditional and reduced at ABB) and Lancaster (unconditional) for finance. I would like an unbiased opinion as to which one of these is more of a 'target' and would be more beneficial for getting into investment banking?

In addition, as I have received an unconditional and reduced offer I would like to know if my A-Levels would matter significantly if I get into the university I want to and graduate with a 1st.

Having said this, I am also awaiting a response from Warwick and am aware that this would, of course, be the best route for me to go down. However, I would rather go to the universities mentioned above and therefore would appreciate you answering my above questions with honesty.

Lastly, how do you think the University of Nottingham is perceived by IB's amongst the universities mentioned above (i.e. more/less of a target)?

Kind Regards.
Last edited by Ak_xBlaZe; 3 years ago
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username738914
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#106
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#106
(Original post by Frazzle27)
Hi, so I was considering IB and I just would like some clarification on some stuff:

- Would taking an apprenticeship route be better than joining IB as a graduate?
- Is it true that because the industry is so saturated with people wanting to get into it that jobs have low job security because many are replaceable?

I was reading some articles about how everything is very performance driven and that if you don't hit targets you will be fired in 1-2 years. This kind of put me off IB, is what these articles saying true?

People who are in IB are paid a lot, why is that? What is the cost?

Thanks
1. No, unless you want to end up in Ops or at a push middle office.

2. There's low job security because the industry (much like nat res or oil and gas) is beholden to cyclicality (i.e. ups and downs in demand). When a business unit is underperforming or an individual is people will be let go.

3. Only true once you have a book or are bringing in deals. It makes sense if you think about it.. if the apple iPhone just stopped selling all together for 2-3+ years you really think Apple would just continue with it? So why would a bank continue with someone not doing their job (i.e. bring in revenue).

4. stand by the waterfall and you'll get wet. fees on large transactions trickles down into high pay. people are the biggest expense at a bank so what are they going to do? invest in (pay) them. the service firms provide ultimately makes the markets more efficient, allows important corporate transactions to be carried out and manages the assets of a variety of ecomomic stakeholders. if these things had no value financial firms wouldn't exist and clients wouldn't pay fees.
Last edited by username738914; 3 years ago
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Lancaster University
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#107
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#107
(Original post by thatapanydude)
Any tips to avoid coming across as over rehearsed and robotic during interviews? This has been my feedback from summer recruitment at both the telephone and F2F stages this year for IBD.

Thanks in advance!
Of course serious preparation required especially for IBD leaving you in danger (as you state) of being too scripted.
Using Competency Questions as an example e.g. "Tell Me A Time You Have Done This" with many people recommending a Situation-Action-Result style answer, perhaps just be aware of what story you are going to tell for each skill they ask you...rather than prep the whole thing out in a SAR (or STAR) fashion which you then regurgitate.

I wouldn't worry too much (despite the stakes). Its a very fine line between prep and 'too rehearsed'.

I am sure taking the feedback you have received you can be more your natural self going forward.
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Visual_Learner
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#108
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#108
My sister wants to be a investment banker. What sort of skills and qualities would she need in order to do the job properly? What is the day to day like? How difficult is it generally speaking?
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Lancaster University
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#109
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#109
(Original post by Ak_xBlaZe)
Hi, I have received offers from Loughborough (conditional and reduced at ABB) and Lancaster (unconditional) for finance. I would like an unbiased opinion as to which one of these is more of a 'target' and would be more beneficial for getting into investment banking?

In addition, as I have received an unconditional and reduced offer I would like to know if my A-Levels would matter significantly if I get into the university I want to and graduate with a 1st.

Having said this, I am also awaiting a response from Warwick and am aware that this would, of course, be the best route for me to go down. However, I would rather go to the universities mentioned above and therefore would appreciate you answering my above questions with honesty.

Lastly, how do you think the University of Nottingham is perceived by IB's amongst the universities mentioned above (i.e. more/less of a target)?

Kind Regards.
I will give you a very honest answer if your target is IB as I don't wish to mess with your life!

To choose between Loughborough and Lancaster I would choose Lancaster principally because you can engage my help (as IB coach) when you get here - in fact before you arrive for Spring Week applications.

However if you end up with BBB Front Office IB is probably going to be out of reach. ABB not perfect either but perhaps do-able. If you do get just OK grades there are many sector alternatives as already mentioned (which is also my focus).

From an IB perspective Nottingham is perceived reasonably well. It is non-target of course but in line with other unis mentioned IB career wise.
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Lancaster University
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#110
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#110
(Original post by Visual_Learner)
My sister wants to be a investment banker. What sort of skills and qualities would she need in order to do the job properly? What is the day to day like? How difficult is it generally speaking?
IB (and the rest of the financial sector) are desperate to hire women so good timing.

Skills/Qualities:motivated, determined, well-rounded, goes the 'extra mile', already building her CV, comfortable with maths and technology, involved with investment & finance society when at uni.

The day-to-day will differ significantly between the 6 or 7 main business divisions she will have to chose for internship/grad programme but she can do a 1st year more generic Spring Week to help with her career decision making.

Don't think everyone at IB are superstars..they are just good.
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username1751857
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#111
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#111
Hi,

I've got offers from these RG unis: QMUL, Manchester and Southampton. Which one would you say is targeted the most for IB? I'm going to making my decisions for my firm and insurance choices soon so I'd like to take something like this into account.

Also, what would you say was the hardest part about working in IB with your experience? Was it the start and getting used to it or...?

Cheers!
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SaucyStiglitz
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#112
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#112
(Original post by Lancaster University)
IB (and the rest of the financial sector) are desperate to hire women so good timing.

Skills/Qualities:motivated, determined, well-rounded, goes the 'extra mile', already building her CV, comfortable with maths and technology, involved with investment & finance society when at uni.

The day-to-day will differ significantly between the 6 or 7 main business divisions she will have to chose for internship/grad programme but she can do a 1st year more generic Spring Week to help with her career decision making.

Don't think everyone at IB are superstars..they are just good.
Do you not think the fact that “IB (and the rest of the financial sector) are desperate to hire women” means it is much harder now for men, especially white men, to break into IB and also the banks are possibly accepting weaker applicants in cases just because they have to meet their quotas
You can already see it with their insight schemes, with a lot of banks offering a wide range of schemes solely for women and minorities, which leaves out a lot of students such as white males that attended state schools but are put in the same group as the private/grammar school students of having an advantage
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orangegoat
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#113
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#113
Would you be willing to review my CV? (punt)
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TurboZX453
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#114
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#114
Hello,

I am currently in Year 13 studying Maths, Further Maths and Economics. I have offers from Bristol, and UCL. I am waiting to get back on Warwick, LSE and Cambridge (interview done). I will be studying economics related subjects at all those universities.

So my first question is out of all those universities, if I was to manage to get into anyone of them would it allow me to get into the IB sector? I know that all those universities are regarded as top class. However, there is a stigma that people who got to 'Oxbridge' or even LSE for that matter are regarded as the best.

Second question: What should I be doing while at university to prepare myself for IB?

Third question: People believe that with IB there are long working hours and people get fed-up and they have no social life. I am quite a sociable person, and although I would not mind working long-hours, how is it really like?

Many thanks,

T
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Presence
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#115
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#115
(Original post by Lancaster University)
What is the sales/revenue momentum like..is it showing signs of acceleration?
If you put money into marketing has that had a positive effect on your company results in previous rounds?
If you lower/increase product prices, how sensitive to sales is that?
(Sorry bit I don't want to get too side-tracked from main discussion)
Thank you!
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Visual_Learner
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#116
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#116
(Original post by Lancaster University)
IB (and the rest of the financial sector) are desperate to hire women so good timing.

Skills/Qualities:motivated, determined, well-rounded, goes the 'extra mile', already building her CV, comfortable with maths and technology, involved with investment & finance society when at uni.

The day-to-day will differ significantly between the 6 or 7 main business divisions she will have to chose for internship/grad programme but she can do a 1st year more generic Spring Week to help with her career decision making.

Don't think everyone at IB are superstars..they are just good.
Thank you
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Lancaster University
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#117
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#117
(Original post by CoffeeGeek)
Hi,

I've got offers from these RG unis: QMUL, Manchester and Southampton. Which one would you say is targeted the most for IB? I'm going to making my decisions for my firm and insurance choices soon so I'd like to take something like this into account.

Also, what would you say was the hardest part about working in IB with your experience? Was it the start and getting used to it or...?

Cheers!
Hi...
Hard to choose between QMUL and Manchester for me but QMUL would give you access of course to London financial student events. I would rank both above Southampton.

Hardest part about working in IB: I didn't find it particularly hard. As long as you end up in IB work that you like, and are suited to, whether S&T or Research etc..then as a young person you're prepared to really commit to it, enjoy it and be successful. If you go into Risk Management (Quantiative) or IBD ( M&A etc..) the long hours will be the hardest thing especially IBD.

Job security can be an issue especially if in trading related world but again in your 20's this should not matter too much IMO.

I enjoyed nearly all of it and am still a 'financial markets' guy!
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Lancaster University
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#118
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#118
(Original post by SaucyStiglitz)
Do you not think the fact that “IB (and the rest of the financial sector) are desperate to hire women” means it is much harder now for men, especially white men, to break into IB and also the banks are possibly accepting weaker applicants in cases just because they have to meet their quotas
You can already see it with their insight schemes, with a lot of banks offering a wide range of schemes solely for women and minorities, which leaves out a lot of students such as white males that attended state schools but are put in the same group as the private/grammar school students of having an advantage
A delicate subject: I have sympathy and agreement with your point of view.There is almost a bias against that classic white male candidate including state school applicants (whilst at the same time I think its great to see such diverse IB entry) .

However, if in the past say 90% of roles/internships went to that classic profile (which at the end of the day is not so healthy) and the split is more 50:50 (60/40) now, if you're a strong classic profile candidate and doing all the right things (a lot of which is talked about on this thread) you will succeed in “IB (and the rest of the financial sector)" . So just keep going after it!
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Lancaster University
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#119
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#119
(Original post by orangegoat)
Would you be willing to review my CV? (punt)
You get nothing for 'not asking' but its a polite 'No' as I have 2 examinations to write by January 8th: I teach the most practical Financial Markets (mutli-asset class i.e. bonds, FX, equities, derivatives) 3rd year module in the country starting Jan 14th...still a few slides to do!!.
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Lancaster University
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#120
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#120
Perfectly possible.You just might have to justify why you chose politics ahead of a classic business subject like economics, accounting & finance.The latter is easy to do given geo-politics is having a major current influence on financial markets (which sparked your interest in the whole IB world!).
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