asdasd1
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hey guys whats up! So, I've got a question. Is it possible to go into a career in investment banking without a finance or economics degree? I'm about to study business management at Swansea university. What are the chances ill be ending up with a career in IB with a business degree? furthermore from Swansea university (ik its not the highest in the ranks). Also will investment banking require a lot of maths? I mean even if I do get into IB, will I need to know all sorts of formalae's etc or just mental/quick maths.
Thanks
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asdasd1
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Also, would you guys prefer me do accounting/finance in Swansea instead of business management to get onto investment banking?

PS, would it be sensible to do a foundation degree in accounting and finance at one university then go onto a top 5 university using that foundation degree. I tried applying to the top ones but my grades were down and some of them required A level maths, so would it be reasonable to do 1 year of foundation in a uni then go onto a top 5 university with that foundation. Bath have told me that if I do a foundation degree, I can get onto their main course the following year.

What do you guys think?
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Louiskeller22
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I have been wanting people to answer this question aswell. Please help because I’m going Coventry and if I do well. I.e 75% in all modules can I get accept onto the main course of a better Russell group uni if I did poor in my a levels
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BusMan21
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Bank's like to see people who do not study the usual economics and finance - they like to see a broad range (or at least that's the line they sell).

Working *in* an Investment Bank is possible via MO/BO division internships, working in *FO* = M&A, ECM, DCM, is going to be much harder (but never impossible).

Either way the first option to you is applying for Spring Weeks and once you see how you fare in that recruitment cycle then diversify your applications more the following year for internships if needed. I don't have to mention how water tight your CV needs to be, strong application expressing a clear motivation for the firm/role, passing the tests and/or the ability to interview well via video interviews - they are the fundamental basics you need to smash if you don't go to a target uni.
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asdasd1
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Cool thanks! What would your thoughts be for Swansea university? And how much much "maths" is needed in IB? Should I change my course to accounting?

""Working *in* an Investment Bank is possible via MO/BO division internships, working in *FO* = M&A, ECM, DCM, is going to be much harder (but never impossible).""
Sorry but what does mo/bo mean? Back office? Front office? What's he difference?
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BusMan21
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(Original post by asdasd1)
Cool thanks! What would your thoughts be for Swansea university? And how much much "maths" is needed in IB? Should I change my course to accounting?

""Working *in* an Investment Bank is possible via MO/BO division internships, working in *FO* = M&A, ECM, DCM, is going to be much harder (but never impossible).""
Sorry but what does mo/bo mean? Back office? Front office? What's he difference?
You need to be comfortable looking at numbers - but nothing on the spectrum of A-Level maths/further maths. At the very least, many firms use psychometric tests and you'll be tested on your ability to do quick percentages, ratios etc which is more GCSE maths. I would recommend practising your ability with these tests.

Yes - Middle office roles like Risk, Back Office (IT, HR, Finance, Audit, Compliance etc). If you studied accounting for example, it would put you in good step to get into Finance or Big 4 roles.

Either way accounting is solid and I would recommend it over BM if you believe you'll enjoy it more. What are you A-Level results?

Swansea university is not on the target or semi-target list, and I personally do not know much about it.
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asdasd1
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It's B for Welsh bac, C for business and merit for media.

My only problem with accounting would be that how much maths is involved? I mean I dont want to study for 3 years only maths if it will only get harder each year and I won't have a clue what's going on for example in the 3rd year because I don't have A level maths.
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Princepieman
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definitely gonna have to transfer unis if you want to get into banking..

swansea is not on the map at all for any decent careers.
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asdasd1
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Should I do a foundation year at my local university and then go onto a more prestigious one after?
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Should I do a foundation year at my local university and then go onto a more prestigious one after?
Yes. And then consider climbing the ladder even further to Masters level.
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asdasd1
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Thanks, but one more question, would you say it would be hard studying economics/finance without a level maths? Will i struggle in year 2/3?
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Thanks, but one more question, would you say it would be hard studying economics/finance without a level maths? Will i struggle in year 2/3?
Yes it will be, so I don't think it will be well suited. Economics moves quite fast with an assumed maths understanding, and some of the most reputable universities expect sufficient competency here.

I think you need to take a step back and recalibrate what you wish to achieve here given the timeframe. Since Swansea to IBD is not going to work and you want to avoid any exposure to hard maths - you need to keep an eye on the best university and non-quantitate subject choice you can transfer to, whilst also think about the divisons you're applying for and the local office locations (not necessarily London immediately).

A lot of moving parts - good luck.
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(Original post by asdasd1)
hey guys whats up! So, I've got a question. Is it possible to go into a career in investment banking without a finance or economics degree? I'm about to study business management at Swansea university. What are the chances ill be ending up with a career in IB with a business degree? furthermore from Swansea university (ik its not the highest in the ranks). Also will investment banking require a lot of maths? I mean even if I do get into IB, will I need to know all sorts of formalae's etc or just mental/quick maths.
Thanks
Hi asdasd1 and everyone else here!

This is a really interesting thread, and one where I think we'd also like to talk about where we are in terms of providing career paths for our students. I've been in touch with some of the staff over in the School of Management who have seen the thread here and have written up some responses. This first one is specifically for the OP:

I think honestly you've got a few options available to you, as there's a lot of flexibility at Swansea. The Business Management degree has the same first year for all BM students, but after that you're free to choose from a large range of modules and tailor it to what interests you and what you want to study.

One of the great things about the School of Management at Swansea is access to the careers team - they'll be able to look at where you want to go and what you want to do and help at every stage to get you there. They can find short placements at relevant businesses, help with CV's, psychometric testing and interviews. There's also the option of adding a Year In Industry on to your 3 year degree, which gives you the chance to spend an entire year working for a business within the field you want to graduate in to and that experience would be absolutely invaluable for you. We've had lots of students do that and the business offers them a role after they graduate. It's not guaranteed of course, but it happens quite often.

For a career in Investment Banking accreditation from The Chartered Financial Analyst Institute (CFA) would look great on your CV, and you'd be able to get that if you studied a BSc Finance at Swansea, rather than the Business Management degree.

And it might seem like a lifetime away, but the MSc in International Banking and Finance would be great way to progress on to a career in Investment Banking, through that course you'd attain accreditation from the Chartered Banking Institute, however you'd have to have a 2:2 in an undergraduate degree that has included a range of modules in accounting/finance or quantitative/statistical methods, which would suit a degree more along the lines of one of our Accounting and Finance courses.

Transferring from Business Management to a different course is definitely possible if that’s something you’d want to do, you'd be able to do this in the first couple of weeks after enrolment, but you'd have to speak to the programme director in the course you want to transfer to in order to get it authorised. You could also change your course before enrolment by getting in touch with Admissions - this shouldn't be a problem. But that doesn't mean that studying Business Management wouldn't get you there either! Not at all. With the flexible suite of modules and the Year In Industry you've got so many options available to you, which is a great position to be in.

Lot of information here, I appreciate! But I'm just trying to show you that if it's Investment Banking you want to progress in to, Swansea can definitely get you there.

Daf

I hope that helps, but if you'd like to discuss anything written there in more detail please do - we're all happy to talk about our courses as you can imagine!

This next message comes from one of my colleagues who wants to address specifically the employability aspects, and how best to approach working towards a specific career goal with us. As you can imagine, we don't agree with everything said in this thread - but we wouldn't, obviously It's no good just saying that though and you can find below our justification of that view:

We're certainly on the map for decent careers! In fact we're right up there with the best. Swansea is currently UK Top 5 for Career Prospects (Guardian, out of 121 institutions) and is outperforming many higher ranked unis (including Russell Group) for graduate level jobs - Accounting/Finance is Top 15.


The question of likely careers in Investment Banking at the outset of your undergraduate degree is a pretty broad one - it really depends on how much you want something and the work you're prepared to put in. A degree in Business will have its benefits and certainly won't rule out any future career options. Studying a degree in Accounting/Finance will obviously focus more on the requirements and expectations of the industry - accredited content will align the syllabus to that of professional qualifications and skills that will be transferrable and relevant to careers in the financial sector.

Play to your strengths and develop your weaknesses. If maths and analytics are not your thing, this can be improved...but not necessarily critical for all career pathways.

What do you really enjoy and what's important to you? If you're motivated by a big salary and responsibility, do your research on the job market and learn about the skills and experience employers are looking for, in addition to HE qualifications/grades and academic ability. If you know what you're aiming for, it will be easier to work out the best path in terms of study choices and progression.

Swansea lives and breathes personal development and real career opportunity - we have invested heavily in expertise and support to help our students achieve great things in the real world...hence our increasing reputation in this area.

Gethin

On a final note from myself, we are very proud of how our School of Management supports students looking to go into careers after graduation. We have extensive support in this regard based within the academic college, and should you study with us we will happily sit with you to look at the employers you are targeting and identify their recruitment strategies, helping you to best prepare to sell yourself as the person they are looking for.

asdasd1, by all means follow up with us on this and we're happy to go into more detail as you need it. If you prefer, I can also arrange for you to talk with a member of the team above over the phone or by email directly if you prefer - just send me a private message and we'll swap contact details! Choosing your route through Higher Education is a very personal experience and cannot be guided with general information alone, so please do feel free to have a chat with the department to help work out exactly what you want to do.

Jamie
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Princepieman
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Hi asdasd1 and everyone else here!

This is a really interesting thread, and one where I think we'd also like to talk about where we are in terms of providing career paths for our students. I've been in touch with some of the staff over in the School of Management who have seen the thread here and have written up some responses. This first one is specifically for the OP:

I think honestly you've got a few options available to you, as there's a lot of flexibility at Swansea. The Business Management degree has the same first year for all BM students, but after that you're free to choose from a large range of modules and tailor it to what interests you and what you want to study.

One of the great things about the School of Management at Swansea is access to the careers team - they'll be able to look at where you want to go and what you want to do and help at every stage to get you there. They can find short placements at relevant businesses, help with CV's, psychometric testing and interviews. There's also the option of adding a Year In Industry on to your 3 year degree, which gives you the chance to spend an entire year working for a business within the field you want to graduate in to and that experience would be absolutely invaluable for you. We've had lots of students do that and the business offers them a role after they graduate. It's not guaranteed of course, but it happens quite often.

For a career in Investment Banking accreditation from The Chartered Financial Analyst Institute (CFA) would look great on your CV, and you'd be able to get that if you studied a BSc Finance at Swansea, rather than the Business Management degree.

And it might seem like a lifetime away, but the MSc in International Banking and Finance would be great way to progress on to a career in Investment Banking, through that course you'd attain accreditation from the Chartered Banking Institute, however you'd have to have a 2:2 in an undergraduate degree that has included a range of modules in accounting/finance or quantitative/statistical methods, which would suit a degree more along the lines of one of our Accounting and Finance courses.

Transferring from Business Management to a different course is definitely possible if that’s something you’d want to do, you'd be able to do this in the first couple of weeks after enrolment, but you'd have to speak to the programme director in the course you want to transfer to in order to get it authorised. You could also change your course before enrolment by getting in touch with Admissions - this shouldn't be a problem. But that doesn't mean that studying Business Management wouldn't get you there either! Not at all. With the flexible suite of modules and the Year In Industry you've got so many options available to you, which is a great position to be in.

Lot of information here, I appreciate! But I'm just trying to show you that if it's Investment Banking you want to progress in to, Swansea can definitely get you there.

Daf

I hope that helps, but if you'd like to discuss anything written there in more detail please do - we're all happy to talk about our courses as you can imagine!

This next message comes from one of my colleagues who wants to address specifically the employability aspects, and how best to approach working towards a specific career goal with us. As you can imagine, we don't agree with everything said in this thread - but we wouldn't, obviously It's no good just saying that though and you can find below our justification of that view:

We're certainly on the map for decent careers! In fact we're right up there with the best. Swansea is currently UK Top 5 for Career Prospects (Guardian, out of 121 institutions) and is outperforming many higher ranked unis (including Russell Group) for graduate level jobs - Accounting/Finance is Top 15.


The question of likely careers in Investment Banking at the outset of your undergraduate degree is a pretty broad one - it really depends on how much you want something and the work you're prepared to put in. A degree in Business will have it' benefits and certainly won't rule out any future career options. Studying a degree in Accounting/Finance will obviously focus more on the requirements and expectations of the industry - accredited content will align the syllabus to that of professional qualifications and skills that will be transferrable and relevant to careers in the financial sector.

Play to your strengths and develop your weaknesses. If maths and analytics are not your thing, this can be improved...but not necessarily critical for all career pathways.

What do you really enjoy and what's important to you? If you're motivated by a big salary and responsibility, do your research on the job market and learn about the skills and experience employers are looking for, in addition to HE qualifications/grades and academic ability. If you know what you're aiming for, it will be easier to work out the best path in terms of study choices and progression.

Swansea lives and breathes personal development and real career opportunity - we have invested heavily in expertise and support to help our students achieve great things in the real world...hence our increasing reputation in this area.

Gethin

On a final note from myself, we are very proud of how our School of Management supports students looking to go into careers after graduation. We have extensive support in this regard based within the academic college, and should you study with us we will happily sit with you to look at the employers you are targeting and identify their recruitment strategies, helping you to best prepare to sell yourself as the person they are looking for.

asdasd1, by all means follow up with us on this and we're happy to go into more detail as you need it. If you prefer, I can also arrange for you to talk with a member of the team above over the phone or by email directly if you prefer - just send me a private message and we'll swap contact details! Choosing your route through Higher Education is a very personal experience and cannot be guided with general information alone, so please do feel free to have a chat with the department to help work out exactly what you want to do.

Jamie
as someone who literally went to the university for a year... they really are not on the map for anything high finance in any way shape or form.

it's particularly telling that each of those responses are what amount to lip service and marketing talk instead of solid accounts of placement into the jobs OP is interested in.
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as someone who literally went to the university for a year... they really are not on the map for anything high finance in any way shape or form.

it's particularly telling that each of those responses are what amount to lip service and marketing talk instead of solid accounts of placement into the jobs OP is interested in.
Hi Princepieman,

What I would say to that is that we don't profess to be, or market ourselves as, an elite institution for Investment Banking specifically. As the OP has already stated that he intends to study with us, however, we want to be as helpful as we can with that in mind.

To give an idea of what to expect with us, I've got hold of some of the most recent DLHE survey results to see some of the key positions at well known firms that our graduates have taken up in the finance sector:

ASSOCIATE / AUDITOR PWC
PROPRIETY TRADER OSTC
ACCOUNTANT PWC
FIXED INCOME FUTURES TRADER OSTC
TRAINEE INVESTMENT MANAGER BREWIN DOLPHIN
ANALYST EY (ERNST & YOUNG)
RISK REGULATOR AECOM
FINANCIAL CONSULTANT JDX CONSULTING
FINANCE GRADUATE ABP UK
DATA ANALYST DELOITTE
FINANCIAL ANALYST GOLDMAN SACHS


Ultimately, our BSc in Business Management will allow students to work towards a career in IB, and the advice for this will always be that a degree alone won't get you all the way. That's where we encourage things like work placements (or even a year in industry as part of a four-year course) as well as utilising our specialist career guidance team within the School of Management. Advice like this sees getting a degree such as the one that we offer is one part of a wider plan on meeting career ambitions in IB.

A big part of the ethos of the School of Management is helping students utilise their degree and build skills to work towards their own goals, rather than the degree itself being the end goal. We're always happy for any student (or prospective student) to get in touch with us to work out what that means for the individual in question.

On that note, asdasd1 we can't wait to have you with us next month!

Jamie
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Princepieman
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Hi Princepieman,

What I would say to that is that we don't profess to be, or market ourselves as, an elite institution for Investment Banking specifically. As the OP has already stated that he intends to study with us, however, we want to be as helpful as we can with that in mind.

To give an idea of what to expect with us, I've got hold of some of the most recent DLHE survey results to see some of the key positions at well known firms that our graduates have taken up in the finance sector:

ASSOCIATE / AUDITOR PWC
PROPRIETY TRADER OSTC
ACCOUNTANT PWC
FIXED INCOME FUTURES TRADER OSTC
TRAINEE INVESTMENT MANAGER BREWIN DOLPHIN
ANALYST EY (ERNST & YOUNG)
RISK REGULATOR AECOM
FINANCIAL CONSULTANT JDX CONSULTING
FINANCE GRADUATE ABP UK
DATA ANALYST DELOITTE
FINANCIAL ANALYST GOLDMAN SACHS


Ultimately, our BSc in Business Management will allow students to work towards a career in IB, and the advice for this will always be that a degree alone won't get you all the way. That's where we encourage things like work placements (or even a year in industry as part of a four-year course) as well as utilising our specialist career guidance team within the School of Management. Advice like this sees getting a degree such as the one that we offer is one part of a wider plan on meeting career ambitions in IB.

A big part of the ethos of the School of Management is helping students utilise their degree and build skills to work towards their own goals, rather than the degree itself being the end goal. We're always happy for any student (or prospective student) to get in touch with us to work out what that means for the individual in question.

On that note, asdasd1 we can't wait to have you with us next month!

Jamie
I mean.. case in point. There's pretty much no evidence of placement, and there won't be no matter how far back you go.

That reminds me actually, I distinctly remember trying to get the finance society there to be more engaged with investment banks - i.e getting speakers down, prepping for spring week applications.. the response I got was: "we're not good enough to get those types of jobs". completely defeatist attitudes towards even trying (and I was pretty much the only person to even try for anything).

My new uni? Had firms coming down early in term to give talks, speak with students, provide insight into the app process... there'd be firms sponsoring our societies and really getting involved with the uni. I even had a small community of people in my accommodation applying (as well as in my course and in the broader uni community via a group chat) to various schemes right alongside me. You just won't get that at Swansea.

It's not just me trying to downplay Swansea here, there is really 0 fundamental basis to consider Swansea as an option if you want to work in banking unless you believe you can pull off a herculean networking feat. Talking about the subject doesn't mean anything since the degree itself doesn't matter for getting into banking (so virtually 0 premium from studying "business") as all they're looking for is smart kids they can train up quickly.

I appreciate the effort to help OP make a decision about their university choice but for what they're trying to achieve.. they'd be better off transferring or taking a gap year to resit/reapply in order to be in an environment more conducive to their goal.

Apologies for mistakes just getting back from a networking thing after work.
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asdasd1
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Thanks everyone! after some extensive research, I've decided to go down the route of maybe business management? Would that a lucrative career or something?the degree sounds pretty broad if you ask me but I do really want to study it. The only reason why I have 2nd thoughts about Swansea is that most of the big companies are outside of Wales, i.e london or beam etc, so it would be difficult studying and getting internships :/ I want to work in london or bham after I graduate, so what do you think?
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(Original post by asdasd1)
Thanks everyone! after some extensive research, I've decided to go down the route of maybe business management? Would that a lucrative career or something?the degree sounds pretty broad if you ask me but I do really want to study it. The only reason why I have 2nd thoughts about Swansea is that most of the big companies are outside of Wales, i.e london or beam etc, so it would be difficult studying and getting internships :/ I want to work in london or bham after I graduate, so what do you think?
i still think you should transfer..

but if you're just interested in bog standard business function jobs (like working in a finance department or something) then you should be fine i suppose.
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Thanks everyone! after some extensive research, I've decided to go down the route of maybe business management? Would that a lucrative career or something?the degree sounds pretty broad if you ask me but I do really want to study it. The only reason why I have 2nd thoughts about Swansea is that most of the big companies are outside of Wales, i.e london or beam etc, so it would be difficult studying and getting internships :/ I want to work in london or bham after I graduate, so what do you think?
Hi asdasd1 - I hope all is well. Really interesting thread and I hope you're finding the discussion useful so far.

If you're really keen on studying with universities who are highly esteemed for Investment Banking careers specifically, there are many other choices to consider - check out this recent article for some additional insight.

As mentioned earlier, Swansea isn't pretending to be amongst the best of the best for Banking careers - but we do have a brilliant track record for grad careers in general, including a wide variety of successful outcomes across Business/Accounting/Finance industries.

Swansea's location is not a barrier to work opportunities and success in bigger cities, including London. Most of our Business/Finance/Economics students on their year in industry right now (approximately 100) are working outside of Swansea/Wales, and graduates will often go on to work in bigger cities across the UK (as seen in one of our previous posts).

Feel free to get in touch if you need any more information or insight. Best of luck with everything.

Gethin
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