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    (Original post by Mittalmar)
    University - St Andrews
    Modules - Economics, History and Russian.
    A Levels - English lit A History A* Maths B General Studies A*
    GCSEs A & A*s
    Extra curricula activities/work experience: Not much really...

    Would I be able to apply for internships?
    Of course you'd be able to apply for internships. Whether you'd get an interview is a different matter.
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    I dont know how to use the student room and was looking to ask for help on getting a internship at a investment bank can anyone hook me up ?
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    Oh yh and can anyone help me with what i should do as work experience and extra curricular but i want it to contribute and link to investment banking and accountancy ? What sort of stuff should i do
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    (Original post by AmjadK)
    Oh yh and can anyone help me with what i should do as work experience and extra curricular but i want it to contribute and link to investment banking and accountancy ? What sort of stuff should i do
    Well if you send me ur details Ill put in loads of applications for you, go to the AC's and get you an offer with a Bulge Bank!
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    (Original post by Ivans90)
    hi peeps, just a quick question, I am currently enrolling in the year 2011, so right now i have 8 months left before undergrad. Would it be better for my CV to serve at a temp job at KPGM, a globally recognised company or at OCBC Bank, a relatively less well known investment bank in Asia (Singapore, Hong Kong and Shanghai).

    Anyone? thanks alot in advance.
    Depends entirely on what kind of work you'd be exposed to. You can always tweak exactly what you did in your CV. However, if you can gain some experience from live transactions at OCBC I'd go with that. If the line of work is similar at both places, go with KPMG for brand-recognition.

    Either way, if you're enrolled at a target school, you'll be very well placed to get spring weeks independent of where you decide to go.
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    Obviously, mathematics in university is a distinct task on course to finance such as investment banking, etc. However, what about physics, is it a viable/suitable university course to go into investment banking as well?

    This is taking into account that I will have work experience (as I plan anyway for a summer between the years) and other such factors taken into account.
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    (Original post by Reminisce)
    Obviously, mathematics in university is a distinct task on course to finance such as investment banking, etc. However, what about physics, is it a viable/suitable university course to go into investment banking as well?

    This is taking into account that I will have work experience (as I plan anyway for a summer between the years) and other such factors taken into account.
    In the eyes of HR at banks, Physics is roughly equivalent to Mathematics.
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    Hey guys, I'm a bit lost here..

    ..I'd like to apply to internships for this summer. I'm in my second year of Economics at Nottingham Uni with a 2.1 from first year. I have work experience at a small IT firm but nothing along the line of past financial experience, positions of responsibility in clubs/societies etc.

    I'm not really sure about which banks are the most competitive, let alone which positions within these banks are best to apply for.

    I guess my question is whether its realistic that I can get a banking internship this summer, I'm looking to avoid assurance/tax and all that malarkey.

    I know the deadlines are looming, but I'm home from uni so have time to dedicate to this. Had a quick look at the Barclays Capital application and have no idea where to start answering their competency questions..obviously I need to research but I can't help feeling everyone (most people on this thread at least) are 10x better clued up on everything about this!

    Cheeeeers
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    (Original post by talkinghead)
    Hey guys, I'm a bit lost here..

    ..I'd like to apply to internships for this summer. I'm in my second year of Economics at Nottingham Uni with a 2.1 from first year. I have work experience at a small IT firm but nothing along the line of past financial experience, positions of responsibility in clubs/societies etc.

    I'm not really sure about which banks are the most competitive, let alone which positions within these banks are best to apply for.

    I guess my question is whether its realistic that I can get a banking internship this summer, I'm looking to avoid assurance/tax and all that malarkey.

    I know the deadlines are looming, but I'm home from uni so have time to dedicate to this. Had a quick look at the Barclays Capital application and have no idea where to start answering their competency questions..obviously I need to research but I can't help feeling everyone (most people on this thread at least) are 10x better clued up on everything about this!

    Cheeeeers
    For the competency questions imagine that you can see 10,000 applications and think about what you can write that can make you stand out to the recruiters - apply yourself to the role!
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    (Original post by talkinghead)
    Hey guys, I'm a bit lost here..

    ..I'd like to apply to internships for this summer. I'm in my second year of Economics at Nottingham Uni with a 2.1 from first year. I have work experience at a small IT firm but nothing along the line of past financial experience, positions of responsibility in clubs/societies etc.

    I'm not really sure about which banks are the most competitive, let alone which positions within these banks are best to apply for.

    I guess my question is whether its realistic that I can get a banking internship this summer, I'm looking to avoid assurance/tax and all that malarkey.

    I know the deadlines are looming, but I'm home from uni so have time to dedicate to this. Had a quick look at the Barclays Capital application and have no idea where to start answering their competency questions..obviously I need to research but I can't help feeling everyone (most people on this thread at least) are 10x better clued up on everything about this!

    Cheeeeers
    I'm in a very similar position to you. Been very busy at uni this term and finally at home, I want to apply for some internships. I'm not expecting much - whatever I can get would be great because I know I'm 10 times worse than the average applicant applying.

    I would also appreciate any advice from anyone.
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    I bet most places recruit as they get applications so I have even less of a chance :sigh:
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    (Original post by sil3nt_cha0s)
    I bet most places recruit as they get applications so I have even less of a chance :sigh:
    You have even less chance if you don't apply at all
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    New to TSR just wanted to return to alter the original question to: Is this a good route to get into investment banking?

    GCSE's: 7A*s, 3A's, 2B's (A* in Maths, Both English Lit and Lang, Chemistry, Physics, Religious Philosophy, PE)

    AS Levels (Predicted) : Maths A, F Maths A, Chemistry A, Biology A, Economics A
    Hopefully carry all but Chemistry to A2 will A*/A in all.

    Was considering doing the A level Trainee route into Accountancy (PwC or KPMG)in Audit and gaining ACCA, proffesional experience and 42k salary at 21. Then move into corporate finance department (Mid market IBanking). MBA at decent university (even without undergraduate degree but proffesional experience and good grades). Then move into IBanking. Realistic????
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    (Original post by S. Bijura)
    New to TSR just wanted to return to alter the original question to: Is this a good route to get into investment banking?

    GCSE's: 7A*s, 3A's, 2B's (A* in Maths, Both English Lit and Lang, Chemistry, Physics, Religious Philosophy, PE)

    AS Levels (Predicted) : Maths A, F Maths A, Chemistry A, Biology A, Economics A
    Hopefully carry all but Chemistry to A2 will A*/A in all.

    Was considering doing the A level Trainee route into Accountancy (PwC or KPMG)in Audit and gaining ACCA, proffesional experience and 42k salary at 21. Then move into corporate finance department (Mid market IBanking). MBA at decent university (even without undergraduate degree but proffesional experience and good grades). Then move into IBanking. Realistic????
    S.Bijura. Others may have a different view and I am not 100% on this, but in my opinion a uni degree is critical. Perhaps its simply a stigma, but I would be a little concerned about someone without a good BA under their belts. I'd want to know why they didn't do a uni degree. Of course, you will have had to have gotten into one of the good universities (I wrote another post on how to think about this under http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/show...16188&page=379.). It's much harder getting in if you end up at one of the 'worse' universities of course and then, perhaps, your accountancy approach may make sense.

    If you take the accountancy route, you have to make sure you do well to subsequently be able to out-compete the undergrad applicants - especially given the banker reading your CV wouldn't have a uni grade to rely on. It's also worth noting that accountancy is not viewed as nearly on par with IB or consulting. At my old uni, those that couldn't get into the latter two would do accounting as a layover and then re-apply to banking a few years later.... and everyone (including bankers who subsequently review their later submissions) knew this.

    I'd also raise doubts about your MBA aspirations. The most valuable learnings from an MBA vis-a-vis banking is the chance to forge contacts in the industry. As such, MBAs are primarily valuable if they are from leading schools. In europe, the one that springs to mind is INSEAD. The rest are in the US. But they're all very expensive. Will you have the money to fund it?

    Overall, if you're not confident in the uni-route, then do the accountancy path. But then, consider whether or not you really need the MBA. It may make sense to just excel as an accountant and then try applying directly into IB from there as an experienced hire. Accountants usually have a decent shot at research (for example).

    This is potentially a substantial choice you are making in your career direction. Why not call up the bank HRs and see what they think and if their hiring policies would preclude or disadvantage you given your preferred path. The best banks in the city usually lead the way on such matters... I'd suggest you call...
    Goldmans, Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan, Citi. If you get negative feedback call some of the smaller boutiques too - they may have a different policy... E.g. Exane, Evolution Securities.

    Thanks and good luck,

    P
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    (Original post by talkinghead)
    Hey guys, I'm a bit lost here..

    ..I'd like to apply to internships for this summer. I'm in my second year of Economics at Nottingham Uni with a 2.1 from first year. I have work experience at a small IT firm but nothing along the line of past financial experience, positions of responsibility in clubs/societies etc.

    I'm not really sure about which banks are the most competitive, let alone which positions within these banks are best to apply for.

    I guess my question is whether its realistic that I can get a banking internship this summer, I'm looking to avoid assurance/tax and all that malarkey.

    I know the deadlines are looming, but I'm home from uni so have time to dedicate to this. Had a quick look at the Barclays Capital application and have no idea where to start answering their competency questions..obviously I need to research but I can't help feeling everyone (most people on this thread at least) are 10x better clued up on everything about this!

    Cheeeeers
    Talkinghead... that's certainly tricky. It's definitely worth applying for the jobs - even if it's late and you haven't done your background research. After all, if you don't apply your chances of success are 0%. Moveover, banks hire like 90% of their 1st year intake via the internship programme. If you miss the boat, it will be much harder to get a job as a graduate (especially in the current economic climate). If you apply you at least have a shot. If you get rejected at application stage, don't worry about it, it wont count against you much at all if you reapply next year.

    You should also not downplay your positives. Economics is an attractive (if not the most preferred) course for banks (along with maths / physics probably). A 2:1 is good and Nottingham isn’t bad.

    WITH REGARDS YOUR COMPETENCIES / OR CONCERNS ABOUT A LACK THEREOF
    Don’t worry too much about not being part of any societies or lack of past financial experience. Both help, but neither are silver bullets that guarantee you an interview. By the same token, not having them does not preclude you from an interview. The reviewer is looking for something that looks interesting and points to your potential. It needs to be relevant, professional and just eye-catching and just differentiated enough from the rest of the apps to make him want to invite you for an interview. Once he meets you, he’ll then decide on his genuine feel for your competencies.

    The usual format of competency based questions are stuff like ‘give an example of a time you xxx’ (e.g. showed teamwork skills). I assume this is what you are struggling with.

    The first stage to answering these questions is to think about defining the competency. E.g. for teamwork – this involves supporting your colleagues (e.g. covering someone who’s ill), going the extra-mile for the team goal (e.g. working late or helping someone with a task), being communicative with your team (e.g. providing notification of roadblocks to progress to your boss so he can plan appropriately), having an ownership mentality of the team deliverable (e.g. speaking up in meetings to help the team succeed and maybe changing their opinions). Note also, that your example does not need to demonstrate all of these above skills. Though there are templates in place at some banks to assess answers across a range of criteria, generally speaking, the banker reviewing your app will grade it based on his gut feel of how good an answer he thinks it was.

    Then you should think about an example from your past experiences that reflects the above points in part or in whole. You’ll be surprised how much ‘team work’ stuff you do without realizing it. Maybe you worked in a team for a course assignment. Maybe you worked with your course mates to study for an exam. Your work experience in the IT company could actually provide a raft of examples. Alternatively, did you take a gap year or go on an extended holiday with a group of friends. Something may have happened on holiday to help. Draw on whatever past professional or personal experiences you think demonstrate this ability. We understand that most students don’t have a wealth of experience behind them when applying. The example is actually more interesting insofar as it demonstrates how that student thinks about this particular competency (e.g. teamwork).

    Finally, put pen to paper and start writing. Keep your sentences short and to the point. Avoid flowery language. Avoid blatant use of buzzwords / phrases (e.g. ‘I provided active upwards feedback to the boss’). If you wouldn’t talk like that in an interview, don’t write like that on the form . Also, a lot of books on writing answers for these sorts of questions suggest you insert ‘power phrases’ like ‘succeeded’, ‘completed’, ‘accomplished’. I agree with the concept, but disagree with that approach. I think it can muddy the flow of your prose by trying to build your description around this sort of thing. Develop a clear view in your mind on what happened. Identify the positives of that event. Write those down in bullet point form. Then, think about how you want to write it in full sentences. By having a clear, positive mental image in your mind of the event, the ‘power words’ will naturally creep into the descriptions. Then once you're done writing it, do a re-read and see where you can refine it.

    WITH REGARDS THE BEST NAMES IN BANKS
    It varies by asset class and division. By and large, the top tier banks are:
    Goldman Sachs
    Morgan Stanley
    JP Morgan
    Bank of America Merrill Lynch
    Citi
    Credit Suisse

    Coming up just behind:
    Barclays Capital. Its equity division is growing but relatively new. It is a recognised leader in fixed income

    Then:
    BNP Paribas (maybe they should be in the above category, open for debate)
    RBS - yes they're distressed like hell. But they are very good in certain areas

    Finally
    UBS (in their hay day they were excellent. Not sure about now)
    Nomura


    IN TERMS OF WHAT TO APPLY FOR
    Below I breakdown the banks and subsequently, the sorts of roles in each part / division of the bank…

    Banks split in half. Into capital markets and corporate finance.
    1. Capital markets (CM) is mostly concerned with efficient capital allocation. Basically, they're the guys you hear about that drive the FTSE or S&P or DJIA. They tend to be more based on what's happening in the 'now'. They track the latest news flow and set / move prices of different assets (such as equities (think stocks and shares), debt (that's fixed income), currencies (like GBPUSD) and commodities (like metal and oil). Activities in the CM tend to be fast-paced and time-sensitive. Payouts can be massive.

    2. Corporate finance (CF) is about financial advisory services. They're the guys that facilitate big Mergers and acquisitions. They provide advice to companies that need to raise money and they also help companies that need to restructure themselves. Their work is a lot more project-orientated. That is to say, that while a trader will broadly keep on having to make new trades every day, the CFers will work on a single deal for weeks to a couple of months, building towards an end goal. Then they will move on to the next. Activities in CF tend to be more elongated (vs. the fast pace of the cap mrkts), with bankers building and updating models for a few days and continually throughout a project, writing presentations, getting comparables, managing the other agents in the deal (i.e. the lawyers, accountants, consultants) and attending client meetings

    BREAKDOWN OF CAP MARKETS
    Cap markets can be devolved into (roughly) 3 parts.
    Sales -> these guys liaise with institutional investors (e.g. fund managers) and keep them abreast of the latest views from their investment bank and any breaking price sensitive news. They are the relationship guys. They spend most of their time talking to people. Either the bank's research team, the traders or their own clients. In return for providing a good service to clients they are remunerated through a share of commissions from trades that go through the bank

    Trading -> These guys are the real bosses in the bank. They take on and manage risk (which is ultimately what banks are about). If a client wants to offload (sell), say 50M shares in LLoyds, then that client will call sales and sales will put them through to trading. The trader will then buy those 50M shares at a pre-specified price from the client. Now the trader is long (i.e. he is holding) 50M shares in LLoyds. He may choose to sell those shares into the market without effecting the price (what's known as 'working the trade') or he may hold onto the shares for a while - gambling that the price will go up. If he's right, he'll make a wad of cash and his bonus will reflect this. Conversely if he's wrong, he'll lose a load of cash. (hence my point earlier that they take on and manage risk). For traders, it's about the rush of trading (e.g. being right and making a killing when everyone else didn't) and having self-discipline (e.g. holding your nerve when the market is turning against you). It’s also about being at the cutting edge of the newsflow and being able to make profit from your interpretations of the impacts of that news. You need to be able to make fast decisions. You need to have reasonable mathematical skills too such that the bank knows you are comfortable with numbers (note that this does not mean you need to be a mathmo) . Team work is important, but is a slightly misused term. You do have to help your colleagues and support them and offer them guidance, but you are primarily left to your own devices to make your own trades and drive your own P&L. So it's not true-blue teamwork (though don't tell them this in the interview)

    Research -> There are many different types of researchers. I will talk about equity research stock analysts here (but the others all do similar things)… Generally speaking they are the analytical guys. They like to think of themselves as as the 'brain' of the cap markets division. They look at the stocks they cover and issue recommendations to in-house traders to buy / hold / sell the shares. Of course the traders can ultimately do what they want – the researchers tend to have 3 month timeframes on their stock calls (though officially the timeframe is 1 year), while the traders have intra-day or intra-week trading horizons. They also work closely with sales to advise clients of the bank on the expected impact of the latest news. Research tends to be a 60:40 mix of stock analysis and client calls / meetings. People who do research are usually analytical and like to think relatively deeply before making decisions. They enjoy being at the cutting edge of the newsflow, but may also enjoy the relative advantage they have of also being ahead of the market itself (they often receive non-public info or the market is reliant on them to provide an interpretation of breaking news). Note that in many institutions, it is not possible to enter research as an undergrad.

    BREAKDOWN OF CORPORATE FINANCE
    To keep it simple, let’s talk about two parts:
    Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) -> unlike the markets side, the activities in corporate finance look very similar to each other for the purposes of job applications. In essence, they work in teams (say 4-6 bankers). They will advise clients on deals that have major financial implications for those clients. The most commonly heard of deal types are mergers and acquisitions. Let’s consider the deal process for an acquisition. Company A is buying company B. The bankers will be engaged by company A to advise on the acquisition of company B. This will include (1) a review of the target’s strategy (2) a financial forecast (3) a financial valuation (how much is the company worth) and (4) a process review (to name but a few activities). They will also support company A in its negotiations with company B. An acquisition is a big thing, usually strategy consultants, lawyers and accountants are also engaged. The bankers tend to act as the coordinator and hub for their activities. The team will likely be composed of an analyst or two, an associate, senior associate, VP and an MD. The juniors (analysts / associates) will be responsible for the modeling of the company and updating presentations. The more senior members will be responsible for client relations and managing the other agents (consultants etc) in the deal. M&Aers tend to enjoy project / goal orientated work. They act as a true team (vs. the trader version of teamwork), each person is working on something that ultimately feeds into a final deliverable. They support each other and have team meetings etc to discuss the deal. They tend to be meticulous and detail orientated, while also being able to see the big picture of the deal. They also often claim to get a buzz out of working on a deal that only a handful of people in the world know about until it is made public. They work like dogs!!! and though lavishly compensated, aren’t often paid as much as traders in spite of working longer hours. But, in terms of exit options, M&Aers have it best – being attractive to other parts of the IB (sales, research), but also the buyside (PE, event driven hedge funds) and other industries (e.g. consulting).

    Debt capital markets / equity capital markets -> these guys are responsible for raising money for companies via the capital markets. They work in what is called the ‘primary markets’. I.e. they help companies issue debt or issue equity that doesn’t exist (Note that once it exists, it can be traded. Assets that have been issued and are bought and sold are said to trade on the ‘secondary markets’). So, say, I’m company X. I want to raise debt to fund an ambitious expansion plan. I would contact, say, Goldman’s debt capital markets team and ask them to help me do this. Then the DCM team will work with me to determine how much debt I can raise, how that debt should be structured (is it senior, mezz, sub debt and how much of each tranche) and then help me identify buyers. E/DCM bankers tend to have similar traits to M&A bankers, though, arguably there’s a greater focus on selling the company to prospective investors to help it raise the money it needs. As a result, they *may* travel slightly more frequently at the junior level than the M&Aers

    WHAT ELSE YOU CAN DO
    There are a range of follow up activities you can engage in to accelerate the application writing process and that will notably improve your chances. But I will send them to you via a private email.

    Cheers,

    P
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    (Original post by pauln182)
    Talkinghead... that's certainly tricky. It's definitely worth applying for the jobs - even if it's late and you haven't done your background research. After all, if you don't apply your chances of success are 0%. Moveover, banks hire like 90% of their 1st year intake via the internship programme. If you miss the boat, it will be much harder to get a job as a graduate (especially in the current economic climate). If you apply you at least have a shot. If you get rejected at application stage, don't worry about it, it wont count against you much at all if you reapply next year.

    You should also not downplay your positives. Economics is an attractive (if not the most preferred) course for banks (along with maths / physics probably). A 2:1 is good and Nottingham isn’t bad.

    WITH REGARDS YOUR COMPETENCIES / OR CONCERNS ABOUT A LACK THEREOF
    Don’t worry too much about not being part of any societies or lack of past financial experience. Both help, but neither are silver bullets that guarantee you an interview.
    By the same token, not having them does not preclude you from an interview. The reviewer is looking for something that looks interesting and points to your potential. It needs to be relevant, professional and just eye-catching and just differentiated enough from the rest of the apps to make him want to invite you for an interview. Once he meets you, he’ll then decide on his genuine feel for your competencies.

    The usual format of competency based questions are stuff like ‘give an example of a time you xxx’ (e.g. showed teamwork skills). I assume this is what you are struggling with.

    The first stage to answering these questions is to think about defining the competency. E.g. for teamwork – this involves supporting your colleagues (e.g. covering someone who’s ill), going the extra-mile for the team goal (e.g. working late or helping someone with a task), being communicative with your team (e.g. providing notification of roadblocks to progress to your boss so he can plan appropriately), having an
    ownership mentality of the team deliverable (e.g. speaking up in meetings to help the team succeed and maybe changing their opinions). Note also, that your example does not need to demonstrate all of these above skills. Though there are templates in place at some banks to assess answers across a range of criteria, generally speaking, the banker reviewing your app will grade it based on his gut feel of how good an answer he thinks it was.

    Then you should think about an example from your past experiences that reflects the above points in part or in whole. You’ll be surprised how much ‘team work’ stuff you do without realizing it. Maybe you worked in a team for a course assignment. Maybe you worked with your course mates to study for an exam. Your work experience in the IT company could actually provide a raft of examples. Alternatively, did you take a gap year or go on an extended holiday with a group of friends. Something may have happened on holiday to help. Draw on whatever past professional or personal experiences you think demonstrate this ability. We understand that most students
    don’t have a wealth of experience behind them when applying. The example is actually more interesting insofar as it demonstrates how that student thinks about this particular competency (e.g. teamwork).

    Finally, put pen to paper and start writing. Keep your sentences short and to the point. Avoid flowery language. Avoid blatant use of buzzwords / phrases (e.g. ‘I provided active upwards feedback to the boss’). If you wouldn’t talk like that in an interview, don’t write like that on the form . Also, a lot of books on writing answers for these sorts of questions suggest you insert ‘power phrases’ like ‘succeeded’,
    ‘completed’, ‘accomplished’. I agree with the concept, but disagree with that approach. I think it can muddy the flow of your prose by trying to build your description around this sort of thing. Develop a clear view in your mind on what happened. Identify the positives of that event. Write those down in bullet point form. Then, think about how you want to write it in full sentences. By having a clear, positive mental image in your mind of the event, the ‘power words’ will naturally creep into the descriptions. Then once you're done writing it, do a re-read and see where you can refine it.

    WITH REGARDS THE BEST NAMES IN BANKS
    It varies by asset class and division. By and large, the top tier banks are:
    Goldman Sachs
    Morgan Stanley
    JP Morgan
    Bank of America Merrill Lynch
    Citi
    Credit Suisse

    Coming up just behind:
    Barclays Capital. Its equity division is growing but relatively new. It is a recognised leader in fixed income

    Then:
    BNP Paribas (maybe they should be in the above category, open for debate)
    RBS - yes they're distressed like hell. But they are very good in certain areas

    Finally
    UBS (in their hay day they were excellent. Not sure about now)
    Nomura


    IN TERMS OF WHAT TO APPLY FOR
    Below I breakdown the banks and subsequently, the sorts of roles in each part / division of the bank…

    Banks split in half. Into capital markets and corporate finance.
    1. Capital markets (CM) is mostly concerned with efficient capital allocation. Basically, they're the guys you hear about that drive the FTSE or S&P or DJIA. They tend to be more based on what's happening in the 'now'. They track the latest news flow and / move prices of different assets (such as equities (think stocks and shares), debt (that's
    fixed income), currencies (like GBPUSD) and commodities (like metal and oil). Activities in the CM tend to be fast-paced and time-sensitive. Payouts can be massive.

    2. Corporate finance (CF) is about financial advisory services. They're the guys that facilitate big Mergers and acquisitions. They provide advice to companies that need to raise money and they also help companies that need to restructure themselves. Their work is a lot more project-orientated. That is to say, that while a trader will broadly keep on having to make new trades every day, the CFers will work on a single deal for weeks to a couple of months, building towards an end goal. Then they will move on to the next. Activities in CF tend to be more elongated (vs. the fast pace of the cap mrkts), with bankers building and updating models for a few days and continually throughout a project, writing presentations, getting comparables, managing the other agents in the deal (i.e. the lawyers, accountants, consultants) and attending client meetings

    BREAKDOWN OF CAP MARKETS
    Cap markets can be devolved into (roughly) 3 parts.
    Sales -> these guys liaise with institutional investors (e.g. fund managers) and keep them abreast of the latest views from their investment bank and any breaking price sensitive news. They are the relationship guys. They spend most of their time talking to people. Either the bank's research team, the traders or their own clients. In return for providing a good service to clients they are remunerated through a share of commissions from trades that go through the bank

    Trading -> These guys are the real bosses in the bank. They take on and manage risk (which is ultimately what banks are about). If a client wants to offload (sell), say 50M shares in LLoyds, then that client will call sales and sales will put them through to
    trading. The trader will then buy those 50M shares at a pre-specified price from the client. Now the trader is long (i.e. he is holding) 50M shares in LLoyds. He may choose to sell those shares into the market without effecting the price (what's known as 'working the trade') or he may hold onto the shares for a while - gambling that the price will go up. If he's right, he'll make a wad of cash and his bonus will reflect this. Conversely if he's wrong, he'll lose a load of cash. (hence my point earlier that they take on and manage risk). For traders, it's about the rush of trading (e.g. being right and making a killing when everyone else didn't) and having self-discipline (e.g. holding your nerve when the market is turning against you). It’s also about being at the cutting edge of the newsflow and being able to make profit from your interpretations of the impacts of that news. You need to be able to make fast decisions. You need to have reasonable mathematical skills too such that the bank knows you are comfortable with numbers (note that this does not mean you need to be a mathmo) . Team work is important, but is a slightly misused term. You do have to help your colleagues and
    support them and offer them guidance, but you are primarily left to your own devices to make your own trades and drive your own P&L. So it's not true-blue teamwork (though don't tell them this in the interview)

    Research -> There are many different types of researchers. I will talk about equity research stock analysts here (but the others all do similar things)… Generally speaking they are the analytical guys. They like to think of themselves as as the 'brain' of the cap markets division. They look at the stocks they cover and issue recommendations to in-house traders to buy / hold / sell the shares. Of course the traders can ultimately do what they want – the researchers tend to have 3 month timeframes on their stock calls (though officially the timeframe is 1 year), while the traders have intra-day or intra-week trading horizons. They also work closely with sales to advise clients of the bank on the expected impact of the latest news. Research tends to be a 60:40 mix of stock analysis and client calls / meetings. People who do research are usually
    analytical and like to think relatively deeply before making decisions. They enjoy being at the cutting edge of the newsflow, but may also enjoy the relative advantage they have of also being ahead of the market itself (they often receive non-public info or the market is reliant on them to provide an interpretation of breaking news). Note that in many institutions, it is not possible to enter research as an undergrad.

    BREAKDOWN OF CORPORATE FINANCE
    To keep it simple, let’s talk about two parts:
    Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) -> unlike the markets side, the activities in corporate finance look very similar to each other for the purposes of job applications. In essence, they work in teams (say 4-6 bankers). They will advise clients on deals that have major financial implications for those clients. The most commonly heard of deal types are mergers and acquisitions. Let’s consider the deal process for an acquisition. Company A is buying company B. The bankers will be engaged by company A to advise on the acquisition of company B. This will include (1) a review of the target’s strategy (2) a financial forecast (3) a financial valuation (how much is the company worth) and (4) a process review (to name but a few activities). They will also support company A in its negotiations with company B. An acquisition is a big thing, usually strategy consultants, lawyers and accountants are also engaged. The bankers tend to act as the coordinator and hub for their activities. The team will likely be composed of an analyst
    or two, an associate, senior associate, VP and an MD. The juniors (analysts / associates) will be responsible for the modeling of the company and updating presentations. The more senior members will be responsible for client relations and managing the other agents (consultants etc) in the deal. M&Aers tend to enjoy project / goal orientated work. They act as a true team (vs. the trader version of teamwork), each person is working on something that ultimately feeds into a final deliverable. They support each other and have team meetings etc to discuss the deal. They tend to be meticulous and detail orientated, while also being able to see the big picture of the deal. They also often claim to get a buzz out of working on a deal that only a handful of people in the world know about until it is made public. They work like dogs!!! and
    though lavishly compensated, aren’t often paid as much as traders in spite of working longer hours. But, in terms of exit options, M&Aers have it best – being attractive to other parts of the IB (sales, research), but also the buyside (PE, event driven hedge funds) and other industries (e.g. consulting).

    Debt capital markets / equity capital markets -> these guys are responsible for raising money for companies via the capital markets. They work in what is called the ‘primary markets’. I.e. they help companies issue debt or issue equity that doesn’t exist (Note that once it exists, it can be traded. Assets that have been issued and are bought and sold are said to trade on the ‘secondary markets’). So, say, I’m company X. I want to raise debt to fund an ambitious expansion plan. I would contact, say, Goldman’s debt capital markets team and ask them to help me do this. Then the DCM team will work with me to determine how much debt I can raise, how that debt should be structured (is it senior, mezz, sub debt and how much of each tranche) and then help me identify buyers. E/DCM bankers tend to have similar traits to M&A bankers, though, arguably
    there’s a greater focus on selling the company to prospective investors to help it raise the money it needs. As a result, they *may* travel slightly more frequently at the junior level than the M&Aers

    WHAT ELSE YOU CAN DO
    There are a range of follow up activities you can engage in to accelerate the application writing process and that will notably improve your chances. But I will send them to you via a private email.

    Cheers,

    P

    Hey thanks for this post- I found it extremely interesting. I am currently in my final year of A levels and am hoping to start a degree in Biochemistry at Bristol University. In future if I was hoping to work in banking, what would be the likelihood of a firm taking on a graduate with such a degree? I understand that recruiters show great interest in individuals studying more quantitative degrees so I would have imagined that my subject would limit my chances. Thanks in advance.
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    At last i've found a decent thread on investment banking!

    well here goes nothing:
    GCSE's: 2A*, 8A & B
    AS: AAAB (economics, physics, chemistry and maths respectively)
    A2:A*AA (econ, chem and maths respectively

    Uni choices
    LSE - BSc Management
    King's - BSc Managemenet
    Cass, City - BSc Management - offer AAB
    Cass, City - BSc Banking and International Finance - offer AAB

    Im 95% sure im going to take the Cass Banking offer

    so with this in mind, what's your perspective on my chances in a front office/corp finance role?

    Cheers!
    Offline

    0
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    (Original post by viksta1000)
    At last i've found a decent thread on investment banking!

    well here goes nothing:
    GCSE's: 2A*, 8A & B
    AS: AAAB (economics, physics, chemistry and maths respectively)
    A2:A*AA (econ, chem and maths respectively

    Uni choices
    LSE - BSc Management
    King's - BSc Managemenet
    Cass, City - BSc Management - offer AAB
    Cass, City - BSc Banking and International Finance - offer AAB

    Im 95% sure im going to take the Cass Banking offer

    so with this in mind, what's your perspective on my chances in a front office/corp finance role?

    Cheers!
    Would take LSE in your position
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    Hey I'm a international student from Thailand. I'm holding an Engineering degree. Do you think I have a chance to get hired in this field?
    ________________________________ ________________________________ ___

    Background
    UCL - BEng Chemical Engineering :1st class honours, Dean's List

    U of Cambridge - MPhil in Advanced Chemical Engineering : Pending

    ABSOLUTELY NO WORK EXPERIENCE FROM ANY FIELD...
    ________________________________ ________________________________ ___

    I'm in a bit of disadvantage position...being international and no work exp. I can apply for post grad work visa which allows me to work for 2 years...but still should be quite hard to secure a job. What are u guys' words of advice? Thank you so much guys!
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    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by viksta1000)
    At last i've found a decent thread on investment banking!

    well here goes nothing:
    GCSE's: 2A*, 8A & B
    AS: AAAB (economics, physics, chemistry and maths respectively)
    A2:A*AA (econ, chem and maths respectively

    Uni choices
    LSE - BSc Management
    King's - BSc Managemenet
    Cass, City - BSc Management - offer AAB
    Cass, City - BSc Banking and International Finance - offer AAB

    Im 95% sure im going to take the Cass Banking offer

    so with this in mind, what's your perspective on my chances in a front office/corp finance role?

    Cheers!
    Why would you not take LSE if you get the offer?
 
 
 
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