Opinions on job prospects within the financial sector

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Ilie746
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Hi everyone!

I am not sure if this is the right forum for such a question, but just wanted to know your opinions on what would you do in my place?
Lately, I've been feeling increasingly concerned about my job prospects for some reason, probably overthinking but I would just like to get your opinions.

I am currently a first-year undergraduate at Nottingham Trent University, studying BA(Hons) Business Management and Entrepreneurship. However, I am considering changing my course to B. Management and Economics in my second year. I am also highly confident that I would be able to secure a 2:1. I am potentially interested in going into the financial industry, perhaps start a business venture later in life.

Although Nottingham Business School is within the top 50 in League Tables for my subject, double accredited with some of the highest accreditations among business schools, an employment rate of 95% and top 10 in the UK for year-long placements, how likely are you to get a job when going for a mid-sized investment firm/bank against someone from a Russel Group University?

I know that Russel groups are more appealing to employers and whatnot and that the finance industry is competitive, but would not attending a top university affect my job prospects within the finance industry? Is NTU regarded as a respected university for this particular industry?

I have considered transferring to a more 'prestigious' university such as a Russel Group but the 'Cons' outweigh my 'Pros' so I will probably ride it out and make the most of it. But just want to know what are the odds?

Anyone with experience within the industry please let me know your opinion and what advice would you give to someone like me. Your contribution is highly appreciated.
Last edited by Ilie746; 1 month ago
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MatureStudent37
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(Original post by Ilie746)
Hi everyone!

I am not sure if this is the right forum for such a question, but just wanted to know your opinions on what would you do in my place?
Lately, I've been feeling increasingly concerned about my job prospects for some reason, probably overthinking but I would just like to get your opinions.

I am currently a first-year undergraduate at Nottingham Trent University, studying BA(Hons) Business Management and Entrepreneurship. However, I am considering changing my course to B. Management and Economics in my second year. I am also highly confident that I would be able to secure a 2:1. I am potentially interested in going into the financial industry, perhaps start a business venture later in life.

Although Nottingham Business School is within the top 50 in League Tables for my subject, double accredited with some of the highest accreditations among business schools, an employment rate of 95% and top 10 in the UK for year-long placements, how likely are you to get a job when going for a mid-sized investment firm/bank against someone from a Russel Group University?

I know that Russel groups are more appealing to employers and whatnot and that the finance industry is competitive, but would not attending a top university affect my job prospects within the finance industry? Is NTU regarded as a respected university for this particular industry?

I have considered transferring to a more 'prestigious' university such as a Russel Group but the 'Cons' outweigh my 'Pros' so I will probably ride it out and make the most of it. But just want to know what are the odds?

Anyone with experience within the industry please let me know your opinion and what advice would you give to someone like me. Your contribution is highly appreciated.
I have a friend that went to a non Russel group university to study economics.

The big company’s wouldn’t touch him. So he went off to work for a smaller firm. Whilst he was at that smaller firm he ended up doing his chartered accountancy exams. Because he worked diligently he did very well.

He then moved onto a larger coming and the did some more professional qualifications. Again, did very well and moved to a larger company.

I don’t really keep track on his career. He’s a mate. I always thought he shuffled paper around and added some numbers up.

He moved jobs a few years back. The FT did a half page spread on him as he was filling averaging position in one of the big banks in london. He now retires at 50.

I now realise why there was so many people brown nosing him when I’d meet up for a drink with him after work offering to buy him drinks.

I also used to go out with a girl who wanted to be a lawyer. She lived in london but couldn’t get articled with the big london law firms. She’s been working as a para legal for several years hoping to get articled.

She left London, became a paralegal in another firm. They articled her and she’s now a big lawyer earning loads and loads of money. Naturally she left me before she hit the big time.

Both of them didn’t do their repaint training at Russel group universities. Both hit their foot in the door with smaller firms and continued their training and made names for themselves that way. Both of them learnt their trade in smaller firms and became big fish in small ponds, rather than small fish in big ponds.

Both of them regularly go out of their way to punish these bigger firms in their own way, and both of them give a hard time to people who are gone to the best universities and learnt their trade in the larger companies.

The moral of the story. Is you can be as successful as you want to be. Going to the best university and going to work for the biggest, best known firms doesn’t make a difference.
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MatureStudent37
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(Original post by Ilie746)
Hi everyone!

I am not sure if this is the right forum for such a question, but just wanted to know your opinions on what would you do in my place?
Lately, I've been feeling increasingly concerned about my job prospects for some reason, probably overthinking but I would just like to get your opinions.

I am currently a first-year undergraduate at Nottingham Trent University, studying BA(Hons) Business Management and Entrepreneurship. However, I am considering changing my course to B. Management and Economics in my second year. I am also highly confident that I would be able to secure a 2:1. I am potentially interested in going into the financial industry, perhaps start a business venture later in life.

Although Nottingham Business School is within the top 50 in League Tables for my subject, double accredited with some of the highest accreditations among business schools, an employment rate of 95% and top 10 in the UK for year-long placements, how likely are you to get a job when going for a mid-sized investment firm/bank against someone from a Russel Group University?

I know that Russel groups are more appealing to employers and whatnot and that the finance industry is competitive, but would not attending a top university affect my job prospects within the finance industry? Is NTU regarded as a respected university for this particular industry?

I have considered transferring to a more 'prestigious' university such as a Russel Group but the 'Cons' outweigh my 'Pros' so I will probably ride it out and make the most of it. But just want to know what are the odds?

Anyone with experience within the industry please let me know your opinion and what advice would you give to someone like me. Your contribution is highly appreciated.
Story of two people. One’s a good friend. One’s an ex.

Good friend story. Went off to non Russel group university to study economics. Non of the big firms would touch him. Went to work for a smaller firm. Hit his chartered accountancy exams. Moved to a larger company. Did further professional qualifications. Did well in those as well. Moved to a bigger company. Made a proper name for himself. Changed jobs a few years back resulting in a half page article in the FT as he took over the running of a division of one of the big banks in london. Due to retire at 50 now as he’s had enough.

Ex girlfriend. Did a law degree at a non tussle group university. Moved to london to get a job with some of the large law firms as a paralegal in order to get articled. Couldn’t get articled. Left london. Got a job as a paralegal with a smaller law firm. Got articled quite quickly. Now is a very successful lawyer.

You’re degree and your university get you a foot in the door. Larger business get inundated with applications and have very little to go off with a graduate so will go off degree and university only.

A big fish in a small pond can make the leap to a bigger pond. A small fish in a big pond struggles to survive in the big pond and often will struggle in the smaller pond.

Degrees mean very little in the real world. Even less than the university.

Hey hit foot in with a smaller firm and continue your studying.
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Ilie746
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(Original post by MatureStudent37)
I have a friend that went to a non Russel group university to study economics.

The big company’s wouldn’t touch him. So he went off to work for a smaller firm. Whilst he was at that smaller firm he ended up doing his chartered accountancy exams. Because he worked diligently he did very well.

He then moved onto a larger coming and the did some more professional qualifications. Again, did very well and moved to a larger company.

I don’t really keep track on his career. He’s a mate. I always thought he shuffled paper around and added some numbers up.

He moved jobs a few years back. The FT did a half page spread on him as he was filling averaging position in one of the big banks in london. He now retires at 50.

I now realise why there was so many people brown nosing him when I’d meet up for a drink with him after work offering to buy him drinks.

I also used to go out with a girl who wanted to be a lawyer. She lived in london but couldn’t get articled with the big london law firms. She’s been working as a para legal for several years hoping to get articled.

She left London, became a paralegal in another firm. They articled her and she’s now a big lawyer earning loads and loads of money. Naturally she left me before she hit the big time.

Both of them didn’t do their repaint training at Russel group universities. Both hit their foot in the door with smaller firms and continued their training and made names for themselves that way. Both of them learnt their trade in smaller firms and became big fish in small ponds, rather than small fish in big ponds.

Both of them regularly go out of their way to punish these bigger firms in their own way, and both of them give a hard time to people who are gone to the best universities and learnt their trade in the larger companies.

The moral of the story. Is you can be as successful as you want to be. Going to the best university and going to work for the biggest, best known firms doesn’t make a difference.
Thank you for your opinion and time! I found it really inspiring!
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MatureStudent37
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(Original post by Ilie746)
Thank you for your opinion and time! I found it really inspiring!
No problem.

It can get daunting. You get out of this life what you out in. I went to a middle of the road university. Didn’t do particularly to well as I’m not an academic. Surprisingly, I’ve done relatively well compared to by peers.

When it comes to graduate recruitment. My wife who was a recruiter told me she hated it. With the best will i the world, a 21 year old graduate hasn’t done anything with their life. Being a member of a club, or having had a part time job may differentiate you in interviews. As a result they look at the university, the results and possibly the A level/ highers results.

I would strongly recommend an industrial placement on your course. That gives the interviewer a chance to properly interview. Tell me about this? Tell me about that? How did you deal with this problem?

Are you after anymore advice?
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Ilie746
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(Original post by MatureStudent37)
No problem.

It can get daunting. You get out of this life what you out in. I went to a middle of the road university. Didn’t do particularly to well as I’m not an academic. Surprisingly, I’ve done relatively well compared to by peers.

When it comes to graduate recruitment. My wife who was a recruiter told me she hated it. With the best will i the world, a 21 year old graduate hasn’t done anything with their life. Being a member of a club, or having had a part time job may differentiate you in interviews. As a result they look at the university, the results and possibly the A level/ highers results.

I would strongly recommend an industrial placement on your course. That gives the interviewer a chance to properly interview. Tell me about this? Tell me about that? How did you deal with this problem?

Are you after anymore advice?
I am actually planning on going on a year long placement year as part of my course and hopefully do a few more internships during summers if I will be able to. Thank you very much, that was really helpful. So if you were in my place, would you recommend sticking to the chosen university and making the most of it?
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MatureStudent37
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(Original post by Ilie746)
I am actually planning on going on a year long placement year as part of my course and hopefully do a few more internships during summers if I will be able to. Thank you very much, that was really helpful. So if you were in my place, would you recommend sticking to the chosen university and making the most of it?
I can’t answer that for you I’m afraid.

Nottingham Trent doesn’t have a particularly bad reputation. It may not be in the Russell group. But there’s other factors at play. Cost, distance from home etc.

The best advice I can give is do the placements.

My other advice to you will be test university like a job. Work hard and play hard. Try and treat the course like a 9 to 5. Get yourself down the library when there’s no lectures on and run and keep your weekday free.

I went to investiture with a lad who was a mature student. Not by much. He’d left school at 16 and joined the navy. He started at 22.

He wasn’t the brightest guy, but he studied diligently, by tearing it like a job. Came out with a good degree. Had life experience he could talk about so was snapped up straight away.
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Ilie746
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(Original post by MatureStudent37)
I can’t answer that for you I’m afraid.

Nottingham Trent doesn’t have a particularly bad reputation. It may not be in the Russell group. But there’s other factors at play. Cost, distance from home etc.

The best advice I can give is do the placements.

My other advice to you will be test university like a job. Work hard and play hard. Try and treat the course like a 9 to 5. Get yourself down the library when there’s no lectures on and run and keep your weekday free.

I went to investiture with a lad who was a mature student. Not by much. He’d left school at 16 and joined the navy. He started at 22.

He wasn’t the brightest guy, but he studied diligently, by tearing it like a job. Came out with a good degree. Had life experience he could talk about so was snapped up straight away.
Okay! I will do my best and see what comes out of it! Many thanks!
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MatureStudent37
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Okay! I will do my best and see what comes out of it! Many thanks!
If you’re a sucker for punishment. Try a get a few professional qualifications under your belt.

But remember to have fun at uni. It’s a time of your life that’s liberating. It helps shape who you are.
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Ilie746
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(Original post by MatureStudent37)
If you’re a sucker for punishment. Try a get a few professional qualifications under your belt.

But remember to have fun at uni. It’s a time of your life that’s liberating. It helps shape who you are.
What kind of professional qualifications? Any specific recommendation or just general?
I might not be the most brilliant student but I'm always keen to learn new stuff
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MatureStudent37
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(Original post by Ilie746)
What kind of professional qualifications? Any specific recommendation or just general?
I might not be the most brilliant student but I'm always keen to learn new stuff
You don’t have to be a brilliant student. You need to be a diligent student. Don’t leave things till the last minute. Don’t just do the minimal reading.

YouTube wasn’t rally around for my undergraduate degree. But you’ll find a lot of tutorial type stuff on their. Do the extra reading.

I’d look at trying to see if you could do some accountancy/ finance qualifications. I wouldn’t overload yourself.

I’ve always found having Prince2 and lean/ 6 sigma green belt useful to get through the electronic sift of CVs.

I’d also recommend getting a subscription to something like the economist or the FT. You’d be amazed what you can not only learn, but retain from that.
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Ilie746
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(Original post by MatureStudent37)
You don’t have to be a brilliant student. You need to be a diligent student. Don’t leave things till the last minute. Don’t just do the minimal reading.

YouTube wasn’t rally around for my undergraduate degree. But you’ll find a lot of tutorial type stuff on their. Do the extra reading.

I’d look at trying to see if you could do some accountancy/ finance qualifications. I wouldn’t overload yourself.

I’ve always found having Prince2 and lean/ 6 sigma green belt useful to get through the electronic sift of CVs.

I’d also recommend getting a subscription to something like the economist or the FT. You’d be amazed what you can not only learn, but retain from that.
Do you think it's worth getting qualifications on your CV, such as accountancy, etc. even if you decide to pursue other things in life?

I often find myself being the 'jack of all trades and master of none', learning a bit of everything, but never going deep enough to specialise in a particular skill.
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MatureStudent37
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(Original post by Ilie746)
Do you think it's worth getting qualifications on your CV, such as accountancy, etc. even if you decide to pursue other things in life?

I often find myself being the 'jack of all trades and master of none', learning a bit of everything, but never going deep enough to specialise in a particular skill.
They help. I’m of the viewpoint that whatever qualifications you get can be helpful. I once had to go on a condensed combat medics course for a week many years ago. (I stay away from first aid at work though) . Never had to use it.

Few years back saw a road traffic accident. (Sorry, collision. They’ve changed the lexicon. )

In that situation the course I’d done years before became useful.

Things I learnt at school, that I’ve never really had to use are now becoming useful.

It’s a balancing act though. You may not necessarily want to go and do an accountancy course at 18. But when you start applying for jobs say at 21. The mention that you’ve started an accountancy exam is likely to help get your CV through the first round of sifting. (I hate to say it but recruiters don’t read every CV.)

First phase is keyword searches .

These qualifications can and may be expensive. So it’s a balancing act. A chelate way of doing it may be to just find out what the syllabus is and read about the topic.

A friend of mine trained to be an accountant. Hated it. Didn’t complete it so dropped out and joined the army. He’s now a policeman who now does my tax returns for me. He learnt enough to get an understanding. (You don’t have to be an accountant to do somebody’s tax return. You can do it yourself)

If you’re doing business and entrepreneurship. Then something like accounting may be and incredibly useful skill set to have.

Personally my three biggest regrets were not diligently studying at university. (But I can’t complain. Looking back, I’m glad I found it difficult to get that first job. But it made we work harder.)

Not getting a better grasp of statistics and economics.

Not learning a second language. Again, Looks good on a CV. I went back to uni after I left the army. One of the lecturers was very blunt. Chinese companies love to employ westerners. Chinese companies prefer to employ British westerners. (Many like to talk down the U.K., but brand Britain is very strong abroad) If you’re a British person with business qualifications who speaks Chinese you’ll be fighting them off with a sh*tty stick.

As I say. A lot of it is to make you stand out of the crowd.

Another regret I have is not realising how difficult it is to learn the older you get. I went back to do a masters and struggled. Learning is a skill you lose.

However, I don’t want to imply that you need to overload yourself with study. Make time for enjoyment, a social life and exercise.

You mentioned an industrial placement. Not only does that help on your career path, it may result in a job offer.
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Ilie746
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(Original post by MatureStudent37)
They help. I’m of the viewpoint that whatever qualifications you get can be helpful. I once had to go on a condensed combat medics course for a week many years ago. (I stay away from first aid at work though) . Never had to use it.

Few years back saw a road traffic accident. (Sorry, collision. They’ve changed the lexicon. )

In that situation the course I’d done years before became useful.

Things I learnt at school, that I’ve never really had to use are now becoming useful.

It’s a balancing act though. You may not necessarily want to go and do an accountancy course at 18. But when you start applying for jobs say at 21. The mention that you’ve started an accountancy exam is likely to help get your CV through the first round of sifting. (I hate to say it but recruiters don’t read every CV.)

First phase is keyword searches .

These qualifications can and may be expensive. So it’s a balancing act. A chelate way of doing it may be to just find out what the syllabus is and read about the topic.

A friend of mine trained to be an accountant. Hated it. Didn’t complete it so dropped out and joined the army. He’s now a policeman who now does my tax returns for me. He learnt enough to get an understanding. (You don’t have to be an accountant to do somebody’s tax return. You can do it yourself)

If you’re doing business and entrepreneurship. Then something like accounting may be and incredibly useful skill set to have.

Personally my three biggest regrets were not diligently studying at university. (But I can’t complain. Looking back, I’m glad I found it difficult to get that first job. But it made we work harder.)

Not getting a better grasp of statistics and economics.

Not learning a second language. Again, Looks good on a CV. I went back to uni after I left the army. One of the lecturers was very blunt. Chinese companies love to employ westerners. Chinese companies prefer to employ British westerners. (Many like to talk down the U.K., but brand Britain is very strong abroad) If you’re a British person with business qualifications who speaks Chinese you’ll be fighting them off with a sh*tty stick.

As I say. A lot of it is to make you stand out of the crowd.

Another regret I have is not realising how difficult it is to learn the older you get. I went back to do a masters and struggled. Learning is a skill you lose.

However, I don’t want to imply that you need to overload yourself with study. Make time for enjoyment, a social life and exercise.

You mentioned an industrial placement. Not only does that help on your career path, it may result in a job offer.
This makes me very optimistic, not trying to show off but I am almost trilingual.

But yes, I do agree with you. It is very interesting and inspiring to know someone's life experience and the choices they made along the way.
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Puffin Boffin
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(Original post by Ilie746)
What kind of professional qualifications? Any specific recommendation or just general?
I might not be the most brilliant student but I'm always keen to learn new stuff
The CFA Level 1 is a fantastic qualification if you want to pursue a career in asset management or the investment industry. Should be manageable during your degree but if not I would strongly recommend doing tech courses (python) as this is becoming more important for big firms and will help you stand out.
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DuckDodgers
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As a lay man economics sounds a heck of a lot better than entrepreneurship. Go for the switch.

My advice would also be to try and get some experience with local businesses to help build your experience. This will help any adjustment from student > graduate life and will, I'm absolutely sure, help you stand out when you do go on to apply for work. Being in Notts myself... Boots, Experian and Capital One are good options.
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Ilie746
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As a lay man economics sounds a heck of a lot better than entrepreneurship. Go for the switch.

My advice would also be to try and get some experience with local businesses to help build your experience. This will help any adjustment from student > graduate life and will, I'm absolutely sure, help you stand out when you do go on to apply for work. Being in Notts myself... Boots, Experian and Capital One are good options.
Thank you for your input,
I am planning on doing a summer internship during my second year and a placement year during my third year. Hopefully, this will boost my CV slightly when competing with people from RG unis.
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Ilie746
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(Original post by Puffin Boffin)
The CFA Level 1 is a fantastic qualification if you want to pursue a career in asset management or the investment industry. Should be manageable during your degree but if not I would strongly recommend doing tech courses (python) as this is becoming more important for big firms and will help you stand out.
I will definitely look into that. I started learning HTML and photoshop in my spare time, not sure if that will benefit me in any way but I will have a look at Python.
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(Original post by Ilie746)
Thank you for your input,
I am planning on doing a summer internship during my second year and a placement year during my third year. Hopefully, this will boost my CV slightly when competing with people from RG unis.
That'll be excellent experience. I know people who did this and found the transition a lot easier.

Good luck with everything
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