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 please let me know your opinion and any advice you might have. Your input is highly appreciated.
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thrwawy
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The finance industry is very broad, going to a top uni is always a benefit but is more sought after in different areas of finance so it really depends on what area of finance you wish to enter.

IB’s almost exclusively hire from target universities so coming from a non-target it would put you at a significant disadvantage.

Comparatively the big4 recruit from anywhere and have a very wide range of finance grad schemes.
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K1NE
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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 please let me know your opinion and any advice you might have. Your input is highly appreciated.
Hey,

Hope you're safe and well.

Can understand it can be a little concerning. I think to some extent your university does matter in the IB (I'm not an investment banker but basing this on speaking on friends that work in that industry). The problem is, investment banks consider certain universities as target unis, like Oxford/Cambridge, Imperial, LSE, Warwick, so I don't think they look at specifically at Russell group but they look at certain universities within the Russell group. I think going to those particular universities may increase your chances and they want people doing particular degrees from those universities, i.e economics, maths etc....

That being said, it doesn't mean your chances of working in investment banking can be improved. They way you can increase your chances of Ogetting a role in that field is by (and this is my opinion) is:

- Get a first at university (to make yourself stand out)
- Get some relevant work experience (hopefully this summer) or consider doing a year in industry (if you can secure this and get a good role, with transferable skills in IB/Corporate finance this really strengthens your future in the industry)
- Research around the field and know what investment bankers do. This doesn't just mean understanding the day to day role but also trying to understand how the industry is changing, the direction it's going in, what is changing ? Are they using programme languages or building statistical models to build forecasts, outcomes, help them make recommendations etc....
- Think about additional qualifications you may have to do for the field, like a CFA whilst working (not compulsory to do it but CFA does make you stand out in the investment banking/ corporate finance world)

In a competitive field like investment banking your degree and where you study can make a difference because you're competing with lots of other high caliber graduates. The way to work around it is getting relevant experience where you can, knowing what is happening in the field and where it is going, and looking at professional qualifications to help further your career and make yourself stand out. All of these things can help you stand out in your CV/Coverletter but also in your interviews because it gives you more to talk about.

Other than that, invest some time in the numerical/ verbal reasoning tests and look into any group exercises you do during assessment days.

If you wanted to work in accounting, it's not as competitive as IB and your chances of working at Big 4 aren't as affected as much as the university you go to.
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Ilie746
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(Original post by K1NE)
Hey,

Hope you're safe and well.

Can understand it can be a little concerning. I think to some extent your university does matter in the IB (I'm not an investment banker but basing this on speaking on friends that work in that industry). The problem is, investment banks consider certain universities as target unis, like Oxford/Cambridge, Imperial, LSE, Warwick, so I don't think they look at specifically at Russell group but they look at certain universities within the Russell group. I think going to those particular universities may increase your chances and they want people doing particular degrees from those universities, i.e economics, maths etc....

That being said, it doesn't mean your chances of working in investment banking can be improved. They way you can increase your chances of Ogetting a role in that field is by (and this is my opinion) is:

- Get a first at university (to make yourself stand out)
- Get some relevant work experience (hopefully this summer) or consider doing a year in industry (if you can secure this and get a good role, with transferable skills in IB/Corporate finance this really strengthens your future in the industry)
- Research around the field and know what investment bankers do. This doesn't just mean understanding the day to day role but also trying to understand how the industry is changing, the direction it's going in, what is changing ? Are they using programme languages or building statistical models to build forecasts, outcomes, help them make recommendations etc....
- Think about additional qualifications you may have to do for the field, like a CFA whilst working (not compulsory to do it but CFA does make you stand out in the investment banking/ corporate finance world)

In a competitive field like investment banking your degree and where you study can make a difference because you're competing with lots of other high caliber graduates. The way to work around it is getting relevant experience where you can, knowing what is happening in the field and where it is going, and looking at professional qualifications to help further your career and make yourself stand out. All of these things can help you stand out in your CV/Coverletter but also in your interviews because it gives you more to talk about.

Other than that, invest some time in the numerical/ verbal reasoning tests and look into any group exercises you do during assessment days.

If you wanted to work in accounting, it's not as competitive as IB and your chances of working at Big 4 aren't as affected as much as the university you go to.
Hey!

Thank you so much for your response, I am not interested only in IB, I know it is a very competitive industry and it requires lots of effort and long hours. Although they make big bucks, there are many other roles.

I was just wondering how hard would it be to break into the finance industry perhaps as a Financial Consultant, Financial Analyst, Charted Accountant. Don't really have a specific role in mind, I just know that I love working within finance.

It is good knowing that there's still hope even though my university is not top-notch.
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K1NE
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(Original post by Ilie746)
Hey!

Thank you so much for your response, I am not interested only in IB, I know it is a very competitive industry and it requires lots of effort and long hours. Although they make big bucks, there are many other roles.

I was just wondering how hard would it be to break into the finance industry perhaps as a Financial Consultant, Financial Analyst, Charted Accountant. Don't really have a specific role in mind, I just know that I love working within finance.

It is good knowing that there's still hope even though my university is not top-notch.
Ah okay. Well I am a ACA qualified Chartered Accountant, so I can confidently say if you wanted to work in accounting world, i.e a finance analyst role, FP&A analyst, Financial reporting etc.... then going to Nottingham Trent wouldn't decrease your chances of working in Audit/Tax at Big 4 or alternatively on applying for an accounting/finance graduate scheme.

All the things I said in the previous post apply in terms of the things that you can do to stand out.

Consulting can be a little competitive. Companies like Mckinsey/Bain/BCG only really hire the best of the best i.e most of their grads come from Oxford/Cambridge (you do find some people from LSE/Imperial etc...) other consulting companies, they might be picky they might not be. It probably just depends on the cohort and how competitive it is.

There are plenty opportunities for sure, I'm sure Nottingham Trent is a good business school. Your university doesn't really define your career prospects and how far you can go in your career, it comes down to the individual.
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Ilie746
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Ah okay. Well I am a ACA qualified Chartered Accountant, so I can confidently say if you wanted to work in accounting world, i.e a finance analyst role, FP&A analyst, Financial reporting etc.... then going to Nottingham Trent wouldn't decrease your chances of working in Audit/Tax at Big 4 or alternatively on applying for an accounting/finance graduate scheme.

All the things I said in the previous post apply in terms of the things that you can do to stand out.

Consulting can be a little competitive. Companies like Mckinsey/Bain/BCG only really hire the best of the best i.e most of their grads come from Oxford/Cambridge (you do find some people from LSE/Imperial etc...) other consulting companies, they might be picky they might not be. It probably just depends on the cohort and how competitive it is.

There are plenty opportunities for sure, I'm sure Nottingham Trent is a good business school. Your university doesn't really define your career prospects and how far you can go in your career, it comes down to the individual.
Agh, I am very pleased to hear that! I thank you again for your solid advice, I will definitely take it into consideration.

May I ask, what's it like working as an ACA qualified Chartered Accountant and how did you get there?
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K1NE
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(Original post by Ilie746)
Agh, I am very pleased to hear that! I thank you again for your solid advice, I will definitely take it into consideration.

May I ask, what's it like working as an ACA qualified Chartered Accountant and how did you get there?
No worries at all !

Being a qualified Chartered Accountant is great. I can only speak from the point of doing the ACA because that's the qualification I did but I can honestly say it's opened lots of doors and I've learned so much through the qualification. I think it's a great investment in yourself and you really do become a well rounded finance professional at the end of it for sure.

In terms of my job, I actually don't work in audit or tax, so it's not a traditional accounting role. My role is more around being a finance analyst for an inhouse company, preparing budgets/forecasts doing investment appraisals on projects etc.... I would definitely say my ACA training, and work experience has work has all helped me to be able to do this.

My journey into accounting in some ways is a common route and not so common.

I actually did a science degree at university and then after uni went into finance graduate scheme. My company sponsored me for the materials/exams fees etc....

You have to do 15 exams, which is one requirement of the qualification, the other part is your online training file, where you have to complete various things like ethics training, competencies and log days of your relevant work experience. If you want to find out more about this, you can visit the ICAEW website where it's more detailed and better laid out. After you've completed your exams, and your training file requirements your file gets reviewed to check it's all okay and then you can become a member.

3 years is the minimum time in which you can complete your ACA because you need 3 years of relevant experience. Most people complete their exams over the 3 year period and simultaneously complete their training files too.

There are also other qualifications Chartered Accountancy qualifications like ACCA, CIMA. I'm not sure in terms of their training requirements and what you have to do but I have seen finance graduate schemes sponsor those qualifications too.
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chazwomaq
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An important question you have to ask yourself is "how clever are you?". Big firms target Oxbridge and Russell Group because they know they will find very clever people there.

Even if you do change to an RG uni, that in itself won't make you cleverer.

What are your A levels and GCSEs graeds? If they're straight As and you're at Trent, I would say moving could be worthwhile. But if they're not so good, then first, a higher ranked university might not take you and second you may not be competitive when it comes to entry tests and assessment centres.
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