Peeping inside the City February 11, 2013Posted by Andrew Falconer in : Finance & IT, Selection Process , add a comment
For a unique, insider’s perspective on a career in the financial services sector, come on our long-running and successful City Course. During the week you will visit prominent City employers and institutions. You will participate in employer-led business games and listen to presentations and graduate panels about the range of City careers.
At each employer visit you will get the opportunity to meet and network with recent graduates working within the firm, representatives from the graduate recruitment teams and sometimes more senior employees. You’ll start early, work hard, and come away with a detailed understanding of how the City works.
The programme covers investment banking, management consultancy, accountancy, commercial law, risk management, and more.
Organisations last year included:
- Financial Services Authority
- Slaughter and May
- Standard Chartered
- Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales
- Bank of England
- Barclays Capital
Please note: Applications are due in before the summer vacation even though the event is in September. Due to the high volume of applications received for this course, we are unable to acknowledge receipt.
An example of a typical day:
Morning: Visit the Financial Services Authority in Canary Wharf where you will get the chance to take part in a business game, listen to a panel of graduates talk about their experiences working in the City and network with current FSA employees over lunch.
Afternoon: Visit Accenture’s offices near the Old Bailey. Listen to a presentation by Accenture employees about what is involved in Management Consultancy followed by a business simulation game in smaller groups.
Comments from previous students on the course… “I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. I made a lot of friends, developed my skills and got a great insight into a wide variety of careers.” “The course has helped cement decisions on the areas I may want to go in to.” “Extremely informative. It’s opened my eyes to different companies and industries I haven’t considered before.”
Join us on Facebook where you’ll receive updates, take part in discussions, and ask us your questions. Share the event with your friends and anyone who you think will be interested in applying to this course: www.facebook.com/CareersintheCity
London Stock Exchange Group: Graduate Programme September 17, 2012Posted by UCL Careers Service in : Finance, Finance & IT, Industry Focus, Selection Process, The Careers Group Blogs , add a comment
Originally posted at UCL Careers Service Blog
By Jeff Riley , UCL Careers Service. It can take new graduate recruitment programmes a little while to establish themselves on my radar. Sure, I know formally that schemes may be advertised on JobOnline or Target Jobs and have what I think is a reasonable idea of what schemes may involve. Until I meet employers face to face though, programmes never become tangible for me. For example, this morning I visited London Stock Exchange Group who have been running a graduate training programme since 2010 and internship scheme since 2011. Even before I’d got inside the building I’d learnt one very important thing
- It’s not London Stock Exchange BUT London Stock Exchange Group. This is important because it means that it’s more than a stock exchange. The Group provides financial services infrastructure not just to London but also, for example, to Italy through Borsa Italiana (the Italian Stock Exchange) and via the eight international offices of FTSE in places like the USA. Incidentally, they also have a software and technology business called Millennium IT which is based in Sri Lanka. As the business develops, so do opportunities for graduates including the chance to work overseas in Milan or Rome.
I met up with Nishe Patel who is responsible for recruiting the next intake of graduates (closing date of December 7th), and managing the programme. Here are some key messages
- The scheme is evolving but right now you can sign up for the programme and you would apply for your fixed position towards the end of your programme, which is fully supported by the business.
- As part of the programme you could complete assignments in
- Capital Markets – Primary or Secondary
- Corporate Functions –Human Resources, Marketing, Legal, Regulation, Public Affairs, Regulatory Strategy, Finance, Audit and Risk
- Information Services – Provides market data to support decision-making and risk management.
- Post Trade – once a trade has been made this ‘back office’ function ensures that everything happens smoothly and with minimal risk
- Technology – the entire market depends on technology and this continually needs to develop to provide the best services for clients.
Now it became pretty quickly clear that this is a complex operation with its own language but not impenetrable. Nishe was easily able to distinguish, for example, the primary and secondary capital markets. Primary is the arena for companies new to the stock exchange such as the recently listed film studio company Pinewood Shepperton. Secondary is the market for previously issued financial instruments such as stock, bonds, options, and futures.
These different sectors recruit graduates following the programme into specific roles. Graduates who completed their programme in 2012 have joined positions in Strategy, Equities and Derivatives Markets, Information Services, Legal, Primary Markets etc. The roles vary from developing key business strategies for the next few years to developing key products that would be valuable to clients whilst managing the relationship with them. One thing Nishe is especially keen on is that applicants should be flexible and adaptable. “Applicants cannot be expected to know which department or role they want to work in until they have some experience. They may want to go into business development eventually and as we know that this role depends on being able to build great relationships, a spell in Human Resources could be really good for developing that skill
- What you will need.�
- Formally a 2.1 honours degree and 300 UCAS points from your top 3 A levels.
- Lots of different degree subjects considered. “To be honest”, says Nishe, “we get a lot of applications from business and economics students. These are very welcome and we do recruit individuals with this background. What we would like to see are more applications from science and technical subjects. Things like physics, mathematics, and computer science”.
- The right motivation. It won’t matter how able you are if you aren’t clear why you want to work at London Stock Exchange Group. “It’s no good saying things like ‘because it’s at the heart of the financial community’ or ‘because it’s an international organisation.’”, says Nishe, “We need to know why those things matter to you.”
Find out more via
* An open evening – taking place on November 21st
Political Risk and the London insurance market May 28, 2012Posted by Jeff Riley in : Finance & IT, The Careers Group Blogs , add a comment
Originally posted at Getting into International Development
“Political risk is a significant feature of the London insurance market, which is the world’s number one market for international insurance and reinsurance.” My interview with Caspar Bartington of the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) was going splendidly I thought. I was visiting Caspar because I’ve just started careers work with Queen Mary College, University of London and he has been there a couple of times for careers events.
Why doesn’t political risk have a higher profile amongst students? There are a number of reasons. Insurance is a hidden gem – it has a perception problem that means it is misunderstood by most students. On top of that, sector employers don’t recruit in the same way as other financial companies. There aren’t, for example, as many structured placements and companies don’t attend that many careers fairs, although the CII does plenty of student sessions each year. People tend to hear about schemes and opportunities through personal and professional networks more than careers fairs and directories. Having said that, lots of students and graduates have found their way in to the profession and it is a competitive sector to break into.
So do all insurance companies have a political risk section? Many companies will have a political risk expert but only a few will have specialist teams. Aon is one such company, and indeed its graduate scheme allows some new entrants to spend six months in the kidnap and ransom division as well as other placements in more calm areas such as fine art! Aon also has a summer placement scheme so they are worth getting to know well.
Would students be at a disadvantage if they were too clearly focused on political risk as an option to the exclusion of considering other areas of the insurance business? Well I think an interest in, and knowledge of, political risk as a feature of insurance would be an excellent platform for any application. Frankly there is a low level of knowledge of the profession in general so any informed focus would be a good start. Having said that I think it would be in the students’ own interest to be open-minded about other areas of the insurance business. After all it is part of the same profession. Until they have got some practical experience it probably wouldn’t be wise to make final decisions. In any case the sector is pretty good at accommodating individual preferences so there is no need to panic about it.
One other point worth making is that the sector does recruit from a wide range of degree disciplines – the main focus when recruiting is the range of skills and aptitudes candidates can bring rather than just the subject studied.
What does political risk work in insurance involve? A real variety of things. On the one hand looking over historical data to generate a prognosis about future stability in a particular country. Emerging markets, for example, can provide growth opportunities for business but they are also more liable to be impacted by government action and supply chains are increasingly vulnerable. Issues such as unexpected nationalisation, physical damage from political violence, the cancellation of export/import licenses and default on contracts. We rely on political risk expertise to help us take these kinds of issues into account when offering insurance. They provide expertise in issues such as kidnapping and terrorism – and these days terrorist attacks are considered as a foreseeable risk. There are around 20,000 kidnappings a year and these also have to be factored in when companies are considering insurance. I know of one insurance professional who has to conduct negotiations with Somali pirates who had taken a ship that her company had insured. Of course these kinds of negotiations are carried out in conjunction with legal authorities but nevertheless insurance professionals can be involved in this kind of work.
What advice would you have for students interested in the sector? You won’t be surprised to hear that my top tip is to become a Discover member of the CII. It only costs £35 a year and will quickly help you get up to speed with the sector. Students should email email@example.com for full details. Membership gives free access to lots of events, such as the lunchtime lecture series hosted at Lloyds of London (who also have a graduate programme that includes a political risk element, incidentally). The most recent series of lectures included experts talking about topics like risk around the Olympics or the issues around deep sea oil exploration. These are great places to network as well.
Secondly, you should read the FT and The Economist – fairly obvious I suppose – but also the trade press such as the Insurance Times and Post.
Don’t forget you can read more on careers in political risk by searching this blog or use the search term political risk at careerstagged.co.uk
Finance Industry Insight: what is interdealer broking? April 2, 2012Posted by Kirsti Burton in : Finance, Finance & IT, The Careers Group Blogs, city jobs , 2comments
Originally posted at QM Jobs Blog
In careeers you get to find out about new areas of work and new job titles all the time. These come about because of the way industry has to respond to the rapidly changing world. A friend of mine is a Social Media Monitoring Officer. These jobs didn’t exist a few years ago! Sometimes it can be hard to find out about what particular or specialist job involves, because there is so little information out there. One question we had recently was about interdealer broking. This is what we found out:
Interdealer broking is about bringing buyers and sellers together to execute a transaction. In this field there are two kinds of broking: electronic broking and voice broking (human brokers). With the electronic broking the most common deals are FX-transactions ? these are foreign exchange transactions. It?s easy to buy and sell on the FX market. For more complex products, you need a person to negotiate before an agreed transaction can be reached. In these instances voice broking is used. For example, if two banks were to trade with each other the interdealer voice broker would transact the bond based on instructions receive from the traders at each of the banks.
Due to the recent financial crises there is a lot of new legislation around transparency, which the industry will have to adapt to, as well as greater obligation to transact through electronic mediums. Technology evolving rapidly also means that the broking industry has to constantly adapt.
Advertising internship markets me better February 16, 2012Posted by Andrew Falconer in : Marketing, Advertising & PR, career profiles, employability and skills, networking , add a comment
Royal Holloway Geography student Jack Smale blogs about his internship in education advertising.
My summer internship with a digital advertising company gave me a real insight into the world of advertising specialising in the education sector, and I gained a clear understanding of the competitive and target-driven nature of the sales side of the business. I learned a great deal about the importance of building business relationships, and was given the opportunity to go out and meet a number of clients. Perhaps most importantly though, I experienced what working a nine-to-five job was actually like, and how I would have to adjust my lifestyle after graduation to fit in with the corporate world.
During the three months I spent in the company’s Southwark offices, I worked on a number of projects, which included carrying out preliminary research into accountancy recruitment for a new ACCA-branded website (now launched at accacareers.com); researching, writing and designing articles for the student magazines All-Clear (send to A-level students on results day) and Navigator; producing online adverts on behalf of clients such as Strathallan Independent School; and helping with content development for the StuGlo.com website. Each day provided me with a new challenge, and I think I suitably impressed my line manager as I was invited back to work there the following Christmas.
I was introduced to a number of senior figures within the company, including group heads, directors and the CEO, all of whom were very approachable and encouraged me to ask them questions to help aid my personal development. Even though I’d only just completed my first year at University and was relatively inexperienced, the staff were used to accommodating interns and made me feel as though I had an important role to play within the business.
Although I don’t necessarily see myself going into a career in advertising, I gained a number of transferrable skills from the experience, which have since helped me to secure a part-time job alongside my studies. In addition, I made some good friends, some great contacts, and even managed to get a recommendation for my LinkedIn profile!”
Financial Alternatives October 6, 2011Posted by Andrew Falconer in : The Careers Group, Uncategorized, city jobs , add a comment
During the autumn term careers advisers frequently meet students who say they want to work in finance or “the city”. When probed, the students tend not to know what they wish to do or what options there are. Often a career in the financial sector is seen as glamorous but there is a huge difference between an executive assistant and a trader. So how do you know where you might fit in?
Financial Alternatives is your opportunity to explore. With a small group of other students, you will have a few minutes with each professional. They will tell you about their job and how they got there then you can ask them your own questions. It runs on October 20 in Senate House, Malet Street, London. You can find details and register to attend.
Other useful resources include the wonderful Directions High Street mini-site from the Financial Services Skills Council. This site not only looks good but provides real substance about the different areas that might be of interest. There are job profiles, hints about applying for positions and an understanding of where all these functions fit together.
Catherine Sweet, CEO of 4-CS, talks to students each year about careers in the financial sector. She has considerable experience working for high profile institutions, including the London Stock Exchange, and always gives great insight into how the financial sector works.
There are of course other criteria to consider. Working in the financial sector can provide so many opportunities. Your career path is unlikely to be linear and with each job you’ll see further opportunities that interest you. But some basics to think about include money and material reward (not all jobs in the sector are as rewarding as students like to think), work-life balance (do you want to have a life beyond work?), preference for client-facing or back office, status, type of work done.
Use events like Financial Alternatives to consider these criteria and build an understanding of the sector. These events are also very useful for mentioning the contacts you met when you complete your application forms. Employers appreciate students that have made the effort to attend these events as evidence of consideration of career interests.
You can also follow the latest information about working in the financial sector and keep up to date with relevant events and opportunities on our Careers in the City facebook page.
Search for the latest jobs and internships in the financial sector on JobOnline.