Nakul Vishvanath is a 2nd year BA Politics and International Studies student who recently received an offer of an internship with a large British Investment Bank.
Investment Banks are increasingly looking to recruit students from a variety of undergraduate backgrounds to diversify their pool of talent. This presents opportunities for students that may have never considered the city life as a career path. As proven with a background in Politics and International Relations, I was offered a summer internship with a large British Investment Bank and here are my 5 tips on how you can achieve this too:
1) Career Mentor Scheme – First and probably the most important thing when it comes to applying for jobs is the Importance of Networking. Enrolling in the Exeter’s Career Mentor Scheme allows you to leverage the university’s extensive list of professionals who are willing to help you succeed. My career mentor even introduced me to a friend in the sector and was willing to give me a week’s worth of experience, which again helped differentiate myself from other candidates when interviewing.
2) Blog about current affairs- Investment Banks know that you don’t study economics or finance but want to see that you keep up to date with the news. Saying that you regularly read the Economist or that you’ve set Bloomberg as your home page is something recruiters would have heard plenty of times before. MarketMogul.Com offers students the chance to write about the current affairs and when interviewing acts as tangible evidence of your interest.
3) Practice Numerical Online tests – Online tests are the first filter of many job applications and you need to pass the minimum benchmark to proceed in the process. Ensure to practice repeatedly and the Career Zone also offers seminars on how to pass these. Due to the volume of applications I sent out some of the questions even started to repeat themselves, so again don’t be disheartened if you get rejections. Getting an internship is ultimately a law of averages; the more you send out the more chance you’ll get one.
4) Research the company – THOUROUGHLY- If you are lucky enough to get through to a telephone interview or a face to face interview make sure you research the company. Constructing a SWOT analysis of the bank is a great way to get familiar with the company’s competitors, challenges faced and how the future of the bank is panning out. The bank I applied to was undergoing corporate restructuring but again I sold this as a point of attraction and how I could make use of the opportunities that came with change.
5) Be yourself! – As clichéd as it sounds, your personality will have an impact on whether you get hired. Investment Banking is a people business and inevitably involves dealing with clients. Be enthusiastic about the job and company’s cultural values; if these don’t reflect how you work as a person you’re probably going to find investment banks with a better cultural fit.
I’d be happy to answer any questions anyone had about this article or my experience on
By Nakul Vishvanath