Working in banking: when I grow up, I want to be…a banker

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Think you can handle a fast-paced career, where all your hard work will be paid off with huge sums of cash?

You might even be able to buy ‘Taste The Difference’ rather than the Sainsbury’s ‘Basics’ food you’ve become well accustomed to on your student budget.

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If this sounds like your ideal career, banking internships might just be for you. Whether you want to become a financial trader or an investment analyst, this is an industry that asks a lot of you, but can pay off in big bucks for your hard work.

Hold up a sec….how do you get into this business?

Best degrees for banking

This industry is highly competitive, so if you’re thinking about becoming a banker, you need to show that you have the mad financial ‘skillz’ to pull off the role. A degree in the following subject areas will certainly put you in good stead:

  • Maths
  • Statistics
  • Economics
  • Accounting

If you don’t study one of these, don’t give up on your chosen career path – other disciplines are also considered, but try to think how your chosen subject is relevant to the financial industry. For example, are you studying a scientific subject? If so, do you work with statistics?

What banking societies should you join?

You need to show a genuine interest in finance early on to get into this business. We suggest that you demonstrate this by joining a couple of relevant societies – whether this is the Trading and Investment society, or the Economics society, this will help you stand out.

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If you’re truly right for this industry, you’ll be motivated and interested enough in finance that you’ll have probably joined these societies anyway.

Still got time on your hands? Join a sports team at university – this will show that you are both a very motivated and well-rounded individual, demonstrating your team player skills.

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If you’re super keen and want to stand out head and shoulders above the rest, put yourself forward to be the President/Vice President/Treasurer of one your societies. This will show you’re a leader and a team player, while giving you lots more experience to talk about in your interviews.

Benefits of banking work experience

Work experience is invaluable – networking can open so many doors, but also showing what you’re made of during a placement or banking internship to senior management can lead to further opportunities. Not to mention it can help you suss out if this career is right for you.

The top employers for graduates looking to become bankers are:

  • Citi
  • Deutsche Bank
  • Goldman Sachs
  • JP Morgan
  • HSBC Bank Plc
  • Morgan Stanley
  • RBS

By securing work experience with one of these companies, don’t forget to do thorough research into both the industry and the company – they will test you very thoroughly on your knowledge, so be prepared!


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Key Skills for Graduate Jobs in Investment Banking

Watch the video above for more information about what skills you need to make it in investment banking.

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