Year 13 Insight Day
The day-long insight was an eye-opening and engaging first introduction into the world of finance. It was well suited to the sixth form audience, as it presented the key divisions within the bank without assuming any prior knowledge. The particular emphasis put on networking, especially digital networking, showed an impressive dedication to keeping the insight as contemporary as possible.
The co-ordinator, Lani Swart was extremely warm without losing a sense of authority, thus one got the impression any feedback would be seriously considered. However, other members of staff seemed understandably more disinterested in those participating in the insight day; networking sessions relied more on those able to make it ad hoc, meaning not all divisions were equally represented.
As mentioned, those in charge of the insight day were very supportive and the facilities made available were more than satisfactory. While useful for most that insight day assumed little to no prior knowledge of the industry, thus was very inclusive, this meant that staff members were less prepared to give more advanced guidance to those already more familiar with the industry through prior reading or work experience.
Notable skills covered on the insight day were networking, particularly digital networking. The focus on sites such as LinkedIn, as well as tips for face-to-face networking were very useful and further made clear what would be necessary to succeed in that field. The insight day was also useful too simply to establish first contacts with a firm one would be highly likely to apply for, for later internships and work.
There was a clear timetable, which was run through and made clear at the start of the day thus all knew what was going on and when. Through this planning, the timetable was able to include a variety of sessions, from networking to a group activity. The only improvement possible here might be to expand the group activity; though the talks at the start of the day were very interesting, they covered little that could not be learned by reading the website. Extra group sessions may have made the day even more interesting and been better preparation for internship applications.
Very welcoming yet professional. All staff members, particularly those actually running the insight day emphasised our own skill at getting a place, thus even in simply getting in one felt lucky. The session was also very diverse, from across the UK, thus again making the session more interesting simply by being able to meet new people and different viewpoints.
Considering the insight day only lasted a single day, this would have difficult to deliver. While the insight day attempted significantly to deliver certain skills such as teamwork and leadership in the group activities and networking in the other sessions, other insight days run by similar banks extend to two days, which might allow for more in-depth training.
As the insight day was aimed at sixth formers, the introduction was more general to the finance sector as a whole and different divisions within the bank. Though the company ethos and focus on Japan was both explicitly said and understood, as the insight day was still rather far removed from any full time role, it did not need to attempt to show what this might be like.
Both explicitly and implicitly, company culture was carried across. A brief presentation on the company's history was very useful in showing how the company viewed itself and its role both within and outside Japan. Talks from current employees on why they chose to join the bank again showed how employees viewed the company culture.
Though very engaging and well done, as I had already completed previous similar insight days and have a prior interest in the finance industry, the insight day was too general to help elucidate which specific part of the industry might appeal more. The main division in the talks tended to be between front/ middle and back office, yet most attending were likely already focused on front office jobs.
There was possibility to be reimbursed but I didn't apply/ qualify.
There were sessions, firstly a presentation on tips for face to face networking and then one on digital networking, such as LinkedIn. Attendees of the insight day were then also given the opportunity to put these skills into action, both with each other at the start of the day and with current employees of Nomura during lunch.
A significant emphasis was put on networking, which was hugely useful both in developing the experience and soft skills needed to network, but also in showing how valued these skills are by the industry. The session on LinkedIn was also novel, even compared to other insight days, so much valued and very useful.
Some employees mentioned extra-curricular pursuits, however with only one day, this was not the focus of the insight day. Perhaps a brief overview of the industry-wide groups prevalent in Nomura, such as women or ethnic minorities in business might have been useful.
I would thoroughly recommend the insight day; the day covered vital skills for both later employment in the sector but also very useful insider tips for the undergraduate and graduate recruitment drives. Group tasks allowed the excitement of a slightly competitive environment; however, it may have been even more useful had the task been designed around something someone in finance might have to do everyday, thus be more current affairs/ economics based.