What made you choose to work in investment banking?
I’ve always been interested in world economics and being able to apply the mathematical skills learnt from university in my job meant that this was the perfect match.
Did you do any work experience before starting your full-time job?
I completed a summer internship here, which broadened my knowledge around investment banking and gave me an insight into the day-to-day activities within an investment bank. I was able to learn about the lifecycle of a trade from Front Office to Middle Office to Back Office, and understand the importance of each division.
What was the most challenging part of the application process?
Definitely the assessment day group task. I did not want to come across as either overbearing or too quiet so I had to find a balance, while helping the team win the task.
What do you think made your internship a success?
I treated every day as if it was the last day of my internship. I was here for ten weeks, which meant my pass worked for 50 working days. I basically told myself, ‘My pass is not going to work tomorrow, hence I need to learn and achieve everything I possibly can today.’
What is your role in your team?
I assist traders on their day-to-day activities. I price client enquiries and manage risk associated with enquiries. I also calculate profit/loss for traders and prepare reports for management.
What is your work/life balance like?
Generally it’s very good. During my internship I was focused on developing a strong understanding of the securities business within a confined time frame, hence my work/life balance was somewhat unbalanced. However, since starting the graduate programme the balance has been great. I try to go to the gym three weekdays a week, play football twice a week and enjoy my weekends with friends and family.
What are the most exciting parts of working in this area?
The thrill of the markets and the excitement of the unknown. Markets continue to move whether I am awake or not, and whether I am studying or not. I love the fact that my job depends on the efforts I choose to make and how much I am willing to learn. Deciding how to hedge and how to manage risk is another exciting part of my job. Each trader is different and the way each can view or express a view on the market differs also.
Tell us about a career highlight.
During my internship I took a leap of faith: I tried to arrange a one to one chat with the CEO. This is a daunting thing to do as an intern, but without asking you definitely do not receive. So, I asked and I got a half-hour one to one session with the CEO of MUFG Securities! This was followed up with another 90-minute session with the rest of the intern class.
What training and support have you received so far?
On the internship programme I was provided with a one-week introduction to financial markets training. Throughout the internship we also received training on topics such as communication skills, time management and personal brand. We also took part in ‘lunch & learn’ sessions to learn about different business areas, including one with the CEO. On the graduate programme we participated in four weeks of product and financial training, attended by all the international analyst class. This was really valuable as I got to build strong networks with my fellow analysts from across the international platform. Each day we also had sessions with senior business heads and recent analysts from the international offices so that we could learn how the different business areas worked together to serve clients. Following the initial training programme, we took part in a trading simulation which was lots of fun but also allowed us to put our learning into practice. I also completed rotations to learn about different business areas and how they work with my team while building networks across the firm. Now when I need something from another team I know who to contact which makes my job easier. In addition to my manager, I have been allocated a buddy and a mentor. Everyone in the firm is very approachable so I find I have learnt lots from just speaking to people and on the job.
What skills in particular do you think you’ve developed?
I have developed strong interpersonal and organisational skills since beginning my career here. I’ve realised that it’s not just about what you know but how you go about doing things that is important. I have to communicate with a wide variety of departments with a range of levels from junior to the most senior. This has helped strengthen my confidence within the workplace and with the products I work with.
What advice would you offer to current students?
Make sure you understand basic, fundamental economics. Having an interest in a particular area (eg US politics, Central banks monetary/fiscal policies… ) and hence developing an opinion about it will make conversations with recruiters and potential future colleagues so much easier.
Jeremiah is a rates trader at MUFG. He studied mathematics at the University of Nottingham.