Answering Morgan Stanley application form questions

25 Oct 2023, 10:48

The Morgan Stanley application process for its graduate positions begins with an online application form that, depending on the programme, may include division-specific questions requiring written answers.

A list of checkboxes - one is ticked.

Jump to a question: Why have you applied to Morgan Stanley (technology)? | Describe a project or task that you have enjoyed and why

The division-specific questions included in the application form for some of Morgan Stanley’s graduate roles are designed to test your interest in the position and how qualified you are to carry out the everyday tasks of the job. You’re allowed up to 1,000 characters to write your winning responses. Read on for some examples of these questions previously encountered by graduates and our top tips on how to make every letter count.

Technology analyst (London and Glasgow) question: 'Please tell us why you have chosen to apply to Morgan Stanley Technology and the technical skills you have acquired to date.'

How to approach: This is a broad question that tests whether you’ve properly researched what technology at Morgan Stanley actually involves.

Because this question is quite broad, there are a lot of things you could choose to focus on. You should do your best to understand how technology fits into the wider picture at the bank. If you can talk about how technology links to other areas of the business, you should be able to build from that and explain why those aspects interest you. Technology does not apply to all areas of the bank in exactly the same way, so commenting on these nuances will show a good level of understanding about where technology fits in.

When applying for a post it’s very useful to get a feel for which parts of the job description might also easily appear in material aimed at the employer’s clients. So, for instance, in Morgan Stanley’s advertisement for its technology programmes it is certainly relevant to you that you will receive classroom-based and on-the-job training, and to point out your interest in that is perfectly fine. But Morgan Stanley will also want to know what you will want to give back – and whether what you give is also what its clients want.


Discover more advice on answering ‘Why us’ and demonstrating your skills.

Finance analyst programme (Glasgow) question: 'Describe a project or task that is relevant to the role you have applied for, that you particularly enjoyed and why?'

How to approach: The ‘relevant’ and ‘why’ aspects of this question are absolutely crucial. A lot of candidates will tail off before concluding, ‘…and that was enjoyable’. What you need to do is explain the different aspects, or a single significant aspect of the project, that really made you want to complete the work.

Your example needs to relate to the work you expect to be doing as a finance analyst at Morgan Stanley. If you say: ‘I found working on numerical problems especially engaging’, this is, of course, relevant as numerical aptitude is a key skill for finance analysts. However, a better answer would be one in which your involvement in the project included working on a numerical challenge directly related to the tasks of a financial analyst, not just any numerical problem. For example, this could be calculating profit and loss or calculating and summarising numerical findings in a report.

It’s a very good thing to demonstrate your personal commitment through your example. This can be shown in a variety of ways: that you made a special effort to the project and ensured that things were followed up properly, but also that you demonstrated how you enjoy furthering your self-development (such as building your own website to develop your technical skills).

Any firm will be impressed if you are motivated to learn new skills, and Morgan Stanley is no exception. It will line up training for you when you’re in the post and will want you to take advantage of the fact.

Ready to apply to Morgan Stanley? Create your free job-hunting profile on targetjobs and browse vacancies with the firm.

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