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ICAP's application form: selling your positions of responsibility

You can have experience of leadership even if you haven’t got the official title of ‘leader’, ‘president’ or ‘superviser’.

All of the application forms for ICAP’s graduate programmes and its internships have a section called ‘activities & positions of responsibility’, in which there’s this instruction:

‘Give details of your involvement in societies, clubs, hobbies, sports and interests including voluntary work and gap years. Please include those in which you held a position of responsibility, participated as a team member, or were involved in individually.’

You have only a maximum of 150 words with which to sell yourself. When selling your activities and positions of responsibility to ICAP:

  1. Don’t just document everything you’ve done. It’s not a war of the longest list. Choose your battles carefully and briefly give some idea of the breadth of what you’ve done (ie the range of activities and responsibilities), and then focus upon your victories. What have you done where you’ve made the greatest impact? Crucially, what have you done that you’re proudest of? Let that glow of achievement enthuse the ICAP recruiters.
  2. Think about completing the following sentence: ‘My leadership style is… as demonstrated by…’. Many students will mention how they have led an activity but fewer will take the time to explain their mode of operation, and that little extra detail could help sway ICAP.
  3. Don’t forget that you can display leadership even if you haven’t got the official title of ‘leader’, ‘president’ or ‘superviser’. Most people will only want to write to ICAP about situations in which they’ve had the title of leader; however, you can have used the skills required for leadership as a successful team member: for example, you could have made decisions, motivated and inspired others, or organised things.

Particular things to highlight in your answer for the ICAP London global broking programme and internship

The set of skills suitable for a place on ICAP’s London global broking programme include the confidence to help business partners through ambiguous information, the ability to synthesise information, to communicate complex information simply but at a higher level, and of course, to get the best deal.

In which extracurricular activity or position of responsibility have you balanced risk and reward? It may have been in a treasury role, making a judgement call on an investment for a student society – or even choosing which play to adapt for a student society in order to gather box office receipts as well as critical acclaim.

Particular things to highlight in your answer for the ICAP London ecommerce programme and internship

ICAP’s ecommerce work includes sales and product management. Ultimately, the two functions have different skill sets but share requirements – drive, organisation, creativity, and a suite of people skills including empathy and tact.

Customer care is also a big part of ICAP’s sales and product management. When was a time when you – to use a cliché – ‘went the extra mile’ for a customer, a time when you moved a conversation with a customer beyond the superficial to establish that customer’s greater needs? How did you satisfy those needs?

Particular things highlight in your answer for the ICAP London technology programme

Product management and business analysis are the technology programme’s counterparts to the ecommerce programme’s roles in sales and product development, and many of the skills required are very similar. But you’ll also need to show you are comfortable with technology, how you foresee new, far-reaching changes through its deployment whilst also making iterative, step-by-step changes that satisfy a client. What are your experiences that demonstrate you’re au fait with technology, adept at dealing with people, and analytical in a way that means you can see the big picture yet break a project down into its first baby steps? Are these things you’ve done as part of a university project, working for the student union or taking a role in a parent’s business?

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