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An insight programme with a difference

I studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford. During my first term, I was adjusting to life at university and focusing on my work, so I hadn’t really given my career much thought. However, after hearing that a lot of my friends were looking into spring weeks, I thought there was a lot to be gained and little to be lost by considering it myself.

Luckily for me, Lazard was one of the companies that got in touch through a careers website I had signed up to during Fresher’s Week. Although I hadn’t heard of the firm at the time, the company made a good first impression, particularly because the application process was straightforward and easier to follow than some of the other programmes I had looked at. Soon after submitting my application, I was asked to attend an interview at Lazard’s office in Green Park. The impression left by the office and the staff cemented my initial positive impressions.

A lot of valuable experience in only three days

Lazard’s Spring Insight Programme gave me my very first experience of being in a workplace environment. In addition to that, the access we had to bankers helped highlight the firm’s team-oriented culture and how the business operates day-to-day. From networking events to speaking with employees across all departments and levels, it gave me a feel for the company in a friendly and supportive environment.

Another thing the programme offers is variety. There are various presentations that cover all the different areas of the business, so you’re never doing the same thing for too long. There’s even a day where you get to go into the office and shadow an Analyst for a few hours – offering a unique insight into the actual role that you don’t necessarily get from other spring weeks, which was really interesting.

Insight programme to internship

At the end of the Spring Insight Programme we were given the opportunity to fast track our application for a Summer Internship the following year – my experience on the Spring programme had confirmed that the internship was something I would want to do.

There are two key advantages to the 10-week internship. Firstly, it helps you figure out what you actually want to do – whether working at Lazard or otherwise. Secondly, and in the best way possible, it throws you in at the deep end. After the initial training, you’re given high levels of responsibility and are trusted to support colleagues and get involved in live client projects. That level of accountability allowed me to bring to life the skills I had learnt at university , with respect to critical thinking and problem solving. Plus, by the time I finished my internship, I felt I had a solid understanding of the industry, the role and the culture of the firm, so I was at an advantage when I actually joined the following year as an Analyst.

Becoming an Analyst

My career as an Analyst began with Lazard’s Analyst Training Programme. Whether I was meeting fellow trainees from around the world, attending social events, or learning from exceptional trainers, those initial 10-weeks laid strong foundations for my career.

Months later, I am continuing to enjoy the role and consistently learning new things. As well as having access to clients and senior colleagues, I’ve been fortunate enough to work on large, exciting, (and sometimes high-pressured!) public transactions.

So, if you’re looking to explore your career opportunities in investment banking even if you come from a non-finance background, apply for one of Lazard’s student programmes – I would highly recommend it. You will get the opportunity to experience what it’s really like to work as an analyst and you will broaden your skill set beyond what typical university life can offer.