Sarah Vincent and Caron Marks, formerly co-heads of graduate recruitment, had much to say about getting hired by Nomura – so TARGETjobs grabbed a notebook and asked them the questions that we thought you’d want to know the answers to!
Do candidates need to have completed a spring week at Nomura in order to apply for its internships or graduate roles?
Caron: ‘Like many investment banks, we do very little top-up hiring on campus for our graduate roles; we expect to hire most of our graduates through our internship. But you don’t have to have been to one of our insight programmes in order to apply for the internship.’
Sarah: ‘Our spring insight programmes are very competitive and so I wouldn’t expect a huge number of candidates for the internships to have done insight days or weeks with us or one of our competitors. However, it is useful if you have because it is a way for you to demonstrate how you have already engaged with the profession and with us.’
Caron: ‘We design our insight programmes to be a pipeline into the bank so we will keep in contact with you afterwards. For example, our women’s immersion programme is a paid and practical introduction to investment banking and it is a good way to encourage young women to consider a career in banking.’
Any mistakes that candidates should avoid?
Caron: ‘With CVs and answers, you do see a lot of “copy and paste” mistakes where candidates refer to the wrong desk or the wrong bank (for example Credit Suisse) and you do see a lot of grammatical errors. Write your answers from scratch and get someone you trust to proofread your application.’
Sarah: ‘And our online tests aren’t difficult, but they do require practice and focus. It’s frustrating that a number of able students seem to take them with only 50% concentration, as they do not tend to make it through to the next stage.’
What makes Nomura different in your view?
Sarah: ‘Nomura is an Asian global investment bank so graduates will get exposure to lots of different cultures and working environments. We have a very respectful and collaborative culture within the bank and when recruiting we want candidates to be respectful, team orientated and collaborative.’
Caron: ‘I agree with that. It’s also no secret that our bank is entrepreneurial and that there should be new ideas presented and put forward. Ideas should be challenged – just respectfully. When answering the application question “why Nomura?” – and throughout the process – we hope that candidates would demonstrate an understanding of our culture.’
Sarah: ‘We are much smaller than some of our competitors so the interns and graduates coming in will have a much broader range of work to do and more exposure to senior people. Many applicants find this appealing.’