We held our Banking and Beyond Alumni Panel recently where Royal Holloway graduates shared with students what they’ve been up to since graduation and gave advice on how to forge out a career in this dynamic sector.
Our panel of professionals from the world of banking, from companies as diverse as: Barclays Investment Bank, Barings, HSBC, EBRD and Funding Circle UK, shared their tips and advice on how to make an impact and break into the industry.
A dynamic and ever-changing industry
- If you look to the future of banking, it will focus on compliance, oversight and risk management.
- Business and finance, like many industries is open to huge disruption and change. Resilience and adapatability are key
- Compliance is a rapidly-growing area in the industry
- It is the stewardship around it (banking) that has changed over the last few years.
Getting into the industry
- Find work experience as soon as you possibly can
- Make sure you’re doing extracurricular activities – make yourself stand out
- Graduate schemes aren’t the be all and end all of finding a financial career. Don't be afraid of small companies or of firms that aren't big names. They have alot to offer you
- If you don't have great results, don't rule this sector out. It's your complete skill set that matters
- Making yourself look different from other candidates on your CV is key. I did a lot of volunteering throughout my studies and it helped me to stand out from the crowd
- Start trading!
- Sending speculative CVs is always a good idea. Persevere and who knows, someone may just respond.
Your skills and values matter
- Time management, working well under pressure and attention to detail are key skills to have for the finance and consulting industry
- Good communication skills are important. It is a very diverse and international environmen and the ability to communicate clearly is vital
- Integrity is central to all roles in this industry
- Diversity in discipline is vital to the finance industry
- Make the effort to attend networking events: Networking kick started my career
- My advice to you? a) Make sure you get the best grades you can and b) develop your commercial acumen
- Show an interest in the industry: Do your research, note something to discuss that's not obvious about the industry or company
- Be good at excel – skill up now!