If you are one of many students or recent graduates looking for finance graduate jobs, then having an insight from current employees is invaluable. The financial sector can offer a wide range of career options.
You should research the different areas you could join and which ones are the most suitable for you.
Book a free one to one careers consultation and we can guide you in your search for a job in finance.
Below is an interview with a current employee at Nomura, read her useful tips for graduates:
Name: Sheena Nanavati
Division: Funding Strategy
Background: With over 7 years experience in finance and having started her career with an internship at RBS during university, Sheena is now based at Nomura.
Finance graduate jobs advice
1) Can you describe your current role? Where are you based?
I am based within Finance at Nomura in London. My main responsibilities revolve around reviewing our funding strategy and providing advice on how to optimise our funding usage.
2) How did you begin your career in banking & finance?
During my A Levels I attended a two day insight at Goldman Sachs for Women in Banking which was the first opportunity I had to learn about investment banking as I had no family in the industry.
I thought the fast paced and pressured environment seemed really exciting and interesting, and so in my penultimate year of University I completed a summer internship with The Royal Bank of Scotland to broaden my experience and learn as much as I could about the various areas in an investment bank.
3) Which University did you attend? What did you study?
I attended the University of Manchester and studied Economics. I enjoyed my Economics and Maths A Levels yet didn’t want to study pure Maths so thought Economics with a few Maths modules was a good mix of the two.
I think Economics gave a great grounding for a career in Banking & Finance however I would advise to follow your interest as you will always learn on the job too.
4) How would you describe the culture and work environment at Nomura?
The culture and work environment of my employer are really important to me as you spend so much time in the office. One of the things that struck me about Nomura during the interview process was how friendly everyone was and the relatively flat hierarchy.
5) What do you most enjoy about your job? What do you find the most challenging?
My role comes with much responsibility which I really enjoy. I like to know that advice I provide can make real impacts to future strategy. I also love to chat away to anyone and everyone and it is important within my role to make good working relationships so the two work well together.
6) Could you give any advice/tips to current graduates thinking of applying to Nomura/this industry?
Be enthusiastic! I often interview interns or graduates who lack motivation and this is the “spark” I look for. Many graduates will come from the same background; a 2.1 degree, work experience, language skills, travels etc. – find something that sets you apart.
Finance graduate jobs are competitive, so stand out.
7) What are the key skills or qualities you need to do well in this industry?
Communication skills are so important as you will be working with so many different personalities and in various forms; in person, over email, presentations, meetings. It is important to know how to communicate to different audiences.
A real interest to learn is also important; in an entry level role you will be thrown with many new concepts and ideas that you may not have come across at university.
8) What could current students do now to help them with once they graduate and look for jobs?
Research different institutions and areas within each; for example you may want to narrow down where you apply to one of banks/consultancies/accountancies/insurance companies. Within each, the graduate or entry level roles will vary. Being able to have an idea of the department you would like to join will help you gain experience in that area which will be important for CV’s and cover letters as it illustrates real motivation to work within that area.
Talk to anyone you know in the industry and take full advantage of any networking opportunities at university; always ask for business cards or an email as you will find most people within the industry at the networking events will be more than happy to help you understand more!
When applying for finance graduate jobs, really pick the area that is best suited to your skillset rather than the one you think will be most exciting as the one you’re best suited for will be the one you excel at!