If you thought a career in investment banking was just for finance graduates, maths geniuses and quantum physicists, think again. We hear from Chris Lyle, discussing his professional background and his career at Morgan Stanley.
"I studied Arabic and Persian at Oxford University. A lot of the people on my course applied to work for political organisations like the Foreign Office or the UN, or for roles within journalism. However, I had a growing interest in finance and economics and was keen to pursue this.
I thought the best way to learn about finance and the world economy would be to work at an investment bank and experience it at its heart. From what I’d read about the industry, it seemed like an exciting place to start my career and a great way to work with the markets. I gained a place on the Morgan Stanley summer internship scheme in my penultimate year at university, which led to a permanent offer.
I’ve found that many of the skills I developed during my degree have transferred very well to my role here. When studying languages, minute details are extremely important. Often even a small change in spelling or word order can change the whole meaning of a sentence, so having this in-built attention to detail has really helped me with my financial modelling and when working with large amounts of intricate information.
Also, analytical skills are extremely useful on a day-to-day basis: a lot of my work involves evaluating historical company data and analyzing market trends. It means working through large volumes of information to identify and extract the essential points, much like you would when reading or researching for an essay.
Overall, my advice for anyone studying languages would be to spend some time researching the different career options that are out there. It’s important to do something that genuinely interests you so don’t feel pressured to follow a certain route just because others around you are doing so."
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