Chris McCullagh: Operations Financial Analyst

 If you thought a career in investment banking was just for finance graduates, maths geniuses and quantum physicists, think again. We hear from Chris McCullagh, discussing his professional background and his career at Morgan Stanley.

Geography was always my favourite subject at school, so it made sense to choose an undergraduate course that interested me and that I was good at. 

Finance was always on my radar, however, I’d always assumed investment banking was for people with finance or economics degrees and that I didn’t really fit the profile.

After graduating from Queens, Belfast I was offered a role with a retail bank and it was here that I realised that investment banking was actually something that might be open to me. Compared to other areas of finance, I’d heard that investment banking was very meritocratic. As long as you’re driven and willing to work hard, you can move ahead quite quickly, which really appealed to me. 

I did some research into Morgan Stanley and saw that they were looking for graduates from a range of different backgrounds, so I decided to apply.

I now work as analyst in the Corporate Loans team. It involves overseeing the loans documentation of the bank’s European clients and a big part of my role is to help monitor cash movements to and from our borrowers. 

As a geographer, a lot of the work you do at undergraduate level involves analysing and presenting data. This has definitely helped me to make the transition to my current role – there are often big sums of money involved, so I really have to be on the ball and up to speed with everything that’s going on.

As you’d imagine, it’s also a very quantitative process, and involves a lot of work with numbers, which means I’ve had to develop a new area of my skill-set. Make no mistake: it’s been a steep learning curve, but I’ve enjoyed every minute of it so far.

To hear from a Senior Managing Director at Morgan Stanley as to why Humanities are just as relevant as Finance degrees click here.

To learn more about Morgan Stanley and view our opportunities, click here.