Working in Financial Services - Top tips from Alay, Corporate Client Solutions

Created on 12 Jun 2017

Bright Network member, Alay Vora has recently been offered the role of Incoming Corporate Client Solutions (IBD) Analyst at UBS, starting in July 2015. (Well done Alay!) Here, we interviewed Alay, who is currently studying Economics at the University of Warwick. He shares his experiences and tips for those who want to follow in his footsteps.

Tell us about your job

I successfully converted a summer internship at UBS in 2014 into a full time graduate offer. The offer was received for Corporate Client Solutions at UBS, the firm's Investment Banking Division. The graduate scheme will commence in July 2015 after I graduate, starting with 8 weeks of training.

Why did you choose this company and role?

I chose UBS as it is a prestigious bulge bracket Investment Bank. They have an extremely friendly and European corporate culture but there is no need for 'face time', when work is finished you leave.

There is a flat corporate structure – you can easily approach a managing director, senior member of staff and have opportunities to work with them as well as converse with them. There is no sense of hierarchy. All of this is combined with an ambitious environment that looks to push but not so much so that one breaks.
The working hours are long in the industry - but the environment was such that you didn't feel it as burdensome.

The working hours are long in the industry - but the environment was such that you didn't feel it as burdensome. 

I was attracted to IBD given which includes: the challenging nature of work, knowing that what you are doing is one of the hardest things to do, client facing and dealing with a variety of clients, receiving long term industry exposure, the varied nature of work, being at the forefront of tackling complex business problems, being part of industry changing transactions, great career progression and exit opportunities.

Please tell us about the application process - what did you have to do?

Initially I attended the Insight Day. I was fast-tracked to the Telephone Interview which was entirely competency based. The next stage was the Assessment Centre which tested Numerical skills, involved a presentation, one commercial interview, one competency interview and a Group Exercise.

After this I received an offer for 9 week summer internship.

Based upon team and line manager's view on my performance and a presentation during the internship – I was offered a full time role.

What did you find was the most difficult part of the application process?

The Assessment Centre - interviews can be completely variable based upon the mood and seniority of the interviewer, you will never know what one expects/looks for

What was the most enjoyable part of the application process?

Getting to ask questions of the interviewing personnel at the end of the interview...and of course getting the offer!

How did you prepare for the application process?

To prepare – I did the following…

  • Made sure I knew my CV and could elaborate on all experiences 
  • Prepared competencies in the STAR format and tried to match them to UBS competencies 
  • Made sure to follow news stories in depth as you are asked about them from every angle 
  • Be financially aware - know the field and what an employee in your role does
  • Be commercially aware - be aware of what is going on in the world, and how economic activity can affect an investment bank 
  • Have general technical awareness - don't profess knowledge about something you only know a small amount about but nonetheless it is impressive if fundamentals are strong.

What top three tips would you give to someone who wanted to follow in your footsteps?

Tip 1

Be clear, confident concise - your answers to interview questions should be so clear that the interviewer knows exactly what you have said, almost as if they are bullet points.

Tip 2

Read the news every day, over a long period of time. It's much easier that than doing it all last minute 

Tip 3

When on the internship, treat as if it is an 8 week job interview. Show interest in the sector, work, team - be SUPER enthusiastic. Enthusiasm can make up for a lot. Even if you don't like the work, you want to be in the position where you can say no to them rather than not even having the choice to say yes or no - hence getting the offer is super important.


Many thanks to Alay for sharing his thoughts and advice. If you are interested in leaning more about the opportunities that UBS has on offer then click here.

Looking to follow in 's footsteps? Discover live graduate opportunities with UBS.

Bright Network member, Alay
Alay, University of Warwick