We spent some time catching up with Bright Network member Anahita Asadi, who has recently secured an internship with Aberdeen Asset Management. Anahita graduates from the University of Manchester in Economics and Finance this summer, and has kindly shared her words of advice with us.
Please tell us about the internship that you have secured
This summer I will join Aberdeen Asset Management’s Investment Team for an 8 week long internship. After that, I will have the opportunity to apply for their graduate role. As I'm graduating in July, the possibility of gaining a place on their graduate scheme is of great interest to me.
Why did you choose this company and role?
My desire to gain experience in the asset management division stems from a genuine passion for financial analysis and expecting outstanding results. I believe I've practised the qualities necessary for the industry as a whole ever since I first started my own business in high school, right through to the activities I currently take part in at university.
The reason I choose Aberdeen Asset Management was mainly because of my background. As a multinational person, being Persian born and raised in Sweden, I appreciate that graduates at the firm have the possibility to do a rotation in one of the offices overseas.
In addition, the rotational programme will not only give me an insight into the business as a whole and its different functions, but also the culture. The ability to gain an understanding and integrate in the business as a whole is another significant benefit to me.
I’d also spent time talking to previous interns and current graduates, who informed me that Aberdeen Asset Management were particularly supportive and helpful as employers.
Please tell us about the application process - what did you have to do?
The application process was very straightforward. After attending an event at the firm’s offices in London, I was referred to an online application form with a few competency-based questions, along with a few industry and firm-specific ones. The next step was a face-to-face interview, which for me was with the Head of Graduate Recruitment and one person from Investments in London.
The most enjoyable part of the application process was the interview itself. In the end, it was very relaxed and the interviewers made me feel comfortable and welcome.
What did you find was the most difficult part of the application process?
The most difficult part of the application process was preparing for the interview, as there were a lot of things that I had to cover in a short period of time. I knew that the interview was going to be mainly competency-based yet polishing up on my technical knowledge about different investment strategies did prove to be a challenge.
What was the most enjoyable part of the application process?
The most enjoyable part of the application process was the interview itself. In the end, it was very relaxed and the interviewers made me feel comfortable and welcome. We had an interesting conversation about the current market and I got to tell them more about myself and why I thought I'd be a great fit for the role.
How did you prepare for the application process?
As I attended an event in Aberdeen Asset Management’s offices in London before I submitted my online application, I had done a lot of preparation in advance of attending the event. I wanted to have the chance to ask lots of questions before I submitted by application, especially concerning the company and the industry.
In terms of completing the online application, I prepared all of my recent achievements and learning outcomes to help me to organise and answer the competency based questions in the best way possible.
Prior to the interview, I did a lot of online research and read a lot of news articles covering the main areas concerning the financial industry as a whole, with a specific focus on the asset management industry.
What top three tips would you give to someone who wanted to follow in your footsteps?
Tip 1: Be proactive
Don't be afraid to ask questions when attending a company event or any networking event. You never know what opportunities might arise from simply being enthusiastic and interested.
Tip 2: Know your industry and your audience
You would think that an economics and finance student would be able to nail an interview with a few hours of preparation but I put in a great amount of effort to prepare for the online application and the interview. Do not underestimate the knowledge that you are expected to have. They receive a huge number of applications and places are limited, so you need to outshine your fellow competition by being a step ahead.
Tip 3: Be flexible with your learning
Make sure you feel comfortable with the information that you have acquired so that you are able to adapt and adjust it to different situations.