Bright Network member Coral has been a Graduate Credit Sales Analyst at J.P. Morgan since August 2015 after graduating from Warwick with a degree in Mathematics. We caught up with her to ask how it's all going.
How did Bright Network help you begin your journey?
Bright Network provided information on Spring Weeks and some great application advice.
I found out about Spring Week programmes in my first year of university and decided to apply to five or six different banks. I actually ended up taking part in three - which is about as many as you have time for in your Easter holidays!
Out of the three, I personally found J.P. Morgan’s to be the most insightful and challenging. This was largely down to the opportunity to experience life on the trading floor, and while others automatically fast-tracked candidates to the interview stage for their respective Summer Internships, J.P. Morgan only fast-tracked a handful of successful students.
Despite it being exam season at the time, I put a lot of time and effort into the programme - and it paid off. I was offered a place on the Summer Internship scheme on the UK Credit Sales desk months before the application process had even started. And after successfully completing the internship, I was offered a graduate role in the team once I finished university.
Why did you choose J.P. Morgan and this role?
I chose J.P. Morgan because the people I met during the Spring Week and at recruitment events at Warwick struck me as interesting, like-minded people who I felt I could get on with. I was also very impressed by their Spring Week programme.
I expressed a preference for Sales but did not have any particular idea about which asset class. I was offered the chance to intern with the Emerging Markets Rates Trading team and the UK Credit Sales team and ultimately chose the desk which I felt suited me best. Looking back, I feel I made the right choice and am very happy with my team.
What was the toughest part of the application process? And your favourite part?
For me the toughest part of the application process was preparing for the Summer Internship interviews throughout my first-year exams. There was a lot to balance, especially coming from a very limited finance background; however the interviews were actually more heavily focused on personal ability rather than financial knowledge.
My favourite part was the internship itself. I got along well with the other interns and my team members, and learnt a lot at the same time.
Were you surprised by anything in the process?
I think the placement process and matching my skills and interests to a team within J.P. Morgan was interesting, as looking back I had very limited knowledge about the intricacies of specific teams. The Graduate Recruitment team helped me to identify the areas where I may best fit within the bank.
What three top tips would you give to graduates applying now?
- Get started early. Investigate your options based on your interests and skills; if banking is something you’ve decided you want to go for, attend as many campus recruitment events, meet as many companies and apply to as many Spring Weeks as you can.
- Take an interest in the markets during university. Take part in trading games/simulations through your finance society, keep up with what’s going on and be entrepreneurial. If you don’t study economics/finance it can be worth seeing if there are modules from these disciplines that you can take as part of your course. I took a Derivatives module alongside my degree from the business school and found this very valuable.
- Don’t place too much weight on your own view of where you want to end up within a bank. Trust the people involved in the hiring process, and if it comes to choosing a team don’t underestimate the importance of who you work with.