We recently spoke with Dinah about how she secured her Asset Management internship with Coutts. She talks about what stood out to her about her firm, how Bright Network helped her secure the role and her top tips for members looking to follow in her footsteps.
What stood out to you about the firm you secured your role with?
Coutts, founded in the 17th century, is shrouded in history, an homage to its rich and diverse heritage. Its clients, including entrepreneurs and philanthropists, inspired me to want to be a part of their legacy, working closely with talented individuals, adding meaning to the world of investing in the knowledge that our work will ultimately contribute to the world of good that they are achieving. To many, investing can seem lofty and detached; Coutts adds the human touch, making it that much more personable. As part of the summer internship, we will work on a social impact project and this is something that stood out to me, aligning with my personal values, echoing Coutts’ principles more broadly. Coutts supports a number of charities, extending their reach during the pandemic; this is an organisation that I am proud to be a part of, to form something greater than oneself.
How did you build your commercial awareness before the interview?
Commercial awareness encompasses reading up on recent market developments in addition to keeping abreast of sector-specific news; it is crucial for demonstrating your passion and competence for your chosen area. Not only does it add to your overall confidence, but it is an excellent way of highlighting to employers why you are the right fit for the role. I find listening to podcasts an excellent way to build up one’s commercial acumen; there are podcasts on almost every subject area - dive in and immerse yourself! One of my favourite podcasts is ‘The Money Maze’, bringing financial insights from talented individuals across the globe.
What would be your top tip to members going through the application process?
Be yourself, allow your personality and flair to shine through. Delve in and discover what makes you unique and be sure to demonstrate this throughout the application process. Ensure that your CV is well-rounded and remember - no experience is too small! While employers undoubtedly look for candidates with a strong academic background, they also look for soft skills and by getting involved in extra-curricular activities, such as volunteering at your local community and engaging with societies at university, you can highlight this. Imposter syndrome is a plague that can cripple even the most talented; impairing us from realising our potential and therefore before you even begin the application process, I recommend taking a step back and appreciate how far you’ve come. Allow yourself to be proud of your accomplishments, be confident and, most importantly, believe in yourself!
How did Bright Network help you secure this role?
The Bright Network Women in Leadership event was pivotal in helping me gain clarity on what career path would be best suited to my skills and abilities; I was able to network with talented and accomplished women including Ozgun Unul, Executive Director at UBS, and Megan Leadbetter, Head of IT Operations at Softcat, to name but a few. These women exuded ambition and commitment; the overarching message was to never give up, to keep persevering and breaking down barriers. I was inspired by their words and went on to establish the BAME in Finance Programme at Cass Business School, designed to equip first-year undergrads, together, overcoming barriers in the industry.
What’s been the toughest interview question you've faced and how did you tackle it?
The toughest interview questions that I were asked went like this: “How would you determine the number of golf balls it would take to fill a Boeing 747” and “How would you determine the number of skyscrapers in Central London”. Upon hearing these questions, it’s normal to panic but the most important thing is to try and remain calm and address the problem methodically! The interviewer isn’t looking for a particular figure/method, they just want to analyse your problem-solving skills and see you react to the unknown, so get creative!
What top three tips would you give Bright Network members looking to follow in your footsteps?
- Believe in yourself.
- Do your research.
- Demonstrate your passion.