Jalini’s insights into securing an International Graduate Trainee role with Berenberg

Created on 17 May 2022

We recently caught up with Jalini about securing a role on Berenberg’s International Graduate Programme, tips for getting a job in the banking world and what stood out about Berenberg.

What stood out to you about Berenberg?

Firstly, they’re the second oldest investment bank in the world which I thought was quite cool. I studied languages for quite a long time and they’re a German bank – I thought I could study German. Most importantly, it’s a private bank so it’s not owned by shareholders like other banks and I saw how successful the bank was in the financial crisis in recent years. This is in part because of its private structure. It’s a nice niche! By applying I could at least talk to the people at the bank and learn about it, let alone get the job.

Berenberg have a rotational structure in private banking, wealth, asset management and investment banking which means there are four other types of banking you can try. I don’t know of any other banks that do this.

How did you make your application stand out?

What I liked about the Berenberg application process was that for every other company you have to write paragraphs about why you want to apply, and I’ve been rejected from so many companies where I’d put lots of effort into writing about them. On the other hand, Berenberg’s recruitment process is a lot more streamlined, consisting of an online psychometric test and a series of in person video interviews.

Since it’s a privately owned investment bank and a relative new entrant into the UK market, it’s maybe difficult to find detailed information on the company, besides navigating the company website. As such, it is therefore imperative to show that you have done your research into the company whilst underlying your motivations on why you wish to work there.

How did Bright Network help you secure this role?

I found it quite hard to know where to look for jobs. There’s so much out there! I knew I wanted to work in finance and could work for some of the big household names. Bright Network was great in helping me search for the roles I was interested in. I was lucky enough to know I wanted to work in finance, but Bright Network have all manner of finance programmes I could apply to, both in banks and in other businesses like construction companies. Having the breadth of roles you could apply for was really helpful as it means you can explore what’s out there more.

What are your top tips for tackling tough interview questions?

Take your time. I love talking and I sometimes just start talking, but when I’m in an interview nowadays I repeat the question in my head, think about it and think about how I’m going to attack it. It takes practice so you don’t spend too long doing this. Everyone has pre-set answers before the interview, but it sounds more natural when you don’t prepare exactly what you’re going to say.

What top three tips would you give Bright Network members looking to follow in your footsteps?

  1. Keep applying! If you’re starting off with spring week internships and you don’t get any of them, don’t give up on the sector.
  2. Make sure you really want to work for the company. It’s easy to apply for loads of companies in the hope you’ll get one, but if you really do look through the description and decide it’s for you, you’ll put your heart into it more.
  3. At interviews, the people are really friendly. They’re normal people who are interested in you so don’t be too up in the professionalism. Be relaxed, try and smile a lot and even maybe crack a joke!
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Bright Network member, Jalini
Jalini, Imperial College London
Berenberg, International Graduate Programme