We recently caught up with Sophie who discusses securing her role at Rothschild & Co. Sophie divulges why she decided on a role with Rothschild & Co, how she built some commercial awareness before the interview and some top tips for fellow members to follow in her footsteps.
Why a role in Rothschild & Co?
I applied for the role of Global Advisory Summer Analyst at Rothschild & Co. There are many reasons why Rothschild & Co appealed to me, but the most important two are: the regional presence with offices in Leeds, Manchester and Birmingham, and the friendly and welcoming culture.
To begin with, I liked the fact that Rothschild & Co had regional offices as I would have been working in an office near my hometown rather than having to find accommodation in London. This really appealed to me as it took away some of the stresses involved with planning a summer internship for people, like myself, living outside of London. Additionally, I liked how this showed that Rothschild & Co valued workers in other parts of the UK. The regional offices are also much smaller teams, which means that you were able to build up a strong relationship with everyone in the office.
Perhaps more importantly is the culture at Rothschild & Co. Having already spoken to someone who had completed the summer internship the previous year, I knew that Rothschild & Co was a very friendly place to work, and that I would feel welcome. Every single colleague that I met throughout my internship was always willing to help with work, or give my advice and this made my whole experienced (from interview, all the way to the completion of the internship) thoroughly happy and enjoyable.
How did you build your commercial awareness before the interview?
I read Economics & Management which means that my degree requires a lot of outside reading about business and banking, so I spend a lot of time reading different financial/business newspapers anyway. However, before the interview I made sure to research specific Rothschild deals so that I had company specific commercial awareness.
How did Bright Network help you secure this role?
Bright Network was a very helpful resource as it allowed me to read about other people’s experiences at Rothschild & Co, and other investment banks. As well as my own research into different banks, Bright Network’s Success Stories allowed me to read about first-hand experiences. This allowed me to gain an insight into the culture at different banks, and so help me to narrow down the number of programs that I wanted to apply to.
Furthermore, I found the CV advice extremely useful. Although I already had a CV, Bright Network’s advice helped me to make small changes to make it even better.
What top three tips would you give Bright Network members looking to follow in your footsteps.
- Before applying to a summer internship, make sure to do a lot of research into the company that you are applying to. Not only does this ensure that you want to work there, but it is useful when writing cover letters, and answering interview questions to have in-depth knowledge about the firm.
- Try to go to as many networking sessions as you can. Especially smaller events, such as networking brunches or dinners, as this gives you lots of opportunities to ask questions that you may not be able to find the answers to online. This adds to the personal research that you have already found with first-hand experiences and insider knowledge from people that actually work there.
- In an interview, take the time to think about your response before answering a tough question. You do not have to answer every question instantaneously, it is much better to think about your answer first so that your response will be sensible, concise, and easy to understand.
What has been the toughest interview question you faced?
Although this is not really a question, for my second Rothschild & Co interview, I was asked to prepare a presentation on a recent deal of my choice. I initially found this very difficult as I had never prepared something like this before, and I struggled to decide what to include and how to set out my presentation. However, I took the time to make a few PowerPoint slides, make notes on what I was going to say, and try to prepare for questions that I may be asked. It was scary presenting when I knew that the people, I was presenting to would have much more knowledge in the field than I do, but my interviewers put my mind at ease. Although I was asked challenging questions in response to the presentation, this just made the whole experience more enjoyable! It is important to remember that the interviewers are not looking to trip you up, they just want to get the very best out of you!