Getting the grad role you want – Luke Tiller
Where did you go to university and what did you study?
I studied Marine Biology at the University of Plymouth and completed an MA in Finance and Investment at the University of Nottingham.
How did you become interested in investment banking?
I was working as a financial adviser and figured out that while finance was definitely for me, I wasn’t satisfied in that role and wanted to be involved in markets.
Why did you choose to work at an investment bank?
I wanted to be involved in finance at the highest level and I do my best work when under pressure. I needed something that kept me interested and provided a swift upward career path. Working for an investment bank gave me the opportunity to achieve/pursue all of these things.
Can you provide an overview of your graduate program and tell us what you liked the most?
On the graduate program I undertook one week of classroom training, two months of rotations in other departments and then spent time on the desk training specifically for my role.
In terms of the initial training period, the best thing about the program was getting a holistic understanding of the firm, meeting people from all over the office and understanding how they work together. From then on, the best part is the speed at which I gained responsibility and became a contributing member of the team.
Why did you choose to start your career here and how does the firm differ from other banks?
It was a really tough job market for graduates when I came out of university in 2010 and unlike other firms it was growing and therefore offered more opportunities.
The firm has a small collegiate working environment with a definite lack of banking stereotypes, but the backing of a huge global banking parent, which is an unusual combination.
Can you outline your role?
I am salesperson who manages relationships with UK investor clients that trade corporate bonds. These clients are Asset Managers, Insurance Companies, Hedge Funds and Private Banks. It is my job to encourage them to do trades with the bank and try to capture as much of their business as possible, while at the same time protecting the trading desk and providing them with information on what clients are doing in the market.
What’s a typical day? What hours do you usually work?
I typically start at 7am and finish at 5:30-6:00pm, with the occasional client event in the evening.
What do you enjoy the most about your role?
I like the people I work with and I have always been someone that likes to be in a performance-related environment.
What do you enjoy the least about your role?
The early mornings, I’m a night person!
What characteristics do you need to be successful at an investment bank?
As a junior, you need to be willing and keen to learn, while carefully treading the line between demonstrating confidence/showing your potential and being arrogant, which can be tricky. You also need to be willing to put in the hard work.
What advice would you give to someone looking to get into the industry?
Try and get any experience you can and if you know people in the industry try and find out what different roles involve so you can figure out what you’d actually like to do, at least at a high level. You need to be persistent as you will likely be rejected more times than you get called up for interview. I applied for nearly 150 jobs, went to more networking/career events than I care to remember and it took over a year before I found my graduate position.