|Senior Associate (Banking)|
|Finance and consultancy|
|Large business (250+ employees)|
More about Alexander
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A day in the life of a Senior Associate (Banking) in the United Kingdom
Banks are not just interested in economics or finance students, so be willing to detail where you passions lie beyond banking as it will set you apart.
Briefly describe the organisation you work for
JPMorgan Chase is an American multi-national investment and corporate bank. It is the largest bank in the United States.
What do you do?
I work on European Business Strategy within the Wholesale Payments pillar of the firm, which covers the Treasury, Merchant and Trade Finance businesses of the Investment Bank. I work in their Canary Wharf EMEA headquarters.
Reflecting upon your past employment and education, what led you to your current career choice?
I joined their graduate programme straight out of York in August 2016. I was interested in finance from the perspective that my straight BA Politics degree didn't exactly cover economics to the extent I was interested to learn.
Is your current job sector different from what you thought you would enter when you graduated?
Working in finance was never my original plan. I wanted to join the uber competitive Civil Service Fast Stream, but in the interests of not putting all my eggs in one basket, I also applied to JPMorgan after they were proposed to me by a housemate who had interned there. I happened to receive my offer at JPMorgan the same weekend I was declined from the Civil Service, so I took that as an omen to accept.
Describe your most memorable day at work
Moving $500bn of client money in one weekend as part of Brexit-readiness for March 2019.
Are there any challenges associated with your job?
Working in 'Strategy', sometimes there are forces outside of my control. Being a project manager means that you know the end-to-end of your programme, its goals and intentions, but never the finer technical or operational details of issues until they arise. The skill is knowing when to understand certain elements in more detail ahead of time, whilst leaving the rest for those you trust most.
What’s your work environment and culture like?
Banks often have a bad reputation for working culture, however JPMorgan is recognised as being a very progressive and reputable organisation when it comes to culture and diversity. I am consistently impressed with their emphasis on supporting their staff through their lives; the culture, in the departments I have worked in at least, has been very warm and welcoming.
What extracurricular activities did you undertake at university and what transferable skills did you develop through these?
I was Langwith College President in 2015 (delegation and leadership); I was part of an International Study Centre in my second year summer (working in a team to solve a problem); I was a writer and deputy-editor for Nouse (ability to write and edit technical prose).
What would you like to do next with your career?
I do want to make the hop into the public sector and the Civil Service in Whitehall within the next 3-5 years.
What top tips do you have for York students preparing for today’s job market and life after graduation?
Getting into the finance industry is the hardest step; be willing to compromise to get a foot in the door; don't sell yourself as just another banker in waiting - banks are not just interested in economics or finance students, so be willing to detail where you passions lie beyond banking as it will set you apart. Beyond finance, be kind to yourself; navigating the world of work during your final year is tough.
What topics from students are you happy to answer questions on?
I'm happy to offer advice on the application process I experienced or give greater detail on my time in investment banking/corporate finance, as well as living/working in London
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