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Accountancy and business services cover many areas, including auditing, insurance, taxation and financial management. Roles can be within the private, public or voluntary sectors.
Consultancy offers independent advice and expertise to clients on a variety of issues (like improving company performance and business planning).
Finance and consultancy make up one of the largest sectors to recruit graduates. Employers range from international companies to small businesses. Some firms have in-house finance departments, while others hire external consultants and accountancy providers.
Research the sector and keep up with current issues by reading:
Jobs in finance and consultancy are often high pressure and involve working long hours. Depending on the kind of role, you will need to demonstrate these skills:
While graduates of any discipline can go into these careers, for a career in finance you may have to take on-the-job finance qualifications to progress. Some graduate schemes include further qualifications as part of their schemes. For more information, read about finance qualifications from Prospects.
Work experience is essential for this competitive sector. You should think about:
There are opportunities exclusively for students from black, asian or other ethnic minority backgrounds (BAME) to gain work experience in finance and consultancy. Some popular schemes include SEO London, Uncovering Prospects and the Windsor Fellowship. Visit the drop-in in Careers and Placements for help finding more schemes.
Many consultancy firms are based in London; Grad Interview Prep have a comprehensive list of London-based firms with the industry each works in, Glassdoor ratings and starting salaries.
If you’re interested in a particular area of finance and consultancy, look on these specialist vacancy sites:
Banking (investment and retail)
City Jobs lists job opportunities across all specialisms.
Insurance, pensions and actuarial
Most large employers in this sector have multi-stage recruitment processes, which may include any of the following:
Applications close very early for some schemes - some in December - so give yourself enough time to apply.
Smaller companies may have simpler recruitment processes. This may include applying with your CV and an interview for shortlisted candidates.
There are lots of things you can do right now at university to help you get the skills and experience for a career in finance or consulting: