How To Secure An A-Level Insight Day In Investment Banking.

So you want to get a head start in applying for A-level insight days? Great! In this article I will be sharing with you my experiences of applying for these particular events and my tips for sending off a stand out application.

1. Link the skills gained from work experience and extracurriculars to the internship you are applying for.

Now not everyone will have insight days prior to A-levels, unless you have contacts within the industry, so don’t expect to talk about what you did at X bank. Instead, relate what you done during your spare time, outside of academia, to the job you are applying for. So if X bank required individuals to work in a team during the insight day, talk about your teamwork skills you obtained in say your part-time job or from any sport that you play. Even throw in additional transferrable skills you gained from those hobbies like being a natural leader or being able to handle pressure. Use this link to relate your experiences to the insight day if the job description isn’t too detailed. In my CV I linked all of my experiences to these transferrable skills.

2. Adjust your CV.

You can easily find many sites on the internet to help you with your CV; some include websites like this. My tip here is to make it simple and quick to read. Separate the sections so you have education at the top which lists your A-level predictions and GCSE’s. Then add other information, from most relevant to least, so anything you think makes you most suited for the A-level insight day. Since I didn’t have any prior banking exposure I placed my football, management and volunteering experience below education, and then my work experience; only finance-related experience I had was accounting. I also discussed about the projects I was working on and other skills I had, like speaking several languages.

3. Don’t be afraid to ask for help!

I have to say that this step helped me tremendously. I essentially created an account of LinkedIn and branched out to current undergraduates who were applying for spring weeks and summer placements. They had already been through the application process before so they knew what current A-level students were going through. They were helpful to me as they showed me their CV’s and gave advice on what I could include. Just make sure you don’t send them a message saying ‘show me your CV’, but instead try to break the ice in a non-confrontational way. I essentially branched out to students who went to the university I was going to so it was easy for me to connect with them.

4. Have top A-level predicted grades.

You will be competing with thousands of students up and down the country, some even from further ashore, so the level of competition will be high. Investment banks and consultancies don’t just look for relevant experiences but they want students with top academics. This point that I made wasn’t something I was fully aware of until recently for A-level insight days and so I’m telling you through my own experiences. For my A-level’s I was predicted AAAA which seems great, right? Wrong! I was up against hundreds of students who were predicted at least one or two A* grades meaning that I was already disadvantaged in the academics department. Now I don’t know how much emphasis banks put on predicted grades but it’s unlikely that they would use contextual data like looking at your schools past performances; I’ve seen banks like Deutsche bank used contextual data for free school meals but I haven’t seen anything beyond that. So try to speak nicely to your teachers to raise your predicted grades as high as possible, it will help. It’s fair to say that my predictions, not entirely however, had a partial blame for me not securing a place on some A-level insight days.

5. Don’t put all your eggs into one basket.

Apply for as many A-level insight days as humanely possible. As I said before, these events are insanely competitive and so to increase your probability of obtaining one of these events you have to apply for as many as you can, providing you put in a lot of effort for each application. Do not be disheartened if you get rejected. I felt quite frustrated after being denied a couple of times but if you  put in the effort, hopefully, you will end up with some luck and obtain an A-level insight day. All in all, good luck!

I have added the A-level insight days, consulting included, for the 2017 cycle. Use these links as a reference for which companies may host more events for the 2018 and future cycles.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch – Future Insights

JP Morgan – School Insight Day

Morgan Stanley – Mixed Open Day

Deutsche Bank – I Have A Dream

Hymans Robertson – Work Experience 

McKinsey & Company- Leadership Academy 

HSBC and Credit Suisse may offer A-level insight days too.

Does the UK really need EU migrants?

Does the UK really need EU migrants?

‘Brexit’ has caused concern for many people, particularly EU migrants who are currently residing in the United Kingdom. Angela Merkel and her other associates within the European Union are not budging on UK demands and insist on having free movement for their EU nationals. This begs the question really: does the UK really need EU migrants??

When focusing on European nationals, EEA (European Economic Area) citizens arriving in the UK had given a net fiscal contribution of £2.54bn between 2013-2014. Despite £560 million being given in child credit and so on, they have contributed over £3.11bn to the UK’s economy through work. With the ageing population of the United Kingdom not helping it’s effort for the economy to grow, it seems that it is a must that the more youthful and proactive individuals from the EU come to work on UK soil. EU migrants also make up a relatively large portion of the workforce for a range of industries within the UK. In the food manufacturing industry, for instance, 31% of the workforce is made up of EU migrants; the transportation and textile industry having 15% and 11% of the work population made up of EU nationals respectively. In addition, approximately 380,000 out of 2 million workers in the UK’s financial sector are made up of EU migrants. Clearly it is evident that EU nationals do have an important role in our economy, in contributing to taxes which can help local schools or in fixing roads, and filling in job vacancies.

Attitude to immigration in Britain’s perspective has been, however, quite negative with over 60% in 2013 believing immigration is an issue, according to figures released by Ipsos MORI. This is the highest of any other European nation with Slovakia, which is at second place, having only 46% of their population believing that immigration is an issue and not an opportunity. This attitude to immigration is not something new in Britain’s history, however. According to a study, in 1964, 85% of the population believed that there were too many immigrants. This decrease to 60% shows that the perception towards immigration does change over time. But why is there a negative perception of immigration in the first place? When I asked passers-by in a shopping centre in Kent, a region that had one of the highest number of votes for UKIP in the 2016 general election, about why they had a negative perception towards immigration the overall consensus that I had heard were that EU migrants were lowering salaries and taking jobs. A report from the London School of Economics had suggested however that “the big fall in wages after 2008 are due to the global financial crisis and a weak economic recovery, not immigration.” Also, jobs are open to everyone and so an EU migrant have no additional advantage over UK nationals other than their own personal characteristics.

EU migrants it seems are therefore quite beneficial to the UK’s economy. With the ‘Brexit’ negotiations underway it is hopeful that the UK’s parliament make efforts to respect free movement so that the UK’s economy continues to grow. The next thing that we don’t want is another recession…

How important is a continuation of free trade with the European Union for the United Kingdom?

How important is a continuation of free trade with the European Union for the United Kingdom?

On Thursday, 23rd June 2016, Britain leaving the European Union was dubbed as ‘Independence Day’, a day for everyone to remember: pro and non-pro Euro skeptics, businesses and families will have to wait and see what policies the UK will devise before triggering Article 50. Despite the chaos that has transpired after the EU referendums’ vote, it is important to understand what free trade is and why we have it in place.

For various neighbouring economies to have some degree of economic success, it is imperative that these countries form healthy trade relationships. Free trade, which allows countries to import and export goods without any trade barriers, can be beneficial for countries involved by helping bolster economic growth; trade barriers being a government-imposed restraint. Understanding why free trade is advantageous can help us understand why it is done in the first place.

The report below, which is from a students perspective, gives you an insight into the trade relationship between these two economic powerhouses and helps you judge the importance of this deep-rooted relationship.