William was a summer analyst at J.P. Morgan and received a full-time offer following his internship. He studied History, Politics and Economics at UCL.
1. Why did you choose to apply to J.P. Morgan over other banks?
When I was looking for internships and attending different employers’ presentations, each of them spoke about their fantastic cultures. However, when it comes to JP Morgan, the culture there really is special. This is something I realised during the application process, and even more so during my internship. Very few other organisations have the same global reach, reputation, and commitment to training young people that JP Morgan has. Moreover, right from the outset of my internship I was made to feel a part of the team and giving meaningful work to do, particularly as the internship progressed.
2. What do you think helped you stand out from the crowd in the application process?
Nowadays, I think it is very important to have previous work experience when applying for internships. I was fortunate enough to have done a few internships before applying across different areas, some of which were relevant or similar to banking. Having previous work experience, especially relevant experience, allows you to be far more confident in the interview and far more competent in dealing with any technical questions that might be thrown at you; I have found that no amount of textbook work gives you as solid of an understanding of financial basics than does doing it day-in day-out for real.
3. What sort of tasks were you given as an intern?
I interned in the UK & Ireland Corporate Sales team, so a lot of my work involved putting together presentations and slides for my colleagues and clients outside the bank. In addition to that, I also worked on a variety of other projects, ranging from quantitative excel work to industry and client research.
4. What did you enjoy most about your internship? What did you find most challenging?
Like I mentioned earlier, I really enjoyed being able to work on meaningful and engaging projects; when I was stuck into to a challenging piece of work, the hours seemed to genuinely fly by! I think what was most challenging was the fact that I had to juggle multiple projects at once. At university, I was able to work on various essays and projects one at a time and towards concrete deadlines. However, during my internships, the nature of my work was more fluid and ad hoc. Fortunately, the ability to juggle multiple projects is something you quickly pick up as the internship progresses!
5. What are the 3 biggest challenges facing European financial markets over the next 5 years?
The biggest one, in my opinion, is of course Brexit. At the time of writing, we still don’t know exactly what the outcome will be, which creates uncertainty for both British firms and international firms with significant business in the UK.
Beyond Brexit, I think that increasing international protectionism and further fracturing of the EU present additional potential challenges.
6. What’s your top piece of advice for prospective applicants?
My best pieces of advice would be to take your time crafting a good application, and to practice practice practice when it comes to the interview stage! To me, the best way to overcome interview nerves was to practice any chance I could, be it with societies in university of with my friends in similar situations. Back to the first piece, its very important that your application is well-written and free of errors; it is vital that you make a good first impression!
7. Would you rather fight one horse-sized duck, or 100 duck-sized horses?
It would have to be one horse-sized duck! I wouldn’t have a chance against 100 duck-sized horses; I’d be swarmed in seconds. I’d much prefer coming up against the larger opponent and being able to duck and dodge!