National Careers Week: Life after a banking and finance degree

06 March, 2023Mutahara Gofur
ryley hare

For National Careers Week, we spoke to Ryley Hare, a finance and operations assistant at IMR Metallurgical Resources AG and LIBF alumnus, about life after graduating and his career so far.

Why did you choose to do a banking and finance degree?

I was originally set on studying economics at degree level. But what drew me in about the BSc (Hons) Banking & Finance degree at LIBF was the fact that it was more specialised and the lecturers had actual industry experience. I thought the course would teach me concepts and skills that would be applicable to my career.

How did doing a degree with us prepare you for your career?

Studying at LIBF taught me about all the different avenues and sectors within the finance industry. I also learnt practical skills, which I have already started to put to use in my work.

The degree also provided an insight into the industry, as the lecturers were able to describe what was really involved in the sectors they had worked in.

The careers and employability team were great in offering consistent support. Although the pandemic was an obstacle, they still organised great events with alumni and industry professionals. This gave us a chance to network and learn more about the different career opportunities in banking and finance.

What was the process of finding a job like, as a new graduate?

It goes without saying that finding a job in finance is a challenge. I began applying for roles in September of my third year and faced consistent rejections right up until the end of the year. The upside to this is that you really get comfortable with interviewing and the myriad of online tests which are presented to you.

The main challenge is the high level of competition in the industry, so it helps to have something that sets you apart. For example, having any sort of experience, industry related or not, or having participated in a society or a club.

What do you enjoy the most about your role?

Working within international trade and finance means that I get to interact with colleagues and counterparties from across the world every single day. From Europe to Asia to South America, collaborating with individuals from different countries is critical in our daily work.

Experiencing the different ways of working and collaborating to solve problems is always interesting, no matter the situation. I also love that I’m involved in and have an overview of the complete international transaction process, including purchasing, financing, operations and sales.

It’s always rewarding when a transaction is complete and you can actually see the value you’ve helped to create.

What advice would you give to recent graduates who want to pursue a career in banking and finance?

Stay resilient in the search for your first role, think of every interview as a learning opportunity, and keep trying. Don’t limit your search to one or two specialties within the sector unless you’re certain that’s what you want to do.

I think it’s best to keep an open mind and apply for roles that you think sound genuinely interesting or where you think you would be a good fit.

There are so many different opportunities out there and any experience is good experience.

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