Life after university: navigating the banking and finance industry as a new graduate

04 April, 2023Mutahara Gofur

alfie taylorDeciding what to study at university is an important choice that can be difficult to make. Alfie Taylor is one of our BSc (Hons) Finance, Investment, and Risk graduates. We spoke to him about his role as a risk analyst at JM Finn, what led him to pursue a career in banking and finance, and what advice he would give to those thinking of entering the industry.

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

I was interested in the financial world before going to university, so I chose a degree that appealed to me based on this. I was never one of those people who knew exactly what kind of career to pursue, so picking a broader degree in a field that I found interesting made the most sense for me.

How did doing a degree at LIBF prepare you for your career and what kind of support did you receive?

For me, the lecturers and career staff were what stood out the most. The modules gave me well-rounded  knowledge and having them delivered by people with industry experience added an extra level of value, especially when I began my career.

For example, I was a lot more confident using information I’d learnt from their lessons in interviews or industry conversations. The Careers and Employability team were great, and it was incredibly easy to reach out to them for help at any point. They were instrumental in facilitating my placement, which was also a great asset when applying for jobs or doing interviews.

What was the process of finding a job like as a new graduate and what were some challenges you faced?

My biggest challenge was deciding which area of finance I wanted to pursue, having purposely picked a degree that would keep my options open. Once I narrowed my focus and got into the routine of submitting applications, the process was less daunting than expected.

What do you enjoy most about your role as a risk analyst?

What I enjoy the most about my role how varied it is. Being a risk analyst gives me great exposure to the firm and allows me to understand much more of how the whole business functions. This offers a pleasant contrast to roles that require the same daily tasks to be fulfilled.

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

The first piece of advice I would offer would be to dedicate time to research and understand which area of finance best suits your interests and strengths. Secondly, once you feel confident in what you are applying for, the key is to remain consistent and persevere with job applications. My final piece of advice would be to make sure your CV and LinkedIn are always kept up to date, ready for any new opportunities.

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