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The benefits of an internship in financial services

21 October, 2014Eoghan Hughes

As part of its commitment to professional and technical learning and its strong links with the industry, ifs University College encourages all of its undergraduate students to build up their experience by undertaking an internship in the financial services sector.

Internships, particularly in a competitive industry like financial services allow students to stand out from their peers by demonstrating a personal commitment to practical learning and gaining vital “on-the-job” skills.

Recently, several of ifs University College’s second-year undergraduate completed summer internships at a variety of companies, ranging from large multi-national banks to small start-up consumer businesses. As part of the scheme, the students were invited to present their experiences to fellow students, ifs University College staff and financial services stakeholders – an opportunity they readily accepted.

Eight students in total presented to an eager audience. Joe Read, Poppy Le Marechal, Hugh Bevan, Ahmet Mustafa, Aryan Amirbashiri, Saziye Ibrahim, George Dench and James Tweed all completed internships ranging from eight to ten weeks at some of the UK’s leading financial institutions, including Barclays, Norwich & Peterborough Building Society and Natwest.

During their placements, all of the students were given a range of different responsibilities, helping them to experience a variety of different roles, which will benefit them in deciding their future careers. They included processing credit applications, liaising with clients, developing IT solutions, carrying out marketing audits and undertaking due diligence.

All of the students commented that the skills and knowledge they had learned through their BSc qualifications with ifs University College were highly relevant to their placements and had been a critical factor in making them successful.

As a sign of the high esteem in which the students were held by the companies where they were placed, most have now either secured a full-time position on completion of their studies, or are continuing to work one day a week with their companies.

Commenting on the benefits of undertaking a work-based internship, Joe Read, who completed his internship with the Bank of Cyprus said:

My internship provided a fascinating experience and allowed me to gain valuable insight into the thought processes of senior leaders in Banking today. It has allowed me to gain practical experience and exposure to the industry and has provided the perfect platform to begin my career.”