A bit unsure as to career direction!


Hello all! I’ve just joined this site as I’m looking to persue a career within the financial sector. My only issue is I’m a little unsure where to go with it but this seems like a good place to seek advice!

Basically I have just finished my second year of uni studying a joint honours degree of Business studies and Legal studies, graduating next june and going from my results this year (despite a partly disapointing first semester…) I will be expecting a 1st when I graduate.

I have been (inconsistently) studying with the aim of persuing a career within Investment Banking for the past few years and the area does strongly interest me. It’s just what area of IB to go into! How do you choose which area is best for you m&a, asset management, risk management etc!

Also I don’t have any work experience within IB or finance and I’ve read that this will make it very difficult to get a place on a graduate course? Is it possible to begin by working at a smaller private firm? Before moving onto the global institutions?

Any advice would be much appreciated.



My advice to you my friend is to understand the difference between Investment banking (IB) and investment managemnt (IM) because from your post it seems that you think everthing comes under the banner of IB.

IB is to do with m&a, IPOs, SEOs etc. whereas investment management (or sometimes called asset management or portfolio management) is all to do with managing a fund of cash with a specific investment mandate.

I thought i would point this out to you as i have had a few interviews and recently secured a position with an investment management firm and it is a simple interview question that is often asked to catch people out. Never confuse the two as it would get peoples backs up who are in the industry.

As for the first part of your post if you get that first it will help no end, i achieved a first and it was an extremely good to talk about and will set you apart from others. If i were you would try and obtain some sort of work experience, this helps for two reasons: 1) it gives you some good examples to talk about when asked questions at interview stage and 2) it gives you a good insight into what is actually involved in specific roles which will allow you to get an idea of where you may want to end up.

Hope this helps .


Thank you, your advice is much appreciated! I did think it could all come under the term IB so thanks for clarifying that.

I’m aiming toget the first, I got a mix of 2:1’s and 1sts this semester just gone so with a bit of a push and a year of hard work it should hopefully pay off!

Where’s the best place too look for work experience? I contacted a lot of smaller stockbroking firms to see if it would be possible to do any unpaid work experience with them but received no reply from the majority and those that did said they were unable to take anyone on at the current time. Is it worth doing some accounting work experience? Or are there other places to look which may be more suitable alternatives?


Hi, Tom-89

I’m currently looking to get into IB aswell, but I’m a law graduate. Subsequently in order to get the relevant work exp, I’m applying to a lot of firms’ winter internship programs, and going from there. Seems to be the only way open to me.


very good point; commercial awareness is what most interview stage candidates fall down on