Six top tips for a career in finance

Nadim Choudhury is the Head of Careers at the London Institute of Banking and Finance. Here are his top six tips to consider if you’re thinking about a career in Banking: 

1.    What are your values? Are they aligned to banking careers?

 Take the time to really ask yourself what you want from your future. What are your values and what do you want to achieve from the world of work?  Banking careers do provide great career prospects and the rewards associated with the industry are high, but money shouldn’t be your main motivating factor for joining the industry. You need to have a high level of integrity and a desire to work with customers and clients. If you don’t like working with people, banking is not a career for you! 

2.    Become an expert – do your research! 

Careers in banking are extremely diverse, from investment banking to retail/commercial banking, to asset management and private wealth. Each area is different and requires a set a skills that are unique to the various roles. You need to become familiar with the different terminology used in banking. What are some the challenges facing the industry and how is the current economic condition and major global/political considerations impacting the sector? You need to do as much research as possible, learn about the sector before you start a career! 

3.    Develop your network

Talk to as many people as possible to find out what a career in banking is really like. The more people you speak with, the better your understanding will be of different career paths in the sector. Networking is a life skill that is very much in needed in the world of banking, it is a method used to develop new business, so the earlier you can become familiar with how to effectively network, the better it will be when applying for your first role in banking. 

4.    Understand the importance of regulation

Gone are the days when bankers could operate in an environment where taking inappropriate risks was the norm.  Being a banker these days means being completely aligned and open to the regulatory environment, you must be comfortable following the rules and be open to ongoing training and development - If you want a career in banking, being comfortable with working in a complex regulatory involvement is crucial. 


5.    Start early, secure internships and work experience

Gain some work experience after your A-Levels (or equivalent), and have a plan in place to get a few internships. In the past, having one summer internship during university used to be enough to secure a graduate job in banking: this is no longer the case. Nowadays, students will have to have completed multiple internships in different areas before they have graduated to secure a role - starting early is crucial!

6.  Don’t give up!

If you’re certain that banking is the career for you, you will need to get used to rejection. Don’t let knockbacks deter you! Being resilient will help you land your first role – learn from the rejection and move on.

If you would like to find our more about how a degree programme in Banking & Finance can help you with your career prospects, head over to the London Institute of Banking and Finance’s website.