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Banking & Finance

What does it involve?

This is perhaps the best known and yet the least understood of all the sectors which commonly employ graduates. Part of the reason for this is the vast breadth of roles encompassed within this sector - from highly technical or analytical positions to client focussed roles which are all about relationships.

Fundamentally though, finance is about the movement of money; from investors to companies, from companies to investors, from individuals to banks and banks to families (mortgages and loans), from banks to companies (loans) and companies to banks (deposits).

There's a lot of terminology involved with all this, which can often seem confusing. Here are some definitions of phrases you'll probably keep hearing:

  • Corporate Finance: finding money (investment) for companies.
  • Venture Capital: taking money from investors and investing in early stage businesses.
  • Private Equity: using investor's money to buy companies outright.
  • Equities Trading: buying and selling shares in listed (public) companies.

Our recommendation here is that if you find the concept of finance attractive, do your research into the full breadth of opportunities - and don't be put off by all the words! One great resource to help with this is Finimize, the daily email that curates and explains the financial news in 3 minutes and with no jargon.

At its best: Fast-paced and exciting with real exposure to global macro economic forces and trends, getting to grips with the essentials of a huge range of businesses, developing skills, relationships and knowledge of a space which can take you all over the world.

At its worst: An odd mix of dull yet challenging work, with periods of total boredom followed by frantic scrambling to get some data or slides together because someone more senior had a bad idea; detached from 'real economy' and yet not learning much about finance either.

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