Degree: Master’s in Economics and Finance, First, University of Lund, Sweden
Year of graduation: 2006
Occupation: Analyst trader at J.P.Morgan
What do you do in your job?
When I joined the company in September last year, I did a two-week course with all the new graduates in London, where we trained to do our Financial Services Authority exams. We then went to New York for eight weeks for a training programme to prepare for our market positions. At the end of November, we started working. I’d already done an internship here in the summer of 2005 and came back to the same desk I’d been working on. My job now involves being a market maker for European government bonds. I supply prices to clients – via our sales team – who want to buy and sell European government bonds. So if they want to sell, I give them a bid, and if they want to buy, I give them an offer. I can do this because J.P.Morgan has an agreement with European governments whereby we take responsibility to provide the prices for the bonds. Because we have this responsibility, we get to participate in different auctions when governments issue new bonds. A team of 12 of us do this work. We generally work 12-hour days, Monday to Friday.
What was your motivation in applying?
I had an interest in markets, and when I participated in a study trip to some of the London banks during my time at university, I was attracted to the stimulating environments and the thought of working alongside such skilled individuals. I was particularly attracted to working with interest rates, and knew that J.P.Morgan was strong in this area. I also liked the kind of people that worked at the company.
What did the application process involve?
The first step was an online application form, which included questions about motivation. I was then called to a first round of generic interviews, where I also had to do a numerical test. The second-round interviews were with a more specific team, and involved some group exercises at an assessment centre.
What do you enjoy about your job?
The fast pace. It’s challenging, but at the same time stimulating. I also like working with people who are the best at what they do. You can learn so much from them. Working close to the markets, and being able to follow exactly what happens the second it happens, is particularly stimulating.
Most challenging part of your job?
You have to really hit the ground running when you join, and that can be difficult because you’re trying to balance performing well with learning all the things you need to know. But I don’t think of that as a negative thing. It’s actually a great opportunity.
Advice to readers considering a career in your field?
Try to get some experience of business during your studies – by visiting campus recruitment events, reading some of the banks’ web pages, speaking to some alumni working in banks, and ultimately applying for an internship.