Name: Jonathan Pope, 23
Degree: Engineering, Cambridge, 2:1, 2003
Occupation: Analyst, Morgan Stanley
What do you do in your job?
As foreign exchange is a 24-hour market, I begin each day quite early at 6.30 am, attending a morning meeting to discuss prominent news and movements that may have occurred during New York’s and Asia’s trading hours. Being a trader it would be very difficult to describe a typical day as each is very different depending on how news and flows are affecting the market. Some days are filled with incident, while other days can be relatively quiet and it is during these periods that I try to read as much research as possible and formulate trade ideas.
What was your motivation in applying?
After deciding I was interested in a banking career, I attended the various on-campus presentations by different banks. Morgan Stanley impressed me as I felt it managed to balance the professionalism of one of the top-tier banks while maintaining a personable relationship among its employees. I accepted a summer internship and it was extremely well organised. It allowed an insight into all areas of fixed income. It confirmed that banking was the career I wanted to pursue, so I accepted a full-time position.
What did the application process involve?
The application for the internship involved filling in an online application. Once this was passed I went to a testing centre where there was a maths test, a number of interviews and a group planning exercise.
What do you enjoy about your job?
You are always given the chance to prove what you can do. When I first arrived, I was required to lend a hand on the sales side. It was daunting, but in hindsight there was no better to way to learn as quickly as I did
Most challenging part of the job?
Working in foreign exchange means my role is intense, fast paced and requires an ability to make the correct decision under pressure. However, there are few things that can beat making a good trade! Since joining I have got past the technical jargon of foreign-exchange trading and now pay a lot of attention to the technical analysis.
It would be a lie to say that the hours are not demanding in this job but starting early allows me to finish early.
Advice to readers considering a career in your field:
Although the industry is well paid, I feel that this is the wrong reason to decide on a career in banking. As you are likely to spend the large majority of your day at the office, it is important to do your homework and confirm that it is an environment in which you will be happy and, in turn, productive.