Name: Matthew Tillett
Undergraduate degree: Economics and Economic History, Bristol University, 2002-05 (First class)
Masters degree: International Political Economy, London School of Economics and Political Science, 2005-6 (Distinction)
Job Title: Research Analyst
WHAT IT IS YOU ACTUALLY DO?
I am an equity research analyst, with particular responsibility for European media companies. The primary purpose of my job is to research and analyse stocks and then make investment recommendations to our in-house fund managers. The research process involves a mix of qualitative and quantitative analysis – building financial models, conducting fundamental analysis, speaking to the company management, their suppliers and customers, talking to other investors, monitoring news flow, etc.
WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO GO INTO THE FINANCIAL SECTOR?
I am someone who enjoys anything that is intellectually challenging. This had always been the case at the university. Therefore, I sought a career that would allow me to develop this part of my character. The financial markets are a hive of curiosities, anomalies and paradoxes – perfect for someone of my disposition.
HOW DID YOU FIND OUT ABOUT YOUR PARTICULAR COURSE?
I found out about the RCM Global Graduate programme via the London School of Economics careers service website.
WOULD YOU UNDERTAKE FURTHER TRAINING TO FURTHER YOUR CAREER?
Yes – Indeed, I am currently studying for the Chartered Financial Analyst exams (CFA).
WHAT DIO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT YOU DO?
Most of all I enjoy the freedom that the job gives me. I have the scope to explore any investment idea within my sector that I think could be of interest to the investment platform. I can use the company’s huge resources to collate research and data from as many sources as possible. I enjoy the ownership I have over this process, the ability to follow an idea right through from inception to actually implementing it as a trade.
ARE THERE ANY DOWNSIDES?
The flip side is that you need to be fairly independently minded to really enjoy the job. It is not the kind of job where one gets a lot of direction from senior employees. For some people, especially those who prefer more hierarchical work environments, this could be a downside.
WHAT DO YOU THINK ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT SKILLS/STRENGTHS YOU NEED TO MAKE A SUCCESS OF WHAT YOU DID?
I think the most important attribute for this job is curiosity. Most of the people I work with are all naturally very inquisitive. They are driven by a desire to gain a deeper understanding of what is driving the financial markets and the wider economy. Of course no one can ever fully understand the financial markets, but what matters is enjoying the process of trying.
WHAT WOULD BE YOUR BEST PIECE OF ADVICE FOR GRADUATES WISHING TO COME INTO THIS SECTOR?
Before making any applications, do as much practical research as possible: run a fantasy stocks and share portfolio; read some of the investment classics; talk to anyone you know in the business. This is not only essential to find out if you will actually enjoy the job, it will also radically improve your chances at the interview stage.
IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE YOU WOULD LIKE TO ADD?
Try to avoid the mistake of not being totally clear, both with yourself and with potential employers, about what it is you want from your job. Where do you derive your energy from – intellectual challenge, prospects for rapid career advancement, financial gain etc.? I found that once I had answered this question, the process of actually finding the right job was much easier.