Can I Get Finance Work Experience as a Graduate?

Don’t feel like you’ve passed your sell-by date as soon as you tick over into graduate territory if you haven’t bagged any work experience yet. There’s something you can do about it!

Many internship opportunities in the finance industry are directed towards students in their penultimate year of university. In industries like investment banking (particularly front office roles) and asset management, you’re going to find it difficult to get into their graduate roles if you’ve missed out on an internship at that stage. Owing to the popularity and competition for these opportunities, it’s possible that they won’t consider your application for this stage if you’re a graduate already.

Finance work experience opportunities

But you’re not done yet! If you’re a bit of a late bloomer in deciding whether or not you want to pursue a finance career, it could still be possible to gain work experience at a professional services firm or smaller national financial firm.

Even better, though, you still might be able to head straight into a graduate role in some areas. If the idea of working in finance appeals to you enough, you could give the graduate roles a whirl right now. Investment banks and top asset management firms don’t tend to accept graduates with no experience at all in the industry, however if you can get work experience through training within an area such as accountancy, you could pick up two or three years of experience and a professional qualification which can be attractive to investment banking recruiters if you still fancy a career in that area in the future.

Candidates with work experience will have an advantage to some extent; however if you’re a strong enough candidate yourself with a great academic record (a minimum of a 2:1 is a standard requirement) , aptitude in the things they’re looking for (for example a head for mathematics), and you’re able to communicate your reasons for your interest in the industry, then there’s no reason why you won’t be considered for a graduate scheme within accountancy or an area like retail banking or financial planning.