Meet the Recruiter: Carris Russell, Asset Management at J.P. Morgan

Carris Russell is a Campus Recruiter within the Asset Management division at top tier investment bank J.P. Morgan.  She meets students on campus at universities across the country and to talk about the opportunities available for undergraduates and graduates with the bank and spot potential talent for their recruitment process. She explains what kind of candidate J.P. Morgan looks for and how you can make the best impression possible.

How can a current undergraduate degree student best make themselves an attractive candidate for a graduate role in Asset Management?

Students can best make themselves attractive by ensuring they are well prepared and have completed all of the necessary research into the opportunity they applying for.

What sort of person would thrive in asset management, and in investment banking in general?

We look for individuals who are pro-active, motivated and hard working. You will need to be a strategic thinker with strong analytical skills. In addition to this, outstanding relationship management, interpersonal and communication skills are necessary.

What’s the biggest no-no for a potential candidate?

I would advise candidates when attending our events and taking part in an interview day or assessment centre to always ensure they remain professional. It is important to be courteous, well-mannered and engaged. Time keeping is also essential, as first impressions really do make a difference.

How much do you look for extra-curricular activities on your candidates’ applications?

Extra-curricular activities are important when we are screening candidate applications as this is what helps to differentiate applicants. By understanding what activities an individual is interested in, it helps us to identify better with the candidate profile.

We look for candidates to demonstrate strong academic results and achievements, as well as manage their time taking part in other activities. We really do meet some extremely interesting candidates on campus, through the interview process and across our programmes.

Is it possible to land a graduate scheme without an internship?

We recruit for candidates from a diverse range of backgrounds, experiences and skills sets. This includes those that have not yet completed an internship. We review applications based on the whole application and all previous work experience into account – this does by no means need to be finance-related or an ‘internship’ specifically.

How important is work experience for school leaver candidates?

Work experience is important for school leaver candidates as this is an experience which will help to demonstrate the key competencies we assess and look for when recruiting. For example; you can easily draw out examples of teamwork, conflict resolution, communication skills and leadership with work experience. This can take many forms; from two-weeks work experience during school or a part time job, to volunteering.

What is the most common mistake made on school leaver and graduate applications?

The most common mistakes we receive on school leaver and graduate applications are the basics. It is so important for candidates to proof-read any application for spelling and basic grammar before they submit! This will demonstrate clearly that you have taken the time, effort and due diligence to ensure your application is the best that it can be. My advice is to always have someone else check your application prior to submitting.

What’s the first thing you judge candidates on during an interview?

As stated previously, first impressions are important. During an interview this is a combination of good time keeping, professional attire, a firm but pleasant handshake and a warm smile.

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