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Jake Smith (BSc Finance & Investment Banking)

Biography

My favourite colour is red and I'm not a fan of seafood. Career wise I'm now working in London for BNP Paribas. I knew before I started at Reading I wanted to work in finance which is why I applied to the ICMA centre course in Finance & Investment Banking. I've spent the last 2 and a half years on the corporate derivative sales desk speaking to corporate treasurers at many names you'd recognise from the high street.

Why did you choose to study at the University of Reading?

I chose to study at Reading largely because of the course, and because of the atmosphere on campus. I wanted somewhere close to London as that would be where I would apply for jobs as well as a course that suited what I wanted to do in my career. The finance course at the ICMA centre was exactly that and so I chose Reading.

What was the best bit about living and studying in Reading?

Reading is a well-connected town with direct links to London. The campus is very green which makes for a great atmosphere to study in when the rest of the town is largely built up.

What top tips would you give to students who are beginning their studies?

Join as many societies as you can fit into your social calendar. You'll meet a lot of new people and find out what you do and don’t like doing pretty quickly. It's all too easy to lie in bed all day (which don’t get me wrong is tempting!)

What are you up to now? How did you get there?

I'm working at BNP Paribas in London. I applied for a spring internship in my first year at Reading, got accepted and fast-tracked to a full summer internship before my final year. On completing that I was offered a full-time position following my studies.

What would be your top tips for students interested in working in this sector?

Finance like anything is highly competitive. Get in there early, show an interest and make sure you come well prepared for interviews.

How has the University of Reading and the Careers Centre helped in your chosen career path?

The careers centre provided a great source of advice for interviews, CV's and all the basics of filing a successful application to feel as prepared as you could be.

What are your top tips for students graduating this year? What should they be doing to secure the job they want?

Make sure you have a solid CV and know how to approach an interview. Even getting an interview can be difficult and you have to tick all the boxes to get that far so make sure your application is tailored to the employer you apply for.

What does the University mean to you and what is your favourite memory?

University to me was a time of liberation, moving out of home and an important step in growing up before moving out to live on my own in London. I have no single favourite memory but one coming to mind involved a megaphone, the roof of our halls and someone’s bed...

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