New here, some guidence would be most appreciated.


I have seen there are a couple of other posts like this so I will try to keep this brief, I am 31 and a year ago decided to start a BA (Hons) in Politics, Philosophy and Economics with The Open University to better myself and hopefully move onto a better career. Within a few months I realised that I might like to work within Finance specifically Investment Banking so I started to do research on how to pursue this career path. In my current role as a manager I have to analyse lots of quantitative data and find it quite interesting which has partially led me to pursue this path.

I understand that competition is very high and I am already at a disadvantage due to my age but was hoping to get some advice on what I am currently doing to see if there is anything else I can do to increase my chances and if I am doing the right things. I have 3 more years left of my degree providing I continue to study full time.

Currently I have applied to a Spring Week Internship at both J.P Morgan and Goldman Sachs and I plan to apply for more as soon as the applications open. I have already done a HireVue interview for J.P Morgan so am waiting to hear the outcome of that and will hopefully hear from Goldman Sachs at some point to see if I have been successful in getting to the next stage.

My plan is that if I was lucky enough to get on one of these it would give me great experience and insight as well as hopefully make it more likely to get onto a Summer Internship in 2021. I feel that because of my situation I am perhaps less likely to get onto even a Spring Week, but it’s worth trying. If it’s any consolation I wrote what I thought was a great covering letter for my Goldman Sachs application, so you never know.

If I’m not able to do this, I thought it would be beneficial to get some extra qualifications in my final year to perhaps give me a shot at getting onto a Graduate program anyway or if not at least give me the skills to work somewhere less prestigious perhaps. I am thinking of doing this anyway if I was successful on getting an internship as it could only help. The two main ones I am planning on doing are the Investment Management Certificate by CFA UK and then the Bloomberg Market Concepts course.

So basically, that is where I am at the moment and what I am planning, I would really appreciate it if people who have experience within the industry could perhaps let me know how that all sounds and if there is anything else I can do to help myself.

Thanks, Jake

Dont know the contents of both the courses that you are talking about; but if I were you then I would have started preparing for CFA Level 1 and bought a financial modeling course. I beleive at least CFA level 1 and good modelling skills will greatly help you to land in investment banking. But beware both of these require long term serious commitment.

There could be many free financial modeling courses available on internet which you can start off with but their quality may not be good in terms of content and depth except for Macabacus which is good but not for a beginners. I would recommend "Breaking into wallstreet " financial modelling course.

Good Luck.

Thanks for the tips, I will look into these. To be honest I considered CFA level 1 instead of the IMC, but apparently one of the modules is specifically about regulations within the UK and not covered by CFA level 1. But I will do some more research. Thanks!

I’m just bluntly trying to save you time here, you will never work in investment banking or the investment management field. It is hyper competitive and you are so far removed from the mold of what they would even consider it won’t happen. I don’t mean this as a personal attack, just trying to save you time.

OP, if you are seriously considering this career path, I recommend that you enroll in an actual reputable university and then aggressively apply to graduate programs. To be honest, the industry is not as competitive as it was before, and a lot of applicants get through the door when they would have had no chance before.

“Investment Banking” is a very narrow job category - there are hundreds of other finance positions that you could apply for.

Yikes. Not to pile on, but the only position for you is likely as a financial advisor.

Sorry dude.

I disagree about it being less competitive, I feel its the opposite. It is true that a large swath of candidates have opted for tech over finance, but the industry is also a fraction of its former size.

What are you basing this opinion on? I interview candidates all the time and quality has definitely declined. Just because you entered at this time and it was difficult does not mean it was not more difficult before. Feel free to do research as usual, only to change your opinion and agree with me.

Lol, wut? Quality has declined, but so has role availability and more importantly a lot of the tertiary financial services firms like the B and C list IB and ER programs have disappeared. As has the SS in general. Just because you’re speaking directly about a programming and math oriented role in a subset of the industry that competes more directly with tech doesn’t mean this is true for the industry as a whole, particularly the research and IB platforms OP was referring to. Feel free to do research as usual and admit your point was silly.

Also, I entered research in 2009.

Regardless, 35 year old graduates from University of Phoenix equivalents or even mid tier institutions aren’t landing those roles even if we accept your flawed premise.

Thanks for all the feedback, no matter how harsh it originally seemed! I will have to see where things take me, I have been applying to more Spring Week’s as they have opened so you never know I guess. Wasn’t going to do any of the extra stuff until my final year so it’s not like I’ve already started that stuff. Will see how things pan out.