By Joshua Abass, The Royal Latin School, Alumnus of The Young Investment Banker Programme 2016 

Being someone who has always inclined more towards maths than essay subjects or sciences, a career in the world of financial services has always seemed like the right option for me. Of the people who attended the Young Investment Banker Programme, I highly doubt I am alone in that pattern of thought. However, it is easy for young people such as myself to say ‘I want to be an investment banker’ with little to no knowledge of what the profession actually entails! This not due to a lack of research- there is plenty of information accessible to us that details the nuances of the career. But rather, it is owing to the fact that there is a distinct lack of information which pertains specifically to our age group (16-18). This stage is crucial to the rest of our lives, and though some people see placing such pressure on teenagers to have an idea of what career they may want to pursue as unnecessary, I think it is important for myself and others my age to be educating ourselves on all of the options available to us as early as possible. It is for that reason that I chose the Young Investment Banker Programme, and in hindsight I can say that it strengthened my desire to succeed in this industry, and did so much more too.

The golden opportunity to engage in a professional environment, with like minded people of a similar age to me, was a valuable experience and one that I will not forget for a long time. The content we went through was carefully selected to make sure it was appropriate and – more importantly – very useful and relevant too. Moreover, the chance to see real, successful industry professionals was both motivating and eye-opening. To see how they conducted themselves, and to have the opportunity to ask them specific, one-to-one questions was one of the high points of the programme for me. Not a lot of people who aim to be investment bankers will have the privilege of having often difficult to understand concepts, such as the two-way bid, broken down for them in such a concise and easy to follow manner. This was just one example from the multitude of excellent lessons myself and the other alumni were able to benefit from this summer.

The fact that there were so many of us; all eager and determined to succeed, and so few of them; professionals who have made it to the top, only served to emphasise the incredibly competitive, cut-throat nature of the financial services industry. However, for me, that simply confirmed my initial thoughts that this is the career I want to pursue.