I was a bit hesitant when I was making the decision whether or not to publish this post. When I started this blog I knew that I wanted to give the best advice and share my journey into finance even if it included some downfalls so I guess it's the best decision to post this even though I'm a little disappointed.
I recently applied to Deutsche Bank's I Have a Dream Program which gives final year A- Level students an opportunity to take part in a paid placement in one of the banks divisions. I was attracted to this program because I am interested in a career in investment banking so I thought this program would provide me with an excellent first step into the career. The application consisted of the usual personal details, education, work experience details and a few questions such as, "Why do what to work in an investment bank?"
I really wanted to take my time with this application. There was a word limit on each of the competency sort of questions so it was really important that I answered the question to the best of my ability in order to display my interest. To do this I made sure that I also got advice from my college's careers adviser. When I was ready I sent off my application. I actually expected it to take a couple of weeks before I got a reply but less than a week later I received a call from Rare Recruitment. Rare Recruitment are involved in the program as they'll provide ongoing support and personal development for the students that have made it onto the program. They told me that I was successful and had made it into the first round on interviews. Afterwards, I received a follow up email providing me with details of the interview.
First round interview: Thursday 4th April 2013
I was told this would be a competency based interview. To prepare for this interview I made sure I researched what competency interviews are like and what type of questions can be asked. The interview was held at the Rare Recruitment office. Competency based interviews are used to test your skills and if your skills suit the role you are applying for. I was asked about my problem solving, team work, communication skills and more as well as why I would like to work for Deutsche Bank. I also had to state my preference of the division I wanted to work for and I chose Corporate Finance.
The next day I received a call from Rare Recruitment telling me that they have spoken to Deutsche Bank and would like to invite me to the final round interviews. I was extremely happy because I was quite nervous. I was given some feedback and was told that I should be more confident when giving my answers and should perhaps speak more slowly to prevent me from pausing when giving my answers.
Final round interview: Thursday 11th April 2013
So I had a week to prepare for this interview. This interview was held at Deutsche Bank. I was advised to do a lot of research on Deutsche Bank, Corporate Finance and practice competency behavioural questions. I couldn't really tell how my interview went but one of the things I liked was that the interviewer was very friendly so this created a relaxed environment.
On the day of the interview I was told that I would receive a call by Monday and I did. Unfortunately, I didn't make it onto the program but it was nice to experience an investment banking interview. Again, I was told that I didn't come across as confident with my answers. In my opinion, I thought I did better than my first interview but I guess I didn't.
What I would take from the experience is that I really have to deal with my confidence. I think I just have to relax now and wait until I get into university before I focus on my career for now. Exam season is soon approaching so it's really important that I focus on that. My message is that in life you're going to go through downfalls and disappointments but it's all an experience. Downfalls happen so you can learn and improve in the future. If ever something goes wrong don't let it bring you down but use it to make the right decision late :)