It’s important to do your research and apply early. Applications are advertised through employer and industry-specific websites as well as CareerHub. Most investment banks and asset managers require you to have completed a relevant internship prior to securing a full time graduate role.
If you’re looking to gain experience
First years can get a feel for what to expect through the 'spring weeks' offered in the Easter vacation, but the main route in is through a summer internship between your second and final years or following your master's degree. Applications generally open as early as July and close between October and December.
If you’re early on in your career
If you have a relevant master's and/or relevant internship experience in the financial services industry, you may be able to apply directly for graduate analyst roles. Look out for early deadlines as most banking and investment firms convert summer interns into graduate hires, meaning there are a limited number of graduate level roles to apply to.
Many of the smaller and boutique firms recruit year-round, so it is worth looking out for the opportunities on industry-specific websites and on CareerHub.
If you have more experience
The best route for you is likely to be through specialist recruitment agencies and search firms, networking within the sector and applying directly for roles advertised on company websites.
If you’re changing career
The banking and investment sector tends to recruit at graduate level and train up through the organisation, so moving into the sector at a later stage can be tricky. Depending on how large the jump is, it’s often necessary to take some stepping stones to gain relevant experience. This could be an internship or low-level direct entry role. You should also utilise your networks to learn more about the industry and easiest routes in.