Skills gained from university and my graduate journey to FDM

Gilan wearing a sparkly gold jacket and bow tie and black shirt. He is at a Christmas function.

Hi I’m Gilan, and I studied BSc Economics (2014-2017) and MSc Economics and Finance (2017-2019).

What skills gained at university are useful for placement and graduate roles?

Skills can be acquired from anywhere, whether they are from specific modules, part time jobs, social or sports clubs, they will provide a foundation for graduate role. Certain examples of skills required in any role and how they can be demonstrated are below:

Teamwork – group projects at university
Communication – presentations, customer service part time jobs
Leadership – captain of badminton team
Problem solving, analysis skills, numeracy and many other– dissertation, coursework

The key point is to relate the required skills from a role you are applying for with what you have done in your life.

Did you do a placement year?

No, I think it’s something everyone should consider, and I wished I had done one. It enables you to gain vital skills, build connections and prepare you for graduate scheme applications.

What appealed to you about your current role and company?

After graduating, I had no professional experience but a friend had recommended FDM and   said they could provide training and client opportunities which is why I decided to apply. They provided a platform to build up experience by working for prestigious clients on dynamic projects.

I chose the Risk, Regulation and Compliance stream as it has some aspect from my degree and I could build further knowledge by learning about compliance and different regulations. I am fluent in French so I am always looking for opportunities to work abroad, it was a point that attracted me to FDM as I had the chance to work in Luxembourg for 3 months.

What are you job highlights so far?

1 year and 3 months on a global project at HSBC working with people all over the world. I held 2 roles, as Data Analyst managing large data on Excel and Control Analyst working on compliance documents dealing with senior stakeholders and committee. I also worked at RBC in Luxembourg in trades, processing fax orders, conduct BAU in French and English.

All the experiences accumulated help me strengthen my skills from university at a professional/business level or acquire new skills such as communication, organisation, planning and stakeholder management which will help me in my desired career path.

What advice can you give to current students who are looking for placements or graduate opportunities?

Be proactive, consistent and organised. Have a CV and cover letter ready, as the main graduate schemes/placements open between September – December. These will need to be tailored to each company and role you are applying to. Advice for first years – start applying within your first year for Spring/Summer internships to prepare you for graduate roles.