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Finance jobs today: Filling up with environmental warriors and social justice campaigners?

Summer analyst at JPMorgan

Summer analyst at JPMorgan

It’s been going on for a while, but it’s only recently become a big thing among young people who want jobs in banking. It’s not enough to have a perfect CV with an immaculate academic record and a second life of summer internships and spring weeks. If you want to work in banking now, you’ll also need to be PASSIONATE ABOUT A CAUSE. And maybe you’ll need to have done some volunteering.

How do we know this? Back in 2011 LinkedIn updated their profiles to include a section titled, ‘Volunteer Experience and Causes.’ While more jaded bankers leave this section blank, new entrants – especially banks’ summer analysts and associates are all over it.

Which kinds of causes are aspiring financial services professionals interested in? The options most often chosen from LinkedIn’s list include, ‘Civil Rights and Social Action, ‘Economic Empowerment,’ ‘Environment,’ ‘Human Rights,’ and, ‘Poverty Alleviation.’ Nor is it just box-ticking, many (but not all) summer analysts and associates have also spent time volunteering in areas corresponding to their cause of choice.

This make sense. Since the financial services crisis, banks are looking for people who have ‘values’ says Malcolm Horton, global head of recruitment at Nomura International. “We want to see your values as an individual,” Horton says.  “- What matters to you? What are you passionate about?”

Nowadays the answer to those questions can’t just be money and success. And if it is, you definitely can’t say so. Especially when you’re a 22 year-old who’s just starting out.

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