Faye Woodhead, head of graduate recruitment for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) ex-Germany at Deutsche Bank, has agreed to respond to some of your questions on graduate jobs and internships.
We’ve started the process by asking Faye a few questions below. Please post your questions in the comments box at the bottom of this page. Faye will be answering three a day between the 16th and 18th of April inclusive. Only answered questions will be published!
Our application system, found on our careers portal at www.db.com/careers, will open in late August for students looking for full time roles in 2013, and September for those looking for internships next summer. We recruit on a rolling basis, which means we constantly screen and invite candidates to interview from August onwards. Early applications are therefore advantageous.
However, even before the system opens, there is a lot of work that can be done to prepare for the process. We encourage students to start their research into DB, follow us on Facebook or Twitter to find out about our people, programs, culture, and start to build a DB network.Read the Unofficial Guide to Banking at www.unofficialguidetobanking.com. Practice numerical tests via our Virtual Interview Centre, and hone interview skills. All that work can be done between now and August, ensuring students are not only well prepared, but as knowledgeable as possible about Deutsche Bank’s offering and what we stand for.
Deutsche Bank has taken a measured and considered view to our graduate pipelines, and takes a long term view when considering junior talent and needs for the future. Restricting that pipeline in years where market conditions are more challenging may result in a talent deficit in future years. That said, we respond to businesses’ individual needs and requirements, balancing long term needs, and ability to offer a high quality experience over the course of the internship. In light of all of these points, Deutsche Bank’s Class has remained relatively consistent over the past 5 years.
It seems hard to pin down to just three pieces of advice!
Internship programs are designed to prepare students for the style and intensity of a full time role with an investment bank, whilst simultaneously enabling firms to assess someone’s ability to learn, absorb information, and add value to an organization in the future.
It is therefore vital to approach the internship with the commitment and rigor of a full time role. Be committed, timely, manage expectations of those around you, and be responsible and accountable. Being academically able is no longer sufficient – the ability to demonstrate teamwork, risk awareness, communication and the ability to learn are the raw ingredients. Being authentic and honest with yourself is also key – remember it’s a two way interview for both the intern and the firm.
It’s tough, but certainly not impossible. It’s important to remember that most banks will continue to hire outside of their intern pools in September and October each year, so again, being focused and timely with applications will be important.
Candidates should focus on their unique selling point, which makes their application stick out to the recruiter or business rep screening it. If they haven’t secured an internship in an Investment Bank, and providing it is relevant, I would encourage them to draw on the skills acquired during their summer and the broadening of their business and commercial experience, no-matter how they spent their time.
If a student decided to pursue an internship in another industry, they will need good reasoning as to why the change in focus. If someone missed out on a banking internship, they will have hopefully managed to secure a related summer opportunity, or informal work experience, that demonstrates their passion and commitment to the industry.
Even if none of the above are applicable, students should be realistic, but not put off. Building a network, not only with recruiters but with business representatives from various firms is important as they will be best placed to advise on open positions.
Deutsche Bank’s graduates represent a hugely diverse group of highly successful students from across Continental Europe and theUK. They are passionate about what they do, agile in their thinking, client focused and entrepreneurial.
Speaking more than one language is advantageous, but certainly not a prerequisite and it will depend on the role and division someone is interested in. For example, C++ and Java will be important for Programmers joining our Technology businesses, whereas French or Spanish may not add so much on a day to day basis. However, if you want to cover French or Spanish clients from a sales perspective on the trading floor, you may struggle without.
Overall, Deutsche Bank looks for a wide array of skills and backgrounds. Hiring students who have studied History of Art, Engineering, Computer Science, Languages, Music, as well as Economics, Accounting and Maths is important to ensure a diverse portfolio of skills and abilities, that will enable the firm to find innovative and appropriate solutions for clients.
Q: The new visa regulations have made it very difficult for international students to get companies to sponsor them. What are the chances of an international student filling up a vacancy at any Deutsche Bank? What advice do you have to give to ensure they have the best chance of landing a job?
Faye Woodhead: Deutsche believes our talent pipelines need to be diverse, representing a variety of universities, backgrounds and nationalities, so we actively target a diverse population of students to meet business demand. Additionally, Deutsche Bank is an Equal Opportunities Employer, and as such, in the UK we accept and consider applications from all students attending university within Europe, no matter their nationality.
Admittedly, recent legislation has complicated the process for securing work authorization for the UK, particularly for students without work experience. Deutsche Bank is fortunate to have an excellent immigration partner and external counsel, who we work with to ensure all applications are filed in a timely fashion with appropriate documentation and levels of support. It is also worth noting that all offers of employment – for graduates as well as lateral/professional level hires - are contingent on the hire securing appropriate work authorization, so whilst there are certainly no guarantees, we would not want to dissuade students requiring work authorization from applying to Deutsche Bank’s programs.
Q: My first degree is in Economics, I have an MPhil in Construction and Project Management and I am about to get a PhD which a specific focus on transport infrastructures. I would like to use my specific knowledge in an investment bank. Could you please let me know if you recruit graduate with such specialised profile and possibly advice on the way to promote my knowledge and my research skills?
Faye Woodhead: It sounds as if you have some terrific qualifications and an interesting skills set, and your knowledge would certainly be applicable, although admittedly, in more niche areas of Investment Banks. Deutsche Bank has a small PhD specific program, primarily into the Investment Bank’s Global Markets Research areas (both Economics, as well as Fixed Income), for which you would be eligible. Whether you would be able to work specifically in a team focusing on transport would depend very much on the wider business need and defined profiles being sought out at the time. However, with a grounding in economics, an enthusiasm and ability to learn, and by remaining open to opportunities that present themselves, there is no reason you could not be successful in securing an interesting and fulfilling role.
Q: What is your opinion about Stockholm School of Economics, St. Gallen University, BocconiUniversity, HEC Paris? Are these schools considered to be the top feeders for graduate programs at DB among all Continental Europe schools?
Faye Woodhead: Great question. Deutsche Bank is proud to partner all the schools you mention and has hired terrific talent from all of them into the firm’s various businesses and graduate programs. However, we consider our reach somewhat wider, spanning many top universities in Italy, Spain, France, Scandinavia and the Netherlands. Additionally, we recruit into Russia, Dubai, South Africa, Switzerland, Poland, Portugal, as well as the UK.
So it’s important to note that DB seeks a diversity of academic backgrounds, disciplines, learning styles and course content in order to build a more academically-diverse pipeline. As such, our school selection is based on the profile of hires we are seeking, rather than solely on academic rankings or reputations.
Q: Should technology graduates apply (in London) given the firms apparent desire to move all development to offshore centres? If the plan goes well there will be very few people left who have any credible knowledge of Java / c#. Therefore why do you plan to bring in graduates who would program?
If so what role are grads likely to find themselves in? Project managers….?
Faye Woodhead: Great question – very topical. You have touched on a business that is pivotal to DB’s success, and therefore onee are very focused on recruiting top quality graduates into each year across the globe. Deutsche Bank’s Global Technology & Operations business (GTO) collaborates and integrates the Bank in front of the customer. GTO is considered the driver of change, and enables the bank to react quickly to clients’ demands..
So the answer is two-fold:
Whilst there has been a move to offshore or near-shore centres, our Technology teams are an immediate interface with the business and real time solutions are required to ensure an efficient and profitable working day. Therefore the diversity of roles we have available within Global Technology is varied. As well as developers, we also require business analysts,service management analysts, technical specialists, functional analysts, and yes, also project managers, to name a few. Joining DB's Global Technology graduate program provides tremendous exposure, as well as opportunities and the platform from which to build specialist, market leading skills.
Q: Why do you insist on a 2.1 grade when this doesn’t take into consideration differences between the institutions that award the qualifications? At some universities such as Oxford and Cambridge (and other less established universities as well), a large pool of graduates leave with 2.1 (almost all of them based on my experience at Oxford) while at other universities (such as Durham University) only half or even less than half leave with 2.1. Some universities believe in proportional marking, that is, only top 5% are allowed to receive 1st while other universities mark students based on the objective criteria. I am sure that all recruiters are aware of such institutional discrepancies.
Faye Woodhead: Deutsche Bank’s recruiters are also school relationship managers for the various universities we hire from, and are therefore experts in the various course structures, faculty, degree grades and demographics of the student population. So you’re right – we are aware of the nuances between institutions, both in the UK and across Europe. We review the schools we recruit from on an annual basis to ensure we are competitive, up to date with any educational changes, continue to source top talent, and as previously described, hiring the right profile and portfolio of skills required for that year. On average, 45-50% of students graduating from universities Deutsche Bank recruits from, are awarded 2:1 equivalent and above – a similar requirement to many investment banks and financial services firms.
Consider the 2:1 a starting point – anyone with a 2:1 or above is eligible, but it’s certainly not the case that students with 1st class degrees are considered over those with 2:1s.
A lot of applicants for these roles will come from good universities and have obtained 2.1s and good grades in secondary education, along with some experience and extra-curricular activities, often showing strengths and leadership skills. What can candidates do to really stand out from the crowd to show they really are motivated to work at the company and in that role when put against these applicants who otherwise have equally good applications?
Faye Woodhead: It’s certainly getting tougher to ensure your application stands out. Keep the basics in mind: ensure you avoid the ‘copy and paste’ trap. It’s a cliché, but we still receive many applications each year with another bank’s name on, or spelling mistakes. Having attention to detail is key.
Q: Among all the divisions in an investment bank, which one can be said to have maximum scope for creative work? And could you explain why it is so?
Faye Woodhead: One of Deutsche Bank’s key traits is its entrepreneurial and creative spirit, so there is the ability to influence in every business division. Deutsche Bank aims to create innovative solutions for clients every day, so no matter the role or business a graduate joins they will be asked to think laterally, demonstrate idea generation and decision making ability. The type of work a graduate undertakes will depend very much on their profile, what they want to achieve, and the business they join. Whether finding the next technology solution, creating a new structured product for a trader, or working in mergers and acquisitions, supporting a team on a deal that appears in the Financial Times, there is scope for all interests. Importantly, there is also a support framework, both from a risk and reputational perspective, whilst not curbing the solution driven ethos, for finding those new innovations.
Q: As you say Deutsche Bank look to recruit from within their summer analyst classes, what role would you recommend someone graduating Summer ’12? Would it be more beneficial to apply for a Summer ’13 summer analyst role or a full-time analyst role?
Faye Woodhead: At Deutsche Bank we hire penultimate year students into our Internship Programs, rather than finalists. However, as mentioned, most banks, Deutsche Bank included, will look to continue their full time hiring (ie, for the Class of 2013) into specific profiles and businesses throughout September and October this year. Anyone looking for a role in the Class of 2013 should check an institution’s eligibility guidelines. It is not unheard of to hire someone who has already graduated, as long as they have less than 12 months work experience post that time.
Q: I currently work for one of the Big 4 accounting firms and am part way through my training contract; on qualifying I want to get into IB (Research) ASAP. Would you advise continuing to work for my firm for a while to then apply as an ‘experienced hire’ or would it be beneficial to simply cut my losses and apply as an graduate?
Faye Woodhead: We would always recommend graduates finish their programs, no matter the firm or field they are in. Having that qualification, experience and network is vital for any next steps. Additionally, as you have already graduated and are likely to have more than 12 months work experience, you likely would not be eligible for many graduate programs. By completing your training contract and obtaining your qualifications you will be well placed to make the career switch as a lateral or professional hire. Best of luck!