How to get into JPMorgan's investment bank when your academic record isn't great

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Back door JPMorgan

If you want a job in an investment bank, you usually need excellent academics. At Goldman Sachs, for example, even people going into the corporate treasury division have 4A*s at A level (pre-university qualifications in the UK). As banks look for new ways to bring in students, however, academic barriers are being lowered.

J.P. Morgan's new apprenticeship programmes are a case in point. The U.S. bank is about to launch a new U.K.- based financial apprenticeship programme in conjunction with Exeter University. Applicants only need a minimum of three C grades at A Level. In this sense, the new programme looks like an opportunity to get into the U.S. bank without the usual history of extreme academic excellence.

Of course 3 Cs at A level (the equivalent of 240 UCAS points) won't get you one of the most sought-after jobs in the front office at J.P. Morgan. Phil Paige, executive director, and head of early years careers at J.P. Morgan's Bournemouth office, says the new apprentices will go into a variety of operations and corporate support roles, including middle office trader support, client services, operations and risk. 

Keen students need to get their applications in from October 1st and will begin the apprenticeship in October 2019. The new recruits will get paid during the apprenticeship and will complete a degree in Applied Finance from the University of Exeter. J.P. Morgan also offers a technology degree apprenticeship in conjunction with Exeter University, but entry requirements are rather more onerous (one A and two Bs at A level).

In total, Paige says J.P. Morgan expects to work with Exeter University to bring on around 50 operations apprentices next year, and around 12 technology apprentices.

Would-be apprentices should know that J.P. Morgan isn't actually guaranteeing them a job. The bank merely states that, "Upon successful completion of the program, you may be offered a full-time position." However, Paige says that 155 out of 156 of the bank's historic apprentices have received job offers so far.

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