Meet Laura Kay, Advisor People Development, HR
What do you feel employers look for in a candidate?
Most employers are looking for candidates that can demonstrate the required skills for the role, a candidate’s ability to fit with the team and corporate culture. Being able to articulate their motivation for the position and having a great attitude will show an employer how passionate you are about the role and the organization you are applying to. Personality traits such as being curious, a global or entrepreneurial mindset as well as a great work ethic are valued. Leadership skills, being agile and resourceful are also highly regarded.
What can students do to differentiate themselves to an employer?
Student’s shouldn’t wait until a posting goes up at a firm before beginning to network at that organization. That’s when most students start networking and people are bombarded by requests. Instead, make a list of all the firms you are interested in and reach out to people when it’s not recruiting season. Employees at the firm will be more open to meeting you and spending some time connecting. Be prepared before your meeting, ask relevant questions about their role, the firm, maybe their motivations for choosing this career path and any advice they could give you. Ask to meet other people they feel you should meet within the organization and continue to reach out periodically to help build on these relationships. This will help you remain top of mind when opportunities become available and because employees within the organization know you, they may feel more comfortable recommending you for positions.
What can students expect from a job interview?
The capital markets industry is competitive, so receiving a request to interview is an achievement! Be sure you ask questions about who you may be interviewing with, how long the interview should take and what kind of interview it will be so you can prepare appropriately. Will it be behavioural, technical, market-based or a combination? Do your research and be sure to prepare! You will be asked questions regarding your education and work history. If your work experience hasn’t yet included positions in capital markets, be able to speak to how the skills you currently have are transferable into capital markets. You may be asked situational questions so that the interviewers can understand how you work and a sense of your work ethic. Be prepared to comment on current events and how it may impact the markets or even pitch a stock and speak to the industry as a whole.
Is there value in completing a co-op if it's available in my program?
In the current employment environment, having exposure to various organizations and gaining relevant work experience as part of your curriculum can be a great thing. However, you may not be selected to do a co-op term at a firm that you may be targeting or could potentially develop the skills you are seeking. Some students in the co-op program may end up sourcing their own internships to ensure they are gaining experiences with employers they select. In addition, some programs that integrate a co-operative work experience may take longer to complete or have additional fees associated in participating in the co-op programs. Ultimately, you should weigh all your potential options to determine the best fit for you.
How important is the concentration I pick when applying to university?
The beauty of the capital markets industry is that there are many different concentrations that are highly valued. Typically, students in Business, Finance and Commerce programs are in high demand for most roles within capital markets. Programs such as Accounting also have relevance to Corporate & Investment Banking positions while Economics students could think about Research or Strategy opportunities. STEM programs are also in high demand for those seeking potential roles in Sales & Trading positions as they tend to be more quantitative in nature. These are all programs that have very transferable skillsets that lend themselves to roles within capital markets and could expand the potential career paths available to you.
Meet Jennifer Slegers, Recruiting Manager