An international graduate UK success story: Research your industry

We’ve interviewed international graduates from UWE Bristol to determine how they used their course, skills and tenacity to successfully find roles in the UK after graduating. We are sharing their stories to inspire and advise other international students and graduates looking for roles in the UK.

We spoke to Harikrishnan who works in the control team at Morgan Stanley, one of the largest investment banks in the word. His role ensures that the bank reports everything it does correctly to the government regulator. He describes his role as “the second line of defence”, analysing data to ensure all trading is done in the right way, and creating mechanisms that prevent any errors.

Harikrishnan’s passion for his job is clear when you speak to him, he explains that he enjoys finding a challenge every day. “Every day there are new scenarios to look at, and new solutions to come up with. And I gain satisfaction from the fact that I play an important part in upholding the bank’s good reputation. I work in the  operational risk and regulatory control team at Morgan Stanley where we ensure that the bank is adhering to strict regulatory reporting guidelines while trading”. When looking for roles in your industry, it’s important to think about where your skills and passion lie so that you’re able to find a role that plays to your strengths and that you enjoy.

How can your course help you get a job?

When finding a course in the UK, try to determine what connections your course and university has to the industry you’ll be working in as this can help elevate your skills in specific areas. Harikrishnan says his course gave him the technical skills he needed for his role. “I'm from a non-tech background and the course was great for providing me with the grounding I needed in terms of the tech required, especially Python. I was asked several questions relating to this at my interview, for example on things like uploading an Excel file to Python. I was completely new to Python and programming at the time but was able to answer these questions because of a module called ‘Programming for Data Science’, which helped me to understand and read Python code”. The course also provided him with excellent networking opportunities such as The ‘Fintech Environment’ module which included talks from banking CEOs, heads of FinTech companies, and start-ups which gave students perspective from the employers and valuable contacts.

What key advice would you give to current international students looking to start a career in the UK?

Harikrishnan suggests getting “familiar with the approaches that UK companies use in their graduate recruitment. For example, I always tell students interested in investment banking to practice behavioural questions. I attended interviews with Goldmans, JP Morgan, Lloyds and Morgan Stanley, and they all used that approach, where basically they are looking at your character and whether you would fit the organisation. It can really help to practice using the STAR model of ‘situation, target, action, result’ for answering the types of scenario questions used in these interviews”. Have a look to see what tests a company may use as these often have sample tests that can be practiced online. “Do your research and build your knowledge of that industry. For investment banking for example, some financial knowledge will really serve you well”. Lastly, he says when writing your CV “rather than simply describing what you do on a daily basis, focus as much as possible on how you have actually helped your employer – how you have been an asset, and what you have achieved for them. Make sure your CV is tailored to the role applied for, focusing as much as possible on what the employer is looking for, so as to maximise the likelihood that you are using the key words their automated selection processes are looking for”. For more careers advice from the start of your studies to graduation, register with GradLink for free!

By Jen Garmston Published: Jan 06,2023

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