An interest in business and political news is key to getting ahead in investment banking says MBS in Economics and Finance, and BBS (hons) graduate
Deutsche Bank Associate Manager Diarmaid Joyce is a graduate of the MBS in Economics and Finance and the Bachelor of Business (Honours) degree, here he explains his journey from enjoying Business and Economics in secondary school to a role in investment banking.
When and where was your first job after graduating? State Street International (Ireland) - Derivatives Specialist
Where are you currently working? Deutsche Bank - Associate Manager
What do you hope to hope to achieve in the future? Continue to grow in my current role, grow my knowledge and carry on meeting new people.
How has your studies at WIT helped you to get where you are today? The Masters in Business Studies in Economics and Finance provided me with the necessary skills to get to the point I am today. My first job was working as a Derivatives Specialist with State Street International, in their European Derivatives Centre of Excellence. This fast paced, deadline driven environment was an already acquainted skillset from the similarly rigorous work load of the Masters programme.
The practice based training in derivatives and corporate financial interpretation provided in the Masters programme coupled with the myriad of seminars and workshops by leading financial guest speakers throughout the year provided the foundations to confidently convey myself in interviews and dealing with day to day work demands.
The programme developed my personal and professional development which I consider equally as important as knowledge based learning. Previously, I was always reserved, tried to avoid speaking in front of a crowd and rarely asked questions in class. My studies in WIT involved regular presentations, meeting people from across disciplines, International Study Tour abroad, Seminar Series and workshops all of which stand to me today.
Currently, I work for Deutsche Bank as an Associate Manager where my job primarily involves dealing with people across business lines, investment managers, legal and financial firms across Ireland, UK and Europe, attending board meetings on behalf of Deutsche Bank, travelling on due diligence site visits to all the big banking players in the finance industry. I would not have said five years ago that I would be working in a role where communicating, asking questions and presenting reports would be part of my typical day.
Did your work placement help get you to where you are now? Work placement as part of my undergraduate degree in Business Studies was an integral part in preparing me for my career. It's a great advantage in comparison to other colleges and courses, in the sense that you can work for a semester in a professional environment and build your knowledge and personality.
A majority of interviews nowadays in the Banking and Investment sector are competency based. The work placement programme in Waterford allows you to have an edge over other candidates and allows you to give practical working examples to which these interview types are tailored.
Why did you choose your course/ to study at WIT/ study in Waterford? I studied Business and Economics in St. Marys CBS in Enniscorthy, Co Wexford. Business was one of the subjects I really enjoyed so I decided to continue doing what I liked. Career guidance in my school also recommended the business course in WIT as its one of the most recognised in the country.
What advice would you give to students considering your course? The Masters of Business Studies in Economics and Finance is intense, demanding and can be very challenging. It is important to firstly decide if you really want this. Degrees have become almost commonplace in the current climate. Your CV needs to stand out. This Masters programme will do that.
In the Investment Banking sector, we look for talented individuals who have an excellent grasp of the industry. Make sure you are interested in what is happening in business and political news. If you are in the habit of checking news apps on your phone, reading the F.T or other business/banking articles and newspapers then you are half way there. It’s very easy to put in the hard work this programme demands if you enjoy the content.
This course is internationally recognised, I have lost count how many times that individuals mentioned the programme, are past students or know someone else that has completed the course. Network, keep in touch with your classmates. I still refer people and get referrals from past classmates all the time. The industry may seem big but it is very small.
What advice would you give to those unsure of college or of what course to pick? Firstly decide what you are good at. Some people are practical, others are not. If you want to work in an office type environment then a degree is what will give you an additional advantage over other candidates when you are competing for roles.
The Bachelor of Business Studies degree is a great option to begin with because in your first two years of study, you get familiar with all disciplines of business; Marketing, Finance, Accounting, Management and Economics.
In third year you can decide to specialise in your field of choice and complete your work placement programme within an organisation of your chosen discipline. This gives you the opportunity to apply your theoretical knowledge to a real life working environment. After your 6 or 8 months of placement, you can return to your final year and apply what you have learned in the industry to your many projects and continuous assessments.
College allows you to grow as a person. College life is not just attending lectures and the library. WIT has much more to offer. Get involved, it is a very active college with many societies, events and sporting clubs which all contribute to your future career.
What was your work placement like and how has it been of benefit? As it was part of the Bachelor of Business (Honours) degree, I completed eight month’s work placement with a Chartered Accounting firm in Wexford. It was my first experience of working in a busy office environment. Very quickly you get to apply your skills and know-how built up from the course curriculum, subjects such as management and financial accounting, corporate finance but also the subjects around professional communication, development and information technology. When I completed my first few interviews after I graduated, my work placement was the primary focus of the interview. Employers try to see if you are a good fit for a team so the work placement programme was my stepping stone into my first job.
As part of my Masters in Business Studies in Economics and Finance, I completed an International Study Tour to Brussels. This was a great experience, it involved delivering and presenting our research in front of peers and college lecturers. Daily seminars with distinguished academic and political leaders. Visits and meetings in the European Commission and the Council of the European Union. The trip provided great exposure and personal development. It was also a good opportunity to get to know everyone in the Masters programme. It was one of my highlights of the Masters programme in Waterford.
Did you join any clubs or societies? The WIT Business Society. Networking is an important tool in business. Societies like this allow you to meet people from various disciplines, develop your organisational and communication abilities.