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What is a Finance Placement?

A finance placement is a great way of gaining some solid industry experience beyond what you’ll get on an internship programme alone.

Finance placements come under the umbrella terms of sandwich placements or a year in industry. These types of placements form part of a university degree programme: the penultimate year is spent working full time for a company in an industry that’s relevant to your career plans and/or your degree discipline. Each university may choose to assess this year in a different way. It’s certainly something that wannabe finance tycoons can take advantage of!

What does a finance placement involve?

A year spent working with a bank or finance company during your time at university will be a huge learning curve. It’s enough time to become integrated into a team and get involved in some big projects, figure out how the industry works and make some solid contacts.

Many placement programmes are structured, so you’re likely to receive regular training in the form of workshops alongside your on-the-job work experience.

Placement years could also develop into discussions about progress onto a graduate scheme with the firm after graduation if you impress!

Where can I do a finance placement?

Finance placements are offered by the Big Four firms (PwC, Deloitte, EY and KPMG) in a variety of their service lines, as well as other financial services providers and smaller firms, such as specialist accountancy firms. There are also a few opportunities available with investment banks and corporate divisions of banks.

You could work in operations, such as human resources or marketing, or in an auditing or advisory role.             

An investment bank finance placement could give you exposure to middle office areas such as risk management or investment research and asset management; retail banking placement opportunities can vary from financial planning to private banking and wealth management.

Opportunities are available across the country (depending on where the firm you apply to has offices). You could also potentially apply for a finance placement abroad, especially if you have skills in another language – something that’s highly valued in finance professionals.

By Jos Weale, Editor, AllAboutFinanceCareers.com