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Which Industries Can I Do a Finance Placement in?

A finance placement as your industrial placement during university could be ideal if you’d like to develop a career in financial services after you graduate. Whether you’re already studying a finance related degree or something that isn’t linked, there are finance placement opportunities out there – you just have to impress the recruiters.

What kinds of things could you do for your placement year in this industry? Let’s have a nosey…

Finance placements within professional services

Professional services firms, including the Big Four firms, are generally big advocates of placement year schemes. Many offer a number of placement year opportunities across their various departments each year, suitable for students who must undertake a year in industry as part of their course.

You could, for instance, spend a year working full time with an auditing team, in technology consulting, corporate finance consulting, tax, or risk consulting, depending on your interests. If you have an interest in working within HR in this industry, then professional services could be a great place to investigate too, as they often do have HR placements available as well.

A placement year with a department of a professional services firm will allow you the chance to work with a wide range of clients. You’ll receive training from your colleagues, some may offer the chance to study for and take some exams leading up to a professional qualification, and it’s possible you’ll have the opportunity to apply and interview for a graduate role with your firm if you perform well and you feel it’s what you want. So you could roll on through the university gates for your final year victorious, with a graduate job already secured. Not bad, eh?  

Wealth management companies

There aren’t very many of these opportunities about in the UK, but if you’re pretty sure that a career in wealth management is for you then a placement year spent with a wealth management specialist firm would be fantastic for your CV, learning and networking opportunities. If you’re successful in obtaining a placement with one of these firms, it’s likely you’ll be put to work in an area such as investment research or risk analysis.

Investment banking

Investment banks do have placement years amongst their work experience offerings for undergraduates and those who have just graduated. These opportunities are highly competitive (you’re probably not surprised to hear…), however if you’re successful in bagging one then you’ll receive a great salary for the year alongside invaluable insights and experience to help you build a career in this industry.    

Placement students usually sit within specific departments/desks at the bank, so you’ll gain most of your experience in one particular area. Though graduate jobs are by no means guaranteed with a placement, it certainly stands out on your CV and is one way of showing your level of engagement and dedication to a career in this filed to prospective employers.

In-house finance opportunities

Firms with whom you could undertake a finance placement are by no means restricted to financial services providers and banks. Companies in practically every industry need to have professionals running their books and managing their financial matters, and plenty of bigger firms have in-house finance departments. As such you could, alternatively, take on a finance placement in one of these departments for a company in sectors like retail, media, engineering or manufacturing. Some of these include household names and leading companies in their industries. As part of the finance department for one of these companies, you’ll learn a great amount about that company at the industry it works in, in particular. There could be a graduate job interview on the cards with some companies, too!

By Jos Weale, Editor, AllAboutFinanceCareers.com

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