Catch-22: How can I get experience without having any?

All new graduates can unite in frustration at the following dilemma: how am I supposed to gain experience if I'm constantly turned down for not having any?

How am I supposed to gain experience if I’m constantly turned down for not having any?

This catch-22 is difficult to overcome: employers are looking to see that you have the necessary job skills that go beyond academia. Your waitressing job at university shows a certain degree of employability, but is not enough to prove you can cope with the greater challenges of the business world. As I explored in my previous article, employers are constantly revising how they cherry pick their candidates, and how to select the outstanding from the average.

Although academic achievement is necessary, experience is essentially at the upmost importance when excelling in the working environment. Your level of experience determines where you are placed in the ladder of the career world. Particularly in the world of Investment Banking, it is known that banks are very reluctant to take on graduates who lack any significant experience in the area.

The financial industry

The competitive nature of the industry means that banks tend to look for exceptional graduates, therefore without a 1st class degree from Oxbridge and a stream of internships, you may struggle to get noticed. But this then leaves behind a huge pool of graduates who are extremely bright and capable, with good degrees from Russell Group universities, held back by their lack of experience and the banks’ unwillingness to offer them any. This is the frustrating reality of graduate employment- thousands of grads are left without the chance to prove their abilities in the banking industry. A study in 2014 showed that 40% of graduates had still not found a job 6 months after university.

Why should there be such a struggle to find employment? There should be a requirement for employers to help to bridge the gap between education and employment, helping grads to gain the knowledge and experience they need to achieve their goals. Vantage Point utilises graduates, by offering them the opportunity to kick-start their career in Investment Banking.

Vantage Point

We understand that graduates may not have lots of relevant experience in the area, and instead focus on recruiting people whose attitude entails that they will be hard-working and talented individuals. Our AdVantage Programme offers a unique capital markets training programme. This helps to bridge the gap between education and employment by teaching relevant domain knowledge and job skills, helping our graduates to become more credible in the Investment Banking sector. After sufficient training is completed, we place our graduates as consultants into Investment Banks so that they begin gaining the experience that will be invaluable to their career.

Ultimately, after 2 years as a consultant in our AdVantage Programme, you have gained knowledge, experience and contacts- the perfect kick-start to your career in the City. What Vantage Point offers is a solution to the dilemma that graduates face once they leave university and try to enter the big world of Financial Services. If you have the right attitude for us- we have the right opportunity for you.


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