Nicola gained qualifications in Austria and Germany before taking up the offer of a work placement at J.P. Morgan where she now works as a private bank analyst
How did you secure a J.P. Morgan internship?
Coming from a non-finance background, I was interested in banking - it is the most challenging industry, with intriguingly complex markets and products - to get a chance to learn and grow beyond my Masters. J.P. Morgan is best in class and most respected in the industry. I was very pleased to get an offer to work in this engaging, demanding environment. From day one my expectations of learning and growing past my university studies and taking on more responsibilities and building up a network of highly knowledgeable co-workers, were more than fulfilled.
I enjoy the challenge, learn more than I could have wished for and go the extra mile. I knew I wanted to continue my career in this industry. It had allowed me to build a career in this industry and which, in the end, allowed me to develop a network, through which I was offered my full-time position.
How has being able to speak German helped in your job?
Language and culture are closely tied together, as the shared set of believes, norms and values are transmitted via language. Therefore, language is the basis for all trusted client-banker relationships and serves as a common ground for discussing sensitive topics. German is a prerequisite of the role, while English proficiency is a necessity to work in such a global marketplace.
Describe a typical working day.
My tasks are tailored to the bespoke needs of our clients. These range, among others, from offering global research insights, understanding and servicing our clients' needs and facets of wealth to providing tailored investment recommendations. It also entails opening our network with international events and globally connecting families, business owners and philanthropic leaders.
What training and support have you received?
J.P. Morgan provides a great platform for both personal growth and professional development. Every analyst on the wealth management programme is invited to participate in global training in New York, where you learn about everything from investment products to client facing tasks. Another benefit of working at an international bank like J.P. Morgan is that we are able to build up a global professional network from day one. Dorothee Blessing, regional head of Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Ireland, Israel and the Nordic region and CEO of J.P. Morgan AG, encourages us to have mentors and sponsors who are willing and happy to guide, offer advice, support and strategically think about new professional challenges and development opportunities.
There's also structured and ongoing online training (personal and technical) at J.P. Morgan. Last but not least, I continuously receive hands-on, honest and supportive feedback and advice that helps me to further improve my performance, shape my goals and take up new challenges - for this I am extremely grateful.
How has your role developed and what are your career ambitions?
While it feels like I have come a long way since I first joined and as if decades have passed, I'm still only at the beginning of my career, for which the company's role models have always been an inspiration to me. Marianne Lake, Mary Callahan Erdoes and Dorothee Blessing, among other senior women, have set a high bar for what women can achieve at J.P. Morgan. As you say in German, 'der Weg ist das Ziel' (the journey is the destination) and I'm excited about what my professional future holds.
Does your company have a culture of encouraging women into banking careers?
Speaking from my own experience, J.P. Morgan is a diverse employer that offers mentorship programmes and actively encourages development opportunities. My sister also started her career here and she has had similar experiences to me. We're both members of the women's network which focuses on learning from inspiring women, supporting and enabling each other within the bank, as well as using our external networks to promote female careers in banking.
Additionally, I'm also an active supporter of J.P. Morgan's NextGen, a network of young talent actively partaking in shaping the future of the working environment here at J.P. Morgan.
What advice would you give to graduates wanting to work in the sector?
If finance has sparked your interest, networking events provide the perfect opportunity to engage with banks such as J.P. Morgan. You could also attend recruitment events such as women in banking dinners, listen to finance podcasts and proactively talk to people about their experiences in the various banking sectors. This will give you a balanced view of the different business areas and the skillsets required. One last thing: be passionate about learning.