Case study

Emerging markets trader — Tilly King

Tilly King graduated with a BA Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) degree from Durham University and is now an associate for Currencies & Emerging Markets at J.P. Morgan

How did you go about securing a J.P. Morgan internship and then a full-time role?

I was invited to interview with J.P. Morgan when applying for the Winning Women Spring Insight programme in my first year of university. From there, I got fast-tracked onto an internship the following summer. Having interned on the Emerging Markets Trading desk in 2013, I was then offered a full-time role with the team for the following year, specialising in market-making any products linked to interest rates.

Describe a typical working day in your current role.

7:15am - Arrive at the office and catch up on any overnight news.

7:45am - Morning meeting with sales, trading and research teams. Present a five-minute trading update on the previous day's business and what's coming up for the day

8am - Markets open and trading begins.

8am-4pm - Trading day. This involves:

  • keeping up to date on all news and data as and when it comes out, followed by how markets move with that news
  • keeping clients up to date with what is happening in your market
  • quoting prices to clients and hedge risk from trades
  • speaking to sales and clients about what trades you like and putting forward your views
  • discussing news and new ideas with other traders on the desk.

4pm - Market closes.

4pm-5.30pm - Go through trades to make sure everything is booked in properly and that risk looks as expected. Submit profit and loss numbers for the day and provide commentary on the risks being run and why.

What training and support have you received from the company?

The best training this firm gives you is early responsibility. You get taught all the necessary skills from the outset - New York training being a highlight - but as soon as your manager can see you have what it takes to manage risk responsibly and effectively, you're given your very own risk book to run and that responsibility is the best training you can receive.

I learn just as much today from those on my desk as I did in my first month on the job and that's testament to the great team spirit fostered at J.P. Morgan.

How has your role developed and what workplace issues are you most passionate about?

One of the great things about a career in trading is being able to use the skills I've learned and apply them to a variety of different markets. Each year brings opportunities to look at more challenging markets.

Beyond my day-to-day work, I've enjoyed becoming more involved in the recruitment and mentoring process. I especially like working with the recruitment teams to encourage young women to consider careers in trading and markets and then supporting them throughout the internship process.

What advice would you give to graduates wanting to work in the sector?

Talk to as many people in the industry as you can and be completely open-minded about the kind of role you want to pursue - the HR and recruitment teams know which characters are best-suited to which areas, so heed their advice. Be prepared to work hard and be a team player - a great attitude will take you a long way.

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