Alice Harman graduated with a BA in Geography from the University of Oxford. She's now working as an investor analyst for J.P. Morgan
Why did you choose to work in finance?
I made the decision to pursue a finance career after undertaking some wealth management work experience in my summer holidays while at university. I really enjoyed how the job combined the different aspects of client relationships, investment and financial markets.
What were the main factors in deciding to apply for a role at J.P. Morgan?
I was initially interested in J.P. Morgan due to its first-class reputation as one of the best financial institutions in the world. This interest grew as I spoke to various employees at careers events, who I found to be very impressive. A couple of my friends had already completed summer internships at J.P. Morgan and they were huge advocates of the graduate programme and everything the company had to offer.
In what way has your degree been relevant?
My geography degree has set me up well to process a lot of information and data from many different sources and then summarise it into a succinct message or report, which is very important when presenting clients with market updates or portfolio reviews.
Describe a typical working day in your current role.
I love the huge variety of my role and a typical working day includes responding to client queries on financial markets, their portfolio performance and potential investment ideas. An analyst focuses on supporting two to three senior members of the team and partnering with them to manage their clients' wealth, which includes creating presentations and monitoring the accounts.
What training and support have you received?
The analyst graduate programme at J.P. Morgan begins with a month of training at the company headquarters in New York. Here you get to learn everything, from taking a crash course in financial markets and investments, to getting up to speed with Excel, PowerPoint and personal branding. There is regular training throughout the programme to ensure you continue to develop your technical and presentation skills.
How has your role developed and what are your career ambitions?
Over the last two years as an analyst I've gained a lot more responsibility, especially in terms of client interaction and I'm currently learning to trade directly into the market.
What advice would you give to graduates wanting to work in the sector?
It's really important to closely follow the financial press and make sure this is something you're genuinely interested in. Indeed, keeping your knowledge up to date and relevant is particularly crucial for interviews. It's also a great idea to do some work experience as early as possible. This will help you to decide which area of the financial industry you might be interested in joining, as there are many different roles available.
How can graduates find out more about J.P. Morgan?
By visiting J.P. Morgan Careers and interacting with us via our social media channels: