Charlotte Bottcher, an associate within risk management at J.P. Morgan (JPM), discusses gender diversity in the sector and offers advice to students looking to work for a leading financial institution
What do you look for in an employee?
From my experience at JPM, the firm welcomes graduates with degrees from various fields, not only finance. However, it’s imperative that they’re eager to learn and capable of grasping new concepts – as specific knowledge can be acquired through training. They’ll also require the technical skills, right attitude and strong work ethic to succeed.
The ability to work in teams is expected by all employers, and the firm also looks for graduates who will contribute to the business.
Indeed, being part of the culture at JPM is equally as important as technical ability. Therefore, it’s advisable for students to explore the business principles set out on our website before attending an interview.
How is the graduate programme at JPM structured?
In market risk, graduates are hired through the summer internship programme. Graduates join a three-year programme including eight weeks of intensive training. While many tasks may seem simple in the beginning, if you show you’re capable and willing to learn, you’re more likely to work on long-term projects.
Networking outside of the day-to-day activities provides opportunities to get to know your colleagues and other teams, in a less formal way. This takes place through team events, formal working groups or simply representing the firm at a community event.
What advice would you give to graduates wanting to work in banking?
Be curious in your quest for knowledge; read international newspapers such as the Financial Times and The Economist, and keep updated with news stories. It’s imperative you have an awareness of what’s going on in the sector and what’s impacting on the markets.
Contact people from teams and companies you’d like to work in, and engage in networking. Ask them about their recommended reading, heed any advice they give. Always be prepared to concisely present yourself and articulate your aspirations, as this may help you to land a role or an internship at a firm like JPM.
Set high performance standards for yourself and ask for regular feedback from your peers. Take it step-by-step. You’ll prove your worth and improve your performance continuously.
What are your views on gender diversity in the sector?
At JPM, there’s a commitment to equality which is actively put into practice at every level in the firm.
The firm aims to develop the best talents and treat everyone with respect. So, you’ll be given an equal chance whatever your gender.
What can the sector do to be more inclusive?
Here, brilliantly talented women have great (and equal) opportunities through their entire career to be promoted from junior analysts up to managing directors; the wider sector would benefit from encouraging cultures such as the one that we have at JPM.
The company still recognises and welcomes the differences between men and women, providing dedicated initiatives such as supporting women during maternity transitions through the maternity buddy program, to assist with the work-life balance.
The firm employs people from different backgrounds and a range of qualifications, with global recruitment programmes providing a number of diverse possibilities. Everyone has the same opportunity to perform and succeed.