Jasmine Fernandez, Associate – Investment Banking, joined Numis in September 2018 as part of our Graduate Programme. Here, we asked Jasmine about her experience throughout the Recruitment Process, her first day at work, her training and how she feels about working at Numis.
I first heard about Numis on LinkedIn. I was doing some research and I happened across their profile. I liked the look of the opportunity and the culture and clicked on their website. Once I saw they had a position going I applied and hoped for the best!
I had always wanted to be an Investment Banker! I was not particularly interested in the bulge bracket banks as I had heard stories which, whether true or not, were unappealing to me and made me look elsewhere. What stood out most was the Numis training programme, which is an ongoing process, highlighting Numis’ commitment to growing and retaining junior talent and teaching them how to succeed in their career. The six-month rotation also meant I had the opportunity to work across different sectors too.
"This process was highly attractive to me, as this clearly emphasised how Numis were looking for candidates that would fit in with the culture, rather than just a very specific set of skills".
At Numis, the recruitment process was different to what I was expecting in this industry for a Graduate position.
The Numis approach seemed much more streamlined and personal, only requiring us to fill in a questionnaire and personality test before inviting us to a telephone interview and then on to the Assessment Centre. This assessment centre was a mixture of a numeracy exam on the day, presentation (that we could prepare for in advance), group interview and HR questions, all of which were fun and engaging and designed to get the best out of us.
This process was highly attractive to me, as this clearly emphasised how Numis were looking for candidates that would fit in with the culture, rather than just a very specific set of skills.
We were then invited to a Business Interview, where 2 members of Corporate Broking & Advisory tested us on our technical ability, and although rather daunting, it gave more of a glimpse into what Numis life would be like.
What really stood out was at the final round interview where Numis Co-CEO, Alex Ham, interviewed me.
He not only asked me why I had chosen a path in Corporate Finance but also asked me what life was like outside my studies, my background, and what I expect of this role.
We also went through the personality test I had done right at the very beginning and it showed just how Numis feels their employees are their biggest asset.
By the end of the whole process I had met so many people, I basically felt like the entire firm planned to meet me! It was definitely memorable, and I had hoped I was too!
I couldn’t believe it! There was a very high calibre of candidates in all the interview rounds and I was grateful to be a part of it. Even if I had not been offered the position, the recruitment process alone taught me a lot.
Exciting and nerve-racking all at the same time! On the first day, all nine graduates met for the first time and it was sort of like the first day of school all over again. Making a good first impression was important to all of us.
We were given talks by numerous departments and even met our teams for a friendly welcome. Everyone was extremely friendly, by the end of the day all nerves were gone and I was excited to begin my Numis career.
At first it was quite intense as we were definitely thrown in the deep end, but I expected nothing less. We were given two weeks to build up our basic technical as well as excel skills, and going in, we were all at different levels so it can be a bit hard not to compare yourself to others.
We had two training leaders provided to us by an external provider – both of whom were incredible at their job and made me feel comfortable to ask any question, making the work challenging but enjoyable.
We also had internal training from other employees who helped us with softer skills as well as learning about other departments and we continue to do so from Manager Directors with the ‘Leadership Connections’ series that is being run across CB&A. It’s so important for us to continually develop and the initial presentations really have contributed to kick-starting our careers. Towards the end, it was satisfying to see the vast improvement and to this day, I sometimes refer to their handy tips!
I think I was more nervous on this day than the very first day because now the real work started.
On the graduate programme, each of us were assigned a mentor and buddy in our respective sectors which I feel has worked very well every day but especially on that first day.
However, everyone was really friendly, especially my team. They always have the answers to any questions I may have and even if they are not there, the entire floor is manned with people that do! There is always someone ready to help.
It’s gone by really fast! We’ve been here over four months now and I have learnt so much already both professionally and personally.
I was also recently given the opportunity, by my manager, to spend a week on the public side, in the Research Support Services team, and I really can’t emphasise enough how much I learnt. Some of the training we completed in those first 2 weeks was more theory and I hadn’t yet been able to put it into practise - it was not until this week that I was able to test those skills and familiarise myself more with what we had learnt.
I have also spent some mornings with Sales, Sales Trading and Trading during market opening, for a better idea about their roles and how they work. Spending the week on the other side of the wall helped me not only build my technical skills and knowledge but my own relationships too, key for a smaller firm like Numis that prides itself on its collegiality.
"It’s gone by really fast! We’ve been here over four months now and I have learnt so much already both professionally and personally".