I am currently undertaking a Bachelor of Commerce / Bachelor of Laws degree at the University of Sydney. I went to The Scots College for high school.
I did not study Economics in high school. In terms of my university degree, I was always interested in pursuing a career in business. I chose to study law with commerce because I believed studying law would enhance my understanding of the legal frameworks that support business.
My exposure to economics at university came from the core economics unit within the commerce degree as well as some electives in economics I chose to study. Studying both macroeconomics and microeconomics were highly enjoyable for me. Macroeconomics improved my understanding of both the bigger economic picture and the levers available for policy makers to influence the economy, and microeconomics provided greater insights for the more individualist decision-making process of determining price and quantity for goods and services. This positive experience at university has subsequently led me to wish I had studied economics at high school.
I was a Cadet for 4 years at UBS before taking up a Summer Analyst role in November 2019. My first rotation was in Equities and my second rotation was in Equity Research. My understanding of economics provided a beneficial theoretical foundation for my role due to the strong correlation between concepts including the broader Australian economy, interest rates, and foreign exchange rates with the Australian stock market. With an understanding of economics, this enhanced my comprehension of the practical tasks that I performed which subsequently improved my performance of these tasks.
With an understanding of economics, this enhanced my comprehension of the practical tasks that I performed which subsequently improved my performance of these tasks.
As a precursor, ECM is a product group within investment banking which focuses on equity-based financial products including IPOs, equity raising, and block trades. Most of my work as a Summer Analyst centred around Excel and PowerPoint. Within Excel, I updated databases and performed financial analysis for my team and for clients. My PowerPoint tasks mainly revolved around creating and updating presentations that would be presented to clients or internally. A typical day for me involved a blend of ad hoc tasks and long-term projects although no day was quite the same.
For a career in business, economic and financial literacy provide a massive benefit for students looking to enter a competitive workforce. While work is generally practical rather than theoretical, an understanding of underlying economic and financial theories greatly improves an individual’s ability to undertake practical work efficiently and accurately. Furthermore, economic and financial literacy are often highly regarded by employers who may also require these as prerequisites for internship or graduate roles due to the nature of the industry or the role itself (e.g. financial services or finance roles within companies more broadly). Finally, economic and financial literacy is important for applying to individuals’ personal finances – understanding concepts including compound interest, personal debt, and various asset classes greatly benefit individual’s personal decision-making when it comes to their finances. University has been the main facilitator of my economic and financial literacy, with work and the Internet helping me expand my knowledge.
Economic and financial literacy is important for applying to individuals’ personal finances – understanding concepts including compound interest, personal debt, and various asset classes greatly benefit individual’s personal decision-making when it comes to their finances.
Finance is a highly exciting, competitive and collaborative industry. When applying for Cadetships and Summer Internships, companies will be keen to find individuals who are easy to work with, driven, and passionate about finance. Make sure to highlight these attributes in your application. For the interview stage, a smile and eye contact often help go a long way.