Graduate Stories: Jennifer Bainbridge

I graduated from LANS in July 2017 with a double major in Economics and Chemistry. After a rather rainy graduation ceremony I flew over to Malaysia for a couple of weeks in the sunshine and sea.

Jennifer BainbridgeWritten by Jennifer Bainbridge

In September, I returned to the UK to start my new graduate role as a Finance and Risk Graduate in Canary Wharf in London for an Oil and Gas Major. The graduate scheme runs for three years with three one year rotations around the trading part of the company. My first role is as a Commodity Risk Analyst which mainly involves working with traders to manage their risk and monitor their profits and losses. It’s a fast paced dynamic environment working with departments across the company including traders and operators both locally and globally.

My new role has taken up the majority of my time but when I have time off I spend it exploring London, planning and going on holidays, at the gym and spending way too much time at dinner and brunch. I’m also involved in a committee for the graduates at my company and organise socials each week. On top of that, I’m about to begin studying towards my CIMA (Chartered Institute of Management Accountancy) qualification.

In terms of how my LANS degree was useful for applying for graduate jobs; I think the biggest benefit was the fact it’s a bit of an USP. You’ll get very good at explaining the course to recruiters (after being met with a blank face when you reel off the degree title). However, once people understand it, the usual response is “I wish I could have done that at university”. I had positive responses at every company I interviewed at, including consultancies, big four, and finance companies.

For applications, I think it’s important to highlight the technical and in-depth knowledge you gain from studying towards a subject major. You can also show how studying a wide variety of subjects not only improves your understanding and appreciation of the wider world, but the softer skills that come from basically designing and studying your own individual degree – from organisation to communication, perseverance to problem solving. The group projects you do in first and second year also useful for competency based interview questions – for skills such as teamwork, leadership, communication, working with people with different working styles/opinions and many more.

Your combination of subjects is important: try to weave a story about why you picked them (it could just be that you wanted to try something new and challenge yourself). I’d definitely suggest spending time looking at the skills required for each application and finding a couple of examples to back up each skill. You’d be surprised at how many of these return to the opportunities provided by the LANS degree.

In terms of employment and future career, I’m very open to different options and pathways. I feel like I’m still at the stage where I can explore and develop a range of skills and the LANS degree definitely made me more open to trying out new things. Whilst I will probably stay in the Finance/Trading industry for a while I’d consider other avenues such as consultancy down the track.