Teaching before the trading floor

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If the thought of engaging with your philanthropic side before kick-starting your investment banking career appeals, Barclays Capital is offering such an opportunity.

BarCap has stepped into the shoes of JPMorgan to team up with a charity called TeachFirst, which allows you to defer your investment banking graduate scheme place for two years while you teach in some of the most disadvantaged schools in the UK.

The idea is to tap into the ample talents of top graduates - you'll need a 2.1 and 300 UCAS points to be considered - who wouldn't have normally pursue a career in teaching, and help inspire pupils in underperforming schools.

How many places?

Sadly, not many within the investment banking space - BarCap tells us it's still a "work in progress" as this is the first year it's supported the scheme. James Darley, director of graduate recruitment at TeachFirst, is anticipating around six places being made available.

There are other financial sector firms participating in the deferred entry scheme (the full list is available here) and other i-banks - including Citi, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, JP Morgan and UBS support the programme, which means places can become available on a more ad hoc basis.

Overall, TeachFirst is intending to take on 650 students in 2010.

How will this help my investment banking career?

No doubt lurking at the back of your mind is the prospect that, should business conditions decline in the next two years, the 'guaranteed' place won't be quite as certain.

Darley is quick to refute this: "We've never had an investment bank renege on an offer and, if anything, the economic situation is likely to have improved in two years' time."

BarCap's campus recruitment and development manager, Joanna Rombel-Jarman, says that the skills acquired in teaching are extremely transferable to investment banking: "Leadership, strong communication skills, resilience as well as boundless amounts of energy and creativity are just some of these attributes."

"If you can control 30 teenagers who don't want to be at school, the trading floor won't be much of a challenge," adds Darley. "The scheme also teaches soft skills such as self-evaluation, empathy, respect and humility."

The programme is also Masters accredited and, with a little extra study, you can walk away with an MA at the end of two years.


From 17.5k-20k in the first year, rising to up to 22k in the second. Working in London pays the most.

Where to apply

Deadline for applications is 2 April 2010, and more details on the deferred entry scheme can be found here. There are currently vacancies within Maths, Science, ICT, DT, Business Studies and Music.

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