Mihai Velciu is a BSc Business Management graduate and current MSc Economics student. He shares his journey through how he secured his place on the highly competitive Santander investment banking graduate scheme.
22 March 2019
I first applied to a risk internship with Santander in autumn 2017. I went through the psychometric tests, phone interview and assessment centre and Santander gave me an offer for a 10-week market risk (interest rates risk) internship during the summer of 2018, between graduating from my bachelors and beginning my masters.
I used my time there to learn as much as possible about Santander and banking. I spoke with my manager about shadowing other teams, in risk and in other departments as well. He was open to my idea, so I started speaking with people from other teams. I spoke with employees from the risk, finance, audit and investment banking departments, and shadowed several teams, both in risk and investment banking.
During the internship, I realised that I enjoyed investment banking the most, so I expressed my interest to recruiters in this department. Of course, this meant that I would lose my risk graduate scheme for the next year and that I had to go through another assessment centre in spring 2019 to join the investment banking department, so I had to face a bit of uncertainty during my postgraduate year. The assessment centre was hugely competitive. Around 3000 students applied for only 4 places, so when I received the phone call saying that I passed, I was ecstatic.
I was very happy to receive this offer, as Santander’s investment banking graduate scheme is quite different from the schemes of other investment banks. It has a rotational structure, that allows you to work in four teams. This means that you can do a rotation in trading, one in structured finance, one in M&A and another in leveraged finance, or whatever combination you prefer. Also, one rotation can be abroad as well, so I’m looking forward to travel too.
If I’d have to give some advice to students who are applying now, I would say two things: Apply early to internships and network as well as you can.