I can stand out

from the crowd

Work Experience Programme in the City for Aspiring School Leavers

Entering its fifth year now, Big City Bright Future is an annual three-week paid work experience programme created especially to help school leavers who aspire to work within the City. Year 13 IntoUniversity students are encouraged to apply to the Insight Day in February 2019 to learn about the programme and interact with representatives from seventeen global organisations. Attendees then get the chance to submit their CV and interview for the three week work experience programme in July. You could be gaining valuable experience in the City in areas such as law, asset management or banking whilst getting paid to do it!

Key dates:

Applications open – August 2018 at local IntoUniversity centre

Application closing date – Sunday 18th November 2018

Insight Day – Wednesday 20th February 2019

CV closing date – Sunday 3rd March

Interview days (for those shortlisted) – 9th, 10th and 11th April 2019

Work Experience programme – Monday 8th July to Friday 26th July 2019


Big City Bright Future is organised by IntoUniversity.

IntoUniversity is a growing education charity providing local learning centres where young people are inspired to achieve their full potential. Our mission is to bring Higher Education within the reach of students within the communities we support, thereby opening up a world of new life-possibilities including professional careers.

IntoUniversity has 15 years’ experience of delivering high quality and impact-driven programmes through its national network of learning centres in Brighton, Bristol, Clacton-on-Sea, Coventry, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Nottingham, Oxford, Southampton and Weston-super-Mare. In the 2017-18 academic year IntoUniversity supported over 30,000 children and young people across England.

We have an excellent track record of working in partnership with schools, universities and businesses. Through our corporate partnerships we are able to offer our young people valuable opportunities including aspirational visits to workplaces, corporate mentors and work experience.


With major firms from Investment Banking, Inter-dealer Brokerage, Law and Asset Management, Big City Bright Future gives you the chance to engage with experienced individuals and begin to form an idea of where your potential career may take you.

Every firm participating is a globally recognised organisation. Together, they work to make a positive impact and actively strive for equality and diversity in their respective fields.

Click on a logo to view a firm profile.

AllianceBernstein (AB)

AllianceBernstein (AB) is a leading investment-management firm with $480 billion in client assets under management, as of December 31, 2016. We provide forward-looking perspective, independent research and investment discipline across asset classes, from equities and fixed income to alternatives and multi-asset portfolios. Our worldwide clients—including institutional, high-net-worth and retail investors—face new investment challenges and opportunities every day. Through our unique combination of expertise, research and global reach, we apply collective insights and leverage our extensive global footprint to help keep our clients at the forefront of change.


We bring together financial leadership and state-of-the-art technology to deliver investment strategies that make a difference for our clients. That’s why investors – and the businesses they work for – entrust us with trillions of dollars, and why global governments come to us for help navigating the world’s toughest economic climates. Join us, and you’ll be joining a firm that was built for these times.

The unrivaled breadth of our global platform—with more than 10,500 “feet on the street” in 6 continents—gives us better information and sharper insight into today’s rapidly changing and interconnected markets. And our ability to share and compare the information across teams and time zones helps us translate local insight in on part of the world into foresight—and action—in another. It’s part of what makes our people—and our clients—better, smarter investors.

We are One BlackRock. We challenge ourselves—and each other—to collectively raise our game. Diversity strengthens us; our best solutions come from the contributions of a group of talented and smart people, each playing a unique—and critical—role.

Careers website >

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Bank of America is one of the world’s leading financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small- and middle-market businesses, large corporations and governments with a full range of financial and risk management products and services. Our purpose is to make financial lives better.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch is the marketing name for the Global Banking and Markets businesses. Combining our local knowledge and global expertise, we offer products and services across Global Corporate and Investment Banking, Global Markets and Consumer Card. In Europe, the Middle East and Africa we have offices in 21 countries serving the needs of individual, corporate, institutional and government clients.

Being a responsible business is integral to the success of our employees, clients and stakeholders, which is why we’re committed to making a difference in the communities in which we live and work. Our efforts focus on youth employment, environmental sustainability, arts and cultural investments and responsible business practices.

Our goal is for each employee to have the best possible experience with us throughout their career. This is why we offer everyone the highest level of training and mentoring support. Furthermore, our commitment to diversity, our communities and the wellbeing of our employees, brings numerous opportunities for all employees to participate in initiatives that help make Bank of America Merrill Lynch a great place to work.

Careers website >

BMO Capital

BMO Capital Markets is a leading, full-service North American-based financial services provider offering equity and debt underwriting, corporate lending and project financing, merger and acquisitions advisory services, securitization, treasury management, market risk management, debt and equity research and institutional sales and trading. BMO Capital Markets has approximately 2,500 professionals in 30 locations around the world.



At CIBC, we are in business to help our clients, employees and shareholders achieve what is important to them. Our ability to create value for all CIBC stakeholders is driven by a business culture based on common values: Trust, Teamwork and Accountability.

Our seasoned team of professionals partners with corporations, governments and institutional clients in key financial centres around the world to develop customized solutions that enable them to access capital, expand their operations and actively invest.

CIBC is the strongest publicly traded bank in Canada by Bloomberg Markets2 and the only North American bank in the ranking for the last five years. We are focused on meeting our clients’ needs today and into the future to help them keep pace with the ever-changing market.

With CIBC, challenging assignments in a dynamic, merit-based culture will help you quickly move up the learning curve and expose you to new and exciting experiences. To complement your on-the-job training, we offer development options designed to keep you at the forefront of a rapidly changing global marketplace.

Careers website >


EquiLend is a leading provider of trading and post-trade services for the securities finance industry with offices in New York, London, Hong Kong and Toronto. EquiLend is backed by BlackRock, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, Northern Trust, State Street and UBS. Used by securities borrowers and lenders globally, the EquiLend platform (for equities) and BondLend platform (for fixed income) automate formerly manual trading and post-trade processes in the securities finance industry. DataLend, the securities finance market data division of EquiLend, provides aggregated, anonymized, cleansed and standardized securities finance data covering all asset classes, regions and markets globally.


Evercore is a premier independent investment banking advisory firm.
We founded Evercore in 1995, on the premise that clients would be best served by an investment banking firm free of the conflicts of interest inherent to large, multi-product financial institutions. We believed our model would attract the most talented senior finance professionals to our firm. We believed that by maintaining the highest standards of excellence we could create a firm unlike any other in terms of capabilities to advise on highly complex strategic transactions, dedication to our client and our experience and professionalism.

Today, we serve a prominent and diverse set of clients and investors, including leading multinational corporations, large institutional investors and financial sponsors, and high net worth individuals.


IntoUniversity is a growing education charity providing local learning centres where young people are inspired to achieve their full potential. Our mission is to bring Higher Education within the reach of students within the communities we support, thereby opening up a world of new life-possibilities including professional careers.

We will also be offering some students work experience during the work experience programme.

Lloyds Banking Group

Lloyds Banking Group is a financial services group that’s been serving communities around the UK, for hundreds of years. With some of the most recognised brands in the nation, including Lloyds Bank, Halifax, Scottish Widows and Bank of Scotland, we make a difference to the lives of millions of people and businesses. In fact, we provide trusted services to over 30 million UK customers, 12 million online users, and 6 million mobile users. And, the numbers continue to grow.

That’s why we’re looking for the next generation of talented, ambitious and inspired individuals to join our business that’s as diverse as the population of Britain.

Our exciting internship, and graduate opportunities range from shaping strategy to leading digital and IT innovation; from interpreting financial figures to helping high street customers and big business clients. Whatever your interests or degree, they’re designed to help you embrace your passions and strengths – and discover new ones – in a learning culture that fits around you.

Join us, and you’ll find your development is our priority. You could achieve higher education and professional qualifications, as well as benefit from our award winning development journey. Or if you’re just starting to explore where you’d like to work one day, you’ll gain in-depth insights from experienced business leaders. Above all, you’ll be supported by mentors and experienced business leaders to develop as a person and a professional.

Wherever you work, you’ll discover an inclusive, collaborative and open-minded culture. We’ve been recognised for our achievements in diversity, including being named in The Times Top 50 Employers for Women 2016 and the 2016 Stonewall Top 100 Employers Index. We’re one of the largest UK corporate donors to charity too. Everyone in our Group has unique qualities and goals, but they all share the desire to make a positive impact, and to help Britain prosper.

On all our programmes, we’ll help you explore your interests, develop your strengths and grow professionally, to build a career that matters.

Discover what matters to you on a Lloyds Banking Group programme.


Mako is a diversified financial services business with an established track record in trading, sales and advisory and asset management.

By challenging industry norms and embracing change, Mako aims to be at the forefront of its field, offering proven risk management and bespoke client services. Mako has a track record of consistent and long-term high performance underpinned by a dynamic and entrepreneurial culture.

Mako remains committed to trusted partnerships with investors, clients, counterparties and to social responsibility.

Careers website >


MarketAxess operates a leading electronic trading platform that enables fixed-income market participants to efficiently trade corporate bonds and other types of fixed-income instruments using MarketAxess’ patented trading technology. Over 1,100 institutional investor and broker-dealer firms are active users of the MarketAxess trading platform, accessing global liquidity in U.S. high-grade corporate bonds, emerging markets and high-yield bonds, leveraged loans, European bonds, U.S. agency bonds, municipal bonds, credit default swaps and other fixed-income securities. MarketAxess also offers a number of trading-related products and services, including: market data to assist clients with trading decisions; connectivity solutions that facilitate straight-through processing; technology services to optimize trading environments; and execution services for exchange-traded fund managers and other clients.


Nomura is an Asia-headquartered financial services group with an integrated global network spanning over 30 countries. By ‘Connecting Markets East & West’, Nomura services the needs of individuals, institutions, corporates and governments through its three business divisions: Retail, Asset Management, and Wholesale (Global Markets and Investment Banking). Founded in 1925, the firm is built on a tradition of disciplined entrepreneurship, serving clients with creative solutions and considered thought leadership.

We offer a range of graduate and internship programmes across three key areas; investment banking, global markets and corporate infrastructure.
Internship opportunities can include a 10 week spring or summer internship in London or a 3-6 month internship in one of our regional offices. Internships are the perfect preparation for a subsequent full time role. Nomura will extend full time offers to strong performers to return to the company the following year. To apply for an internship position with Nomura in 2017, candidates should be available for full time employment by July 2018.

To apply for a full time position within investment banking, global markets or corporate infrastructure, candidates should be available for full time employment by July 2017.

The recruitment process for the graduate programme consists of three first round interviews (two competency interviews and one case study interview) with junior representatives. If you are applying for an internship, you will attend two first round interviews (one competency interview and one case study interview). If successful, the final round interviews for both full-time and internship positions will consist of four competency-based interviews with senior representatives.

At Nomura our goal is to attract and develop exceptionally talented people who share our passion for individual excellence and our commitment to teamwork. We recruit graduates with a high level of academic and extra-curricular achievement, who will be able to withstand the rigours of a rapidly changing, demanding but ultimately rewarding environment. Fluency in English is essential and fluency in other languages is advantageous.

We assess candidates using a range of key competencies which include; problem solving, analytical skills, teamwork, leadership, communication skills, professional presence and initiative. All of these competencies are equally weighted and we look for evidence of these in your CV, cover letter and throughout the interview process. We will also need to be convinced of your interest and commitment to the financial services industry and to Nomura in particular.

Careers website >


Prism Financial Products LLP is a first-of-its kind buy-side brokerage firm that combines an industry leading team of global market experts with a proprietary and cutting edge trade optimization analytical tool that has been internally developed. Prism focuses on global macro buy-side clients for exchange and over-the-counter (“OTC”) products, currently covering interest rates and bonds, equity indices and in the future to include foreign exchange and commodities. Prism currently provides buy-side clients with trade execution services for exchange-traded products and serves as an “introducing broker” to the investment banks for trading of OTC products.

Our client base and target audience include hedge funds, pension and insurance funds, asset managers, investment banks, and very high net-worth family offices. They are either already well-known, very sophisticated investors looking for longer-term high return market investment opportunities (e.g. established hedge funds, asset managers, pension funds), investment banks or insurance companies looking to divest of their cheap but very complex and illiquid assets (e.g. as part of a regulatory-driven deleveraging agenda), or very high net-worth family offices who have a background in private equity investments (high return but illiquid investments over many years) and are interested in similar profile investments in the markets.

Prism has been in operation for 3 years out of its London headquarters and has just opened an office in New York.

Careers website >

Royal Bank of Canada

Royal Bank of Canada is a premier investment bank that provides a focused set of products and services to institutions, corporations, governments and high net worth clients in over 100 countries.

We understand that the first steps in any career in finance are critical. With that in mind, we have the right formula to provide you with the opportunities and professional development you need to turn those first steps into a rewarding career.

You’ll be part of a company with a superior financial track record, credit rating and reputation. In fact, we maintained a high credit rating throughout the recent financial crisis.

Working at one of the world’s leading investment banks means you will benefit from the breadth of opportunity, depth of resources and quality of training that comes from our size, experience and strength. It will also give you the chance to work regularly with world-class clients and colleagues.
In short, we provide the essential components to get your career off to a great start.

Approx. Hiring numbers:
100 +

Application details:

For further details of our programmes and how to apply, please visit our website.

Closing Dates:
All applications are opening on 1st September 2016 and we will work on a rolling basis.

Graduate deadline: November 6th 2016 – 5pm GMT
Summer Intern Deadline: 1st January 2017 – 5pm GMT
Spring Insight Deadline: 15th January 2017 – 5pm GMT

Careers website >

Simmons & Simmons

Simmons & Simmons is a leading international law firm with fully integrated teams working throughout Europe, the Middle East and Asia. The firm’s vision is to continue to be a leading global law firm through our sector focus, which is underpinned by our ambition to provide our clients with high quality advice and deliver value through new ways of working.

From our offices in major business and financial centres throughout Europe, the Middle East and Asia, we view the world through the lens of our key sectors: asset management & investment funds, financial institutions, life sciences, and technology, media & telecommunications. These key sector teams are drawn from the core practice areas of: corporate, competition & regulatory, dispute resolution, employment, pensions & employee benefits, financial markets, information, communications & technology, intellectual property, projects, real estate, and tax.

Trainee Profile

Simmons & Simmons is interested in finding out about your academic successes but will also explore your ability to form excellent interpersonal relations and work within a team environment, as well as your levels of motivation, drive and ambition through all stages of the application process and beyond. Show us evidence of this as well as examples of your intellectual capabilities and we will provide you with everything you need to become a successful member of our firm.

Training Environment

Simmons & Simmons has training contract opportunities in our offices in London and Bristol open to law and non-law students and graduates. Our training programme is constantly evolving to build the skills you will need to be successful in the fast moving world of international business. During the training contract, trainees complete four six month seats in different practice areas ensuring you will have a broad legal experience and a balanced, integrated approach to gaining the knowledge, expertise and abilities you will need to qualify in the practice area of your choice.

Vacation Placements

The firm’s internship schemes are one of the primary means of selecting candidates for a career at Simmons & Simmons. Your placement in our London or Bristol office will enable you to gain a first-hand experience of a busy and dynamic international law firm, with exposure to the deals and transactions the firm works on.


The firm offers a maintenance grant of £7,000 for the GDL and £7,500 for the LPC.

Careers website >

TD Securities

With more than 3,500 people in 12 offices around the world, TD Securities provides a wide range of capital market products and services to corporate, government and institutional clients who choose us for our knowledge, innovation and experience in the following key areas of finance:

  • Investment and Corporate Banking
  • Capital Markets
  • Interest Rate, Currency and Derivative Products
  • Commodities

Our services include the underwriting and distribution of new debt and equity issues, providing advice on strategic acquisitions and divestitures, and executing daily trading and investment needs.

With our history of delivering results, we’ve developed considerable strengths, including recognized trading expertise and street-level market intelligence that we use to consistently create value for our clients.

As a leading investment dealer with offices in key global financial centres, we recruit high-calibre, diverse talent to be our future leaders. Our new employees work with experienced colleagues and have an opportunity to make a real difference for our clients right away.

TD Securities is a performance culture that offers a challenging and rewarding career with excellent opportunities for advancement. Come join our winning team and get on the front line faster.

Careers website >


Tradeweb Markets builds and operates many of the world’s leading financial marketplaces, providing market participants with greater transparency and efficiency in fixed income, derivatives and ETF trading. Focused on applying technology to streamline the trade lifecycle, Tradeweb pioneered straight-through-processing in fixed income and now supports an integrated workflow for more than 20 marketplaces with electronic execution, processing, post-trade analysis and market data. Tradeweb Markets serves the dealer-to-customer markets through the


Tradeweb institutional platform, inter-dealer trading through Dealerweb, and the US-based retail fixed income community on Tradeweb Direct. Customers rely on Tradeweb to drive the evolution of fixed income and derivatives through flexible trading architecture and more efficient, transparent markets.


Founded in 1931, Weil, Gotshal & Manges is an international law firm headquartered in New York.  Widely recognised by those covering the legal profession as best in class, Weil’s lawyers regularly advise clients globally on their most complex Litigation, Corporate, Restructuring, and Tax and Benefits matters. With approximately 1,100 lawyers in offices on three continents around the world, Weil operates according to the “one firm” principle, allowing us to bring the right mix of firm-wide skill and local-market presence to deliver the coordinated legal advice  necessary to help our clients achieve their sophisticated goals and objectives. Established in 1996, the Weil London office is consistently regarded as one of the most successful London offices of a U.S.-based law firm. We provide clients with legal expertise at the highest level across our key practices of Private Equity, Private Funds, Leveraged Finance & High Yield, Structured Finance, Restructuring and Dispute Resolution, all supported by specialists in tax, competition, corporate governance and compliance, employment, management incentives, real estate, intellectual property and technology. You can find out more about Weil London’s Graduate Recruitment programme and Vacation Scheme here. https://ukrecruiting.weil.com/

Insight Day

On Wednesday 20th February 2019 we will be holding our Insight Day where we’ll welcome potential applicants to the work experience programme. It will be completely free for students, will last for five hours, and is an opportunity to learn everything you need to know about our work experience programme and working in the City.

The Insight Day is a fantastic opportunity in itself and something that will look great on your CV.

There will be an introduction to City industries such as law and financial services, an overview of the work experience itself and a chance for you to network with people who share your interests. Not only that – you’ll get to hear from industry experts and even engage with the firms’ representatives in person. In addition, you will gain some key recruitment skills to help you stand out from the crowd.

By the end of the Insight Day, you should have a clear idea of what your preferred industry is, and what the next steps are in the Big City Bright Future programme.


  • 10.30 – 10.45 : Sign-in and Registration
  • 10.45 – 11.00 : Welcome
  • 11.00 – 11.30 : City careers – how to navigate the options
  • 11.30 – 12.15 : Skills session – Career and networking tips
  • 12.15 – 13.00 : Lunch – group 1 /Networking – group 2
  • 13.00 – 13.45 : Lunch – group 2 /Networking – group 1
  • 13.45 – 14.30 : Careers panel Q&A
  • 14.30 – 15.15 : Business game
  • 15.15 – 15.30 : Next steps and how to apply

Travel expenses

Standard class tube or train fares from within London will be reimbursed. If you live outside of London your travel to and from the event will be arranged by your local IntoUniversity centre – please get in touch with them to discuss the arrangement from your city.



Following the Insight Day,  you will be asked to submit your CV and three open ended answers (i.e. what you have learnt from today, an example of when you have been part of a team, etc). Please note the following deadlines and timescales:

CV deadline – Sunday 3rd March 2019

Interview days (for those shortlisted) – 9th, 10th and 11th April 2019

Work Experience programme – Monday 8th July to Friday 26th July 2019

N.B. All applicants will need to have proof of right to work in the UK.

Work Experience

For the 120+ students successful in the interview, you will be allocated to your firm and your work experience will begin.

You’ll learn about the sort of work they do, be involved in one of their many projects, and gain valuable knowledge and exposure to your industry want to go into.

Week 1 – Bootcamp

For the first week you’ll be based at King’s College London on a training course that will provide you with the skills and advice needed to help you with the next couple of weeks of work experience. You will take part in soft skills sessions such as presentation skills, effective teamworking and commercial awareness as well as having the opportunity to hear from graduates from the participating firms.

Weeks 2 & 3 – Work Experience

For the second and third week, you’ll spend your time at the offices of your allocated firm and discover first-hand how a global player operates. You’ll work within a team and be responsible for daily tasks and objectives set by your line manager. These tasks and objectives will revolve around a key live project, which you’ll be actively involved with throughout your placement. By the end of this stage, you should have a realistic idea where a career in your chosen sector could take you and exposure to the industry you want to go into.


Week 3 – Final Day

For the last part of the work experience, all students will return to the King’s College London venue for a wrap-up session. This is the final day of the programme, where once again you’ll interact with both fellow students and sum up how your experience has gone. You’ll discuss everything you’ve learnt and, most importantly, how you plan to use your experience to secure your next full-time position or internship.



For the 120+ students successful in the interview, you will be allocated to your firm and your work experience will begin.

You’ll learn about the sort of work they do, be involved in one of their many projects, and gain valuable knowledge and exposure to your industry want to go into.

What it will involve

During your 30-minute interview, you’ll be assessed by a manager from one of the participating firms, who’ll be asking you a series of competency and motivational questions.

You’ll be asked about why you would like to participate in the work experience programme and what you hope to gain from it; so make sure you have answers ready for these questions. Also, if you’ve had any past experiences with your studies – or with any clubs or societies – that you think could be relevant, don’t forget to mention these as well.

If you’re unsure of how to prepare yourself for the interview, here are some top tips to get you going:

  • Practice your answers in front of friends and family; get used to hearing your answers out loud.
  • If you have an industry preference demonstrate that you have researched it beforehand.
  • Plan your journey and give yourself plenty of time.
  • Think “professional” – turn off your phone, don’t chew gum, and wear something smart on the day.
  • Be engaging, enthusiastic and polite to everyone you meet throughout the process.
  • Describe any work experience you have using the STAR technique (Situation, Task, Action, Result).
  • If you don’t understand a question in the interview, or need some time to think about it, just let us know.

You may well have an idea of what firm you’d like to spend your work experience with; however, bear in mind interviewers will be selecting students for the programme itself, rather than for any specific company. Industry preferences will be taken in to account following the interview.

Schedule your interview

All interviews will take place in April 2019 during the Easter School Holidays. More information about how to book your interview and the time and place will be provided closer to the time.

How to get there



Applications for Big City Bright Future 2019 will open in September 2018 and close on Sunday 18th November 2018. Please note – the internship is only open to Year 13s who are part of the IntoUniversity programme. If you would like to find out more please get in touch with rebecca.kendall@intouniversity.org

Each student accepted on to the work experience programme will be paid £1,200 at the end of the three weeks. Please note applicants need tp provide documents proving right to work in the UK in order to be onboarded by the firms, i.e. passport, driving licence, bank statement, birth certificate etc.

We recommend business dress for the programme. Each of the 17 firms taking part will have a slightly different dress code that they will inform you of. The most casual you should be is smart casual.

If you have a commitment that cannot be changed (i.e. interview, family wedding etc) please get in touch with your IntoUniversity centre contact to discuss. We do not encourage missing any part of the paid programme, but understand some things are unavoidable.

Students will be provided with a food voucher to cover lunch during the first five days of bootcamp at Kings College. You will need to bring in or pay for your own lunch whilst doing work experience.

Accommodation and travel cards will be provided for a limited amount of students living outside of London.
Travel will not be provided for those living in London.

Students should now know which firm they have been allocated to during the two weeks before starting the programme. The firm will let you know which team/department you will join during bootcamp. Please note that whichever firm or team you join it will be an invaluable experience.

Please contact the founder of the programme nitin.sharma@blackrock.com for more details and how to get involved.

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