A former student at City and Islington College (@CitynIslington) has told how he secured a degree apprenticeship with financial giant JP Morgan.
Jamil Rashid, 19, gained a place with the finance company in September after a rigorous selection process that included an assessment, networking event and video interview.
He said: “I wasn’t sure university was for me, especially when I started to find out more about apprenticeships. People were working, earning and studying towards qualifications as well, which suited me a lot more.
“When I reached Year 13, I made a real effort to apply for apprenticeships and did a lot of research to get in. I applied for 10 to 15 apprenticeships. I knew at the end of the day it was a numbers game, and if I applied for enough there was a good chance I would get an offer.”
Jamil achieved A Levels in Maths, Economics and Psychology at CANDI before a year-long apprenticeship with KPMG, auditing accounts for clients including the NHS, Save The Children UK and Residential Management Group.
In his role as a CIB Operations Apprentice at JP Morgan he is currently working on the trading floor while studying for a BSc Applied Finance with the University of Exeter.
Jamil said: “My degree is directly related to my job role. Everything I am learning at university I can apply to work at JP Morgan. I think this is the best way. Doing an apprenticeship, I get to experience the best of both worlds.
“I don’t feel I’m missing out on the whole university experience because I’m still getting a Russell Group university degree.”
While at college Jamil had the opportunity speak to representatives from the UK’s top 100 employers at the Rate My Apprenticeships Awards in 2018, where CANDI’s Careers Co-ordinator Jo Bishop won the Outstanding Contribution to Apprenticeships award.
Jamil said: “It was a really good opportunity to broaden my apprenticeship knowledge and meet some big, key people in the industry.”
He admitted the application process at JP Morgan was tough with competition from hundreds of applicants from across the UK.
Jamil said: “JP Morgan to tend to hire very high level, intelligent, successful people and I knew that kind of environment would help me to thrive and develop myself on a personal and professional level.
“You’re competing against students across the country and you’ve just got to want it more it than them, and work harder than them.
“Once I got to the stage where I’d met a few managers and saw the office and what I’d potentially be doing, that’s when I felt truly inspired.”
Jamil added that there are a lot of perks and benefits to his apprenticeship, which has given him the chance to travel around London and work with different teams and clients.
His advice to those looking for an apprenticeship is begin researching the roles and companies you are applying for at the earliest opportunity.
He said: “Start early because many apprenticeships are closed or applications are being processed because companies want to get people hired before the exams period.
“A lot pf people don’t know what they are applying for and what an apprenticeship entails. People think that accounting is just numbers, but if you understand these jobs and what these apprenticeships are about, you’ll be quite surprised. It’ll often change your perception of certain industries.”
CANDI’s Careers Service provides a wide range of information, support, guidance and events throughout the year to help students achieve their career ambitions.
Janet Willoughby, Careers Adviser at CANDI, said:
“Jamil was a very determined young man who definitely made use of the careers service every step of the way, from his CV and rebranding himself to making himself known and saying the right things at all times.
“Something we impart on all our students is to put themselves out there and try. Jamil did just that, and it is no surprise to us that he gone on to get an apprenticeship with JP Morgan. We are all very proud of him and wish him continued success in his career.”