In 2019, Ben completed his Master of Laws from Newcastle University. He found his passion for anti-money laundering during his degree and now, after four weeks of mthree’s banking services training, he’s joined the Alumni programme and will start his career at a leading investment bank.
We caught up with Ben to find out about the training he received and how he felt about starting his role.
What did you learn during our banking services training?
"The training has provided me with the knowledge I need to go into the job and feel confident.
We were taught the fundamentals of how investment banks and anti-financial crime teams work. I learnt about commodities, stocks and shares, bonds, financial crime, anti-money laundering and fraud. I also learnt more detail about things I only touched upon in my degree, like dividends, which I’ve found really useful.
Another learning has been getting used to working via Zoom. It was very new to me and I found it daunting at first, but now after four weeks of working remotely I feel much more relaxed and confident."
What were your assumptions of the industry and how is it different now?
"I thought that the roles were for people who went to Ivy League colleges or Oxbridge.There’s also the presumption that you’re always going to be working crazy long hours. However, when speaking to the instructors who’ve actually worked in investment banks, they reassured me that’s not the case. Like any other industry, it depends on your workload. During busier times we’ll have to stay longer but at quieter times we finish at a normal time.
Our instructor Samantha brought in quite a few experts to talk to us and everybody I've met provided me with an insight into what it’s really like working in investment banking. It isn't just one type of personality that fits in, I’ve seen that it’s open to everybody.
I like to classify myself as creative so I didn't know whether I’d be the right fit for investment banking but these four weeks of training have settled my nerves."
What made you want to work in banking?
"When I did my master's I was really interested in anti-money laundering. I straightaway decided that was the career for me. While I was doing my master's, I did some research into cryptocurrency money laundering and obliged entities.
All these financial entities are the gatekeepers to the financial market. So one of the best places to fight financial crime is to be actually within an investment bank. It's the perfect opportunity to be able to see what financial crime looks like in the real world and on a global scale."
What will your role be like?
"Freddie from mthree went through the role with me which gave me a massive advantage for the interview. My role will be investigating alerts raised by a transaction monitoring system that flags any suspicious transactions.
During the investigation process, I’ll be drawing upon customer data profiles, open source data and transaction histories. It’s financial investigation and that's what I wanted to get into, so for it to be my first graduate job is something I’m really happy about!"
What advice would you have for other graduates who are looking to work in this area?
"I would genuinely recommend joining mthree. It's gotten me to where I want to be and fast tracked that process. I graduated just as COVID-19 started so it's an interesting year for applying to jobs!
I can’t even count the amount of jobs I’ve applied for. Normally, you just have an automated email telling you that you’re rejected or that you've reached the next step. To actually have a conversation with someone from mthree quite early on really stood out to me. If I had any advice it would be join mthree and just keep applying."