Five ways to leverage simulations to recruit the best talent

If you work in graduate recruitment in finance, you should be familiar with the various benefits that come from embedding immersive, simulation-based experiences into your programmes. In this article, we break down how and when leading institutions are leveraging them, for the best results.
Apr 3 / Rachel Aspinall

Introduction

If you are involved in Campus Recruitment or graduate training in finance, chances are you've utilised role-specific simulations in some capacity to attract, assess, or upskill young talent.

Simulations are not a new phenomenon, but they have gained significant traction recently as the industry recognises the benefits of a skills-based recruitment approach and the pitfalls of relying solely on theory-based training and assessments.  

The gap between theory and practice was, in fact, one of the driving forces behind AmplifyME's inception back in 2009. Will de Lucy, Co-Founder, and CEO, realised that access to the industry, especially markets-focused roles, was flawed for practical learners like himself. He found studying theoretical concepts to be abstract and unengaging but rapidly excelled on the trading floor, engaging directly in market correlations and trends.  

Since then, AmplifyME has developed more than 20 simulations in markets, banking, and quantitative finance, disrupting traditional training and recruitment on a global scale and partnering with world-leading institutions, including Morgan Stanley and UBS.  

In this article, we explore how the best institutions of all shapes and sizes are benefiting from implementing simulations at different stages, from talent attraction all the way to graduate training.
If you are involved in Campus Recruitment or graduate training in finance, chances are you've utilised role-specific simulations in some capacity to attract, assess, or upskill young talent.   Simulations are not a new phenomenon, but they have gained significant traction recently as the industry recognises the benefits of a skills-based recruitment approach and the pitfalls of relying solely on theory-based training and assessments.  

The gap between theory and practice was, in fact, one of the driving forces behind AmplifyME's inception back in 2009. Will de Lucy, Co-Founder, and CEO, realised that access to the industry, especially markets-focused roles, was flawed for practical learners like himself.  

He found studying theoretical concepts to be abstract and unengaging but rapidly excelled on the trading floor, engaging directly in market correlations and trends.  

Since then, AmplifyME has developed more than 20 simulations in markets, banking, and quantitative finance, disrupting traditional training and recruitment on a global scale and partnering with world-leading institutions, including Morgan Stanley and UBS.  

In this article, we explore how the best institutions of all shapes and sizes are benefiting from implementing simulations at different stages, from talent attraction all the way to graduate training.

1. Attraction 

To stand out from the competition and simultaneously attract a more diverse talent pool with less pre-existing finance knowledge, incorporating an immersive, engaging educational experience at the attraction stage is key to success.

This is where tailored simulations can work to your advantage. We work with countless partners to host tailored simulation attraction events - both in-person and online - for their specialist roles, which provides:
  • A cost-effective way to scale for different regions, increase visibility for their brand, and acquire a pool of candidates with associated performance data earlier on. 
  • Clarity on the reality of the role and whether it's right for them, reducing wasted time and costs later down the line.
  • A positive candidate experience, increasing the likelihood of them remembering your brand

Our partner, Evercore, a world-leading investment bank, worked with us to implement tailored banking simulations into their attraction events. The Head of US Campus Recruiting explained:
To stand out from the competition and simultaneously attract a more diverse talent pool with less pre-existing finance knowledge, incorporating an immersive, engaging educational experience at the attraction stage is key to success.

This is where tailored simulations can work to your advantage. We work with countless partners to host tailored simulation attraction events - both in-person and online - for their specialist roles, which provides:

  • A cost-effective way to scale for different regions, increase visibility for their brand, and acquire a pool of candidates with associated performance data earlier on. 
  • Clarity on the reality of the role and whether it's right for them, reducing wasted time and costs later down the line.
  • A positive candidate experience, increasing the likelihood of them remembering your brand

Our partner, Evercore, a world-leading investment bank, worked with us to implement tailored banking simulations into their attraction events. The Head of US Campus Recruiting explained:

"The simulations bring the essence of Wall Street directly to students' screens, providing real-life examples and instant feedback. This not only educates but also challenges students to think innovatively and embrace new experiences.   This has truly expanded our reach to students and universities previously beyond our scope. The scalability of virtual simulations ensures accessibility for many participants, enriching our talent pipeline and strengthening our brand presence across diverse academic institutions."  

"The benefits for our trainees were substantial. Instead of mere observation, they actively engaged in trading and broking activities, gaining a realistic perspective of these roles. The simulation also helped them assess their compatibility with the broking environment and identify their strengths and areas for improvement. The interactive sessions facilitated bonding among internship cohorts, combining learning with social engagement."

Chelsea Herritt, Head of us campus recruiting, evercore


2. Spring Weeks 

Spring weeks help institutions identify high-potential candidates very early in their university careers. Firms make extensive efforts to educate these candidates about their lines of business and test their potential and suitability.

By incorporating a simulation like our flagship Initial Public Offerings (IPO) experience at the right difficulty level, for example, students must showcase their technical skills by building a financial model and valuation for an IPO prospect. Later, they work in teams, preparing a roadshow presentation before managing a bookbuilding process.  

This simulation tests candidates’ technical skills while also challenging them to work in a team, synthesise information, present clearly, and respond to difficult investor questions.  

By incorporating the right interactive simulations with the correct level of difficulty, these young students get a chance to demonstrate those skills in real time and are offered a reprieve from more passive activities.  

In fact, we asked our student community which components they would find more valuable, and networking and interactive learning scored the highest, demonstrating a desire to engage actively rather than passively.


Spring weeks help institutions identify high-potential candidates very early in their university careers. Firms make extensive efforts to educate these candidates about their lines of business and test their potential and suitability.

By incorporating a simulation like our flagship Initial Public Offerings (IPO) experience at the right difficulty level, for example, students must showcase their technical skills by building a financial model and valuation for an IPO prospect. Later, they work in teams, preparing a roadshow presentation before managing a bookbuilding process.  

This simulation tests candidates’ technical skills while also challenging them to work in a team, synthesise information, present clearly, and respond to difficult investor questions.  

By incorporating the right interactive simulations with the correct level of difficulty, these young students get a chance to demonstrate those skills in real time and are offered a reprieve from more passive activities.  

In fact, we asked our student community which components they would find more valuable, and networking and interactive learning scored the highest, demonstrating a desire to engage actively rather than passively.


3. Keeping your interns and graduates 'warm' 

The ‘Keep Warm’ period refers to the time between an intern or graduate accepting your offer and starting at your institution. Because issues may arise when the internship begins, ranging from initial struggles to potential poaching by competitors, it’s essential to prepare and keep interns engaged and supported during this time to mitigate these. 

Most Programmes consist of  a mix of components ranging from assigning mentors to wellbeing check-ins and crucially: interactive, engaging learning to help them get desk ready. This is where simulations come in.

By incorporating tailored, assessed simulations as part of a holistic programme, you engage your incoming interns or graduates at the highest level, allowing them to learn and have fun whilst simultaneously, your team can track their performance data and progress.

This will help with role allocation, and identify any possible interventions needed to provide further training and support.
The ‘Keep Warm’ period refers to the time between an intern or graduate accepting your offer and starting at your firm. Because issues may arise when the Programme begins, ranging from initial struggles to potential poaching by competitors, it’s essential to prepare and keep interns and graduates engaged and supported during this time. 

Most Programmes consist of  a mix of components ranging from assigning mentors to wellbeing check-ins and crucially: interactive, engaging learning to help them get desk ready. This is where simulations come in.

By incorporating tailored, assessed simulations as part of a holistic Programme, you engage your incoming interns at the highest level, allowing them to learn and have fun whilst simultaneously, your team can track their performance data and progress.

This will help with role allocation, and identify any possible interventions needed to provide further training and support.


4. Diversity Programmes

Many of our partners have specific programmes dedicated to help increase under-represented talent and diversify their internship cohort.

The Royal Bank of Canada's (RBC) renowned Capital Markets Women’s Advisory Programme, is open to women in their first year of university who have had either very little or no exposure to finance or the corporate world in general.

As part of the programme, the Early Careers Team at RBC needed to upskill participants in three global locations over short timeframes spanning from just a few days to eight weeks. They needed to enhance skills, confidence, and readiness for internships and full-time roles in the industry.

Additionally, they aimed to assess individual strengths and weaknesses for optimal division placement, ensuring retention and performance.

We embedded a tailored series of immersive simulation experiences in markets and banking, with participants role-playing as Junior Investment Banking Analysts, Traders, and ESG Investment Managers. Over eight weeks, difficulty levels increased, culminating in the most challenging scenarios.

Individual performance data was provided, and the programme ended with a review session where performance profiles and team observations were shared.

The result?


90%+ of participants in Canada, the US, and the UK advanced to final round interviews for RBC Capital Markets’ global summer internship programme, with a high majority earning summer internship offers. Learn more about the programme by watching the video below.

Many of our partners have specific programmes dedicated to help increase under-represented talent and diversify their internship cohort.

The Royal Bank of Canada's (RBC) renowned Capital Markets Women’s Advisory Programme, is open to women in their first year of university who have had either very little or no exposure to finance or the corporate world in general.

As part of the programme, the Early Careers Team at RBC needed to upskill participants in three global locations over short timeframes spanning from just a few days to eight weeks. They needed to enhance skills, confidence, and readiness for internships and full-time roles in the industry.

Additionally, they aimed to assess individual strengths and weaknesses for optimal division placement, ensuring retention and performance.

We embedded a tailored series of immersive simulation experiences in markets and banking, with participants role-playing as Junior Investment Banking Analysts, Traders, and ESG Investment Managers. Over eight weeks, difficulty levels increased, culminating in the most challenging scenarios.

Individual performance data was provided, and the programme ended with a review session where performance profiles and team observations were shared.

The result?


90%+ of participants in Canada, the US, and the UK advanced to final round interviews for RBC Capital Markets’ global summer internship programme, with a high majority earning summer internship offers.

Learn more about the programme by watching the video below.

Write your awesome label here.
Our goal was to elevate our upskilling sessions, ensuring that the trainees were well-prepared for the demands of internships and full-time roles in the industry. AmplifyME’s approach was exactly what we needed.Through the immersive simulations, participants step into the shoes of various industry roles, from Junior IB Analysts to Traders to ESG Investment Managers. These scenarios provide an unparalleled understanding of the industry's intricacies, strategies, and challenges. 

"The benefits for our trainees were substantial. Instead of mere observation, they actively engaged in trading and broking activities, gaining a realistic perspective of these roles. The simulation also helped them assess their compatibility with the broking environment and identify their strengths and areas for improvement. The interactive sessions facilitated bonding among internship cohorts, combining learning with social engagement."

marc caporiccio , global diversity lead, rbc


5. Internships and Graduate Programmes

Simulations can also be leveraged for internship and graduate programmes because they launch participants into specific roles, adjusting the difficulty as required across the 8-9 weeks.

A strategic combination of subjects form the perfect way to simultaneously develop and assess candidates over a sustained period, often in different global locations.  

Because they launch interns into specific roles, adjusting the difficulty as required across the 8-9 weeks, they form the perfect way to simultaneously develop and assess candidates over a sustained period, often in different world locations.  

Given that internship programs typically consist mainly of desk-based work, shadowing, and passive observation, institutions are increasingly incorporating simulations periodically throughout the duration to:

  • Help interns stay engaged during intensely long periods of desk-based work        
  • Keep them focused and learning in a fun and engaging way ·       
  • Bring global cohorts together at low cost, virtually
  • Assess them for future role allocation  


A typical simulation-based programme starts during induction week and then takes the form of weekly immersive events touching on different areas of finance and different specialist roles or mix of roles.  
Simulations can also be leveraged for internship and graduate programmes because they launch participants into specific roles, adjusting the difficulty as required across the 8-9 weeks.

A strategic combination of subjects form the perfect way to simultaneously develop and assess candidates over a sustained period, often in different global locations.  

Given that internship programmes typically consist mainly of desk-based work, shadowing, and passive observation, institutions are increasingly incorporating simulations periodically throughout the duration to:

  • Help interns stay engaged during intensely long periods of desk-based work        
  • Keep them focused and learning in a fun and engaging way ·       
  • Bring global cohorts together at low cost, virtually
  • Assess them for future role allocation  

A typical simulation-based programme starts during induction week and then takes the form of weekly immersive events touching on different areas of finance and different specialist roles or mix of roles.