Zain Abrar: Sales Summer Analyst at Barclays Investment Bank
What course did you do with Amplify and when?
I completed the 4 week Summer Internship programme with Amplify in July 2018.
I chose Amplify after I visited their office in London for a half-day workshop with my University’s Finance Society. During this workshop, I learnt about trading psychology and received great insight into markets. I was also very impressed by how willing everyone at Amplify was to help and explain different concepts in detail and in a very patient and easy to understand manner.
Everyone was also very willing to give invaluable career advice which was very important for me as I was unsure of what career path I wanted to pursue.
What part of the internship training did you find the most beneficial?
During my internship, I found fundamental analysis training to be the most beneficial. This is because in almost all of my interviews, I was tested on my knowledge of the markets and how fundamental news affected different asset classes.
I also think that the way Amplify structured their training for this was particularly useful. We first received essential theory lectures to get us up to speed on how fundamentals should drive markets and we then put this into practice with live trading simulations and saw the actual effects they have. It was great to have the likes of Anthony and Will present during our live trading simulation sessions to explain what was going on, especially if a piece of fundamental news did not have the effect that it theoretically should have had.
How have Amplify helped with your career development?
Amplify has helped me massively in my career development. Firstly, through the sales and trading simulation, I learnt a great deal about the different roles available within investment banks and what would suit my particular skill set. You can always read about these roles but it is completely different when you actually do it because not only can you see what you are interested in but also what you are good at.
Moreover, many of the traders provided me with invaluable advice for careers such as providing valuable feedback on my CV, interview practice and group exercises. All of this was very useful when I applied for my summer internship at investment banks.
I also stayed in touch with many people at Amplify including Antony Cheung and Xiaoyu Zhang, who carried on providing me advice before my interviews and helped me prepare for them.
Did your experience with Amplify come up in subsequent interviews?
Yes, my experience with Amplify came up in almost all of my interviews. It gave me a chance to show my interest in markets and my knowledge of different markets/asset classes that I learnt about during my internship.
I think the biggest advantage that my experience at Amplify gave me was that it provided me with enough knowledge to be able to confidently talk about what was going on with different markets around the world. One of the most popular questions that came up in my interviews was ‘Talk to me about what is happening in the markets right now’. Having spent a month with Amplify discussing markets everyday with their traders, meant that I was in a position to not only talk about what was happening in the markets right now, but to also provide an outlook for what I think might happen in the future.
Lastly, I was able to do this by using correct terminology which I had picked up during my internship.
What are you doing now?
I am currently studying PPE at the University of Manchester and have successfully secured a sales internship at Barclays Investment Bank for their Markets division.
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