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Rothschild Graduate Scheme Review

  • Work/Life Balance

  • Practical Skills Learnt

  • Live Up To Expectations

As an analyst what is a typical day like for you?

I usually arrive at 9.00am as a junior banker you are expected to do some of the less glamorous work so a lot of my job involves coordinating different elements of the deal I am working on to ensure that everyone who needs to be on a call or at a meeting is available and present. I regularly sit in on calls/meetings and circulate minutes or help to clear up issues that have arisen during the call/meeting. I have a hand in preparing slides that are used in client presentations along the duration of a deal. Some of the more technical aspects of the job will involve financial modelling which provides the more interesting and challenging work.

Can you earn bonuses as a junior banker?

Yes you can, these are based on an evaluation of your performance comparable to your peers.

What are the things that interest you about your job?

I like the fact that from the start of my career I have access to a senior people right at the top of large companies. You get exposure to CEO’s and FD’s from early on, even if you are not directly contributing to a meeting. I also like the modelling that I work on, it is more technical and allows you to develop a good understanding of how financial concepts or issues work in practice in relation to the clients we advise.

What are the hours like at Rothschild?

I am usually out the office around 11pm so on average I work a 65-70 hour week, however this can increase if we are near a deadline to complete a deal. About one weekend a month you will also be required to work but this is heavily dependant upon your team and the stage in a deal that you are at.

Are there times of the year that are busy/quiet?

Christmas and summer are relatively quiet as a large number of our clients are on holiday; however, the period after is usually quite hectic.

What skills do you need to do your job?

You need to be able to think through problems in a logical manner and have an eye for detail. A lot of what we do is centred around a core knowledge of financial accounting. You pick this up from the initial training and on the job, however a prior knowledge would be of an advantage. Lastly you need an element of patience, as you are the most junior member of the team you do get asked to do work that might not always challenge you intellectually, however the work needs to be done in an efficient manner.

How many people in your team?

There are about 20 people in my team and on a deal I usually work with 4-5 people, there is typically one person from each level of the firm on a particular deal.

Do you go out much with work colleagues?

Not a great deal, we work fairly long hours so it can be difficult to coordinate people. People often want to spend time with family and friends outside office hours.

What’s it like commuting everyday?

I have a 30 minute commute, which is about the furthest I would recommend. The commuting itself isn’t so bad it's just when you are working long hours you value your time greatly. Personally I would recommend that you live 10-15 minutes from your office if you work in M&A.

What is the culture of the organisation?

Quite understated, fairly traditional and highly intellectual. People mostly sit and get through their work. This generally isn’t the sort of place where people are screaming down phones at each other.

How much formal training did you receive on joining the firm?

I had 10 weeks formal training when I joined, mostly focused on the basics of finance and with quite a large proportion of the time devoted to understanding the basics of accountancy. You then have regular top-up training sessions throughout your first few years.

Where are most of the other graduates from?

About 50% are from the EU and 50% are from the UK. Most of the UK graduates either went to LSE, Oxford or Cambridge but there are some from other Russel Group Universities.

What was the interview process like?

There is an online application (which was fairly detailed compared to others, with a number of competency based questions). There are standard numerical, logical and verbal tests. The following round is an HR competency interview combined with more numerical and verbal reasoning tests at the interview. Finally there is “Super Saturday”. This involves drinks on Friday evening, followed by two technical interviews on the Saturday morning.

Is it easy to move into other departments?

Not particularly, you are placed according to business need for the first two years, and then after that there is scope to move within the firm.

Have you taken any professional exams?

Yes, FSA regulatory exams.

Can you name a client/deal you have worked on and outline your role and the teams role?

I worked on a deal involving a major EU media company who were undergoing restructuring. Rothschild advised them on the legal process of the restructuring and held negotiations with the lenders on behalf of the company.

Where would you like to be in 5 years time?

Hopefully at associate level if I was to remain at Rothschild.

What are the office perks/ facilities like?

You are given lunch vouchers and dinners are paid for after 9pm. Cab rides home are paid for after 10pm. There is also a subsidised membership to a gym which is pretty good.

Where did you study at undergrad?


What did you get?


What skill do you wish you had or could take a course in that would make you better at your job?

Languages would be useful, so maybe French or Spanish.

How does what you do differ to the perception of your job?

It doesn’t hugely, although its not as glamorous as some people think.

Do you get to travel?

It depends on your team, for example one of the guys who works in oil and gas gets to go to some interesting places but I am fairly London based.

How many days holiday do you get a year?

You get given 25 days holiday.

Is it easy to book time off?

As long as you are sensible and give advance notice I have never had a problem; however, obviously if a deal runs over you may have to reschedule if you are needed to help.

Any funny office stories?

None in particular come to mind but there is friendly office banter!

Anything else you thought grads may want to know?

You need to be prepared to have ups and downs…Some days I leave the office at a reasonable hour having learned a great deal and really felt that what I did contributed to the team, other days you are in the office late working on something that may not interest you a great deal. The people who seem to progress are those that give 100% all the time.


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