MBA Careers at Deutsche Bank: Interview |

MBA Careers at Deutsche Bank: Interview

By QS Contributor

Updated August 26, 2014 Updated August 26, 2014

Investment banking is one of the most sought-after destinations for ambitious new MBAs around the globe. But what is it really like to work in the industry and does it live up to expectations? We talk to Deutsche Bank's Helen Burrows about life inside one of the sector's leading players.

"We're very committed to hiring MBAs because they are such a great source of leadership talent."

What qualities do you look for when recruiting MBAs?

The actual work backgrounds we're interested in will depend on the demands of our various business divisions at the time of hiring, but the key qualities we look for always remain the same. We're after high achievers, who are both focused and motivated and who can demonstrate a clear understanding of our industry. We don't just look at what an individual has accomplished in his or her work or academic studies, but also take into account extra-curricular activities. We like to see evidence that a potential recruit will be able to fit into an environment that is based on action and openness to new ideas and which operates on a truly international basis. We're very committed to hiring MBAs because they are such a great source of leadership talent - a substantial proportion of our top people are business school graduates. They also bring us a very wide range of experience in key disciplines and sectors and provide us with new ideas and ways of working that help to keep the environment fresh and exciting.

How does a new MBA hire spend the first few weeks at Deutsche Bank?

We provide the first introduction to the organisation through a global orientation and networking event, which is held in the USA. This is designed to give new recruits an understanding of our global business, strategy, values and culture and is also a great opportunity to start building relationships with peers from all the regions and business areas we operate in. During the two-days of the event, new hires get to hear from the senior management team, from external analysts and from leading academics. We then round things off with a charitable team building project, which helps to bring everyone together and also enables us to give something back to the local community. After that, individuals will start to follow training programmes that are geared to their specific areas of work. For example, MBAs who are entering the Global Banking Division will spend two weeks in New York and then fly to London for an eight day programme alongside analysts from the bank, who have recently been promoted to associate level. When this is concluded individuals return to their designated location and  business groups and enter into a period of (on-thejob) training.

Recruits to the Global Markets area also commence their training in New York, but in this case with a four-week Product Bootcamp, which examines underlying markets, what motivates clients, risk management and advanced products knowledge. They then spend time in one of our offices in New York , London, Singapore or Frankfurt, where they'll be fully involved in all the activities of the host business. After this they re-unite in London with the global analyst class for a thorough overview of the business areas within each division before the formal rotation programme. These specific programmes are just the start of intensive training and development, which goes on throughout an individual's career here. We're totally committed to providing support that will ensure every MBA's abilities are realised, their skills developed and their potential encouraged.

Is formal training the only form of ongoing support you provide?

No, we also offer a structured mentoring programme, which is sponsored by senior management and regarded as a crucial element of an MBA's orientation with the business and longterm career development. From day one, the mentor, who is usually one of our senior managers, will provide support and advice and also help the MBA to develop a network of useful contact within the organisation. Although the relationship between mentor and client is a confidential one, all our mentors meet regularly under the sponsorship of a managing director to identify and deal with any common themes or challenges that are arising across the firm.

Is there an element of culture shock for new MBAs who join the bank?

"We're totally committed to providing support that will ensure every MBA's abilities are realised."

Sometimes business school students ,who join us as interns, find the pace of life here a little overwhelming at first, depending on what sort of environment they have been used to working in before their MBA. Most MBAs who join us on a full-time basis, however, have either come through the internship route or have done a lot of research on the sector and they are, consequently, more than ready for anything we can throw at them. If there is any genuine element of surprise, it tends to centre around the fact that this is a very team-oriented and supportive environment and quite contrary to the (cut-throat) picture that is sometimes painted by commentators on the industry.

Many new hires are very pleasantly surprised that they enjoy the working environment here much more than they expected to. They're also very positive about how much responsibility they are given early on in their careers. We are very rigorous about our recruitment procedures because we are seeking the very best people and, once on board, we believe in getting them involved with live deals and live trades as soon as is practically possible.

"I came into the training programme in July 2004 after graduating from Chicago and took up my present role in February this year. The first two weeks were spent in a "get to know you" introduction to the firm after which I went to work in Frankfurt before heading to London for a period of class-room training. During this time you have a lot of contact with the various operating desks both formal and informal - going out for drinks, socialising and the like. By the time you're finished you have a pretty good idea where you want to work and the people you'll be working with have built up a good picture of who you are and what makes you tick. For me, it's one of the biggest attractions about the Deutsche Bank induction. In a lot of other banks you are just nominated to a particular area from day one, whereas here you get the opportunity to pick exactly what's right for you. Despite everything I'd heard about it at school, nothing really prepares you for just how intense and rigorous the initial training programme is.

You get a really good mix of class time, industry exposure and visits to the floor. It's very educational and by the end you know that you are ready for whatever comes your way. In terms of operating environment, I was really impressed by just how entrepreneurial you can be in the sales and trading area. Although you always have a senior colleague to guide you and the framework of the bank to support you, you really are free to go out and create your own business in the marketplace."

Company details

Company name: Deutsche Bank

Deutsche Bank is a financial services provider, top executor of M&A deals, Europe's number 1 fund manager and the global leader in securities trading. Deutsche Bank's success has also been recognized by industry surveys; it has been named Credit Derivatives House of the Year 2004, World's Best Risk Management House and World's Best Foreign Exchange House by leading publications in the past year. It also offers holistic advisory services to private clients and much, much more.

Source: QS TopMBA Career Guide

This article was originally published in November 2012 . It was last updated in August 2014

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