For many young people starting university, the first year is often all about making friends, not getting lost on the way to lectures and joining as many clubs and societies as possible. For ambitious wannabe finance whizzkids, however, it’s when the hustle begins. While they hunt for Spring Week and summer internships at banks, we invite the very best to apply to High Yield, the programme we run in partnership with Deutsche Bank. Targeting talented young people from lower socio-economic backgrounds, it’s a proven way to prepare students for the stiff competition of landing a place at this investment banking powerhouse.
We recently spoke to two High Yield alums - Shayla Surovi and Michael Lemoru- both of whom secured summer internships at Deutsche Bank after completing the programme.
Rare: How did you become interested in the financial sector?
Michael: I’ve loved maths since primary school, and I always looked to be industrious enough to make money with my skills…I was selling biscuits to my friends in the playground from Year 7, so the business mindset has been there from early on! The financial sector felt like the right fit for me, so I’ve been researching it since secondary school.
Shayla: I’d done a lot of different work experience in finance - I’d already done placements at BlackRock, KPMG, Deloitte - and I knew I enjoyed the environment. The ideal of somewhere that is globally connected really appealed too, so I knew I was aiming for one of the bigger finance institutions.
Rare: How did you hear about Rare?
Shayla: By accident, actually - in my first year of uni, I was researching summer placements and High Yield came up in the search. I was really excited about the programme, and it just happened to be run by Rare and Deutsche Bank.
Michael: When I was in Year 12, I was lucky enough to have a good friend in the year above me at school looking out for me. He went to Rare’s UniStart event when he was in Year 13 and came back raving about it. He made sure I knew when it was time to apply for UniStart and still gives me a lot of guidance now.
Rare: What was your first impression when you arrived at Deutsche Bank?
Michael: I was surprised by how friendly it was - it was a much more relaxed atmosphere than I was expecting, and warmer and more welcoming than I’d come across at a bank before. It wasn’t intimating at all.
Shayla: It was a very positive one. The first time I had contact with them was for my interview day, and I couldn’t believe how human it felt. My interviewer was really friendly and offering me biscuits, which wasn’t what I’d expected from an investment bank!
Rare: Tell us about the bootcamps at Deutsche - which sessions stood out for you?
Shayla: The bootcamps were so instructive, and the stock pitching we did was brilliant. It was really helpful that we had no warning about it or time to prepare, as it meant I could just throw myself into it. The most valuable thing is probably the network I’ve built with other people on the programme; the WhatsApp group is still going strong.
Michael: Having people who were able to talk us through the interview process and help us articulate our skills in a better way was really useful. It was the first time I’d been to a corporate environment that was helping to develop interpersonal skills. It was good to find out all the different divisions of the bank too, although I already knew that I was most interested in corporate finance.
Rare: What did you do during your development sessions with Rare? Which were your main areas to work on, and how did you progress?
Michael: I hadn’t done a Spring Week, so there were a lot of gaps in my knowledge on investment banking. The one on one skills sessions I had with Andrew at Rare really boosted by confidence and made me realise that a could still put myself in a good position to apply for internships. I tapped up a bunch of different friends who already work at banks and spent the summer doing my homework, reading and researching everything I needed to.
Shayla: I realised that I had a lot of work to do to improve my commercial awareness. Michelle at Rare sent me lots of reading material so that I could prepare for the assessment centre, which was invaluable. One of my assignments was creating a presentation on global transaction banking, which I had to present myself, for 10 minutes - it went really well because I’d done my research. Working on case studies was also really useful, as I didn’t know how to approach certain issues before that. Both Michelle and Adam were really helpful.
Rare: What did you enjoy most about the High Yield programme?
Shayla: Getting access to the online catalogue for interns was amazing - it really simplified everything about how Deutsche Bank works, all the different divisions, and helped us get up to speed with all the right terminology. I think what I enjoyed most of all was the community we formed though. Having access to both a mentor and a buddy, whose sole purpose was to help develop me, was so useful, and they’re still helping me now.
Michael: Being able to mix with other people on the High Yield programme who were going through the same process was really supportive. There were about 12 of us, coming together from different universities to form a peer group. We really bonded and we still give each other feedback and support.
Rare: What’s next for you? What’s the dream job?
Michael: In the short term, I’m obviously heading back to Deutsche this summer for my internship, which is 10 weeks in Corporate Finance. I’m really looking forward to that, and the goal is to convert that into a job offer if I can. I want to go straight into investment banking when I finish uni then see where it takes me.
Shayla: I’m at Deutsche this summer, and I really want to go back there after university, too. The opportunity to work somewhere so globally connected is really appealing - maybe because I wasn’t born in the UK, I’ve developed a real interest in how different jurisdictions will approach the same transaction and seeing how that interconnectedness works at a bank. I’d leap at the chance to travel with my work.
Rare: Why should students consider applying for High Yield?
Shayla: You get invaluable access to and support from the Rare team, plus an incredible network of peers. You also have the chance to get fast-tracked onto the summer internship, which potentially gives you a shot at securing a graduate offer before you finish your third year. That saves so much time and stress, then you can concentrate on being a student because you know where you’re going afterward. After the High Yield programme, you’ll also have had access to knowledge that a lot of other students haven’t, which puts you in a strong position when you apply for internships and jobs. I think a helpful bit of advice is to stay proactive - you don’t know everything and there’s no such thing as being your best self - even if you’re successful on the High Yield programme, don’t stop there, keep working at it.
Michael: You’re still learning - there are so many skills you can develop from this programme and so many incredible people you get to meet. High Yield is a great platform for identifying the gaps in your knowledge and you’ll learn so much from the whole process. Realistically, when else are you going to get an opportunity to network like this and ask questions of all these people who already do the job you want on a daily basis?
We couldn’t have said it better ourselves, and we wish Shayla and Michael all the best for a fascinating summer at Deutsche Bank.
Rare candidates have access to a number of exclusive development programmes with some of the most competitive and successful organisations in the world. Candidates should keep a beady eye on our Twitter and LinkedIn updates and make sure you’re ready for when opportunity comes knocking.