Asset management firms look for students with strong CVs, initiative and confidence, and, perhaps most importantly, a good understanding of the asset management industry.

It's important that you understand what asset management is and what asset management firms do, and that you can articulate clearly why you want to work in this industry and at the particular asset management firm you've applied to.

Here are the main steps involved in applying to an asset management firm for a graduate scheme place or internship:

Applying to an asset management firm step 1: research and thinking

It's important that you go through an honest process of self-analysis and think about what you want from your career, whether you really want to work in asset management, and, if so, what kind of asset management firm would suit you best.

Next, think about what you've achieved so far in the context of the knowledge and skills asset management firms look for. For example, what have you done to research and understand the investment process? Have you gained experience of organisation and teamwork through your extra-curricular activities?

Applying to an asset management firm step 2: written application

The next step in applying to an asset management firm is usually an online application.

The application will typically involve an application form where you'll need to fill in details of your qualifications and experience, perhaps complete some numerical and logical reasoning tests, and probably also answer some questions to test your knowledge of the firm and the role you're applying for. 

There may also be some questions designed to test your understanding of the asset management industry in general and your commercial awareness.

Applying to an asset management firm step 3: interviews and assessment days

If your written application is successful, you may be initially invited to a first interview, either over the phone or face-to-face.

If you pass this hurdle, you'll then be invited to an assessment day. This will involve a mixture of activities, probably including a group exercise, a written assessment, more interviews, and an opportunity to meet people currently on the firm's graduate programme.