Meet Soraya

 
  • Studied Business Studies with Finance at Cass Business School
  • Joined in September 2013
  • Now on second rotation in graduate programme 

“When I started out at university, I was actually studying dance and drama, as I’d always had a love of the performing arts. Then the financial crisis hit and I wanted do something more challenging. I needed to understand the events that were having such a huge economic impact, so I decided to apply to business school and was accepted at Cass in London."

“I’ve no doubt that it was the right decision, as I really challenged myself academically and managed to achieve a first-class degree. I still attend open dance classes at weekends and look forward to indulging my creative side again in the future!"

“My course included a sandwich placement and I read online about LCH.Clearnet, which is now part of the LSEG group, and was lucky enough to get a place. It meant that I spent 13 months in the SwapClear business, which was growing fastest and generating high revenue. There was a lot to do and I was given plenty of responsibility as part of a client-facing, external team and even got to travel to Copenhagen and Barcelona. It was a big confidence booster, considering I was still new to the business world."

“Joining the graduate scheme was then a seamless process and I actually asked whether I could go back to SwapClear.  I really like the culture, which is perhaps quite similar to an investment bank. There are lots of very professional people and there’s a lot of exposure to the market. At the same time, there’s a very flat structure and an open culture. You get plenty of access to top-level management, in a way that probably wouldn’t apply in a major bank."

“There are a number of different strands to this part of the business – Risk, Sales, Ops and so on. I was allocated to a Risk team initially, which was a very steep learning curve. Although I’m comfortable with numbers and my degree had a good maths-based quant component, I would say that I learnt an enormous amount on the job."

“I took on a lot of project responsibility – analysing risk elements in new product enhancements and testing service upgrades. There’s also a regulatory requirement to practise a ‘fire drill’ twice a year – preparing for how we’d manage positions in the event of a crisis. Although it’s based around a hypothetical bank, the portfolio we simulate is very real."

“My sales role couldn’t be more different. I’m interacting with external clients, educating them about our service. There are meetings with the buy side – hedge funds, pension funds and asset managers. And because I’ve already had the involvement in Risk, I can communicate more effectively. It’s something I’m really happy I did, because the knowledge is so transferable.”