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Case Study: David Price

Personal details
Degree:Chemistry Profile picture
School(s): School of Chemistry
Year of Graduation:Jun-2017
National of: United Kingdom
Employment details
Organisation: Veritas Investment Mnagement
Job title: Assistant Investment Manager
Occupational Sector: Financial services
What has been your route to getting your current position?
Serendipity played a massive part in securing this role. The Careers Centre had been helping me with my CV during the summer of 2016 as I knew I wanted to transition from chemistry and into investment management. Veritas’s CIO called into the Careers Centre asking to be put in contact with some suitable candidates. We had a casual chat about Veritas, their investment philosophy and suitable roles. I was subsequently invited for an interview(s). I was scheduled to have two interviews with some of the partners but I ended up having 5 interviews with the majority of the partners. They were all very informal; they were more of a chat about Veritas, myself and why I wanted to join Veritas.

It is essential that you are up to speed with what is happening in the world eg read The Economist or the FT (I was asked what I thought about the oil market). After being offered a role I was required to sit numerical and verbal reasoning online tests.
What does your job involve ?
So far I have had to attend meetings with clients, meetings with management from companies we invest in and analyst meetings from brokerage firms and investment. I am often responsible for preparing summaries with the key findings from these meetings. I have also contributed to a number of presentations and led one myself which dealt with some high level scientific concepts. The role also involves performing some client admin work such as dealing on a client’s behalf.
What are the best bits of your job ?
Learning about new technologies and identifying what effect they are going to have on the world and businesses we invest in.
Why were you successful?
As part of my PhD I had to give regular presentations to industry sponsors and to other academics at national and international conferences. I was told by the Careers Centre that these were key reasons as to why I was interviewed. Take every opportunity to present – it might not be fun but it only gets easier. I have also had my own personal investments for a number of years so I actively followed what was going on in the financial markets and read books on prominent business owners.
What skills/ knowledge from your degree have you found particularly helpful in this role?
The ability to present complex information to audiences with mixed levels of knowledge has been extremely useful. A PhD requires one to manage their time very well as there are is often no defined daily schedule. In my role it is essential that you are able to prioritise tasks but also to be flexible. You must be willing to learn! PhD’s are all about getting into the finer details of things.
What advice would you give to students wishing to follow the same path?
Be curious! We are a small firm but that means you get to know everyone from day one and get assigned to a range of projects with many colleagues. Our busiest times of the year are during earnings seasons and quarter ends but even during these periods the average work day is not much longer than 8-5:30.