Stop criticising me for wanting to go into banking

Izzy Harper Anderson argues that a grad job in banking is a fantastic, rewarding opportunity – and she’s sick of people saying that it isn’t.

I want to go into banking – and I’m proud of it. Why? I’m ambitious. I’m intelligent. I’m good-looking. I have a genuine interest in the financial industry. And, of course, I want to make money. Let’s be honest, it’s the perfect career for me.

So why is it that people criticise me for feeling this way? They sneer down on me. ‘It’s immoral’, they say. ‘You’re just going to screw people over’ is a frequent accusation. ‘You’re going to be working with a bunch of knobs’ is something else I hear every day. ‘It would be so boring’. Frankly, I’m a little bit sick of it.

Leo Di Caprio in 'The Wolf of Wall Street'

Leonardo Dicaprio in ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’

Funnily enough, the people expounding these myths all have one thing in common: they’re not getting good marks, they’re doing stupid subjects and they certainly wouldn’t be capable of passing the stringent numerical tests required to gain a job at a top bank.

Let’s face it, it’s just pure jealousy. I’m better than them, a graduate job in banking is vastly superior to anything that they’re ever going to achieve and the sad thing is that they know it.

Let’s deal with the first myth: ‘it’s so immoral’. We all know that bankers were involved in precipitating the financial crisis, but let’s remember that everybody makes mistakes. Is banking any more immoral than other industries? Journalism – you’re going to be destroying lives and engaging in character assassinations. Working for any multinational corporation – you’re going to be involved in exploitation in some way or another. Don’t get me started on lawyers and politicians.

If you’re not involved in some degree of immorality, then chances are you’re stuck in a boring, pointless, low-paid job, which nobody really cares about. It’s sad, but true.

Second myth: ‘you’re going to be screwing people over’. The fact is that economies could not function without a banking system. Of course there’re going to be people that lose out – and, as sad as that is, I’m afraid that’s just life. Oh and by the way, let’s not forget that banks can play a crucial role in lifting people out of poverty.

Third myth: ‘you’re going to be working with a bunch of knobs’. Again, it’s simply not true. Last summer I completed an internship at my father’s investment bank and met some of the the most inspiring, intelligent and charming people I’ve ever come across. There was a great team spirit and it was a pleasure to work with them.

Is the 'Loadsamoney' stereotype just inaccurate?

Is the ‘Loadsamoney’ stereotype just inaccurate?

The experience got me thinking: why is there this horrible and inaccurate stereotype about bankers? The answer once again is the green-eyed monster. Generally speaking, bankers are rich, intelligent and attractive. I’m not suggesting that everybody in the industry is wonderful – of course there are those who are irresponsible and get a kick out of screwing people over– but most I’ve come across have been very amiable people.

Fourth myth: ‘it’s boring’ and ‘they work you so hard’ and ‘you won’t have a social life’. Once again, this is complete and utter nonsense. All my work experience placements have involved a great team spirit. Yes, you have to work long hours, but there’s a good support system in place and, let’s face it, you’re being paid so much money.

In summary, if you know you can’t pass the numerical tests and the demanding interview, don’t take it out on me by telling me how crap banking is. We all know it’s a fantastic career, with plenty of rewards. I’m intelligent, I’m interested in the financial sector and I want to be rich. If I want to do banking, I will.

Deal with it.