1632129231731 - ourGen - Mattie Laurenti

Meet 👋

Mattie Laurenti

Spring Intern at BlackRock

Whilst studying business management, Mattie secured a spring insight at BlackRock. He found that being COO in his uni Investment and Finance Society helped him secured the position.


How to secure a graduate role at JP Morgan

Mattie recommends you listen to this podcast where we interview a successful finance graduate on the patterns in finance application processes.

Application process

1 Online Application
2 Virtual Cover Letter
3 Final Interviews
Online Application

Online Application

BlackRock asks you to submit a CV, and you are then sent an invite to complete a ‘virtual cover letter’, where you record yourself answering a couple of questions.

How to respond for success
I made sure to think about what were important skills to have when working in asset management. I then ensured to try and relate my skills and previous experiences to these things.

Expect a 1-week wait before progressing to the next stage.

Virtual Cover Letter

Virtual Cover Letter

In this stage you are given a question / number of questions , and then you record yourself answering them. You typically have around 30 seconds to prepare your answer, then a number of minutes to answer. It’s common for AI to analyse your virtual cover letter, so eye contact and body language are really important. To prepare, I did a lot of research into BlackRock as a company. I also ensured I was up to date with current financial affairs. Apart from that, I mainly considered things such as my strengths/weaknesses and when I had used these skills in the past.

Example Task 
‘Why do you want to work at BlackRock’, and ‘Tell me a financial news story you are following and how it will impact the markets?’

How to respond for success
I believe two things made my application stand out. At the time of the interview I was halfway through the CFA Investment Qualification, which is a qualification designed for people to usually take on Grad schemes.

Having already completed half of this before my spring week showed them the great initiative. It also showed I already had a certain level of knowledge about the industry (I would recommend anyone looking to work in Asset Management have a look at this qualification). The second thing I felt made me stand out was my commercial awareness. It is such a common interview topic, so I feel it is essential to be able to confidently talk about what is going on in the financial news and be able to give an opinion on it.

To summarise, I think to be successful at this stage: know the company as well as you can, be comfortable with a news story, have an opinion, and have an idea how markets will/have reacted. Be comfortable talking about your CV and when you have demonstrated certain skills. Dress formally. I wore a shirt and tie with a suit jacket.

Expect a 1 to 2 month wait before progressing to the next stage.

Final Interviews

Final Interviews

I had two interviews in the final stage. Each interview was around 30 minutes. My preparation was very similar to the virtual cover letter. I also prepared some questions to ask my interviewer at the end.

Example Task 
My first interview was mainly about me as a person and my experiences. Such as how would you handle x situation, or tell me a time when you have used x skill. I also discussed my personal investing and the success I had with that. My second interview was mostly about commercial awareness. We spoke about current financial news for around 20 minutes, this is why I think it is so important to be prepared for this!

How to respond for success
I think my commercial awareness helped me stand out, especially giving my own opinion on a news story. Also, I was able to provide my answers without any hesitation because I had prepared thoroughly, and I think this helped me to succeed.

Focus points

Based on this insight and others like it, we recommend to focus on the areas below when preparing for your application. The longer the bar, the more important that skill is for you to maximise your chances of having a successful application.

Soft skills 🗣

Emotional intelligence

Hard skills 👨‍💻


Knowledge 🧠



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