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Discover Global Markets with
our Gen A Graduate Programme

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The Absa CIB Gen A Global Markets Graduate Programme is ready to welcome its next intake, providing a rare opportunity for hands-on experience in a highly specialised financial industry sector

Nothing beats practical experience. While there is tremendous value in theoretical learning, the Absa CIB Gen A Global Markets Graduate Programme’s class of 2021 agree that no amount of classroom work could match the hands-on development they’ve experienced while working alongside Global Markets professionals.

“What you learn here, you’ll never learn in a book or in a classroom,” says Graduate Analyst Nick Malope. “I’ve been in groups and teams within Absa that helped me understand global markets and gain the critical skills you need to work in this field.”

Fellow 2021 graduate Jabulani Sello agrees. “I did my undergrad and my masters in geology, and I come from a mining background,” he says. “My experience in the Graduate Programme has been amazing, and I’m grateful to Absa for taking a chance on me even though I don’t have a traditional finance background.”

Graduate Analyst Melissa Jacobs was in a similar position, with a background in chemistry and applied mathematics. “I’ve always had an interest in finance and the corporate environment, and I enjoy problem-solving and analytical thinking,” she says. “The Graduate Programme has enabled me to apply that thinking in a financial context.”

Global Markets Graduate Programme

Launched in 2017 with a focus on building the next generation of Global Markets professionals, the programme aims to grow and develop top talent while building transformation in Absa’s highly specialised Global Markets business and in the wider financial industry.

It’s a structured 18-month fixed-term programme, which sees graduates being rotated across the Global Markets teams in the Front Office and Middle Office divisions, including Foreign Exchange, Equities, Credit, Commodities, Prime Services, Quantitative Analysis, Data Science, Equity Research, Fixed Income Research and more. Graduates also gain exposure to key infrastructure partners in Market Risk, Credit Risk, Operations and Product Control.

“It’s rotational, so you get all-round exposure to the business,” says Jacobs. “Connecting and communicating with stakeholders and seeing where they fit into the broader Global Markets picture has been very beneficial to me.”

Through the programme, graduates learn about the various Global Markets functions, including trading, risk management, systems knowledge, sales function, client interactions, model development, deal pricing, product development, regulatory changes and more.

“You learn very quickly to ask questions!” Sello adds. “The corporate environment can be overwhelming or intimidating, but you must remember that you were chosen from thousands of applicants. My advice to future graduates is to believe in yourself, and don’t be afraid to ask for help.”

Ready to learn

Part of the programme involves giving back to the community, and the tutoring of high school learners is in the pipeline. “We will be tutoring and mentoring high school students to teach them Maths, Science and English but have started by providing them with laptops in the meantime,” Jacobs explains. We will assist them both physically at the centre and remotely via laptops that Absa has donated to the centre.”

That community work also helps the graduates to form relationships with one another – a vital skill in the corporate environment. “You need to network as much as possible,” says Jacobs. “That’s key in corporate, and it’s something you’re not really taught in university.”

Graduates are provided with both a coach and a mentor to help them ease into the new environment. “That helps a lot,” says Malope. “You’re coming into a new world, fresh from university. That’s why new Graduate Programme inductees should try to engage as much as they can with Absa CIB. You’ll always find someone at Absa who’s ready to help you learn.”

* Applications for the Absa CIB Gen A Global Markets Graduate Programme’s 2023 intake close on 31 July 2022.

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