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View Full Version : hello guys! Interested in becoming a contractor in IB! need advice please



Alfie1993
19th July 2011, 13:32
Hello all,

Im knew to this forum and joined mainly because it looked interesting and usefull and had some good guides on it. But to the point, I am starting university at either Warwick or Nottingham to do computer science (or computer and business at warwick) in September, I know it is early but is there anything i should know going in to uni which could help me get into IT contracting within Investment banking, apart from the culture (which i actually like the sound of!) is there anything about this career area that i should know? thank-you all. :)

northernladuk
19th July 2011, 15:29
How old are you and what industry experience do you have currently?

If you are young and have none you are on a hiding to no where trying to get straight in to contracting. You will have absolutely no experience of even working let alone being a specialist in your field. You need to at least get some work experience first before you think about contracting. We do not get coaching, training, mentoring or anything. Clients will not pay anyone to get experience in work.

If you are an older head and have just taken a break to take the degree you are still on a very tough path. You still have no experience in your field and a degree is pretty worthless when it comes to being an asset to a company in anyway.

A further problem is your narrow vision of what you want. IB's are notoriously difficult to get in to, always asking for previous experience and run a very closed shop. Even experienced contractors don't try and focus on one industry and target that. We tend to go where the work is. If you have IB experience you could be there for a very long time granted but to be blinkered in to looking for IB work only you are going to spend a very very long time on the bench turning down a lot of good contracts.

Either way I would say your first job is to understanding contracting a little better rather than just hearing stories of big bucks. Understand what you need to be to be a contractor, understand why companies need us and what they want from us. Forget the pie in the sky money, learn what a bench is and take a huuuge dose of reality.

You have your work seriously cut out for you I am afraid and IMO contracting is not the way to go.

northernladuk
19th July 2011, 16:05
Interesting thread going on that might also be a useful read...

http://forums.contractoruk.com/general/68737-university-degrees-will-get-your-kids-job-those-probably-wont.html

Alfie1993
19th July 2011, 17:17
How old are you and what industry experience do you have currently?

If you are young and have none you are on a hiding to no where trying to get straight in to contracting. You will have absolutely no experience of even working let alone being a specialist in your field. You need to at least get some work experience first before you think about contracting. We do not get coaching, training, mentoring or anything. Clients will not pay anyone to get experience in work.

If you are an older head and have just taken a break to take the degree you are still on a very tough path. You still have no experience in your field and a degree is pretty worthless when it comes to being an asset to a company in anyway.

A further problem is your narrow vision of what you want. IB's are notoriously difficult to get in to, always asking for previous experience and run a very closed shop. Even experienced contractors don't try and focus on one industry and target that. We tend to go where the work is. If you have IB experience you could be there for a very long time granted but to be blinkered in to looking for IB work only you are going to spend a very very long time on the bench turning down a lot of good contracts.

Either way I would say your first job is to understanding contracting a little better rather than just hearing stories of big bucks. Understand what you need to be to be a contractor, understand why companies need us and what they want from us. Forget the pie in the sky money, learn what a bench is and take a huuuge dose of reality.

You have your work seriously cut out for you I am afraid and IMO contracting is not the way to go.

Ah thanks for the advice, im an 18 year old kid with no experience! But during uni i can get a year in industry potentially at an investment bank, and i can also spend my second year in Malaysia (do not know if that makes any difference). I had a feeling that my vision was too narrow, im also interested in SAP and Java contracting. Is there any more specific advice you could give me, such as the sort of experience i would need to start, or whether or not it is necassary to start as a permie? From what I've read, contracting seems a lot like my sort of lifestyle!

MarillionFan
19th July 2011, 19:20
Ah thanks for the advice, im an 18 year old kid with no experience! But during uni i can get a year in industry potentially at an investment bank, and i can also spend my second year in Malaysia (do not know if that makes any difference). I had a feeling that my vision was too narrow, im also interested in SAP and Java contracting. Is there any more specific advice you could give me, such as the sort of experience i would need to start, or whether or not it is necassary to start as a permie? From what I've read, contracting seems a lot like my sort of lifestyle!

Very early to decide, but ideally getting a placement within an IB would be ideal. Set that as your goal and let your course tutors know. But of course be flexible.

Also as you're just starting there will be plenty of other opportunities.

Don't even think 'contracting' now. In fact, don't even mention it. You'll need to get some experience under your belt first and then a few years out you can decide. But a good placement will get you in for when you graduate.

You don't need a degree to contract. To fair some posters on here cannot even spell degree and dragged themselves into contracting because they couldn't get jobs in McDonalds, some others have three degrees which again can help a little but is more of a conversation starter when people realise he'd managed the band.

Wanderer
19th July 2011, 20:23
But a good placement will get you in for when you graduate.

Definitely. Get in there, work hard make contacts, get Linked-In with them. Sometimes it's not what you know, it's who you know especially at that level. Actually, at any level contacts can be priceless.

Zippy
19th July 2011, 23:22
Welcome Alfie1993 :wave:

You need a pretty thick skin to be a contractor (almost as thick as you need to post on here). You do get treated like a commodity (which we are) and people will be rude to you on a egular basis, so you'd need to be ready for that.
If I were you, I'd
a) plan on enjoying myself at Uni (Warwick is a laugh)
b) when you get your degree think about getting in to a consultancy firm. It's quite brutal but it'll prepare you for contracting, and with the benefit of a regular salary :D
c) invent the next Facebook and feck 'em all
d) develop a very flexible mindset

Now - where is the bar and where have you hidden the nibbles?

Good luck!

Alfie1993
20th July 2011, 06:22
Thankyou zippy! Joining a consultancy firm after uni sounds like quality advice! Warwick would be a laugh but only around 40% I've made the grades, so Nottingham seems more likely.

Also Im aware that ill need to be pretty tough, but thats no problem because i have an extremely strong character and thick skin anyway, dont mean to toot my own horn though haha!

Thanks again bud!

Alfie1993
20th July 2011, 06:24
Definitely. Get in there, work hard make contacts, get Linked-In with them. Sometimes it's not what you know, it's who you know especially at that level. Actually, at any level contacts can be priceless.

Thankyou! Im aware of the need to build up a network of contacts, How do I do this exactly? Do i just make conversation with everyone then trade information at the end?

northernladuk
20th July 2011, 09:51
Definitely. Get in there, work hard make contacts, get Linked-In with them. Sometimes it's not what you know, it's who you know especially at that level. Actually, at any level contacts can be priceless.

Personally I think Linked In is a waste of time on the whole. Assuming I am wrong (again) and it did work for the masses it would tend to only work for people to share experience and keep in touch with other useful people. Unless you have anything to give the other people you are linking to it wouldn't really work either. There are better things to waste your time on.

Spacecadet
20th July 2011, 10:31
Personally I think Linked In is a waste of time on the whole. Assuming I am wrong (again) and it did work for the masses it would tend to only work for people to share experience and keep in touch with other useful people. Unless you have anything to give the other people you are linking to it wouldn't really work either. There are better things to waste your time on.

I got my last contract through linkedin.
Had a few other positive leads out of it as well, all direct too!

I don't use the social aspect of linked in much, just use it more as a public CV

kaiser78
20th July 2011, 15:38
I got my last contract through linkedin. Had a few other positive leads out of it as well, all direct too!

I don't use the social aspect of linked in much, just use it more as a public CV

How, out of interest, if you don't mind me asking ?

redgiant
22nd July 2011, 18:15
Hello all,

Im knew to this forum and joined mainly because it looked interesting and usefull and had some good guides on it. But to the point, I am starting university at either Warwick or Nottingham to do computer science (or computer and business at warwick) in September, I know it is early but is there anything i should know going in to uni which could help me get into IT contracting within Investment banking, apart from the culture (which i actually like the sound of!) is there anything about this career area that i should know? thank-you all. :)

Welcome to the forum ... it's is never too early to be interested.

IMO I think contracting is a better choice once you have several years of experience behind you. I only recently made the jump from being a perm in a consultancy to a contractor after 7 years out of university. However there are contracts for junior support roles in the IBs that come up occasionally so there are options available.

One of the things that you will hear about at either of those universities is the milk round where the big 4 consultancies, banks (and other firms) come and drum up interest from the students and get them to apply for their grad scheme roles. I managed to get onto one of these and although the pay wasn't great (although some grad schemes do pay well) they did put me back to uni for a weekend delivered MSc. course and moved me every three months from department to department so I got to see the whole business.

Alfie1993
27th July 2011, 13:22
Welcome to the forum ... it's is never too early to be interested.

IMO I think contracting is a better choice once you have several years of experience behind you. I only recently made the jump from being a perm in a consultancy to a contractor after 7 years out of university. However there are contracts for junior support roles in the IBs that come up occasionally so there are options available.

One of the things that you will hear about at either of those universities is the milk round where the big 4 consultancies, banks (and other firms) come and drum up interest from the students and get them to apply for their grad scheme roles. I managed to get onto one of these and although the pay wasn't great (although some grad schemes do pay well) they did put me back to uni for a weekend delivered MSc. course and moved me every three months from department to department so I got to see the whole business.

Thank you very much, very usefull. I am currently looking at becoming a Front office developer or a technology consultant straight after university before moving to contracting as you suggested. Which one would be the more lucrative career area in your opinion? (They both seem like pretty awesome jobs and I dont think there is a world of difference between them (correct me if Im wrong)).

redgiant
4th August 2011, 14:04
Thank you very much, very usefull. I am currently looking at becoming a Front office developer or a technology consultant straight after university before moving to contracting as you suggested. Which one would be the more lucrative career area in your opinion? (They both seem like pretty awesome jobs and I dont think there is a world of difference between them (correct me if Im wrong)).

No problem :)

It's hard to say which would be more lucrative as being a contractor is also about the lifestyle and not just the role and the invoicing (when you have a contract of course!). Also job roles are for permies and not for contractors ... I have had many job titles since I started work (as a consultant and now as a contractor) which nearly always doesn’t reflect the job I do at all.

Consultants tend to be experienced staff brought in by a company to either fill a role they can't fit with permies or they need advice on an area they have no experience with. Contractors tend to be experienced so fit into that category however some of the larger consultancies (KPMG, Deloitte, E&Y etc.) have junior/graduate staff come in as consultants as well but under the guidance of senior consultants. It's a good way to learn the ropes I think and you can usually move across several sectors (financial services, retail etc.) if you spend a few years working for them. The down side for going into one of these consultancies is that you tend to do whatever work they have a need for at the time so there isn't as much flexibility as you might like.

Spacecadet
4th August 2011, 16:11
How, out of interest, if you don't mind me asking ?

client co found me on it.
Maybe I should have worded it "my last client got a contractor through linkedin"