Cass Business School students have been earning sought-after graduate positions in the finance sector with help from an innovative training and recruitment simulation platform, set up by a City, University of London alumnus.
Amplify Trading was launched by Will de Lucy (Environmental Technology and Energy Economics, 2008) to level the playing field between graduate applicants and widen participation in financial roles.
Amplify Trading’s training simulation fast-tracks students based on how they would perform in the role they are being hired for, rather than the quality of their application alone.
Mr de Lucy, who worked as a fixed-income trader himself prior to launching the platform, said that diversity in the finance sector is becoming more important than ever.
“Markets don’t follow textbook rules. Financial services need emotional intelligence, resilience and leadership, particularly in times of uncertainty,” he said.
“In a notoriously competitive sector for the job market, Amplify Trading’s programmes help students to discover personal skillsets and preferences at the same time as exposing talented candidates to the biggest names in the industry.”
Among successful Cass alumni to have passed through Amplify’s programme is Josef Jackson (MSc Finance, 2019), who secured his role as an Analyst at Morgan Stanley.
Josef believes the Amplify experience gave him the confidence to pursue his dream of becoming a trader in a major organisation.
“The first time I worked with Amplify was during a trading simulation, which captured all real-life sales and trader emotions – pressure, intensity and exhilaration – perfectly. It really helped to cultivate my skillset and developed my belief that I could have a career in finance,” he said.
“Current students looking for their dream job should try to find an organisation that matches their values. Dig deeper into a company to see if you can build your networks and always be yourself, otherwise you won’t ever know if a potential employer is right for you.”
Charlie Statham, MSc careers relationship manager at Cass, said working with Amplify Trading enabled employers to choose from the best talent in practice, regardless of background, level of study or CV.
“We’ve worked with Amplify for several years to give students access to training and experience, as well as a greater understanding of different roles within the financial sector,” Charlie said.
“Their platform complements our careers offering to students and graduates in terms of employer engagement activities, coaching, career management and employability workshops. We take great pride in our graduates securing prestigious roles, and Amplify’s technology certainly helps to make that possible.”
Amplify’s simulations were initially created to train and assess new recruits at the world’s leading financial firms, but are now delivered online to students looking to enter the industry from all over the world.
As a City alumnus himself, Mr de Lucy knows the challenges that students face when it comes to applying for the most competitive roles.
In donating £67,200 to the University, he hopes that more students from less privileged backgrounds can enjoy the same level of practical training that is offered to new hires in large financial organisations.
“Current recruitment models can discriminate against social mobility, so our aim is to disrupt graduate recruitment with technology,” he said.
“Last year 71 students applied for every one graduate or internship position at leading global financial firms. I think it’s so important to allow students from different socioeconomic backgrounds to compete on a level playing field.
“We have been able to move all simulation training and assessment online which can have a huge impact on current students. They facilitate candidates to connect and work with each other in a collaborative way remotely, where so often learning online can feel like an isolated experience.”
Amplify Trading will also be sponsoring 20 City students on its summer internship training programme this year.