Commerzbank AG - Typhaine Robert

Name: Typhaine Robert
Job Title: Associate Commodities Trader
Company: Commerzbank AG
Sectors: Banking, Finance

How did you find the application and interview process for your job?

This is a difficult industry to get into. It is a very competitive process and many candidates have the required qualifications. Once you get past the first stages of the process it becomes more about your personal fit with the company and the specific team that is trying to recruit you. My advice would be to persevere, as even though it can be disheartening to do so many interviews the in depth nature of the process means you will end up in a job suited to your strengths and you will work with a team that values you. In my case the road was long, I filled in countless applications and went to many interviews, however it was all worth it as I have ended up in my ideal job and I fit in seamlessly with my team from the very start.

Why did you decide to work in this industry?

From an early age, I had identified trading as a potential career path. I am a competitive person, who likes to deal with fast paced environments, while also always being top of my class in quantitative subjects. During my university summers, I did two trading internships that confirmed that this would be a good fit for me. I specifically chose commodities as an asset class as I like working with tangible products that are directly linked to the outside world. For example, everyday I check the weather reports from around the world as a storm can affect oil or metal cargoes and deliveries, and a drought can impact the coffee crops in South America.

What do you enjoy most about working in this industry?

This industry has received a lot of criticism in the past few years. However here at Commerzbank I have found a culture of team spirit, hard work and creativity. Colleagues join forces to find and implement the best solutions for our clients. Even though your day to day job is quite specialised you feel part of a bigger picture working towards a common goal.

What have you struggled most with since starting you career, and do you have any advice on how to overcome it?

It’s easy to find this job overwhelming especially at the beginning. There is a lot of information to process and many decisions to be made in a split second. The best thing to do when you start to feel the strain is to take a step back, a deep breath and look at the big picture. Those few seconds can be enough to regain your composure and take back control.

Do you feel diversity is an issue in the Industry you work in?

No not at all, on the EMC trading floor here in London, people come from all over the world, from Japan to Iran to New Zealand and the list goes on and on. It’s fantastic to work with colleagues from such diverse backgrounds; it makes conversations around the office very interesting.

What's the best career advice you've ever received?

On my first day at the desk I was told to “learn by doing”. This was the best piece of advice I could have been given; it allowed me to leave the books behind and get stuck in.

What advice would you give to other aspiring graduates looking to work in your field?

“Internships, internships, internships” not only are they the best way to find out whether this is the industry for you but they are also a fantastic opportunity to learn new skills and meet people. It is also great for your CV and gives you an edge during the interview process when applying for graduate positions.

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