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Morgan Stanley Graduate and Internship Application Process

Morgan Stanley Graduate and Internship Application Process

Updated 30 August 2021

Written by the WikiJob Team

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Morgan Stanley Assessment Preparation

Morgan Stanley, along with other well-known financial institutions, has a suite of graduate and pre-graduate schemes that are lucrative, competitive and highly sought-after.

Don’t forget to look at our articles on general interview tips, online aptitude tests and how to write a CVto help you in your application to Morgan Stanley.

morgan stanley application process

Morgan Stanley as a Company

Morgan Stanley is an international investment banking and finance organisation based in New York. In 2018, its revenue was $40 billion. The company has headquarters across the world and employs just over 50,000 people.

The bank specialises in investment management, wealth management and institutional securities. It aims to ‘raise the capital that builds the things that change the world’. 

Morgan Stanley positions itself as a game-changing organisation and encourages graduates applying for its schemes to ‘think big’.

Why Morgan Stanley Instead of Another Top Bank?

Like any business of the calibre of Morgan Stanley, the work can be intense and difficult. Morgan Stanley encourages staff to have a good work/life balance and many interns report a good working culture.

Morgan Stanley prides itself on its diverse staff and recruits trainees from many different countries and educational backgrounds.

Extensive job training is offered with real job responsibilities, ensuring you have access to concrete projects and experienced professionals.

Choosing the right company for you is a personal decision. As you go through the process of choosing an internship, be sure to assess how the company makes you feel.

Is it somewhere you could see yourself working? Try not to be blinkered by its reputation and make sure you decide what’s right for you.

The Morgan Stanley Insight Programme

The European Spring Insight Programme is a form of internship available at Morgan Stanley that is designed for first-year students on a three-year degree course, or second-year students of a four-year course who are considering a career in banking. The programme gives you an opportunity to learn more about the investment bankingindustry and a chance to experience working life at Morgan Stanley.

The programme lasts for one week and will give you an overview of all recruiting divisions, including Investment Banking, Sales & Trading, Private Wealth Management, Investment Management, Credit, Finance, Operations, and Technology.

Application and Assessment Process

Online numerical test --> Telephone interview --> Assessment centre

Assessments are held at Morgan Stanley's offices in Canary Wharf. About 120 candidates will be invited to attend it and about 80 of them will be given an offer.

The assessment centre consists of:

  • 30-minute one-on-one interview
  • Eight to 10-minute presentation, followed by five minutes of questions (25 minutes preparation time)

The numerical test involves finding data from tables and graphs and making simple calculations. Time is very tight and there is a lot of information in each table/graph.

It will be a 30-minute one-on-one interview. The interviewer will normally be an analyst or associate.

The interview will be heavily focused on your CV and cover letter; although competency-based, there is scope for technical and commercial awareness questions.

It will be a 30-minute one-on-one interview. The interviewer will normally be an analyst or associate rather than from HR.

Interview questions likely to be asked:

  • When have you worked in a team? What was your role? Did you have difficulties with any of the other members? What did you learn from the other members?
  • What career do you want to go into, or are you undecided? Why?
  • Tell me about a team you haven't liked. What did you do? Was it successful in the end? How would you deal with the situation differently in the future?
  • What do you know about what's going on in Investment Banking at the moment?
  • Why did you choose your uni and degree course?
  • Tell me about a time you've shown initiative.
  • What other interests do you have?
  • Describe a situation when you had to obtain information in order to solve it. How did you obtain the information?
  • Have you got any questions for me?

As a first-year student, you will not be expected to know in great detail information about financial engineering and financial markets. You will be mostly asked about your CV and cover letter.

You will be given a set of articles and asked to summarise and analyse them, using your own knowledge of the topic. An overhead projector and other presentation facilities are not available.

You have 10 minutes (do not surpass the time limit) to present your topic, followed by a five-minute question time. The better you know the subject, the more you will impress the interviewer during question time.

The Morgan Stanley Graduate Schemes

The bank has many different types of graduate scheme across multiple divisions, places and types of programme.

Generally, the schemes are divided into three types: full-time opportunities, internships and ‘off-cycle’ internships (which take place outside of the company’s normal recruiting schedule).

As mentioned above, for students at university or pre-university, Morgan Stanley offers a programme called Insight. This is a brief, intensive introduction to the world of investment banking, designed to help you decide whether the industry is right for you.

For graduate students, the company offers internships, industry placements, seasonal associate and analyst positions (such as Summer Analyst) and full-time associate and analyst positions.

Seasonal analyst and seasonal associate positions are generally 10-week placements undertaken across the summer or winter months.

Full-time analyst positions last for a duration of around two and a half to three years, whilst full-time associate posts are generally considered long-term.

Each division of Morgan Stanley offers these types of graduate scheme so you will need to consider which area of the business you want to work in before you apply. The different divisions include:

  • Investment Management
  • Company Management
  • Institutional Securities
  • Wealth Management
  • Technology
  • Operations

Additionally, the company’s graduate schemes are divided into four geographical areas:

  • Japan
  • Asia Pacific
  • Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA)
  • Americas

You can apply for any of the schemes, in any company division or any area. However, you must select your scheme carefully as you have a limited number of opportunities you can apply for and you will be quizzed on your choice if you are interviewed.

This article will focus on the application process for EMEA positions. For other schemes, you can use the Morgan Stanley graduate careers website to search for roles in specific places and according to your level of education, then follow the advice about the application process for each of these roles.

Most of the schemes for most of the areas follow the same or a similar process as the one outlined in this article.

What Technology Graduate Schemes Are Offered at Morgan Stanley?

As a growing industry that looks to continually improve financial activities through innovation, FinTech is an appealing career path for many graduates. Places on the Morgan Stanley technology programmes are highly sought after and competition is fierce.

As the FinTech industry is constantly evolving, you need a willingness to learn and the ability to adapt quickly in a fast-paced environment.

Investment banking is also an unpredictable environment, so you need to be able to think on your feet and effectively respond to changing demands.

Also, whilst your academic background will be computer science and not finance-related, you must be able to demonstrate a sound understanding of and interest in financial services and investment banking, as well as technological advancements in each.

morgan stanley technology

The Morgan Stanley technology programmes offer placements of varying lengths. In the EMEA region, placements can be undertaken in London or Glasgow, with some opportunities also available in mainland Europe.

The placement types on offer are:

Morgan Stanley Technology Full-Time Analyst

Full-time analyst roles are permanent job openings available to graduates who have achieved the relevant qualifications (generally a 2:1 bachelor’s degree or above in a computer-science-related subject).

They typically last for a minimum duration of three years before career progression becomes available.

Full-time analyst roles are offered in London, Glasgow and Budapest, with two recruitment drives taking place in February and August.

Morgan Stanley Technology Industrial Placement

Industrial placements offer participants hands-on work experience within the firm’s technology department. Successful applicants will work on actual projects and gain first-hand insight into the realities of a career in financial technology.

Industrial placements are available to undergraduates studying on a sandwich degree course and last for 12 months in Glasgow, with the option of 4-, 6- and 12-month placements in London.

Morgan Stanley Technology Seasonal Analyst

Seasonal posts are available in London, Glasgow and Budapest and typically take place in either summer or winter (check the Morgan Stanley programme finder for current opportunities).

As with industrial placements, they are temporary posts designed to provide participants with valuable knowledge and experience in preparation for a full-time career.

There are some distinctions in duration on the seasonal analyst programme. For example, the summer analyst programme lasts for 12 weeks in Glasgow, and 10 weeks in London and Budapest.

Specific duration and start dates will be detailed under each opening as they become available.

Morgan Stanley Technology Internships

A Morgan Stanley internship can crop up at any time and in any location, so be sure to keep a continual watch for available opportunities.

Internships are generally part-time posts that allow undergraduates to combine academic study with practical experience in a technological environment.

Which Morgan Stanley Business Areas Offer Internships?

As mentioned above, each of the six business areas within Morgan Stanley offer internships and other graduate scheme options. The company suggests that prospective candidates use the Programme Finder to help select the division that suits them best.

Regardless of which business unit and specialist area you choose, your responsibilities will be dependent on your placement level. As an analyst, either full-time or seasonal, you’ll play a supporting role, assisting experienced employees in assigned activities.

As an associate, your level of involvement and personal responsibility will be greater. You will also be expected to provide guidance and support to analysts within your division.

Institutional Securities

Institutional securities will have you dealing with some of the most influential assets on the stock market.

You’ll be working with hedge funds, investment banks, pension funds and endowment funds as you learn the workings of an important field in the financial sector.

Internships are offered within six divisions:

  • Global Capital Markets
  • Public Finance
  • Quantitative Finance
  • Investment Banking
  • Sales and Trading
  • Research (both Fixed Income and Equity)

Some programmes within Institutional Securities, such as Research, operate on a rotational basis, offering participants a rounded view of the division.

Investment Management

As you’d expect, Investment Management covers a wide array of investment portfolios, from equity to fixed income to alternative investments.

An internship in this area can be a fascinating dive into a fast-moving, high-stakes field in which you’ll need to learn the ropes quickly to succeed.

Internships are offered within four divisions:

  • Private Equity
  • Credit Risk
  • Global Sales and Marketing
  • Real Estate Investing

Wealth Management

Wealth Management is all about helping individuals, families, businesses and institutions with their most important goals.

From the individual to the large corporation, this varied work will ensure you learn how to plan for the future and help to build and manage wealth.

Company Management

Roles in Company Management will have you working at the very heart of businesses, ensuring they run as smoothly and efficiently as possible.

This can include anything from risk management to human resources to compliance – all the things necessary to ensure that a company does as well as it possibly can.

Internships are offered within eight divisions:

  • Compliance
  • Firm Strategy and Execution
  • Credit Risk
  • Operational Risk
  • Finance
  • Human Resources
  • Corporate Services
  • Internal Audit

Operations

Operations keep businesses running. It’s about getting to grips with the key processes of trade, analysing large and crucial data sets, ensuring projects and systems are working as intended, building and developing relationships with clients, and more.

Operations is the engine of a business and keeping it running can be an enriching challenge.

Operations provides supporting functions to the Investment Management, Wealth Management and Institutional Securities business units, ensuring transactions are processed and settled, and mitigating risk.

The Operations programme provides participants with training across the various aspects of operational activity.

Technology

In today’s world, no business can expect to get ahead without the most effective use of technology. You’ll help develop, test and deploy cutting-edge tools, software and systems that help businesses get the most out of their industry.

You’ll also help to explain all of this to clients to help them make the best choices for their companies.

The Technology programme offers internships in three divisions:

  • Development
  • Enterprise Engineering
  • Business Analytics

The development teams are responsible for supporting the firm’s various business units (Investment Management, Institutional Securities, Wealth Management, etc.) through the development, implementation and maintenance of innovative applications.

Your role within this team will include regular meetings with clients from these various departments to discuss and evaluate their needs. You’ll be involved in translating their requirements into software solutions that meet their objectives and streamline processes.

The type of projects you can expect to work on include the development of algorithmic trading systems and the advancement of life-cycle management applications.

The enterprise engineering teams are involved in the development of Morgan Stanley’s operating systems and platforms.

You’ll be involved in improving and maintaining internal networks, databases, hardware and systems that support the firm’s various trading, mobile and end-user applications.

The type of projects available to those in the enterprise engineering teams include company website enhancement and the management of internal operating systems.

As a business analyst, you’ll work in collaboration with other technology teams and end clients, providing data analytics and data science support to assist with the development of cutting-edge technical solutions.

Only participants on the full-time or seasonal analyst programmes are eligible to work as part of the business analyst teams.

Full-time analysts wishing to join the business analyst teams are required to have a keen understanding of technical, functional and business-related IT requirements, as well as the skills to identify, document and implement appropriate solutions.

What Does an Internship with Morgan Stanley Involve?

Some internships at Morgan Stanley last for 3 to 6 months and others are longer, between 6 and 12 months. Be sure to check the precise length in the job description to ensure it matches with your plans.

Usually, positions at Morgan Stanley begin with a week or two of intensive classroom-based training and induction days. These aim to help you get settled quickly so that you can hit the ground running.

Throughout the internship, you’ll get on-the-job training and hands-on experience with projects alongside regular training sessions, shadowing opportunities and networking events.

Many internships offer rotations within different areas of the company, which can help you get a good overall picture.

This, according to reviewers on sites like Glassdoor and Rate My Placement, means that although the internship will be intense, you’ll gain a wealth of new experiences and skills, as well as making some very useful contacts.

After completing an internship with Morgan Stanley, strong candidates stand a good chance of being accepted onto a full-time graduate scheme, whether with Morgan Stanley itself or an alternative financial institution.

How Will I Be Supported on the Morgan Stanley Graduate Schemes?

Morgan Stanley’s training is designed to provide its graduate employees with an informative overview of the company as a whole, complemented by supported division-specific training throughout each programme.

The exact training structure will vary, dependent on the division in which you work, the particular role you fulfil and the geographic location of your post. As a general rule, however, each programme starts with a period of intensive classroom-based learning:

  • For seasonal analyst and associate positions, this is usually a three- to five-day course and involves a firm-wide orientation, a divisional induction and specific training relevant to your role.

  • For full-time analysts and associates, the programmes generally start with a one-day induction, followed by a longer period of division-specific training, lasting anywhere between three to 15 weeks.

Some programmes, such as Technology, follow a structured educational programme and involve mandatory testing throughout; others follow a less structured format.

Both seasonal and full-time analysts and associates, across all divisions, will receive ongoing support and development opportunities for the duration of their programme. This may include access to business presentations and industry expert speakers, networking opportunities through events and social activities, and continued practical training sessions.

In some instances, non-finance analysts may also be provided with bootcamp training to assist them with the technical and financial elements of their programme.

Full-Time Technology Analyst Training

On joining Morgan Stanley as a full-time technology analyst, you will receive ongoing support designed to equip you with the skills and knowledge needed to kickstart your career.

This begins with an intensive 15-week global training course offering a firmwide orientation, followed by an introduction to Morgan Stanley’s in-house tools, systems and applications. The last four weeks of the course will be spent working on a group project.

This initial training course is split into two individual tracks:

  • Infrastructure Engineering
  • Application Development

The track you attend will be relevant to your technical abilities.

On completing the initial training course, you will join your chosen business unit and begin work as a valued member of the team.

You will receive ongoing support from experienced colleagues, as well as networking opportunities and access to further educational and career development resources.

Training For Seasonal Technology Analyst, Industrial Placement and Internship Positions

Participants on any of the three other technology programmes will partake in a short company induction that provides insight into Morgan Stanley as a firm and its technology department.

Continued development will come in the form of involvement in a project as part of your business team or, for interns, supported on-the-job training relevant to your position.

Throughout your placement, you will receive guidance from experienced employees and be offered access to team building and networking opportunities, and an expert speaker series.

When to Apply

Each of the graduate schemes with Morgan Stanley has a specific opening and closing date for applications. In general, this is in line with the academic year; for example, the Summer Analyst programme closes on July 7th or September 1st, depending on the division of the company you are applying to.

When you begin your application with the company, you will be able to see all the opening and closing dates for different schemes through your application profile on the Morgan Stanley website.

The company suggests you apply as early as possible to give you the best possible chance of putting in a great submission and being selected for interview.

It’s important to note that Morgan Stanley does have limitations on the number of schemes you can apply for within a recruitment year.

You can apply for nine graduate opportunities in total, consisting of up to three different programmes in each of the Asia Pacific, Americas and EMEA areas.

If you are interested in applying for a graduate scheme in Japan, this will be counted separately, although you should check this information before applying.

After you have applied for the maximum number of opportunities within one recruitment year, you must wait until the next recruitment year starts before applying for any more.

Therefore, you must select the graduate schemes, divisions and geographical areas carefully to give you the best chance of succeeding.

What Qualifications and Skills Does Morgan Stanley Look For?

Like many of the investment banking graduate schemes, Morgan Stanley says it’s not only looking for graduates with a specific finance or accounting background.

In a review of their 2018 graduate scheme participants, the majority were from finance, economics, business or computer science degrees, but many came from engineering, arts and humanities.

The company is more interested in your grades and personality than the specialism you studied at university. Morgan Stanley is looking for high-performing people who enjoy learning; you need to be on track to achieve or have achieved a minimum 2:1 at undergraduate level.

That said, there are certain qualifications, eligibility criteria and skills required for each position.

Qualifications and Eligibility

The specific qualifications required for each position will be fully detailed in the relevant job posting. A general guide is provided below for reference.

  • Seasonal analyst positions are generally open to applicants who have graduated or are in their penultimate year of study on an undergraduate degree. While some postings don’t specify a required degree classification, a minimum 2.1 is a good rule of thumb.

  • Full-time analyst roles are available to applicants who have completed their undergraduate degree course.

  • Seasonal associate positions are available to those who have achieved or are working towards an MBA or equivalent qualification.

  • Full-time associate roles are available to applicants who have completed their MBA course, or hold a recognised comparative qualification, and have a qualifying period of work experience (usually a minimum of two years).

Some business units do require degrees of a particular discipline, such as Technology, which asks that applicants come from a computer science background.

Finance-related roles generally require finance, economics or a business-related degree.

Other areas, such as Research, welcome applicants from all backgrounds, provided you can demonstrate a strong interest and understanding of the financial markets.

Soft Skills and Personality Traits

Morgan Stanley is looking for graduates with the following skills:

  • Excellent communication
  • Leadership, teamwork and interpersonal skills
  • Problem solving and analysis
  • Data evaluation and comprehension
  • Time management skills

The organisation is also looking for certain personality traits in the people who apply for its graduate schemes. They are looking for people who:

  • Are friendly and team-oriented
  • Are passionate high achievers and enjoy learning
  • Have a desire to work somewhere inspiring
  • Have great attention to detail
  • Have a commitment to personal integrity

During the Morgan Stanley application process, you’ll be asked questions and given tests which evaluate these skills and qualities.

It’s a good idea to prepare some answers beforehand, particularly for competency and skills-based interviews, so you have a range of examples you can provide which demonstrate your abilities and personality to the interviewer.

Role-Specific Skills

In addition to the soft skills and personality traits already mentioned, each role requires a particular set of abilities relevant to the job function.

For example, as a Morgan Stanley analyst or associate in the Investment Securities programme, you will:

  • Be able to summarise and articulate complex ideas and information
  • Work well under pressure and against tight deadlines
  • Be team-oriented and capable of juggling numerous responsibilities
  • Be comfortable with complex financial data, adopting an analytical approach

As an analyst or associate in the Technology programme, you will:

  • Have strong technical knowledge and a sound understanding of Windows and Linux/Unix
  • Be competent in a minimum of one programming language (Java, C++, etc.)
  • Understand algorithms, complexity theory and data structures
  • Have proficient scripting and database skills

As an analyst or associate in the Company Management programme, you will:

  • Be able to prioritise your workload efficiently, simultaneously managing multiple tasks
  • Have an impeccable eye for detail
  • Be an effective problem-solver with the ability to develop strategic processes that add value
  • Work analytically and be able to synthesise and report on complex data

All roles require a strong command of the English language and, while not a prerequisite, additional language skills can be highly beneficial.

Also, regardless of the position or business unit, Morgan Stanley expects a commitment to excellence and professional and ethical standards from all its employees.

For a full breakdown of the specific skill set and qualifications required for your placement of choice, visit the Morgan Stanley graduate recruitment website.

morgan stanley graduate schemes

The Application Process

There are four parts to the Morgan Stanley graduate scheme application process:

  1. Online application 
  2. Online aptitude tests
  3. Interview
  4. Assessment centre including interview, group exercises and a presentation

1. Online Application

The first step in the process is your online application, which requires you to upload your CV and a cover letter to the Morgan Stanley system.

Your CV should demonstrate the quality of your academic credentials so make sure to note any particularly high grades that you achieved in specific modules on your course.

The organisation also wants to see that you have an interest in the finance sector and are a well-rounded, intelligent individual, so take some time to include any extra-curricular activities you may have done which demonstrate the skills and qualities the company is looking for.

Your cover letter needs to be tailored to the specific graduate scheme you are applying for, including the role, division and geographical area. You should include clear information about why you want to work for Morgan Stanley and why you want to work in the division you are applying for.

We recommend you edit your CV and cover letter for each of the applications you make to the company. For example, if you are applying for a scheme in the Technology division in EMEA, plus a scheme in the Operations division in Asia Pacific, you should write two different cover letters for these positions.

You should also edit your CV for each one so that you include the information about your education and career which is most relevant to the role and geography.

Depending on the division to which you are applying, you may also be required to answer some open-ended questions as part of your online application.

These questions are likely to be broad, competency-based questions to help the recruitment team understand what you have already done that is relevant to the division. For example:

  • Describe a project you have completed which you found interesting
  • What interests you about [X] division?

You are likely to have around 150 to 200 words to answer these questions, so make sure to include only relevant information and try not to waffle.

You can practise writing answers to these beforehand by using our example competency questions as a starting point.

2. Online Aptitude Tests

Within 48 hours of submitting your online application for Morgan Stanley, you will receive a notification to take part in a series of aptitude tests.

Depending on the scheme, area and division you are applying to, you may be asked to take:

As with other graduate schemes, these aptitude tests are a way to assess your capabilities in fundamental numerical, logical and verbal skills.

It’s highly likely these aptitude tests will include questions equivalent to GCSE level knowledge, but it’s still important you practise them before you start your application.

This is because the tests may be timed, which can add extra stress that may lead to mistakes. The logical reasoning and accuracy tests may also be different from the sort of exams or assessments you have taken before, so practising them will help you feel more confident when it comes to the real thing.

Online aptitude tests are designed to examine whether you can take in, evaluate and use data effectively. Be careful to pay attention to the information you’re given in the question and respond accordingly.

For example, in the verbal reasoning questions, you will be asked to read a passage of text and answer questions with ‘true’, ‘false’ or ‘cannot say’. If it’s unclear from the text whether it’s a true or a false answer, put ‘cannot say’ – even if from your own knowledge you know that the statement may be true or false.

In the logical reasoning tests, you may be asked to predict the next shape in a series. The shapes are likely to have several elements which change as they progress through the series, forming a number of different patterns.

Take your time and be sure to look at each element in the shapes carefully so you can correctly predict the next one in the series.

After you have completed the online application, it could be up to a month before you hear whether you’ve made it to the next stage.

3. One-To-One Interview

If you are successful after the online application, you will be invited to attend a one-to-one interview with a member of the Morgan Stanley team. Depending on your location, this may be face-to-face but is likely to be over the phone or via video.

In this interview, the Morgan Stanley recruitment team wants to know more about who you are and what motivates you. They are likely to ask you general interview questions as well as competency-based questions.

Some example questions might be:

In this interview, the recruiter might also ask you situational interview questions to see how you might respond to specific scenarios. The interviewer is assessing whether your skills and personality traits are a good fit for the division, scheme and the company itself.

Take some time to prepare answers to the questions above and more general interview questions which you may be asked.

Think about your education and career – what have you done which demonstrates the desired skills and qualities most clearly? What results have you achieved which you can talk about?

You can use the STAR Technique to talk about what you’ve done:

  • Describe the situation
  • Explain the task you were required to do
  • Talk about what actions you took
  • Describe what the result was

You should also research Morgan Stanley carefully so you fully understand the organisation’s mission, values and culture. This will help you answer questions like “Why do you want to work for Morgan Stanley?” more confidently.

If you are asked to have a telephone interview, make sure you are in a quiet area without any distractions. The same applies for a video interview. You should also wear something appropriate for the interview (like a suit) and ensure the room you’re in is clean, tidy and noise-free.

Be aware of your body language during a video or face-to-face interview as this can indicate your level of nervousness whether you are conscious of it or not.

Sitting slightly forward on your seat, keeping your hands in your lap and maintaining eye contact with your interviewer are all good ways to demonstrate you are calm, collected and interested in the role.

graduate application process morgan stanley

4. The Morgan Stanley Assessment Centre

If you are successful following your interview, you will be asked to attend an assessment centre.

This is a half-day with the Morgan Stanley team and other potential graduate scheme candidates.

You’ll be ‘on show’ from the moment you step in the door to the moment you leave, so be aware of how you’re behaving at all times – dress smartly, be courteous and make the effort to speak to people.

At the assessment centre, you could be asked to:

  • Attend multiple interviews
  • Prepare a short presentation
  • Take part in a group exercise

You may also be asked to take written tests during your time at the assessment centre. These are likely to be similar aptitude tests to those you have already completed online.

We recommend continuing to practise these sorts of tests even after you have completed the online aptitude test stage of the process so you can be as confident as possible at the assessment centre.

During your time at the assessment centre, you will be required to attend between one and three face-to-face interviews of around 45 minutes each. These will either be skills or competency-based. It’s important to demonstrate the following key competencies during these interviews:

  • Team building
  • Leadership
  • Communication
  • Proactiveness
  • Assertiveness

You can prepare for the assessment day interviews by considering your CV and educational history. What examples from your life can you use to demonstrate skills in these areas? Select two or three for each competency so you feel confident you will have plenty of options to talk about with the interviewer.

You may also be asked questions like those in the first one-to-one interview, such as why you want to work for the company or your interest in a specific area.

Spend some time researching Morgan Stanley and the wider industry before your assessment centre day, including the latest news and events, so you can talk with confidence.

This will show the interviewer you are interested in the organisation and keep up to date with what’s happening in the world.

As part of the assessment day, you will also be required to prepare a short individual presentation. You will be given a brief which you’ll be required to read, make notes on and then present your findings.

The preparation and presentation time may be relatively short, so focus on the key details you need to look at to answer the brief.

We also recommend practising your presentation skills beforehand, as this is an area in which many people can get quite nervous. Practising short presentations in front of friends or family may feel awkward, but it will help you feel more relaxed and confident when it really counts.

Finally, you’ll be asked to take part in a group exercise with other potential graduate scheme candidates. Morgan Stanley is interested in high-achieving individuals with leadership potential who are also able to work effectively in a team.

Therefore, the assessors will be paying close attention to how you interact with other candidates during this exercise.

The group exercise is likely to be discussion-based; for example, you might be told about the budget and requirements of a department in Morgan Stanley and then be asked to discuss and decide how you would allocate the funds.

The assessors might add extra pressure to the task by changing the brief half-way through – for example, by cutting the budget by 50%.

While your choices about the budget do matter, the outcome is not as important as your thought-process. The assessors will be looking more at how you reach a final decision than what the final decision is.

Think about how you want to interact with the other members of your team and how you will balance team and leadership skills. Some of the ways you can do this are:

  • Managing your time effectively at the start of the task
  • Ensuring each person has their say
  • Asking someone to make notes so nothing’s forgotten
  • Keeping your tone calm and measured

The assessment centre is the final stage of the Morgan Stanley application process. As such, it’s particularly intense and will require you to stay alert and proactive for several hours in very different settings.

We recommend getting a good night’s sleep the day before and giving yourself enough time to get to the centre so you don’t feel rushed or exhausted when you need to be performing at the top of your game.

Receiving an Offer

If you are successful in each stage of the application process, you will receive an offer of an internship/place on the graduate scheme with Morgan Stanley.

Because the opening and closing dates for applications are different, there is no definite date for when you will hear back from the organisation about whether you have been successful or not.

The recruitment team recommends you regularly check your online profile for updates and you can also get in touch with a member of the Morgan Stanley team if you’re concerned.

Will I Be Paid?

All Morgan Stanley graduate recruitment programmes offer a competitive graduate salary and additional benefits.

With such a diverse range of business divisions, job functions and physical locations, it is difficult to provide illustrative examples but you can expect to receive a good salary in line with industry standards in any given geographic region.

In addition to a base salary (and dependent on programme), you may also receive a sign-on bonus and a year-end bonus. If the post requires a significant geographical move, you may also be eligible for a relocation allowance, depending on your circumstances.

Your benefits package, including salary specifics, will be provided during the application process.

What Happens After I Complete the Graduate Scheme?

The steps taken after completing the Morgan Stanley graduate scheme vary significantly depending on the specific placement undertaken.

Participants that have completed a seasonal placement whilst still at university will return to complete their final year of study, equipped with valuable work experience. This will not only help to enhance further academic education but will put you one step ahead of your competition in the graduate job market.

Many students that have completed a seasonal placement will stand a higher chance of being accepted onto a full-time graduate scheme, whether with Morgan Stanley itself or an alternative financial institution.

If you have completed a seasonal placement after graduation and have proved yourself an exceptional candidate, you may be offered a full-time analyst position and follow the same path as those on the full-time analyst programme.

Typically, full-time analysts complete their programme within two to three years, at which point they usually progress to an associate-level role.

As associate roles are generally considered permanent placements, participants will spend their first associate year in continued training before choosing a specialism in which to develop their future career.

As a multinational company, Morgan Stanley actively encourages and assists with career progression. Many promising employees are offered a working period abroad, benefitting from the firm’s global presence and extensive services portfolio.

Tips for Success on the Morgan Stanley Graduate Schemes

The most important tip for success on the Morgan Stanley graduate scheme is to be a team player. The company places great emphasis on a collaborative culture, so be sure to integrate and effectively demonstrate your team working skills.

Also, there are several things you can do to make the most of your time, as well as to stand out from the crowd. Here are some tips:

Go the Extra Mile

Setting yourself apart from the crowd is a sure-fire way of boosting your Morgan Stanley career prospects. Differentiate yourself by demonstrating that you are a proactive self-starter.

Try and deliver over and above expectations on any given project. If you think you can add value by completing additional tasks not outlined in your brief, then do so, but be sure all work is completed on time. Any delays may impact the schedules and progress of your colleagues.

Learn from Your Mistakes

As a trainee Morgan Stanley analyst or associate you are not expected to be flawless in your work. Mistakes will inevitably be made as part of your continued learning.

The important thing is to acknowledge these mistakes and use them to enhance your development. Identify what went wrong and why it happened, and use this knowledge to ensure you don’t make the same mistake twice.

Get Involved

Throughout your time on the graduate scheme, you’re likely to cross paths with multiple colleagues from various divisions. These individuals will all have their own expertise, experience and background. Use every available opportunity to learn from them.

In doing so you’ll broaden your understanding of Morgan Stanley as a business, how each role plays a valuable part in its operation, and how your own role fits into the bigger picture.

Keep Track of Your Learning

Finance is a fast-paced, complex and demanding industry, and your placement will be intensive and challenging.

Not only will you be juggling your day-to-day responsibilities, but you’ll also be learning the ropes as you go. Try to keep track of this learning by documenting it along the way.

Doing so will help you make sense of what you are being taught, help to put theoretical knowledge into a real-world context and give you something to refer back to when needed.

Keep an Open Mind

Whilst your journey may start out in a definitive direction, your experience may end up leading you down a different path altogether.

You may spend your time on the Investment Management programme, working in Private Equity, but exposure to Credit Risk may boost your interest in this area.

Keep an open mind as to your future path and be sure to explore all the relevant Morgan Stanley careers available to you.

Final Thoughts

Morgan Stanley offers several interesting graduate schemes across its entire global workforce, making it an exciting and desirable programme for graduates with an interest in finance and a passion for creating big change in the world.

Correspondingly, it has a rigorous application process which will test all your skills and abilities. Practise each stage of the process beforehand by using articles from WikiJob, asking friends, family or your career advisor for help, and making sure to stay up to date with the company, its work and the financial industry as a whole.


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