May the 30th was not only the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ single ‘Love Me Do’ reaching #1 on US charts, but it was also the day that something very important happened for the members of this year\'s graduate program. On the 30th of May we sat our last exam - a Java exam, of all things, just to set us up for a glorious finale. Afterwards we waved goodbye to the 13 week-long program but, mainly, we bid farewell to the London training room. For those of you who are wondering what we did in those 13 weeks, here is a short and sweet summary of what we have been up to.

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After being introduced to the company and having a day of team building we were thrown straight into the world of financial markets - talk about being thrown in at the deep end of the pool! This 10-day course taught us the basics of what we will need to know once we find ourselves working with clients. Among other topics, we covered short-term money markets, foreign exchange, bonds, equity, commodities and market risk management.

We also took part in an FX trading simulation where some of us managed to lose some hundreds of thousands pounds – the proverbial bad day at the office! Also, our trainer, Chris Louch, took us to the London Metal Exchange, which was a very interesting addition to the training.

After successfully passing the exams we were briefly introduced to both Murex and SMART. The week was finished off with the City of London tour. Some English members of our group were rather outraged to learn that the Bank of England was founded by a Scotsman so, after the tour, they tried to forget the embarrassment by sinking a few pints of London Pride, in a bid to restore some quintessentially English honour.

Next in line was the soft skills course, which lasted for a week. Tim Haslam’s training helped us with the financial markets presentation that was lined up for us just before the Easter break, a test we passed with flying colours. More soft skills training was delivered by Adam Vile – we spent two days learning and practising our negotiating and influencing skills.

Next, we had week-long courses of Unix, SQL and, for many of us, our best friend Java. We also spent three weeks being introduced to the Murex FO, Reporting, and Accounting Modules by our in-house trainers Malcolm, Marilena and Carlo. Another very useful part of the training focused on Agile and the APM Introductory Certificate. Both training courses aimed to expand our project management skills and knowledge.

To make us all well-rounded consultants we then proceeded to attend two days on Commercial Awareness as well as one day with Adrian, which helped us to understand the industry we will work in as well as what is expected of us as consultants.


As well as our training, we also tackled an additional project throughout the program. Our task was to find different ways and means of increasing awareness of both Excelian and Debra with the help of social media. The people at Debra were very impressed with our proposals and some of us even went on their site to deploy our solutions!
To summarise such an intense period in a word would be clichéd and it would not do the project justice. However, if I had to pick a word to describe the whole experience then I’d use ‘excellent’ and I truly believe I speak for all of us. We\'ve gained plenty of new skills, we\'ve learned a lot about ourselves and we\'ve also made some great new friends. Now roll on the first client project!
Kristina Jarosova