Four questions answered by Sandra Nagpal, Global Graduate Programme Manager

What are the areas graduates develop most while on the programme?
Coming fresh from university, graduates bring an impressive, state-of-the-art theoretical background. An important step in their development is to transfer this know-how into solutions for our business challenges – taking all restrictions, stakeholders, conditions and sometimes also internal politics into account. Graduates adapt so fast and learn so quickly. The young generation is used to trying and failing, standing up and just trying again! This is what success is about – never losing motivation and courage.

Beyond the standardised criteria, which other factors contribute to a graduate’s success? 
As a graduate, you are wearing two hats. You are part of a team and develop professionally, but you are also a representative of our programme, a small but in many ways privileged talent pool. The key is to not only live the team role but to use the platform the Graduate Programme offers you: networking, mentoring, knowledge sharing, showing engagement and representing the bank. As a graduate community, we want to give back to Julius Baer. Just like John F. Kennedy said: “Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.”

What is the key insight that you would like to pass on to students who choose to start their career via a graduate programme instead of applying for an open position directly?
The Graduate Programme offers you the possibility to get insights into our business from different angles. It also helps you to understand the value chain of our bank. At the same time, you do not only scratch the surface. Being six or nine month in a unit, you will be regarded as a full team member with responsibility from day one. If you exactly know which career you would like to embark on, I clearly recommend applying directly for the open position of your choice. However, in case you are interested in getting a broader perspective plus the experience of working abroad, the Graduate Programme will be the perfect choice. 

What does the application and hiring process look like?
Our application process starts in the month of April, when all new positions are published on our website. When evaluating your application, we do not consider only your performance at university, since practical experience is given almost more weight. You have worked or studied abroad and speak different languages? Even better! But overall, what counts most is a convincing personality and an open mindset. We do not only look for the best but for the right students. To find these candidates, we apply a numerical test, conduct personal interviews with the programme manager, the line manager and the team – and in case of difficult decisions, applicants are required to solve a business case.