D&I Success Stories:
Michael Damoah & Stephanie Deans
Michael Damoah - ELFA Research Analyst
“ELFA Career Day opened my eyes to the possibilities of a career in leveraged finance.”
I’d never seriously considered a career in finance until the ELFA Career Day in 2021.
I was undecided about my career path during my final year as an undergraduate at Sheffield University. I'd always been interested in business and economics, but because I was studying for a social sciences degree, I didn't think finance was an option. I learned about ELFA Career Day from a friend who worked at one of our member firms. ELFA Career Day opened my eyes to the possibilities of a career in leveraged finance. It gave me a lot of confidence to hear first-hand from individuals within the industry who came from a humanities background.
Following the event, I enrolled at the LSE for a Masters and was accepted. I was fortunate to join ELFA as a research analyst in 2022, where I assisted the Co-Chairs of several committees, working on exciting projects with the best minds in the leveraged finance industry. ELFA has provided me with the ideal springboard for furthering my career in the financial sector and I am currently looking for opportunities as an investment/credit analyst with a focus on the ESG space. My experience at ELFA has been a great start to my career.
Stephanie Deans – Analyst at Barings
“I would recommend this event to any student regardless of what you are studying or what area of finance you think you are interested in.”
I found the ELFA Career Day incredibly insightful, particularly having a non-finance background at university and not knowing anyone who worked in the industry.
When I was at university I wanted to attend as many events as possible to try to learn more about the broader careers within finance and make sure I was putting my best foot forward. This Career Day allowed me to do just that.
It was a great opportunity to have a full day to hear panels, obtain feedback on my CV from an HR recruiter in a small group and to practice interview questions directly with senior finance professionals who regularly interview graduates. The day was a lot more productive than the 1-hour sessions typically offered to graduates by university career services.
I already knew I wanted to work in investing due to previous internships in equity research and sales and trading, but it was very helpful in making me more informed about a career in private market investments which was harder to get useful, practical information on.
It was during the CV workshop that I met an HR representative from Barings who explained what skills they look for and when I followed up, which positions were on offer at Barings that would be most suited to my strengths and interests. I then applied to Barings and was accepted for a role in Infrastructure Private Credit as an analyst where I have been working for the last 5 months.
I would recommend this event to any student regardless of what you are studying or what area of finance you think you are interested. Hearing differing perspectives from experienced and knowledgeable people who have built amazing careers and being able to directly ask them questions was so helpful for me. I am grateful to all the professionals who took the time to take part in the day.