Graduate opportunities with BlackRock – where diversity matters


BlackRock is a global investment firm, trusted to manage assets on behalf of companies, governments, foundations, and millions of individuals saving for retirement, and a better life. It was founded in 1988 by 8 entrepreneurs and it now has 13,000 employees managing 5.7 trillion dollars in assets.

I was invited as a member of the University of Brighton Careers Service to their London office in the middle of the financial sector to hear what opportunities are available for our students and graduates.

Employment areas in BlackRock

–  Advisory and Client Services – Provide strategic advisory and enterprise investment system services for a diverse client base, from asset managers to pension funds to governments around the world.

–  Analytics and risk – Develop and deliver tailored advice, risk management and investment system services to governments, corporations and many of the world’s largest investors.

– Corporate functions and business operations – Oversee the business operations, finances, compliance and people of the world’s largest asset management firm

– Investments – Build and analyze investment strategies, portfolios and products for a broad range of institutional and retail clients, from individual investors to some of the world’s largest financial and public institutions.

– Relationship Management and sales – Create, communicate and deliver investment solutions for clients worldwide, and develop marketing strategy to create new business opportunities.

– Technology – Utilize sophisticated software and technology to develop the applications that form BlackRock’s core investment management strategy.

For more detail on these roles go to



Entry qualifications

This was the most interesting aspect of the visit.  BlackRock emphasised one of their principle beliefs which is that diversity strengthens business. Now although we have heard that from many employers, BlackRock explained to us how in their recruitment for employment, placements, internships, and students’ workshadowing visits, they don’t just select on grades and instead look deeper into an applicant’s background.  Applicants who have achieved higher grades compared to their peers from certain neighbourhoods or schools, even if they are not the highest grades overall, will be considered.  Their 58% female recruitment this year of graduates is very high for employers within this sector. Applicants with a disability are encouraged to disclose at interview so that support can be put in place.

Within the company employees can join support groups for LGBT, BAME and a Women’s Initiative network.

They are happy to accept any degree discipline except for the Technology job family for which applicants will have to pass a coding test (java or C++) so will probably need some computing in their degree.

What they particularly want are applicants who can demonstrate a real interest in working for BlackRock. Don’t just say you want to work there because they are one of the biggest organisations in asset management, but what aspects of the company stand out for you? They also want applicants who show leadership potential, knowledge of commercial awareness, and are not fixed on a particular role, but are prepared to be flexible, and are intellectually curious.

Application process

It starts with an online application and a virtual cover letter. If successful this will lead to a first round interview and then if successful an assessment centre. You are not assessed for a particular job family until the final round.

This year there were 17,000 applications for 119 slots in Europe and Africa.

Dates for applications to placements and employment.



  • For those graduating in 2019 and are interested in a summer placement in 2018 you must apply by the 12th November 2017


  • For those graduating in 2020 and are interested in doing a Spring Insight week in 2018 (work shadowing) you must apply by 3rd December 2017

Upcoming Events

BlackRock will be hosting the following events in their London offices for students.

Discover BlackRock – 9th October, 18:00 – 20:00

Women @ BlackRock – 12th October, 18:00 – 20:00

Discover a different path @ BlackRock – 23rd October, 18:00 – 20:00

Being LTGBT @ BlackRock – 2nd November, 14:00 – 17:00

To register, students will be asked to complete at online application and submit a CV. If they are successful to secure a place at the event, you will receive a confirmation email closer to the event date.

Recruitment Questions:

Sam Rhodes, Head of Careers Service, University of Brighton.


Fiona Langdon • 13/09/2017

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