So you’ve decided a career in Product Control is right for you and now you want to know where to find Product Control jobs.

Read on for details of some of the main routes into a Product Control role:

 

Internships

This is, in our opinion, one of the best ways to start a career in Product Control.  Not only is this a solid route to follow it also gives you direct exposure to the function while you’re still studying meaning you’re able to ‘try before you buy’.

Many of the top Investment Banking Finance departments run Summer Internship Programmes which give successful candidates between 8-12 weeks of direct work experience.  The beauty of these programmes is that they are highly structured and the content for participants is generally superb.  In addition to exposure to the daily role the summer interns will usually have specific team social events, tailored guest speaker sessions with key leaders within the organisation and directly relevant training.  This is a generally excellent all-round introduction to working life in an Investment Bank.

The interns are assessed throughout their internship and normally work towards a specific set of objectives culminating in either a group or individual presentation at the end of the program to a senior audience.

Competition for places on these programmes is general fierce as you would expect but the critical factor is this:

Do well on a Summer Internship programme and you’ll give yourself the best chance to secure a place on the Graduate scheme. Indeed, a number of banks will offer the top summer intern programme performers a guaranteed place on the Graduate programme.

For more information on the content of specific programmes and the application deadlines it’s best to visit the individual organisation websites directly.

Graduate Programmes

Finance Graduate Programmes are generally 3 years in duration and involve rotation between 2 or 3 Finance departments, normally including Product Control.  At the end of the programme successful candidates are able to choose  the area they enjoyed the most during their rotation and, headcount permitting, will secure a permanent role in that area.

Securing a place on these programmes is unsurprisingly tough.  Like the Internships they are highly structured and provide participants with an excellent introduction to Banking Finance.  The Programme will incorporate study towards a professional accountancy qualification which means that you’ll be working during the day and studying in the evening and on weekends.

Study and exam leave is given but the allowances are not nearly as generous as those enjoyed by trainees studying with one of the Big Four Accountancy Firms. These programmes are a great way to build a fast-track career in Product Control as the element of rotation gives you the opportunity to start building a wide network of strategic relationships from day one.

Places on these programmes are allocated off the back of Graduate Assessment Centres.

Direct Recruitment

Whereas in the past the majority of recruitment for newly qualified accountants and above was managed through specialised recruitment agencies, most large banks these days now have their own in-house recruitment team who will try and source candidates directly.

Candidates for Summer Internship and Graduate Programmes should always apply directly through the individual bank. Candidates from practice and those already in Product Control who are looking to move are now not doing themselves any favours if they ignore the careers page on the large bank websites.

One great way to stay informed is to follow the companies you’re interested in on LinkedIn.  You can then easily search vacancies as they arise and an even set up notifications to be emailed whenever a specific type of job is listed by any of your prospective employers.

Recruitment Agencies

Specialised Product Control recruitment agencies are more commonly involved in the search process for more experienced Product Controllers who are looking to change roles.

Each bank will have a Preferred Supplier List (PSL).  This PSL is a list of the recruitment agencies the bank will deal with when trying to fill a role.  The agencies on the PSL will be sent the job specification and asked to submit CV’s of suitable candidates.

The experienced recruiters at these agencies will have a broad understanding of the market and a wide network of contacts.  It pays to maintain relationships with one or two of these agencies as your career progresses as they can be an invaluable source of general market insight.  Again, connect with the agents on Linked in and follow their agencies.

Now you know where to find Product Control jobs, it’s time to read the final article in our ‘Essential Product Control Guide’ series:

THE PRODUCT CONTROL INTERVIEW & HOW TO BEAT IT

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