Over 100,000 university students every year hit the job market and the race is on to secure a great job. There is a wide variety of graduate programs to choose from and here at IQ Group we continue to grow our graduate program to meet industry demand. We’re looking for the right candidates, and hopefully they’re looking for us too. For graduates wondering if they are the right fit for financial services, this blog is here to help.

How can you prepare yourself for a graduate program in Financial Services?

Practically every person in the modern world uses financial services, whether it be for daily banking, wealth management, or superannuation. With a major impact on people’s financial security, it is one of the most highly regulated industries in Australia. It also evolves constantly with new technology – digital currencies, data mining, mobile applications, and online customer engagement models are just the tip of the iceberg amongst current trends.

Thus, opportunities are diverse, and a graduate role is a springboard into a wide range of careers. Be prepared to pass both police and background checks. Read industry news sources and be aware of current legislative changes. Study various financial services products like superannuation, insurance, mortgages, and investments – you may even want to become RG146 accredited to better prepare yourself for this highly competitive environment.

What characteristics do I need to succeed as a graduate consultant in Financial Services?

Consulting is ultimately about achieving great customer outcomes whilst balancing the revenue needs of the organisation you work for. A consultant must learn to understand their clients’ needs and environment quickly, demonstrate expertise to earn credibility, build relationships to earn trust, and deliver consistent results. To achieve this at the graduate level, a prospective consultant must be extremely adaptable, present well, have excellent communication skills, and take the responsibility to represent themselves and their consultancy seriously. This takes self-motivated individuals with high degrees of independence and a proactive attitude. And don’t forget to be keen to learn – it’s all about learning, initially.

The career path in consultancy moves through phases broadly progressing from graduate to associate consultant, then consultant, then senior consultant, and potentially to principle consultant. This relies heavily on a consultant’s ability to create and add value, network, and eventually generate business directly by providing clients superior services.

 What do graduates in consulting companies do?

The emphasis of the program is learning, of course, but graduates pass through three stages over a one-year period. The graduate program includes a mix of online and face-to-face training, including on boarding and ongoing accreditation requirements. When ready, a graduate consultant will be placed on client site with a senior consultant where they have a mentor-style relationship. Throughout the year, they’ll receive support in honing their skills, and perhaps choosing if they wish to specialise in the type of work they do.

Take the advice from Simran Kaur, a successful IQ Group graduate:

  • “Be open to everything, experience the various roles and see what suits you best at the end of it.Everyone is here to help guide and mould you to succeed.”
  • “Attitude is important – be positive and can-do. Go out there and try your hand at everything you can.”
  • “Work on your communication and interpersonal skills constantly; if you’re a consultant, you’re going to need them.”

If you want to know how you or someone you know can become a member of the IQ Group graduate program drop us a line.


Elizabeth Blythe

Senior Consultant at IQ Group