MSc Admissions Blog

Advice and Information from the MSc Admissions team

July 31, 2014
by Cass Careers

What are employers looking for

Long gone are the days when academic excellence was enough to secure you the job of your dreams. Now employers are looking for much more than academic ability, they are also looking for a range of skills and competencies that will allow you to perform well and add value to their business.

Each employer’s requirements will vary from company to company and between roles, however there are some common themes that are important to most employers.

Common skills and competencies

Motivation – what interests you about the industry, company and role that you’re applying to? A common question we have seen this year at interview is “What differentiates us compared to our competitors?”.

Commercial awareness – do you understand what is going on in the industry / company that you are applying to, what are the challenges (threats) and where are opportunities – these are external factors and what are the strengths & weaknesses of the company – these are usually internal factors?  A common question we have seen this year at interview is “Tell me about something that you have read about that is having an impact on our industry?”.

Teamwork – A key skill for most companies is that they want to know that you can contribute effectively in a team environment and also take on board the views and ideas of others. A common question we have seen this year at interview is “Give me an example of a time where you have worked as part of a team successfully, what makes you a good team player?”.

Communication/interpersonal skills – Whether it’s communicating with people in your team or with clients, employers expect you to be able to communicate both effectively and professionally. A common question we have seen this year at interview is “Give me an example of a time where you have successfully influenced someone to your way of thinking”.

Problem Solving – Ability to look at a problem and solve it in a logical way, demonstrating persistence and not giving up. A common question we have seen this year at interview is “Tell me about a time you overcame a challenge”.

Responsibility – Do you pro-actively seek to take on more responsibility? A common question we have seen this year at interview is “Tell me about your most significant responsibility to date”.

So how can you develop the skills you haven’t got?

Employers will want to see evidence of these skills so you will need to be able to demonstrate you possess them.

Start thinking now about the skills you need in your chosen career route, if there are skills you feel you would struggle to give examples of in an interview, you probably need to do something to develop these skills further, there are a range of ways in which you can do this, join a society or club and take an active role on the committee or organising an event, part time work, volunteer work, are just some of the things you can get involved in that can help you with some of these skills,

With regards to demonstrating Motivation and Commercial awareness skills, you need to do your research, think about what it is that motivates you to the company and industry as well as the role that your applying for, keep track of what is happening in the industry you are applying to, what are the challenges and opportunities are for the industry, are there any major political, economic or environmental factors that are having an impact on the industry? There are a number of resources you can use to keep up to date with this information, from the Financial Times to industry specific publications.

The key is to start thinking about it gaining these skills now so your prepared when you start going through the recruitment processes in a couple of months’ time.

Look out for our next blog on Thursday 14th August about building your commercial awareness.

July 23, 2014
by MSc Admissions Team

Virtual Tour of the Business School

Summer is now in full swing, and with it degree Graduation ceremonies will be taking place the world over. We hope that you enjoyed the experience, threw your mortar board in the air and took lots of photos with your classmates! We wish to congratulate you on the successful completion of your studies.

Now that you have your final degree results, please share them with us. If you have not already done so, you will need to send your final degree transcript to your admissions officer as soon as possible, along with any other documents needed to upgrade your offer to unconditional. Please see our previous post if you are unsure of how to upgrade your offer.

As you celebrate the success of one student experience, we hope that you are looking forward to your next one at Cass Business School! To start off, why not check out our video giving you a virtual tour of the facilities at our Bunhill Row campus? The video was created by one of our colleagues in the Course Office, and not only gives you a guided tour of the building and its facilities, but also shows the location of our building in relation to our nearest London Underground stations, London landmarks and the main City University London campus at Northampton Square.

We understand that starting at a new institution can sometimes feel a little daunting, and we hope that the video will help you to familiarise yourself with the building and our facilities before you arrive.

Over the coming months we will be posting more information about Cass and its surroundings to help your student experience at Cass get off to a successful start. Enjoy the summer period and, as always, let us know if you have any questions!

July 17, 2014
by Cass Careers

A Focus on Graduate Recruitment Programmes – When should I apply?

Typically in the UK, there is a lot of activity in September to October in the graduate recruitment sphere with many of the big names in graduate recruitment such as PwC, Deloitte, JP Morgan, Deutsche Bank (to name but a few) opening  their applications for graduate programmes for the following year, effectively starting their recruitment process a whole year before you step through the door as a graduate hire the following summer. So for this year applications will tend to open in September 2014 and close as early as November 2014 for a summer 2015 start.

However some companies are opening their doors for applications as early as August 2014(Trafigura) and Barclays have already opened applications for their Asia Pacific region for 2015.

Every company will have different opening and closing dates so it is important to know when these are.

It is also important to note that many internship programmes will also open applications at the same or similar times as the graduate schemes so if you intend to take up an internship once you have completed your course then you also need to take this into consideration.

Why do they open so early?

A question we get asked every year by students is why do some graduate recruitment schemes open so early?  One of the main reasons is due to the number of applications that some of the large organisations receive (up to 33,000 per year for 120 places) so recruitment teams need to start this process early.

When should I start applying?

It is becoming more and more common for organisations to open their applications without a closing date. This effectively means that organisations open their applications and when they deem they have enough, applications close. With this in mind our advice would be apply as soon as possible.

We are also seeing some companies opening rolling applications which effectively means they will accept applications all year round as well as recruiting at various points throughout the year for off cycle internships, which tend to be longer internships (typically 6 months +) that arise throughout the year and availability will depend on business needs.

How long does the process last?

For many graduate programmes the application process can be quite lengthy, typically lasting several months with first round interviews and psychometric testing taking place towards the end of the year and further assessments happening the following spring.

What can I do now?

Given the above we would recommend the following:

  • Research companies you would like to apply to in your desired sector using resources such as:

Inside Careers


Target Jobs:

Efinancial careers

  • Sign up for e-mail alerts/ follow organisations on social media so you are alerted when their vacancies go live
  • Look at website that have deadline diaries such as:

Save the

(We would recommend that you don’t just rely on these sites for information on deadlines and that you also keep track of them independently)

What if I don’t want to join a graduate programme?

Graduate training schemes are not the only route into the jobs market and there may be some of you who don’t want to join a graduate programme if you have more experience. Typically we would expect to see more activity for these individuals 2-3 months before you complete your course as lead times to employment are much shorter. However you can start networking as soon as you arrive at Cass as well as using this time to consider your options and build knowledge on companies and industries that you might be interested in.

Look out for our next blog about What are employers really looking for? on Thursday 31st July.

If you have any questions please contact us at


July 8, 2014
by Cass Careers

An Introduction to the Careers Team

Most of you will be looking to study an MSc with a view to using it to help start or progress your career, with that in mind engaging with Cass Careers and making the most of the opportunities and resources available to you will be or should be high on your list of priorities. The Careers team at Cass have a wealth of industry experience from across different industries and know what it takes to stand out from the competition, whether you are applying for a graduate or experienced hire role.

So how can we help?

You can start engaging with the careers team once you have paid your deposit. Some of the Key ways to engage with Careers while you are with us will be;

One to one support

Sit down with a member of the careers team for one to one guidance and advice on anything in the application process from job search, feedback on your CV to mock interviews.


Our workshops are held throughout the academic year, with a higher concentration in October and November because we understand many of you will be going through recruitment processes during this time. Our workshops typically cover areas such as CV’s and applications, cover letters, assessment centres and presentation skills among others.

Opportunities to engage with employers

These will include but are not limited to company presentations, both on and off campus, panel events and the Autumn Careers fair which will be your first opportunity to engage with employers. This year’s fair will be held on Monday 22nd September. These offer valuable opportunities to find out more about a company and start building your network, learning about the culture and competencies a company is looking for will help you tailor your applications when you apply.

Cass Careers Online (CCO)

Once you start your course you will be given access to CCO our online careers portal. With everything from careers resources and job vacancies to registering for events and booking one to ones it provides invaluable assistance at every step of your career search

What can you do now?

Start thinking about where you want to apply and start your research. Check when companies open and close their applications and what the process is.

To help you keep up to date with what is going on we have just launched a Facebook group which you will be invited to join once you have paid your deposit.

Once you have paid your deposit you will also be given access the Induction website where you will find more information and guidance on CVs? If you are starting to make applications and need some advice or would like feedback on your CV before you send it then please contact us at  and if you are in London over the summer and would like to pop in for a chat then please email us to arrange a time.

Over the next few weeks we will be writing a number of blogs to help you get started, please keep an eye for our next blog on 17th July on Application timelines with a focus on graduate schemes and their early opening and closing dates.

Over the next few weeks we will also  cover, employability insights, commercial awareness, using social media with a focus on LinkedIn and how to prepare for the Autumn Careers fair.

Cass Careers

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