What can you expect from a career in banking

If you join an investment bank as a graduate trainee, you can expect to work long hours. It’s part of the culture.
My name is Helen Marshall and I’m an analyst at Morgan Straits. My typical day starts at about 8.00 when I check my email and voicemail to see who wants information immediately. It can continue until about 1.00 in the morning if we are working on a big merger. Fortunately, I live only twenty minutes away from the bank. I usually get my main tasks from my boss at the daily team meeting at 10 o’clock, which can be a comparative analysis of companies or completing a report on a loan application for a big company.
As an analyst, you need to be good at statistics because you spend a lot of the day working at the computer on tables and spreadsheets. It’s also important to be well-organized and a good team player because you depend on your colleagues to meet deadlines.
It is a very exciting job because you learn very quickly and they give you a lot of training – I have already done courses on how to value companies and on accountancy. But there is not much chance of meeting with customers, so you can feel isolated at times. After a year, I still love the excitement of the job and the salary is great. But if you are thinking of joining an investment bank, make sure you are well-motivated and good at computer skills before you start.



Exercise 1

Match these words to their English equivalents:

1. stażysta                            accountancy
2. poczta głosowa              application
3. fuzja                                 merger
4. podanie                           skills
5. arkusz kalkulacyjny      spreadsheet
6. księgowość                     trainee
7. umiejętności                  voicemail


Exercise 2

Match the expressions to form typical collocations:

1. to join              a course
2. to work           a workplace
3. to check         deadlines
4. to get              email
5. to depend      long hours
6. to meet          on colleagues
7. to do               tasks from the boss



Exercise 3

Tell the difference between these words:

1. analyst
2. analysis
3. analyses
4. analyse / analyze
5. analytical


I know English idioms!

The main character of our text says that as a investment banker she sometimes has to work a lot. In English we can express it by means of such idiomatic phrases:

  • to have a lot on one’s plate
  • to be up to ears/eyes with work
  • to be snowed under with work
  • to burn the midnight oil (= to work late into the night)

Which of these idioms can you use to talk about yourself?


Phrasals, phrasals…

In this lesson’s reading text we talk about work. It’s a good opportunity then to learn the phrasal verb “work out”. Here’s what it means:

  • to calculate the cost, price, or amount of something (wyliczyć):
    We worked out the cost of hiring two more developers.


  • to find a solution to a problem or situation (wymyśleć):
    We need to work out a way of improving our sales results.

Grammar corner

This lesson’s reading text contains such a sentence:

As an analyst, you need to be good at statistics because you spend a lot of the day working at the computer on tables and spreadsheets.

The underlined part (“need to”) means that something is necessary to do something else and it’s identical to the verb “have to” (musieć). When we want to say that something is NOT necessary we use the negative forms “needn’t” or” don’t/doesn’t need to”, for example:
You needn’t go there. or You don’t need to go there.


expect – oczekiwać
career – kariera
to join – dołączyć
investment bank – bank inwestycyjny
graduate trainee – stażysta świeżo po studiach
analyst – analityk
voicemail – poczta głosowa
immediately – natychmiast, niezwłocznie
merger – fuzja
task – zadanie
daily – codzienne
team – zespół
comparative analysis – analiza porównawcza
to complete – wypełnić, uzupełnić
loan application – podanie o kredyt
table – tabela
spreadsheet – arkusz kalkulacyjny
to depend on – polegać na
colleague – kolega z pracy
to meet a deadline – zmieścić się w terminie
training – szkolenie
to do a course – odbyć kurs
to value – wyceniać
accountancy – księgowość
isolated – odizolowany
excitement – ekscytacja
salary – pensja
to make sure – upewnić się
skills – umiejętności


download lesson (pdf)



1. trainee
2. voicemail
3. merger
4. application
5. spreadsheet
6. accountancy
7. skills

Ex. 2
1. to join a workplace
2. to work long hours
3. to check email
4. to get tasks from the boss
5. to depend on colleagues
6. to meet deadlines
7. to do a course

1. analityk
2. analiza
3. analizy
4. analizować
5. analityczny