Karthik Balasubramanian is a 3rd-year Mathematics with Statistics student, and also the Brand Ambassador for Technology at JP Morgan. King’s Careers had the pleasure of hearing about Karthik’s part-time role, from application to navigating studies as well as everyday life as a brand ambassador.
What is a brand ambassador and what made you interested in this role?
The role of a brand ambassador is to spread awareness of the roles and opportunities available at a company. More specifically, for me, my role as a brand ambassador for technology is to spread the importance of technology at JP Morgan.
I was scrolling through King’s Career and saw the variety of roles available, one of which was the brand ambassador. I’ve always been passionate about interacting with new people and making new friends, so I saw this as a really interesting opportunity to interact with new people and also promote a well-known company. I was also curious why they wanted a technology brand ambassador, as I hadn’t known initially their emphasis on technology. This of course changed as I started doing research for my application. I was keen and inspired as well as wanted to see how I could incorporate my skills in representing a company, so I had applied.
What was your application process like?
The application process was decently competitive. The first stage involved answering a series of written questions: why would you like to work for JP Morgan, what skills do you have et cetera. The next stage which revolved around making a 2-minute video explaining why they should pick you, and the goal was to make the video somewhat creative. I made my video in the style of a talk show interview. I explained why I wanted to be the brand ambassador and it was during this stage where I showed the bulk of my research: the importance of technology in finance and how our world is moving towards the reliance of technology.
Finally, I was selected to have an interview with our current manager, who asked us a series of questions. Here we got to explain the people we knew, the types of events we’d like to host and how to promote the brand further. Along with this, I reflected how I would promote the brand online during COVID – usually, brand ambassadors would be around campus and could talk to students and have in-person events, but this is of course very different now.
In your opinion, what is the value of part-time jobs like this during your studies?
I think a part-time job has really opened my eyes on time management. I used to think I was pretty good with my time management skills as I didn’t have a job, so it was purely just academics and societies I was part of. This year, having a part-time job meant I had obligations as well as objectives to meet. I need to get a certain number of people to click on links as well as students to sign up for JP Morgan’s talent network.
Being a brand ambassador has shown me that maybe a 9-5 job isn’t necessarily what I want to do. Being a Mathematics and Statistics student, I’ve always thought that my career would go down this road, with having such a critical and practical mind, but I think my perception on everything has changed at least a little bit. In terms of skills, it’s made me more extroverted and excited to meet with new faces, even if it’s not face-to-face, I’ve had people messaging me privately after seeing my message on group chats about opportunities. I really have tons of respect for people who must work a part-time job, and I feel genuinely privileged that I did it out of interest.
Are there any resources that you’d recommend for students who are interested in tech careers?
Lots! For example, the Code For Good programme is a way for students to work with other people to benefit charities. Another programme they have is their Tech Connect Programme, which is an opportunity for students with no coding knowledge to learn programming or software engineering, with potential for graduate work afterwards.
Starting simple for anyone who is interested, we are holding a Q&A zoom event on the 28th of October about roles with JP Morgan. It’s a wonderful way for students to get to know the company in a non-professional setting, as it’s a collaboration with all the UOL ambassadors. These roles don’t specifically have to be for technology. Here is a link to sign up for the event.
Along with that, these resources will be particularly useful for all students at any time:
The JP Morgan Talent network – if students sign up, it’s a great way to get early information about anything from roles, events or opportunities.(These links are individual to me, so if students access these links, my manager gets notified and it’s beneficial for me!)
If you have any questions, this is my Instagram if you would like to contact me.
What tips or recommendations do you have for students interested in being a brand ambassador?
If you want to be a brand ambassador, be ready to throw yourself out there for the company. Especially since many roles are being recruited up until November, you need to promote the company you represent as much as possible in the first two months. Afterwards, it’s a little more relaxed as far as I know, but the first 2 months have been hectic.
Think of unique ways to promote the company and if you’re passionate about the company, then you’ll find ways to put yourself out there. I find myself wanting to be on campus a lot more because of my role as an ambassador. I think it’s a great way to really be part of something and you get the added advantage of setting your own working hours, no one forces you to do anything, so you need to be self-motivated and driven.
Interested in a part-time job during your studies? King’s CareerConnect is a great place to find work opportunities to challenge yourself, develop your employability and build success for your career journey.