When Marcus calls himself “super sporty,” it’s a bit of an understatement. Becoming a professional athlete was more than a childhood dream for him—it was Marcus’s plan. As a teenager growing up outside of Manchester, England, the talented rugby player was selected to represent England at the Commonwealth Youth Games, an international multi-sport event held every four years. He was subsequently offered a contract to play rugby professionally following high school, but Marcus says he felt pulled in a different direction. “I decided to go to university and play sport after,” he says. “I wanted to broaden my horizons; there’s more to life than just sport.”
Several developments in his life, including a knee injury shortly before Marcus started at the University of Bristol, encouraged him to rethink his future and to explore career options. He learned about Morgan Stanley at a career fair at school, took an internship with the firm, and later joined the Equity Sales and Trading group in London full time. “I love being in a team environment; it’s part of my personality. I think that’s what drew me to Morgan Stanley.”
While working for the firm, an unexpected phone call reignited his childhood aspirations. A representative from Jamaica’s national rugby team contacted Marcus with a question: Would he be interested in playing on the Jamaican squad, largely on the weekends, to help build the growing team? His knee was long healed, so he felt physically ready. Marcus knew it would be a challenge, but he decided that he could balance his work with the demands of upping his rugby game again. “For me, it was an amazing opportunity to do all of the things that were important to me—play sport and travel, and work and progress in my career as well.”
After competing with the Jamaican team all over the world, Marcus is taking a break from semi-professional play. He’s now participating in Morgan Stanley’s Institutional Securities Group (ISG) Rotational Program, a training and career development program designed for Associates to learn more about different areas of the firm.
It never really occurred to me that working for an investment bank could be a potential outcome for me. Of course, I knew about the industry, but definitely not about the specific roles within the industry.
After attending a career fair at university, I went to a small event near campus with a number of current Morgan Stanley employees, at various stages in their careers. The more I heard, the more interested I was in the firm. I applied for the summer program in London and ended up here for 10 weeks that summer. It was a pretty big adjustment for me to go from student life to working, but overall, my internship was incredibly interesting.
You have spent a lot of time helping the firm with campus recruitment efforts and managing summer interns. What made you want to get involved with those programs?
When I was going through the graduate recruitment process as a student, I found that speaking with Analysts and Associates who had recently graduated was really insightful. They were so relatable. It seemed like there was no such thing as a silly question to ask them. The help I received from the people around me has been instrumental in my career, so it makes sense for me to share what I can in the same way.
I’ve spoken to the interns as a group quite a lot, and I always tell them that no one here expects them to be financial services experts; there’s a big difference between what you learn in a lecture theater versus the intricacies of what you do day-to-day at the firm. More than anything, people at Morgan Stanley want to see that you have a desire to learn and a genuine curiosity about different areas of the firm.
I started at the firm in Equity Sales and Trading, where my role was to cover UK-based hedge fund clients. I executed equities trades on behalf of clients and was responsible for coming up with interesting trading ideas for those same clients. It’s a fascinating job.
After four years on that team, I recently started with the Morgan Stanley ISG Rotational Program on the multi-asset sales desk within our Fixed Income Division. The idea behind the program is to give employees early in their careers the chance to learn about areas of the firm that are new to them. I’ll spend a year on the multi-asset desk, trading debt-related products, and then I’ll move to a different division for a year. From there, I’ll have a permanent role either back on the equities desk or maybe with another team.
On a personal level, it’s a great opportunity to learn from different people, see how those people view the world, and to understand how a different department fits into the bigger picture of the bank. After four years building my understanding in the Equities division at Morgan Stanley, I was excited by the prospect of a new learning opportunity. I now have the chance to work in new business areas and increase my breadth of skills and to contribute as much as possible with some of my prior experience. I’m finding that accumulating new knowledge is quite challenging and fulfilling.