I can stand out

from the crowd

Work Experience with global firms for Aspiring School Leavers

Entering its tenth year, Big City Bright Future is an annual three-week paid work experience programme created especially to help school leavers who aspire to work within competitive industries. This year IntoUniversity is partnering with 20 globally-recognised firms to run the programme. These firms include BlackRock, Bloomberg, Simmons & Simmons, AllianceBernstein, and many more.

The aim of Big City Bright Future is to allow students to accelerate their career pathway by providing outstanding work experience before university. The programme offers internships in the fields of Asset Management, Investment Banking, Law, Technology, Consultancy, and more. This programme is not just for students who know they want to work in these fields. We welcome all students who are motivated, would like to develop their transferable skills, and are willing to try their best and work hard.

Year 13 and S6 IntoUniversity students are encouraged to sign up for our Prep Sessions to learn more about the programme before applications open in December 2023.

Applications for BCBF 2024 are now closed.

Key dates:

Preparation Sessions – between November and December 2023

Applications open – Friday 1st December 2023

Application close – Wednesday 3rd January 2024

Opportunity to network with firms – February 2024

Interviews and Assessment Centre – April 2024

Work Experience programme – Monday 1st July - Friday 19th July 2024



Big City Bright Future is organised by IntoUniversity.

IntoUniversity is a growing education charity providing local learning centres where young people are inspired to achieve their full potential. Our mission is to bring Higher Education within the reach of students within the communities we support, thereby opening up a world of new life-possibilities including professional careers.

IntoUniversity has over 20 years’ experience of delivering high quality and impact-driven programmes through its national network of learning centres in Birmingham, Brighton, Bristol, Clacton-on-Sea, Coventry, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Great Yarmouth, Hull, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Norwich, Nottingham, Oxford, Peterborough, Southampton and Weston-super-Mare. In the 2022/23 academic year IntoUniversity supported over 52,000 children and young people across England and Scotland.

We have an excellent track record of working in partnership with schools, universities and businesses. Through our corporate partnerships we are able to offer our young people valuable opportunities including aspirational visits to workplaces, corporate mentors and work experience.

Read our latest Impact Report


With global firms from Asset Management, Law, Investment Banking, Technology, Venture Capital, Consultancy, and more, Big City Bright Future gives you the chance to engage with experienced individuals and begin to form an idea of where your potential career may take you.

Every firm participating is a globally recognised organisation. Together, they work to make a positive impact and actively strive for equality and diversity in their respective fields.

Click on a logo to view a firm profile.

Alliance Bernstein
bny mellon
IP Group
LaSalle Investment Management
Singer Capital Markets
Tradeweb Markets

AllianceBernstein (AB)

AllianceBernstein (AB) is a leading investment-management firm with $480 billion in client assets under management, as of December 31, 2016. We provide forward-looking perspective, independent research and investment discipline across asset classes, from equities and fixed income to alternatives and multi-asset portfolios. Our worldwide clients—including institutional, high-net-worth and retail investors—face new investment challenges and opportunities every day. Through our unique combination of expertise, research and global reach, we apply collective insights and leverage our extensive global footprint to help keep our clients at the forefront of change.


Launched in 2006 by Ian Hood & Narelle Morrison, Babel works with established global brands, market challengers and emerging disruptors. Babel is the communications agency for brands within the digital economy.

Clients rave about our ability to understand their business, bring strategic insights and deliver amazing results that transform their companies and personal reputations. They come to us because they know they will gain access to some of the smartest communications strategists and implementors in the business.

It’s why our clients consistently rank us highly in terms of overall agency satisfaction, why staff give us high job satisfaction scores, and why journalists, analysts and other influencers are happy to speak to us.

Find out more >


We bring together financial leadership and state-of-the-art technology to deliver investment strategies that make a difference for our clients. That’s why investors – and the businesses they work for – entrust us with trillions of dollars, and why global governments come to us for help navigating the world’s toughest economic climates. Join us, and you’ll be joining a firm that was built for these times.

The unrivaled breadth of our global platform—with more than 10,500 “feet on the street” in 6 continents—gives us better information and sharper insight into today’s rapidly changing and interconnected markets. And our ability to share and compare the information across teams and time zones helps us translate local insight in on part of the world into foresight—and action—in another. It’s part of what makes our people—and our clients—better, smarter investors.

We are One BlackRock. We challenge ourselves—and each other—to collectively raise our game. Diversity strengthens us; our best solutions come from the contributions of a group of talented and smart people, each playing a unique—and critical—role.

Careers website >


Bloomberg is the global leader in business and financial data, news and insight. Using the power of technology, the company connects the world’s decision makers to accurate information on the financial markets – and helps them make faster, smarter decisions.

Bloomberg is committed to giving back to the cities in which its employees live and work in order to create lasting impact. Every Bloomberg employee makes that commitment possible.

Learn more about Bloomberg and its open roles. >

BNY Mellon

Our first office in the UK opened in London in 1967 and today we have 10 offices throughout the country, including the headquarters for our EMEA operations in London. Our services include asset servicing, asset management, private equity and hedge fund administration, broker-dealer services, depositary receipts, corporate trust and treasury services.

We serve a broad range of clients in the UK, including financial institutions, pension funds, fund managers, governmental entities, charities, insurance companies, broker-dealers, IFAs and family offices. Each of our businesses has the distinct focus, depth of expertise and breadth of capabilities to support your individual needs.

BNY Mellon recognizes that being future-forward means implementing new technologies and new ideas. That's why we seek agile and dynamic team members with different backgrounds to unite around a common goal: client satisfaction.

Careers website


Carlyle is a global investment firm with $293 billion of assets under management as of September 30, 2021. The firm’s purpose is to invest the capital it receives from institutional investors into privately owned companies and assets, in order to support the growth of these businesses thereby creating a return for investors. Carlyle employs more than 1,800 people in 26 offices across five continents.

Further information is available at www.carlyle.com. Follow Carlyle on Twitter @OneCarlyle.


At CIBC, we are in business to help our clients, employees and shareholders achieve what is important to them. Our ability to create value for all CIBC stakeholders is driven by a business culture based on common values: Trust, Teamwork and Accountability.

Our seasoned team of professionals partners with corporations, governments and institutional clients in key financial centres around the world to develop customized solutions that enable them to access capital, expand their operations and actively invest.

CIBC is the strongest publicly traded bank in Canada by Bloomberg Markets2 and the only North American bank in the ranking for the last five years. We are focused on meeting our clients’ needs today and into the future to help them keep pace with the ever-changing market.

With CIBC, challenging assignments in a dynamic, merit-based culture will help you quickly move up the learning curve and expose you to new and exciting experiences. To complement your on-the-job training, we offer development options designed to keep you at the forefront of a rapidly changing global marketplace.

Careers website >


Evercore is a premier independent investment banking advisory firm.
We founded Evercore in 1995, on the premise that clients would be best served by an investment banking firm free of the conflicts of interest inherent to large, multi-product financial institutions. We believed our model would attract the most talented senior finance professionals to our firm. We believed that by maintaining the highest standards of excellence we could create a firm unlike any other in terms of capabilities to advise on highly complex strategic transactions, dedication to our client and our experience and professionalism.

Today, we serve a prominent and diverse set of clients and investors, including leading multinational corporations, large institutional investors and financial sponsors, and high net worth individuals.


When Instinet gave birth to electronic trading in 1969, we were a small tech-focused upstart with a simple (but then, radical) point of view: that technology can bring great efficiency to the financial markets. No one had coined the term “fintech” yet, but that’s what we were. We’ve made it our mission to remain at the forefront of advancements that shape the financial markets ever since.

Instinet is an institutional, agency-model broker that also serves as the independent equity trading arm of its parent, Nomura Group. It executes trades for asset management firms, hedge funds, insurance companies, mutual funds and pension funds.

Instinet is 850+ professionals working from market centers across North America, Europe, and Asia.
Boston, Chicago, Denver, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, New York, Paris, San Francisco, Singapore, St. Louis, Sydney, Toronto.



IntoUniversity is a growing education charity providing local learning centres where young people are inspired to achieve their full potential. Our mission is to bring Higher Education within the reach of students within the communities we support, thereby opening up a world of new life-possibilities including professional careers.

IP Group

IP Group aims to address some of the world’s most pressing challenges through the companies we back, allowing us to generate positive social and environmental impact alongside financial returns.

IP Group's portfolio comprises holdings in early-stage to mature businesses covering a broad range of novel commercial innovations across the life sciences, technology and cleantech. The Group has a first class team, skilled at commercialising innovation.

Careers website


Kearney is a management consulting firm. Consultants at Kearney help the leaders of top  businesses and organisations solve their biggest and most important problems. We work in teams to help a company with a difficult business challenge such as reducing costs, introducing new products, expanding to a new country or implementing new technologies.

Kearney has offices in more than 40 countries with over 3,500 employees around the world. There are  150 people that work in the London office. This includes not only consultants, but many different jobs like  marketing, finance, accounting and human resources.


LaSalle Investment Management

LaSalle Investment Management is a leading real estate investment management firm. We only invest in real estate, bringing a unique focus and depth of expertise to the sector.

LaSalle operates in 17 countries and 24 offices worldwide. As an independent subsidiary of Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated (NYSE: JLL), one of the world’s largest real estate companies, we have a presence in every region of the world in which we invest.

At LaSalle, clients always come first. We understand our clients’ requirements, and design investment strategies and devise asset allocations to meet their objectives. We take our fiduciary responsibility seriously and are driven to deliver competitive performance while building long-term relationships.



Mako is a diversified financial services business with an established track record in trading, sales and advisory and asset management.

By challenging industry norms and embracing change, Mako aims to be at the forefront of its field, offering proven risk management and bespoke client services. Mako has a track record of consistent and long-term high performance underpinned by a dynamic and entrepreneurial culture.

Mako remains committed to trusted partnerships with investors, clients, counterparties and to social responsibility.

Careers website >


MarketAxess operates a leading, institutional electronic trading platform delivering expanded liquidity opportunities, improved execution quality and significant cost savings across global fixed-income markets. A global network of over 1,800 firms, including the world’s leading asset managers and institutional broker-dealers, leverages MarketAxess’ patented trading technology to efficiently trade bonds. MarketAxess’ award-winning Open Trading™ marketplace is regarded as the preferred all-to-all trading solution in the global credit markets, creating a unique liquidity pool for a broad range of credit market participants. Drawing on its deep data and analytical resources, MarketAxess provides automated trading solutions, market data products and a range of pre- and post-trade services. MarketAxess is headquartered in New York and has offices in London, Amsterdam, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, San Francisco, São Paulo, Hong Kong and Singapore. For more information, please visit www.marketaxess.com.

Singer Capital Markets

Singer Capital Markets are a leading investment bank dedicated to advising and funding ambitious growth companies in the UK.

We were founded in 2006 with the sole aim of servicing the UK mid and small cap market and have raised over £6 billion of equity for our clients over 13 years.

We have two central tenets that bind us together, our equity and our profit share. We strongly believe that as many people as possible should own the equity. As a result, over 80% of our employees own shares in our business and currently 22 are Equity Partners owning over 0.5%. The profit share has the same ethos – if you are doing a great job for our firm, then you should be on the profit share.


Royal Bank of Canada

Royal Bank of Canada is a premier investment bank that provides a focused set of products and services to institutions, corporations, governments and high net worth clients in over 100 countries.

We understand that the first steps in any career in finance are critical. With that in mind, we have the right formula to provide you with the opportunities and professional development you need to turn those first steps into a rewarding career.

You’ll be part of a company with a superior financial track record, credit rating and reputation. In fact, we maintained a high credit rating throughout the recent financial crisis.

Working at one of the world’s leading investment banks means you will benefit from the breadth of opportunity, depth of resources and quality of training that comes from our size, experience and strength. It will also give you the chance to work regularly with world-class clients and colleagues.
In short, we provide the essential components to get your career off to a great start.

Approx. Hiring numbers:
100 +

Application details:

For further details of our programmes and how to apply, please visit our website.

Careers website >

Simmons & Simmons

Simmons & Simmons is a leading international law firm with fully integrated teams working throughout Europe, the Middle East and Asia. The firm’s vision is to continue to be a leading global law firm through our sector focus, which is underpinned by our ambition to provide our clients with high quality advice and deliver value through new ways of working.

From our offices in major business and financial centres throughout Europe, the Middle East and Asia, we view the world through the lens of our key sectors: asset management & investment funds, financial institutions, life sciences, and technology, media & telecommunications. These key sector teams are drawn from the core practice areas of: corporate, competition & regulatory, dispute resolution, employment, pensions & employee benefits, financial markets, information, communications & technology, intellectual property, projects, real estate, and tax.

Trainee Profile

Simmons & Simmons is interested in finding out about your academic successes but will also explore your ability to form excellent interpersonal relations and work within a team environment, as well as your levels of motivation, drive and ambition through all stages of the application process and beyond. Show us evidence of this as well as examples of your intellectual capabilities and we will provide you with everything you need to become a successful member of our firm.

Training Environment

Simmons & Simmons has training contract opportunities in our offices in London and Bristol open to law and non-law students and graduates. Our training programme is constantly evolving to build the skills you will need to be successful in the fast moving world of international business. During the training contract, trainees complete four six month seats in different practice areas ensuring you will have a broad legal experience and a balanced, integrated approach to gaining the knowledge, expertise and abilities you will need to qualify in the practice area of your choice.

Vacation Placements

The firm’s internship schemes are one of the primary means of selecting candidates for a career at Simmons & Simmons. Your placement in our London or Bristol office will enable you to gain a first-hand experience of a busy and dynamic international law firm, with exposure to the deals and transactions the firm works on.


The firm offers a maintenance grant of £7,000 for the GDL and £7,500 for the LPC.

Careers website >

TD Securities

With more than 3,500 people in 12 offices around the world, TD Securities provides a wide range of capital market products and services to corporate, government and institutional clients who choose us for our knowledge, innovation and experience in the following key areas of finance:

  • Investment and Corporate Banking
  • Capital Markets
  • Interest Rate, Currency and Derivative Products
  • Commodities

Our services include the underwriting and distribution of new debt and equity issues, providing advice on strategic acquisitions and divestitures, and executing daily trading and investment needs.

With our history of delivering results, we’ve developed considerable strengths, including recognized trading expertise and street-level market intelligence that we use to consistently create value for our clients.

As a leading investment dealer with offices in key global financial centres, we recruit high-calibre, diverse talent to be our future leaders. Our new employees work with experienced colleagues and have an opportunity to make a real difference for our clients right away.

TD Securities is a performance culture that offers a challenging and rewarding career with excellent opportunities for advancement. Come join our winning team and get on the front line faster.

Careers website >


Tradeweb Markets builds and operates many of the world’s leading financial marketplaces, providing market participants with greater transparency and efficiency in fixed income, derivatives and ETF trading. Focused on applying technology to streamline the trade lifecycle, Tradeweb pioneered straight-through-processing in fixed income and now supports an integrated workflow for more than 20 marketplaces with electronic execution, processing, post-trade analysis and market data. Tradeweb Markets serves the dealer-to-customer markets through the


Tradeweb institutional platform, inter-dealer trading through Dealerweb, and the US-based retail fixed income community on Tradeweb Direct. Customers rely on Tradeweb to drive the evolution of fixed income and derivatives through flexible trading architecture and more efficient, transparent markets.

Overview of the Big City Bright Future Programme 2024

Big City Bright Future is a paid 3-week internship programme for IntoUniversity students in Year 13/S6, their final year of college or on a gap year. The Internship will take place 1st - 19th July 2024 in London and Edinburgh.

If you are from outside London, your accommodation and travel will be supplied by IntoUniversity.

There are 20 partner firms with places for up to 180 students and the programme aims to accelerate student’s career paths by providing high quality work experience before university.

You will be paid £1,499 if successful on the programme.

For all enquiries please email bcbf@intouniversity.org.

Preparation sessions

As part of the application process, IntoUniversity hosts Prep Sessions. These sessions focus on the Written Application, CV Writing, Interview and Networking Skills. You will hear from our corporate partners and alumni; ensuring you give yourself the best possible chance in your application.

You will receive extra points on your application by attending the Prep Sessions.

If you are a student who has not worked with IntoUniversity before, you will need to attend at least one of either the Application or CV Prep Session before you are eligible to apply.

NOTE Each Prep Session will have multiple dates. The sessions will be the same, you can choose the date which best suits you, there is no need to attend more than one of each session.

Prep Sessions will run from November - December 2023

Application and Interview process

Your Application

Applications Open - Friday 1st December 2023

The first stage of the application is a series of questions and submission of your CV. This will allow IntoUniversity to assess your motivation and drive for the programme, whilst getting to know your personality. On your application you will be asked to express your industry and firm preference. This allows IntoUniversity to assess which firm should interview you (if you are successful to that stage).

You will be awarded marks based on your answers to the questions and the information on your CV, and the total number of marks determines whether you have made it onto the next stage.

To gain support with your application or CV, get in touch with your local IntoUniversity Centre. The team at the Centre can arrange a 1:1 session to support you with your application.

Applications for BCBF 2024 are now closed.

Interview and Assessment Centre

This stage of the programme will take place during the half term in April 2024.

The Assessment Centre will involve:

  • Welcome & Introduction
  • Group activities
  • Alumni speaker with Q&A
  • Individual interview with corporate volunteers

The individual interview will last 30 minutes and will be a series of competency and scenario based questions.

You will be allocated an interviewing firm based on your industry and firm preferences expressed through your application.

Specific dates and a timetable will be provided closer to the time.

The Internship

Your internship will be in London (and Edinburgh for Scottish applicants) from 1st July - 19th July 2024 (excluding weekends).

Your allocated firm will be chosen by a number of factors, including your preference shown throughout the application, firms recommending students and being impressed at interview, suitability to the industry and firm.

Week 1 – Bootcamp (London)

One-week initial training facilitated by an external facilitator Seth Wainwright focusing on soft skills such as presentation skills, effective team working and commercial awareness. This week is designed so you can excel during your firm placement.

Weeks 2 & 3 – Work Experience (London/Edinburgh)

You are allocated to a firm for two weeks of work experience. The aim is to develop core skills, get a better understanding of day-to-day life in the organisation, work with a team on an assigned project and interact with senior management.

Week 3 – Final Day

On the final day you come back together as a group. This is a chance to reflect on how the programme has gone, what you have learnt and how you plan to take this experience forward to help you with your time at university and beyond.


Applications for Big City Bright Future will open on Friday 1st December 2023 and close on Wednesday 3rd January 2024. Please note - the internship is only open to Year 13/S6 students and young people in their last year of college/sixth form or on a gap year who are part of the IntoUniversity programme. If you would like to find out more about our eligibility criteria please get in touch with bcbf@intouniversity.org.

Each student accepted on to the 3-week programme will be paid £1,499 at the end of their placement. Please note - applicants need to provide documents proving right to work in the UK in order to be onboarded by the firms, i.e. a passport, driving licence, bank statement, birth certificate, etc.

We recommend business dress for the programme. Each of the firms taking part will have a slightly different dress code that they will inform you of. The most casual dress you should dress is smart casual. If you have any questions or concerns about dress code or accessing business dress clothing, please contact bcbf@intouniversity.org.

If you have a commitment that cannot be changed (i.e. interview, family wedding, etc.), please get in touch with your IntoUniversity centre contact to discuss. We do not encourage missing any part of the paid programme, but we understand that some things are unavoidable.

Students will be provided with a food voucher to cover lunch during the first five days of bootcamp. You will need to bring in or pay for your own lunch during the rest of the programme.

For students living in Scotland: Accommodation and travel cards will be provided for the bootcamp and final day in London, but will not be provided while you complete your internship in Scotland.

For students living outside Scotland and outside London: Accommodation and travel cards will be provided for students living outside of London.

For students living in London: Accommodation and travel cards will not be provided if you already live in London.

Please contact bcbf@intouniversity.org or your IntoUniversity centre contact if you have any questions or concerns regarding travel arrangements or accommodation for the duration of the BCBF programme.

We aim to inform students about which firm they have been allocated to up to two weeks before starting the programme. Please note - whichever firm or team you join, you will still gain an invaluable experience.

Please contact IntoUniversity by emailing bcbf@intouniversity.org for more details and how to get involved.

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