GB World Championship Medallist Ross Jarvis Lands Dream Role at Global Bank & is Determined to Make a Mark

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Jarvis (2nd from right) Makes a Splash in First Finance Role
Jarvis (2nd from right) Makes a Splash in First Finance Role

After Ross Jarvis started his off-cycle internship at a global bank he was keen to make a mark and do everything in his power to secure his dream job. A month after wrapping up the internship he shared the news: he’d reached his goal and subsequently been offered a full-time position.

From his move to Australia, to his time at Harvard, to ultimately getting the national team call-up, rowing has certainly shaped his course of success. Combine that with an exemplary work-ethic, the ability to perform under pressure, and an ingrained commitment to excellence, Ross was destined for vocational ascendancy.

We got the chance to dig a little deeper into this journey, as he delivers key insights into the cross-over between sport and finance, the opportunities available for British student-athletes, and his tips for fellow athletes looking to also make a mark in the finance industry.

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How did you end up in rowing?

I was a 400m. runner and swimmer while I lived in England. My PE teacher sent me to the London Youth Games to take part in the indoor rowing event because I was fairly tall, so he thought I’d be good at it. I ended up winning it two years in a row, beating some actual rowers in the process. I decided after moving to Australia that I’d try out rowing on the water, because the weather there is much nicer, and ended up really enjoying it.


What has been your greatest achievement to date, and what did you learn most from it?

Getting a silver medal at the U23 World Champs. This is probably not the most glamorous prize, but is the definitely the one that I think was the most important in my career. It was the first time I competed on an international level, and our boat had only trained together for 4 weeks prior to the event, so I don’t think anyone expected we were going to do well, least of all me. But the fact we led the race for 1750m. and came away with a silver proved to me that maybe I was actually quite good at the sport and could compete internationally. It boosted my self-confidence a lot and was a huge factor in my decision to try for the GB senior team.


Ross Finds the Podium in Plovdiv
Ross Finds the Podium in Plovdiv

How has sport helped shaped who you are today? What characteristics do you think sport has given you?

The aforementioned feeling of self-confidence that followed my U23 experience carried over massively into all aspects of my life. An attitude of picking goals, working hard towards those goals and, most importantly, backing my efforts with confidence in my abilities has been the characteristic that sport has given me. I’ll never forget what it felt like to see my efforts translated into a performance I could proud of at Worlds, and I’m always going to strive to replicate that feeling in all aspects of my life.


What do you think the similarities between sport and finance are?

While I’m not an experienced finance professional, the impression I gleaned from the add-victor Internship illuminated two similarities. Firstly, in sport individual performance usually determines your selection, so you’re own individual performance is massively important and is made abundantly clear with a variety of performance metrics. The same can be said of traders, they have an individual performance indicator (P&L) and it’s very clear whether they are doing well or doing badly. Secondly, teamwork is hugely important in the financial world, as it is in sport. The traders are reliant on the analysts to inform their decisions, and on the sales team to bring in client business, and so a more coherent team results in better performance, exactly the same as in rowing or in any other team sport.


How did you come about your internship at a large multinational bank?

This internship was entirely organised by add-victor. I was put in contact with Steve White-Cooper (Founder) through a teammate and Steve organised everything from there. This internship was a way to break through the barrier of having no prior experience, get my foot in the door, and show people at the Bank that I (and athletes in general) know how to work high pressure jobs in team settings, and actually thrive in these kind of environments.

Harvard First Varsity VIII Standout
Harvard First Varsity VIII Standout

Do you think it’s important to have resources available for British student-athletes that are perhaps caught between two locations?

I personally think this is important. London is obviously a great location to start a career, but it can be daunting to try and enter the job market here independently. Firstly, because it’s so large that it can be hard to figure out where exactly the right place is to even start looking for work. Secondly, if you’ve studied in America and not done any internships in London, chances are you won’t have any points of contact here in London to help either. That’s what add-victor provided, a point of contact and a guidance through the noise of the London job market, straight to the best opportunities.

Jarvis (2nd from left) with his Leander Teammates at the 2018 Henley Royal Regatta
Jarvis (2nd from left) with his Leander Teammates at the 2018 Henley Royal Regatta

How would you rate the opportunities for elite-level athletes when it comes to internships/job opportunities?

I personally didn’t believe elite-level athletes had any better or worse opportunities for internships or jobs, simply because the decisions to hire are made on other factors, such as education and work experience. So, if anything athletes had worse opportunities because of their typically low level of work experience. However, this add-victor internship changed my opinion as everyone I interacted with at the Bank explained how the different perspective brought from my experience in sport was highly valued.

What advice would you give to an elite athlete exiting their respective sport who’s keen on a career in finance?

I’d tell them to get in contact with add-victor. If they do that, they’ll be talking directly to people who know the value of an elite athlete, and understand the situation they face, having spent the vast majority of their teenage years training rather than doing anything career related. add-victor will also have a plethora of advice and opportunities to offer the athlete, and thus guide them effectively into a career in finance.

Ross Finds his Rhythm on the Water

What do you think the most critical thing your recent internship has offered you?

It has offered me confirmation that I want to pursue a career in finance, and knowledge that I am not making a mistake when I decide that I want to commit my career to working in this sector.

Why do you think athletes tend to excel in the finance industry?

Because of the aforementioned similarities between finance and sport i.e. understanding the importance of individual performance and even finding it motivating, as well as the importance and functioning of teamwork. Beyond this, I believe successful athletes have a common ability to focus their efforts on long term goals resisting the temptation to waiver from these efforts. This is essential for finance which operates on a yearly basis with a variety of yearly targets. I think this scheme of work suits athletes, as they typically operate on yearly cycles with off and on seasons, or even quadrennial cycles with the Olympics.

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