"I'm Italian and I've begun my banking career in Dublin and Frankfurt"

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I'm Italian and I'm just beginning my career in banking. I graduated top of my class and I want to work for a global company with interesting career opportunities. I've just started a new job in Dublin and until recently I was interning in Frankfurt - the two cities which Morgan Stanley president Colm Kelleher says could house Morgan Stanley's European HQ if the UK leaves the European Union and there's a 'Brexit.'

Why aren't I starting out in London? For the moment, it's just worked out this way. Like almost everyone I know, I would like to work in London - and I've already lined something up there for the autumn, so I will do soon. However, after working in Paris and Frankfurt I can tell you there are some pretty big advantages to avoiding the City.

Firstly, it's actually better for your career to start out away from London. You get much better exposure in a Paris or a Frankfurt than the City - the teams are smaller and everyone knows each other. This also makes life easier if you're looking for a new job.

Secondly, there are cultural advantages. Dublin is not as fast-paced as London. Some people might say that's a disadvantage, but it has its upsides. Working here is more relaxed and because Dublin is a small city, everything's within walking distance, which makes it healthy too.

And then - of course, there's the cost of living. In Dublin, I'm spending around €850 (£653) a month for a single room in a nice area near the city centre. Friends in London are spending far more of that to live in far worse places. Frankfurt is even cheaper though - it's cheap compared to Dublin and it's incredibly cheap compared to London. Even better, salaries in Frankfurt are pretty similar to London levels.

As I said, I do absolutely plan to work in London - but I don't necessarily plan to stay. London is somewhere you pass through. Ultimately, I'd like to settle in Zurich - one of the best cities in the world for work-life balance and quality of life. London, Dublin and Frankfurt have nothing on that.

Photo credit: Bahadir Yeniceri

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