As part of Aviva's future adviser programme, 35 business undergraduates from seven universities have been selected to attend a two-day assessment centre.
The top 10 gold finalists will join a six-week summer internship with Aviva and leading adviser firms.
Candidates have been chosen from more than 70 entries to the programme in which students were asked to write an article on an issue facing the financial advice sector.
Angela Seymour-Jackson, intermediary and partnerships director for Aviva, said the sector is anticipating a drop in the number of financial advisers at a time when adviser firms are telling us they are struggling to recruit high-quality people."
She said: "The programme makes it easier for quality firms to attract high-calibre graduates through raising the profile of the sector and encouraging graduates to pursue a career in financial advice. The future adviser programme aims to prepare graduates to get off to a dynamic and successful start with a quality advisory firm."
Alec Ruthven, director of Somerset-based A M Ruthven & Associates, said anything that bring fresh blood into the industry is a good thing.
He said: "I know that the industry needs fresh blood coming in at the start of people's careers. IFAs as a demographic are an ageing one.
"There are lots of small advisers scattered around the country they cannot always train up new and young advisers."