Leone Smith

Analyst in Commodities Derivative Operations

  • Economics and Philosophy
  • Nottingham, University of
  • Internship (1-4 Months)
  • Morgan Stanley

What made you apply to Morgan Stanley?

Before starting my applications I attended many of the career presentations put on at my university by all of the big financial services firms. For me Morgan Stanley really stood out as a firm which values its people, offering a very supportive environment with a large focus on continued learning. Since this internship would be my main introduction to finance as a working environment this really appealed to me.

“I had the opportunity to build relationships outside of my team and so gain a greater understanding of the industry as a whole”

How much responsibility were you given during your placement / internship?

As soon as I started my internship my team gave me a project to complete. I took ownership of it, and while my team was there for support, it was up to me to go out of our department and build relationships across the firm to gain the information I needed. As my knowledge grew I gained more responsibilities - sending out weekly updates to senior management and attending client meetings as well as assisting towards the team’s main projects.

What advice would you give to someone planning their placement / internship?

During my internship everything was more about your willingness to learn than the knowledge you arrived with. My advice would be to ask as many questions as possible and do as many of the training sessions available as you can to learn as much as you can! Get involved with your team and attend all the social events. As well as making your internship much more fun and social, the relationships you leave with could be invaluable in the future.

Analyst in Commodities Derivative Operations

What did you enjoy most about your placement / internship?

I really enjoyed the project I was given to manage; I gained valuable experience owning and managing it from start to finish. I had the opportunity to build relationships outside of my team and so gain a greater understanding of the industry as a whole. I also enjoyed the atmosphere of the firm. Everyone was very friendly and helpful. There were several events and training opportunities which help you network internally and get the most out of your time there.

How has this placement / internship affected your career prospects?

At the end of my internship I applied for a full-time position and was really pleased when I found out I’d been successful. Apart from giving me this first step up onto the career ladder, my internship has made me certain that this is the industry, and firm, for me. Through my internship I’ve gained invaluable industry experience, applied the skills I learnt at university and proved how effectively I can work within such a firm.

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