What I enjoyed about my internship:
Everyone was very friendly and there is a collaborative atmosphere where you are encouraged to ask questions and approach people so you really felt part of a team that was supportive of each other rather than everyone trying to backstab each other to get ahead.
Training program was very comprehensive and very well structured. There were good resources and good teaching
What I did not enjoy:
Due to a quiet period I was not given enough work to do by my team so I was left idle for significant periods, having to create work for myself.
There was not enough on the job training as people were too busy with their own work to train you to do something for the first time and would instead prefer to do it themselves leaving you with no work and no training.
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I did not feel that I was valued by my colleagues in terms of work as I was not given much to do that was significant, though I was taken to a fair few meetings and got to listen in to many calls. I felt that the team valued my personality as they would chat to me and spend time getting to know me and going for after work drinks/ coffees etc...
When I asked for help on a task, my manager was happy to give me guidance and did spend time explaining how to do a task properly and would give me feedback and mark-ups. I was also given a lot of support and guidance on my project and had meetings with managers to discuss and review my progress.
It varied day to day but I was definitely a lot less busy than I expected to be on an IBD internship. It was not uncommon to be given NO work at all for whole days (I did ask multiple times throughout these days) but most days I would only be given one or two small tasks such as updating comps/ creating 1/2 slides for a pitchbook which did not fill the whole day (I stayed in office minimum 12h) so I had to spend the rest of the time researching/ reading news etc... and as a result I didn't gain as many skills as I had wanted.
As an intern, I expected to be given very little responsibility, and this was the reality. There is no client interaction as an intern and your work goes through your manager probably multiple times before it gets sent to a client/MD but I did get to contribute to pitchbooks used for client meetings so you do see your slides being used.
I have learnt many things about the team I interned with however due to lack of rotation I only know about this specific part of IBD which limits future applications as I have not gained the skills/ knowledge needed by other teams. However I do have a better understanding of IBD as a whole and how all the teams work together, as well as the skills gained from the training programme.
Office atmosphere was very good, although it is generally quite quiet on the desks, people do go round and chat to one another and have the occasional banter (love island/ world cup). Everyone is happy to chat to you and has time for a catch up/ will answer your questions and help you with something. The structure is very flat as well, the MDs/ EDs are all very approachable and will spend time getting to know you and answering your questions.
HR have a very well organised and well structured programme - the training week is especially good and there are social events scheduled throughout the internship. They also organised a mentoring scheme where you were given an individual mentor from another team which was helpful. It would be good to rotate between desks and maybe have networking sessions during the internship to meet other teams.
The training programme was excellent - the resources provided were great, the teachers were super enthusiastic and helpful and the week was well structured. The on the desk training was unfortunately not great and I feel that my skills are now lacking as a result - I did not use any of the training skills on the desk so much of what I learnt in the first week was forgotten rather than consolidated.
If the progress of on the desk training is as slow as it was on the internship then I would not consider taking a job with the team I interned with but would consider a different team. The analyst training programme would definitely be of a good standard but I am concerned whether the job would allow me to develop as fast as I hope as there is not enough deal flow.
Most social events involve going to the Oyster Shed after work on a Friday and there are subsidised drinks on the terrace which overlooks the shard on a Thursday night. HR also put on 2 social events - one at flight club and one at Bounce which were fun though they were mid-week which disrupted work flow during the week and left me very tired that week and many people choose not to come out afterwards due to this whereas it would have been more fun to have it on a Friday night so the interns can really have a night out together without worrying about work the next day.
In London it is obviously very expensive in terms of living costs but uni accommodation has cheaper rents and you can rent this out in the summer, food is subsidised and if you stay past 8pm you can get free dinner in the canteen. Tubes are expensive but there are many buses which are much cheaper and also you can get a free taxi home after 10pm. Alcohol is very expensive but you don't have time to go out that much anyway.
There are good bars/ pubs/ clubs all over London however most are very expensive e.g. Fabric = £20 and XOYO = £25 and a Pimms = £9 but the quality of places is very high and the choice is extensive. Many interns went out at least once every weekend and we all went out on the first weekend.
There were sports teams and activities outside of work that Nomura encourages and there is a gym which many interns used however I did not have time to do activities outside of work except going for runs. There was a charity challenge day one Friday where we all were put into teams and had to come up with an idea to raise money for charity and execute them in a competition.