The experience was extremely well structured and provided great insight into the industry as a whole as well as company specific details. Overall the internship consisted of an introductory week, followed by two weeks of formal finance training and finally the remainder of the time was spent with an assigned team. This combination enabled content to be delivered in the form of talks as well as practical application of knowledge, which enhanced the learning experience. Furthermore, careful attention was paid to the challenges faced as a result of the virtual nature of the internship and the support network enabled queries to be handled with ease, in a timely manner.
Throughout the program interns were given responsibility to complete tasks both independently and within the team. When working within the teams, it was clear that our contribution was valued by the other members. Furthermore, interns were actively encouraged to reach out to all members of the team, who were extremely happy to organise a time to connect with each intern over the phone. This was the case across the levels of the firm, enabling interns to interact with and gain insight from a range individuals with different experiences.
During the first two weeks support was provided mainly in the form of the HR team and recruitment managers, who were able to answer any questions. Once team assignment had been confirmed, each intern received the details of three individuals who would remain key points of contact for the duration of the experience; a development office, mentor and buddy. This structure provided a great support system. Furthermore, each task completed was under the guidance of individuals in the team such that you were able to ask any questions you had.
The virtual nature of the internship, whilst challenging, also provided the opportunity to develop some useful skills. Specifically, an ability to build a network and relationships with colleagues over the phone and also present to a panel over video call. The formal training covered all finance fundamentals necessary for completion of tasks during the internship, and also to ensure success within the industry going forwards. Furthermore, the ability to apply this knowledge in a practical sense enabled further consolidation of the information.
The internship was extremely well structured and could be categorised into three different sections. Initially, an introductory week provided talks on company strategy, building your skillset and also fundamentals for data manipulation and accounting. The formal training weeks which followed enabled a more in-depth foundation of financial accounting, financial modelling and valuation. Finally, the "on-desk" experience gave an insight into how the team operates, the kinds of tasks one would expect to complete as an analyst and the opportunity to engage with team members, asking any questions directly to the individuals.
Given the virtual nature of the program, which posed several challenges, the HR team endeavoured to enable interns to work collaboratively and engage with each other and their teams throughout the experience. Several social events were organised to facilitate this including virtual quizzes which were held at the start and end of the internship, virtual art classes and gallery tours. This enabled interns across the firm to collaborate, extending one's network beyond their team. Within each team, social events were also held weekly.
In terms of personal training and development, in addition to the detailed training provided at the start of the internship, an assigned development officer was key. Weekly contact with this member of the team enabled an intern's progress to be monitored, goals to be set and at the end of the internship, feedback to be given. Furthermore, the mentor and buddy system enabled personal career guidance to be delivered. Finally, the dedication of the team to engage with each intern provided interns with access to years of industry knowledge.
Throughout the internship, there was a particular focus on demonstrating the company culture. The introductory week was especially informative in this regard with talks on company strategy, growing responsibly and the importance of ESG. The Executive Speaker Series delivered during the program provided global insights from executives across the firm, clearly showcasing the importance of emanating the culture from the top-down. Finally, working within an assigned team enabled the company culture to be explored by interacting with individuals upholding the company values.
The virtual nature of the internship, whilst challenging, also provided the opportunity to develop some useful skills. Specifically, an ability to build a network and relationships with colleagues over the phone. Interns were actively encouraged to reach out to all members of the team, who were extremely happy to organise a time to connect with each intern over the phone. This was the case across the levels of the firm, enabling interns to interact with and gain insight from a range individuals with different experiences.
Other activities and opportunities outside of work are of key importance to the company. There are numerous employee networks, accessible to everyone in the firm, which host events and provide firm-wide networking. In addition, volunteering and employee giving is integral to the firm. Paid time off for volunteerism is provided across the business. During the internship all interns were given the opportunity to volunteer virtually, an extremely engaging and rewarding experience. Each team provides additional social activities, including sporting endeavours, which members are able to be involved in.
This virtual experience was of invaluable assistance in providing an insight into Investment Banking and aiding decision making with respect to careers. The formal training, exposure to individuals in the firm with years of industry knowledge and practical experience provided a solid foundation of industry and role specific knowledge. The collegiate nature of the teams, and firm in general, made it the best place to learn. The tasks were challenging, engaging and exciting to complete. The individuals were friendly, smart and driven.
Banking - Investment, Banking/Finance
3rd August 2020