Nomura organized an excellent 5-week virtual internship. The first two weeks comprised of training while the last three involved working within our allocated teams and on a personal project. I learned a lot during both phases of the programme and received an accurate insight into Investment Banking. We were given relevant tasks and were smoothly integrated into the team. During the programme we also had several calls with senior bankers as well as several socials with the intern class.
Everyone was really friendly and welcoming towards the interns. Both junior and senior bankers were eager to meet us, willing to provide support and available to take questions even when they had multiple other tasks to attend to. They reviewed our work with great care and always provided detailed feedback on our performance. They seem to perceive interns as potential colleagues more than anything else and as such they make an effort to integrate us into the team and expose us to their day to day work as much as possible.
I was expecting everything to be challenging in a remote environment. However, I was allocated a personal buddy who helped me put together my end-of-internship project and we had multiple calls throughout the programme. I was encouraged to ask questions whenever something was not clear and felt comfortable doing so. Oftentimes someone would show me how to do a task via screen-sharing, so working from home was less of a problem than I was anticipating it to be.
I did an internship in Investment Banking without having any prior experience with finance. This was of course a challenge, especially given that many of my fellow interns had studied Finance at Master's level and had completed multiple internships in banking or consultancy. However I learnt a lot during this programme and I feel that the knowledge and skills which I acquired would be useful even if I do not end up pursuing a career in IB.
Nomura is excellent at organising internship programmes. We received clear, efficient and timely communications at each step along the way. We were assisted with all the technological requirements that enabled us to work from home and had several sessions and events beyond our work on the desk. The two weeks of training were a great addition to the programme and were conducted very efficiently via Zoom. We also had a Panel Session with business representatives from different divisions which was helpful in exposing us to the work of other teams as well.
The general atmosphere was friendly and open. Investment Banking can be stressful at times even for a junior, and completing the individual projects in such a short timeline was challenging. However we did receive support from the team when we needed it and we were also happy to help each other out. I felt that my team was truly close-knit, juniors and seniors alike, and they all made an effort to stay in touch with us and to have weekly group catch-ups.
I believe Nomura couldn't have done more for us in five weeks. I would again mention the trainings in Excel and Financial Fundamentals, which were very comprehensive, with excellent materials and supplementary resources -- for which we were given three months of subscription. We also had a session on communication and public speaking, which felt more like an icebreaker for the first few days of the programme. In a normal environment, I know they would also have dinners and social events; but we had to miss out on these given the pandemic.
I believe the virtual experience proved that one needs not be in the office to be productive and deliver good work. I felt that we were given the same kind of tasks that we normally would and worked the same hours. Having a personal project also helped us understand the broader range of deliverables that an analyst would have. The virtual internship was 4 weeks shorter than their standard programme but I felt it was an accurate depiction of what the full time role would look like.
I had plenty of exposure to my team members as well as to business representatives from different teams. Had I been in the office, I would have probably been more proactive in approaching bankers; yet I think this was achievable even by phone or video conferences. I think I now have a good grasp of the dynamics within an investment banking team as well as a better understanding of the features that distinguish Nomura as a financial institution.
I believe internships should be a realistic snapshot of the actual full-time role and I am grateful that my programme was like that. I was familiar with what a role in Investment Banking would entail but having a first-had experience is definitely valuable. I learnt a lot about how my team operates, what kind of tasks I would have as a junior, what types of clients we would work with and what my daily schedule would look like. I that now I can choose my career with good knowledge of what would await me.
Given the short amount of time we spent on the desk, we had surprisingly many calls with bankers from our team as well as the opportunity to reach out to other teams if we wanted to. They were all very happy to share their experiences and to talk about their careers, but also took an interest in us as interns and looked after our progress while we were part of the team. The culture of collegiality at Nomura is highly visible.
We had weekly social events via zoom, not only with the IBD interns but also with the wider class from Global Markets and Technology. They were a pleasant break from work every Thursday as well as an opportunity to find out what kind of tasks people from different teams do. I feel that the interns connected really well even if we only met each other virtually and I really enjoyed talking to them -- they were an amazing class.
I would definitely recommend Nomura to my peers. I imagine that the standard internship would be even more enjoyable and insightful, but I think they did an excellent job organizing the programme given the challenges that came up during Covid-19 times.
7th August 2020