I enjoyed it a lot! Whilst obviously not as in-depth as a 'normal' internship, it definitely felt as if Nomura tried their best to provide us with a well-rounded and engaging programme, and didn't skimp on any aspects. I felt that overall it was a fairly good balance of being challenging, but not impossible. I certainly enjoyed working with other interns, as I met lots of interesting people who were able to challenge my views and teach me new things.
I did feel valued, however again as a virtual internship there are certain things that just can't be replicated. But the HR team put on a number of events that were very reassuring in terms of how the internship would function, and they kept in contact over the entire internship process. The desk also made me feel valued by including me in their discussions and activities, which is all I could really ask for in this experience.
This was definitely one area where I felt the experience was well above my expectations. This came mostly from my desk, where my buddy and manager were both very approachable with any questions. Being on a trading desk, it was particularly hard to try and replicate the experience of being on the trading floor, and this was appreciated by all parties. However despite this, we had discussions which helped me to understand the job role and how different things work.
They will definitely help, I'm sure of that. The training week at the start of the programme provided me with very useful Excel skills, and a broader knowledge of the financial world. The group projects taught me a lot, since for many parts we had to do some research or learning on our own, which is a good way to make sure you really understand the fundamentals. The desk-related stuff, and being given a free license to ask questions, really helped improve my knowledge in that specific area.
I felt the order of the virtual experience was very good. The training week at the start was delivered very well, and was a great building block for the following 4 weeks. I think perhaps that I (and most of the collective group) may have been a little underprepared for the first group project, although this is partly our fault. Having said that, a slightly smaller first group project could have worked as an easing-in mechanism. But overall the structure was good.
The general atmosphere was good, and there was certainly an environment that encouraged collaboration (instead of one upmanship) and reaching out to people in any part of Nomura. This was excellent, as it meant that you could speak to people who were experts in different topics. I hadn't done an internship before this one, however from listening to friends/acquaintances experiences of other ones, I know that sometimes certain people or sections can seem or actually be closed off to juniors, especially interns. But that wasn't the case here.
Again, this was an area I felt was very well done. The training week was a really good experience, and was done in an interesting and enjoyable way while still being rigorous. In fact, this feeds into my slight criticism, which is that the learning programme in the subsequent weeks was less expansive than I'd hoped, although still very good. I think a day set aside each week purely for teaching would work well, but I recognise that there are impracticalities with that. Also, our learning development could have been checked more often.
I think it gave me an indication of the company culture, and a background to how the different desks and business functions interact and work with one another. But as a virtual internship, it's very hard to replicate the trading floor. So in terms of the day to day aspect of a full time role at the company, I'm still fairly unsure of how it would be, although this was something I asked about during discussions with my desk.
A lot! The sessions with the different Nomura employees were a great way of being exposed to a wide range of the company's operations. Further to this, the way in which reaching out to a range of people within Nomura was encouraged helped me realise that the culture was very open, even to juniors. There didn't seem to be a particular emphasis on hierarchy, and this is especially reassuring for interns as this could inhibit our confidence to expand our network and learn.
It was useful to an extent. As discussed before, a virtual internship can in no way fully replicate a day on the trading desk, which is what I think is a key consideration when deciding my future career path, the day to day matters a lot. But the content definitely made a career path in financial services seem interesting, as it was engaging, varied, and challenging. There was a multitude of different possibilities for your work function, which is what I like.
I was paid adequately for this internship.
7th August 2020