The programme was online, which made it more difficult to complete some of the tasks. I appreciated the effort to still run it despite COVID and I think the team has done a great job. The reaction was a great one and I was surprised by the robustness of the virtual programme even with such short notice. Some people were more difficult to reach and, as an intern, it was difficult to get some relevant permissions. Otherwise, it was a top-quality programme where I learned a lot by talking to smart and highly trained people.
I liked how my team gave me a task to suit my skills as well as possible. There was constant communication and my buddy made sure I was constantly learning about the desk. Finally, when I presented my work, people assured me it is something they would be using day-to-day to improve their work. That made me feel my work was appreciated. This is a very important aspect especially to boost confidence at the beginning of a career.
I was given a big task that I was supposed to be working on for two weeks and I had some minor daily tasks on the side. The big task was well supported by feedback cycles and insights into the desk's work. The minor tasks were not as carefully addressed but I do not think that was a negative thing in itself. Not getting constant answers made me realize how busy the job can get sometimes and made me take more initiative myself.
I managed to organize my long-term work so that I achieve relevant checkpoints at given times. There were a lot of meetings to attend and I realized just working is not enough. The day was filled with project work, daily tasks, networking and possible other internship-wide tasks. It was busy and I had to be proactive in my work. I liked that and I think it boosted my productivity. There was nothing that was unmanageable.
There was not too much responsibility compared to full-time work. This is especially because, as an intern, I would not interact with clients. That is probably the most demanding part of the sell-side job. I was given a long-term project and mini-tasks on the road. I knew that my work could possibly be used on the desk afterwards, which is definitely an indicator of responsibility. However, I did not do live trading and I did not take risk.
I am studying Mathematics and Statistics and my work was related to finance. There is not a direct implication from finance to Mathematics necessarily. However, the desk I was working with was dealing with fairly mathematically driven products. On top of that, anything in trading can be expressed in terms of probability and I like to think statistically most of the time. What happens in the long run? Does long-run matter? How confident am I? I think for people who want to see it, there is a nice connection between Maths & Stats and Finance, especially trading.
It is improperly called office if we are talking about virtual work experience, but I really liked my colleagues and how opened they were to talk. Everybody was friendly and I could talk with senior people just as much as with junior people. I value this kind of culture where experience and inexperience people get to spend time working together. It would be easier to assess this aspect from within the office, but I understand from others it is not far from the virtual experience.
I really want to congratulate the Human Resources team for being able to move such a programme online in the shortest time. I understand it was not trivial and it took resilience and effort to do so. There were aspects which were inconvenient with the working from home, but you cannot expect everything to be like in the office. Those were natural consequences of the situation rather than bad planning from the people who organized.
About half of the programme was dedicated to just learning and training. That proved the company is not willing to extract every second of work from us, but it would rather have us working efficiently and being knowledgable when doing so. I think the investment was considerable given the price of financial education in general. I was really happy with that, not necessarily because I could not have learned finance on my own, but because I know the company is willing to invest in young talent.
Working from home
I already received an offer to come back full time and I am really excited about that. The company appreciated my work and extended an offer even though we are dealing with economic uncertainty when many other organizations are cutting the jobs. It was also useful to speak to other people who have gone through the same internship programme and they are now in very senior positions. That motivated a young individual to work hard knowing their position depends on them.
Colleagues were very helpful and they were friendly as well. We kept in touch for the duration of the programme and we are still keeping in touch. It was nice to see so many smart young people in the same place. All of us had different experiences, all of us were from different schools and there was a lot of diversity. I would like to congratulate the bank for doing such a good job of recruiting.
Worked during covid, N/A
Internship (1-4 Months)
13th August 2020