This year my project was mainly focused on implementing the firm's bespoke ESG rating framework, where I was placed in a specific industry and applied the framework to a number of firms. Otherwise, there were a number of "lunch and learn" sessions where I could learn more about other departments such as trading, quantitative research, investment directing and more. I also attended different strategy/alpha meetings where it was insightful to hear from Fidelity's portfolio managers and their views on the market.
During the internship, there were opportunities to develop your skills in any way you want - there were LinkedIn learning modules which were available free of charge, or for a more hands-on approach, employees in the office were always happy to sit down for 15 minutes to explain on what they do. I also had the chance to take a number of meeting minutes which I was able to send to the entire Fixed Income floor, which definitely helped towards being able to condense a large amount of complex information.
A high amount of responsibility was given during this internship, as each of the Fixed Income interns had their own set of companies that had not been yet rated using the new framework. We were free to use whatever methods we liked to approach assessing these companies. There was also the opportunity to reach out to companies and hold engagement meetings, so that was really useful in developing communication skills and also I felt I had an impact on the company's policies.
Each of us had a mentor (effectively our manager) and a buddy (graduate level) to aid us with any analysis and to answer any queries. There was generally a supportive environment and people across the firm were always happy to arrange a Zoom call to talk about any themes/queries/issues/thoughts. In terms of more technical concepts, the first week of the internship was spent with an external training provider to get all interns up to speed on financial concepts such as valuation, three statement analysis and forecasting.
The company culture was excellent - every Friday there would be a complimentary rooftop BBQ with a range of different cuisines, whether it be Korean, Indian or Argentinian. This was really good in increasing morale as there were not that many people in the office due to the pandemic. There were also other social activities such as football. However, there were little company-wide events or events organised for the interns, as I think Fidelity did not want to place excessive pressure on people coming into the office.
I certainly enjoyed my internship overall. I had the freedom to shape my own internship and learn more about the divisions that I liked, and this was really good in understanding which rotations I may like to do in the future. Furthermore, as part of the internship was spent working from home, the company sent us an "office in a box" which consisted of some work equipment such as a laptop, mouse and keyboard to better facilitate working from home.
During the application process, make sure to be yourself. Don't try to fit into what you think the company will like, as they aim to hire people from a range of different backgrounds (especially, in Fixed Income, as the graduate program consists of four rotations across different areas of the business). During the internship, make sure you are confident and reach out to as many people as you can, as Fidelity place a lot of value on networking.
Internship (1-4 Months)
16th September 2021