Ritika Mulagalapalli is currently a fourth year undergraduate student at IIT Kanpur. She interned with Capital One during the summers of 2016. Read on as she recounts her experience
I was undecided about whether to sit for SPO internships until the end of my second year summers. Finally, I decided to go for it and give it my best shot. Since I had decided so late, I went relatively unprepared into the internship season.
I wasn’t sure about the work that I was interested in, so I applied to most companies I was eligible for. In retrospect, this allowed me to go with an open mind and look at various opportunities I had never considered before. The process of preparing for these companies and sitting for tests also made me realize some of the things I was sure I wasn’t interested in. For instance, the technical test for Texas Instruments brought back dreadful memories of courses I hated, and I knew that it was not an option for me.
Capital One conducted an aptitude test that had simple data interpretation questions. We were allowed to take calculators, and that helped since it was a timed test. An interesting aspect of this test was that we were not allowed to go back to a question after submitting it. That made things a little tricky, since we had to decide quickly if we wanted to leave a question or not. The students who cleared the aptitude test were allowed to sit for the interviews which were case studies and questions about the resume we had submitted. There were three panels and most students had to give interviews at all three panels. Some of us had fewer panels, and I only had to give one interview. However, after the case study I was also asked to solve a simple puzzle and asked if I had prior experience in coding.
Capital One made it clear from the start that we were going to be pampered to the fullest extent. As soon as we got our results, they took us to Lucknow to have dinner at the Taj. We got to meet a few employees throughout the year during placements and placement PPTs, and also got to attend a session in Bangalore to meet the other interns and get to know more about the company.
The internship itself was an 8 week programme. Most of the first week went into training and getting acquainted with our respective teams. The Bangalore office had two major divisions, US Card and Data Labs. While both divisions worked in analytics, Data Labs had more coding intensive projects. I was in the Anti-Money Laundering (AML) team under Data Labs. I had to look into methods used to investigate people to detect accounts involved in money laundering and was tasked with trying to figure out ways to automate these methods and make them less manual. I started by going through general whitepapers on the topic, and by looking into current methods that were being used by other banks. My project was open ended and though it was frustrating at times, with guidance from my manager and other members of my team, I was able to successfully implement a proof of concept. Other than work, I also got to roam around Bangalore on the weekends, and even visited places like Pondicherry and Coorg.
The last week of the internship went into making PPTs and presenting the work we had done, and ended with high-tea at Taj where we were given mementos and certificates. If you want a career in banking, or if you are not sure what you want to do, but want to experience corporate life, Capital One is a good place to start at. To conclude, I would say that I thoroughly enjoyed the entire experience and got to make a whole lot of new friends, and will definitely cherish the time I had there.
Written by Ritika Mulagalapalli