I was delighted when I was selected for summer internship at Credit Suisse, Mumbai as a Prime Services Analyst in my third year. Being recruited as an intern at CS (Credit Suisse) was something I was looking forward to. For one, I have always envisioned working in a financial institution upon graduation. Interning at CS was therefore a big step towards fulfilling my goal. At the same time, it was a real test to determine if the long hours of banking would be suitable for me. Before the internship, I had very little idea about the kind of work done in an investment bank. Most of the information I had gathered about it was from random conversations with seniors working at IBs and reading novels like Random Walk, Liar’s Poker, Barbarians at the Gate, etc. All of us were given an orientation on our first day of work. Our human resource manager, Ackroyd Rodrigues, gave a comprehensive overview of the organization, the behavior expected from an intern, and the attitude to bring forth during the internship. We were briefed on the dress code suitable for CS corporate culture (which was mainly business casual), and how to get the most out of this internship (by asking questions to clear your doubts during appropriate times). There was initially a steep learning curve. I was introduced to various divisions within Prime Services, the role of each division and how they worked in tandem. The initial phase of the internship was more focused on reading about the various financial products and getting used to the jargon of the industry. I used to get my doubts clarified as often as I could. To add on to my initial clumsiness with the various platforms, I also had to make management reports to be sent to the various trading desks and senior officials. To be truthful, all these were very daunting at the beginning. As my manager said during the internship evaluation later on, the interns are made to learn a lot of things in a very short span of time. Through liaising with several teams, I have acquired a valuable skill of expressing myself concisely and with confidence.
As my ability to comprehend and utilize the systems improved over the weeks, I was eventually assigned two projects: Listed Derivatives Analytics on Tableau and Dividend Forecasting for SPX and NSE. Along with the daily deliverables, CS ensured that we had ample opportunity to interact with Senior Management starting with sessions by various Directors and Vice Presidents over lunch and ultimately with the Asian and Global CEOs of CS. The sessions were great fun. Apart from the free food, we got valuable inputs from people who have been there, done that. They spoke about their careers, the cross roads they faced, and gave valuable advice about our future prospects at CS and otherwise. We had a Philanthropy event in line with the CS policy of Giving Back to the Community wherein we demonstrated science experiments to kids from an NGO Vidya. The internship was not always about working hard. We had a lot of office parties, team dinners etc. I guess everyone goes the extra mile to be nice to the interns. We tried our hand in networking with a lot of people and received guidance from recent graduates and industry veterans. I would say that the internship was a great learning experience. I acquired new skill sets, made a lot of friends, got a taste of Investment Banking and experienced life in a new city. The working hours were long but I enjoyed my work.
I believe the aim of an internship is to recognize your interests and whether you really want to work in that industry or not. For me, this internship helped me decide that and gave me a head-start for the same. In conclusion, if you have an inclination towards the banking sector, start preparing early. Follow the news, read novels and do projects. Best of Luck!
This article was written by Atul Agarwal, fourth year undergraduate student in the Department of Civil Engineering at IIT Kanpur.
This article is a part of the thread My Internship Experience, as part of the Career Series to help and guide students in their internship and placement preparations.