Arnab Dey is currently a fourth year undergraduate student at IIT Kanpur. He interned with Deutsche Bank during the summers of 2016. Read on as he recounts his experience.
I have just come back from Mumbai after probably two of the most productive yet enjoyable months of my life. Here I am writing about my internship experience at Deutsche Bank drenched in nostalgia of all that happened over the last two months.
Deutsche Bank (DB) was one of the first companies to come to campus and one of the few to offer a role in finance. Exploring finance and investment banking as a career option, the opportunity to gain a broad perspective of businesses and the aspirational value associated with the internship in our campus were pivotal factors that motivated me to apply for the internship..
We had a three tier process comprising of resume shortlisting, a group discussion and a few rounds of personal interviews. For preparation, it is absolutely necessary that one has a thorough knowledge of anything and everything on his/her resume. A broad understanding of the current affairs in financial markets globally and any previous experience in finance will surely help one during the process, though the latter is not mandatory by any means. I was mostly grilled on the finer details of my projects and on a few current trends in global markets. Also, it is essential that the candidate should have a precise idea of what interests him/her in finance and in the internship.
Deutsche Bank Centre, the unit that hires students for the internship is an offshore entity that services the various onshore offices of the bank worldwide. The corporate finance division at DB is broadly divided into three units, IBC&A (Investment Banking, Coverage and Advisory), ECM (Equity Capital Markets) and DCM (Debt Capital Markets). These units in turn have teams catering to different sectors like natural resources, financial institutions & industrials, and geographies like EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa), Asia & ANZ (Australia and New Zealand). Interns from our campus were a part of the various IBC&A and ECM teams this year.
The First Week
From the chauffeur driven BMW at the airport to the luxurious stay at ‘The Leela’, the first week in Mumbai was an experience in itself. On the work front, the first week comprises training to help one get acquainted with basic accounting, financial statements and fundamentals of valuation methodologies. Though the learning curve for the training was steep for most of us as we had no formal background in finance, at the end of the day, it was an enjoyable experience as we learnt a lot.
After the training, we were informed about the teams that we would be working with during the next seven weeks. The rest of the internship can be broadly divided into two tiers, desk work and one’s individual project. Desk work comprises of helping the colleagues in one’s team on pitch books (presentations by the bank to win mandates from companies), live deals and much more. Initially, a lot of time is spent in reading stuff up and getting acquainted with the intricacies of the sector. Gradually, one starts getting more work from the team. The team ensures that the intern understands the work that he/she is doing and how that fits into the overall job that the team is working on. One also gets to work with his/her team members in the onshore offices, which gives an insight into how work is done with teams sitting out of different geographies.
Everyone gets to work on an individual project that needs to be presented to the senior management in the bank at the end of the internship. A wide variety of projects are given to the interns, varying from buy and sell side pitches to fairness opinions to defense pitches. There is nothing to worry about if you don’t understand any of that now, as that is the case with most interns and this is what makes the learning experience during the internship a very enriching one.
The Business Spotlight sessions, which were 30 minute sessions held twice a week, informed us about the various teams that work out of our floor. These sessions are one of the highlights of the internship as they give a perspective on the various businesses the bank is involved in across the breadth of its financial services offerings.
While the working hours during the internship were significant, that did not stop us from having loads of fun during the internship. The floor in itself was a very happening place with a very young workforce which made working there a very fun-filled and an enjoyable experience. From football discussions (the Euros were on then) to watching Wimbledon, to floor banter, the working environment on the floor was absolutely amazing!
While the weekdays involved quite a lot of work, the weekends were the most fun! From the fancy delicacies in the five star to the vada pavs and pav bhajis on the streets, the food in Mumbai kept us very busy! Also, we went to Marine Drive, Leopold Café among other places.
The flat hierarchy at Deutsche is one of the highlights of the work culture there, anyone and everyone on the floor will be willing to listen to your doubts and help you out. Everyone is approachable irrespective of how senior he/she is and this makes for a conducive learning environment.
All in all, the internship is a great learning experience and is a great platform for someone willing to ply their trade in the world of finance. The insights and learnings that one can pick up in this relatively short period of time are invaluable and do end up giving a better understanding of how a lot of things work in finance.
Written by Arnab Dey