Every fresher is told to explore as many opportunities available in the first year as they can. So I had friends from different circles. The ones in debating preferred consulting, and those in CS wanted to do something around ML. Being in ME2, I felt that it is essential to have an open mind and not get fixated on certain options. In my second year, I had a diverse set of courses from SBL to COL along with statistics and economics. I enjoyed them all, and hence I did not have any specific preference about which company or path I would like to have an internship under. I applied to all the companies that I liked. I did not have a specific reason to go for FinTech.
FinMechanics does not have a CV shortlisting procedure, but I had prepared them intensively. One should not just apply with a consulting CV even though FinMechanics come with the consulting role, if you have done coding projects, preferably in Java, it would be a great plus. Our year did not have many Consulting companies except Nomura, Strategy& and hence I included the Projects section in my Consulting CV too which is unconventional. They do not have a branch bias or a CGPA cutoff while shortlisting. I did puzzles on Brainstellar and did coding problems regularly to be fairly thorough for the coding/quant rounds. The subscription to Prepleaf provided by OCS was also quite helpful along with the coding tests they conducted.
The procedure had a test containing four sections and two rounds of interviews if selected. Test performance mattered more than CV for getting an interview to shortlist. The four sections were split as follows and the test was conducted on Google Forms-
Your information and generic subjective questions such as “your biggest achievement”, etc.
Next was the math sections which tested concepts majorly from class 11th and 12th from Sequence and Series etc. There were also some general quant ques.
Next up was the coding section containing questions from OOPs, SQL and general syntax debugging,
The last section was related to your financial knowledge. Questions were asked about interest rates, equity, bonds, foreign exchanges, etc. Investopedia and CFI might be some good sites to go through them.
Once selected, two stages of the interviews were set up. In the first round, associate consultants asked questions about math, coding and our CV. Two problems were given, one was a puzzle regarding probability and the other was a variation of Binary Search. The important topics to prepare are basic Data Structures and Sorting.
The second round was where we were interviewed by the higher-ups of the companies, such as the directors. It had 5-6 people and can be intimidating. This round was HR-based. The questions asked were majorly subjective in nature. They even grilled us by giving us a variety of situations to see our confidence and thought process. Knowledge about the company’s field of work was helpful. Since it was my 4th interview, I was already accustomed to the process.
Even though FinMechanics comes under financial consulting, most of the interns would work in the product development side. However, we did get the opportunity to attend the meetings with the clients led by senior members of the company and give our inputs for the same. We developed products related to treasury management for companies to use, and we were majorly tasked with either building a new platform or maintaining the existing one and adding more features to them. All of these required both the knowledge of finance and coding.
FinMechanics only hires from IIT Delhi Bombay and Madras, and hence our seniors were from there and they became our mentors during the training. We were given two weeks of training lectures on concepts related to finance and coding. Financial components such as financial instruments, functioning of banks and forex trading were taught to us. The coding components had discussions related to Git, data structures, Web Development etc. We were supposed to work on remote AWS servers for which we were given a few days to get accustomed to the whole system. In case we had any doubts, we could approach our mentors.
We were split into various teams; an average team size consisted of 4-5 people. Some groups were developing products, and some had already developed products that required maintenance. I was involved with a team responsible for maintaining a pre-developed product.
After the midterm presentation of our work, we were also given a choice to switch our team and work in other fields. People were overall accommodating, and the hierarchy of the company was flat. We were told not to address our higher-ups as sir/ma’am, and if we did, they would return the salutation. At the end of the internship, there was a final evaluation and then we were bid goodbye by the entire team in a virtual farewell session.
The performance in Company’s test is more important than the resume because the majority of the companies focus on the scores. Hence the summer vacations before the internship process begins are integral for preparation. Even if you are not sure about the field you want to pursue, try to prepare for each of them and the journey in itself is insightful. About FinMechanics, it is a company that prefers students with diverse skill sets, and financial knowledge is an added positive. Hence I believe everyone who is interested has a fair chance to bag the offer. It is also a good option for those looking for PPOs as 5 out of the 7 interns selected for the company were offered one.
Interviewed by: Pratham Pahuja