At Angkor Wat
The third-year internship is often the first time one steps into the field that he will work in and is a major factor in helping a student decide his career along with imparting crucial work experience. To get an insight into what an internship in finance entails, we talk to Sarthak Vishnoi, who interned with Deutsche Bank at their Singapore office for his third-year internship.
I applied to the company through TnP and the company came on Day 1. The selection procedure consisted of two rounds: CV shortlisting and then an interview. The interview mostly tests your skills in probability, math and also your communication skills, general aptitude and reasoning. To prepare for the interviews, I brushed up on coding (with Data Structures and Algorithms and ADA being pretty relevant) and also the concepts of Probability. For puzzles, there’s a book titled “Heard on Wall Street” and a website, brainstellar.com (though Deutsche Bank did not ask that many questions, finance companies in general focus a lot on puzzles).
I am also pursuing a minor in economics, so that helped for a finance profile. In addition, my second-year internship in Singapore was also relevant to this field.
Motivation behind joining Deutsche Bank:
I was not really keen on going on a pure technical internship. I got an offer from Samsung Korea before DB but had kept DB above it on the preference list since I was primarily interested in finance after reading a lot about it. I had asked around and got to know that it would be difficult to get into this sector if I did not try for an internship in it (advice might vary person-to-person). The stipend was one of the highest offered at IITD, though that was not what attracted me towards DB.
As a disclaimer, DB is not expected to hire interns from campuses owing to a downturn. But for any future finance-based company, the fundae would still apply.
I worked with two teams during the course of my internship, the FX Options trading team and the Credit Structuring team. The job profile was related to trading, more specifically, my work was on pricing options based on volatility and market conditions. It was not coding intensive as such. I worked in VBA, the scripting language of MS Excel and an internal company software. In addition to the work I was doing, I also had to study a bit of finance-related material since everyone there had a strong background in the subject, having majored in it.
The work allotted was not as difficult as I’d imagined it to be. A lot of focus was on networking and meeting new people. Since it’s a global bank, I got to interact with people from all around the world. A cool fact: I was also the youngest intern there since Singapore has a compulsory National Service requirement for all citizens.
The work culture was awesome, though the hours were a bit long. I used to come in at 7:00-7:30 in the morning and leave anytime between 19:00-20:00. The weekends were free and I did not work at (all) home. Lunch is typically eaten at the desk, at least that’s what most people do. It was probably because a lot of time was devoted to meeting people and interacting with them about their work and life. Everyone was very friendly and easily approachable.
After a long week, Saturday was reserved for sleeping. I would travel around a bit on Sundays. I went to Cambodia too, visited Angkor Wat and the like. Some of my co-interns also went to Thailand and Malaysia.
It was a great, challenging experience and most importantly reaffirmed my interest in the field of finance and trading, as a career option. 10/10 would recommend.