Nomura Research Institute, or NRI, is a Japanese consulting firm offering Financial IT Solutions, Consulting Services, Industrial IT Solutions, IT Platform Services, Cyber Security Services, and Digital Marketing Services.
Motivation for taking up this field
I was mainly interested in consultancy and core. Consultancy was more appealing among the two since it's pretty generalistic, and you get the flavour of a wide variety of industries. Your job, expertise, and tasks vary from project to project; for example, in one project, you can learn about the medical industry, while in another, you can learn about the automobile industry. This idea interested me a lot, so I chose consultancy as it wasn't monotonous work, and I will have the opportunity to try my hand at a wide variety of skills.
It is important to show diversity and peaks. So, you have to show that you didn’t only participate in diverse events; you excelled and did well there. So you might have participated in 10 different activities, but it won’t matter unless you have something to show for it. Being an inter-IIT swimmer, I had represented IITD there and had won medals, so that was a good peak for me. I was the hostel aquatics team captain, held some other PORs, and was good in Academics. Academics is a priority, so you should always keep your academics well.
There was no written test; it usually doesn't happen for consultancy firms; it is usually CV shortlisting followed by interviews. Consultancy interviews typically ask you guesstimates and case studies which involve a lot of analytical thinking and quantitative analysis and giving a conclusive hypothesis at the end. While the second part of the interview comprises an HR round, they ask you about yourself, your motivation and sometimes even CV points.
You must communicate well; you don't need to use fancy words or have a very classy accent. It's just that you should be able to speak clearly about what you are thinking. Apart from this, you don't need to show a lot of skills as you are applying for an internship, and those people know that you have no idea how the industry or corporate world works. They look at you and try to see if you can handle the task you are given or not. They will take you if you can reason and think clearly and have basic analytical and reasoning skills. They teach you all the fundamental skills required to do your job.
There are four pillars in Nomura; I was in the ISCG pillar, the Investment and strategy consulting group. I got the opportunity to work on four projects from very diverse fields. We primarily scraped the internet to collect data for our project topic and presented our research, which eventually helped our clients establish new businesses or expand existing ones. Clients come to us with questions like what is happening in this market, like manufacturing or automobile, and we give them our analysis based on the research. It involved ground to top research about an industry, and this type of research helps anyone look into the country's actual scenario. So, if I had to search any sector or background thoroughly, I had to look at government policies and whether the government is supporting them, where it originated, what kind of market it had in India, basically everything about that industry. I also did some forecasting and predictions for some companies.
In Nomura, we had a flat hierarchy, so I could easily contact all my seniors all the way to the top, from my mentors who were right above me all the way to my pillar head. They were all very friendly and helpful, and I could contact them anytime and ask even petty questions. In fact, they encouraged me to ask all this because they were aware that I am from a technical background, and we don’t know how these things work out. I didn’t have any specific hours like 9-5, being work from home, everyone in the company had the liberty to work as per their convenience. We usually set deadlines for ourselves and had to commit to them, it didn’t matter when you did your work, and in consultancy work, it doesn’t usually matter. Unfortunately, all my work was from home, and I didn’t get a chance to visit the offices.
In terms of working hours, I had a mix of both, there were days when I was relaxing, and I had a very basic job, which got completed in a couple of hours; and there were days when I had to stay awake late and wake up early in the morning to complete my task. The time you devote to your internship depends on the project you are working on. There can be days where you don’t sleep, and there might be days where you don’t work at all.
Takeaway for juniors
There is no blank statement or procedure that you can use to ace the consultancy interviews. People from very diverse backgrounds can crack the interviews and can land internships. Gather inputs from a diverse set of people and chart your own path.
Interviewd by: Tushar Srivastava