Regarding things the company could see on my CV, my CGPA was a little above 8.5, and I had certain tech-related projects on my CV as well since I am pursuing a Minor in CS. Their shortlisting process involves resume-shortlisting as well as a technical test that includes coding and probability-based questions. I also did COL106 and MTL106, and these courses helped me a little in clearing the test as well.
Now very honestly, I did not prepare enough because the internship process got preponed due to COVID, and I feel given more time, I could have prepared better. So I did not prepare specifically for Quant roles beforehand, but what helped me was practising some of the top questions from LeetCode, and taking a look at Brainstellar for probability-based questions. Also, OCS collaborates with PrepLeaf to arrange some test series before the internship processes, and I used those to practice aptitude questions, which helped me deal better with the basic maths-based questions in the shortlisting test.
I did not have a very strong idea regarding my most preferred field of internship. Yet for some reason, I kept JP Morgan as my first preference. I think it was because firstly, I felt it would be more intellectually stimulating than other roles. Secondly, I wanted to work in an established company or brand over the summer, to better understand corporate culture and get better exposure.
JPMC is a financial services company. Overall my experience was pretty comfortable, considering it was a virtual internship. Initially, the first couple of weeks were spent on getting to know about the project I would be working on, just figuring out finance-related terminologies and other basic requirements pertaining to the project, because it was a field that was entirely new to me and I had no prior experience in the same.
Talking about the work, I found it intellectually stimulating. I learned a lot, starting from the finance aspect, and moving on to coding in Python, going through research papers, and understanding the mathematics involved. I also had to coordinate with the New York team, which gave me some global exposure. I was able to hence learn how team coordination works in big firms, especially because I had to interact with multiple people across teams over the course of two months. Towards the end, I had to make a number of presentations to explain the amount and type of work that I had completed to all these different people.
Besides, I liked various other aspects of the internship as well. We constantly had some sessions going on, wherein we had either had some sort of trainings or interactions with other interns where we would play games and have informal conversations. Besides that, the company also focused a great deal on diversity and inclusion, and I remember we had this session on sign language teaching us how to spell our name using the same. Similarly, there was a lot of emphasis on things that I had not expected, like initiatives for helping marginalized communities, people coming from relatively backward societies, as well as programs for encouraging women. All of these things made me feel like the work culture was very good.
I liked the kind of work I did, and I also thought it was a good starting point in terms of brand. I also feel that I have many exit options, be it in pure finance, tech roles, or even in management roles. It will give me that flexibility along with a good foot in the market.
When you go for the interview process, the advice would be to know about the company, the role, its primary lines of business, and their work culture, as these things help in the interview as talking points. While you are in the interview, it is good to talk them through your thought process, even if you don't know how exactly to approach a problem.
Besides that, start a little earlier, maybe around six months before the internship process, and that should help you be well prepared.
We had a zoom session with the CEO of the company and his Chief of Staff, they had compiled questions from all interns, and then they answered all of them, which gave an excellent perspective from people who are established in the industry.
I also liked the HR sessions, as being a virtual internship, it allowed us to interact with other interns. They used to divide us into groups and these sessions created the sort of bonding that was required. Because of our past online interactions, I was able to meet some fellow interns after the end of the internship as well.
Interviewed by: Vibhor Jain