We asked Rob, an Economics student at Bristol, to write about his experience of getting an internship at JP Morgan.
What did your internships involve?
I often worked in market teams, which are responsible for researching and identifying opportunities and risks for clients across asset classes – for example; stocks, bonds or commodities – and developing and executing complex financial transactions.
Completing an internship is a really enjoyable experience as it allows you to learn about yourself and your skill set, as well as to understand if this is the career path that you want to pursue.
How did you find it and what was the application process?
A typical application for a bank internship, in my experience, involves submitting a CV and a cover letter. From there, numerical, analytical, situational judgement, verbal and non-verbal reasoning tests will often have to be completed. After this, a bank may have a video interview, followed by a phone interview.
If you are successful in all the above you will usually be invited to an assessment centre where there will often be face-to-face interviews, group work, presentations and informal networking events. This will vary across banks and you will be told before your assessment centre what to expect.
What struggles did you face in the process of applying?
Working several part-time jobs, running university societies, playing rugby several times a week, keeping up going to the gym, staying on top of my studies and also sending off countless internship applications meant I had to manage my time really efficiently! Travelling to and from London for assessment centres can also be very time consuming.
Coming from a state school education with no contacts in finance, and not knowing who to speak to in order to get the right information was also a struggle. Though this may seem overwhelming to some students, it is certainly feasible to do this while also maintaining a good social life and an enjoyable time at university.
What impact has your internship had on your development and career plans now you are in your final year?
Often internships give the opportunity to ‘convert’ to a graduate job. I chose to accept a graduate job with J.P. Morgan after interning there in the summer of 2018.
What advice do you have for other students looking to do an internship this summer?
Here are three tips that may be useful to students:
1. Do your research.
If someone has given up their time to speak with and interview you, then make sure you have done your research. For example, if you are interviewing for a markets role, make sure you know where the FTSE index is trading at that day. If you are interviewing for a mergers & acquisitions role, make sure you have examples of a recent merger or acquisition that has taken place. If interviewing for a technology role, then be sure to research Java, C ++ and C, for example. These are just a few instances of useful things to know, though the list is certainly longer than this!
Take the time to speak to people from the firm you are applying to. Show up if they are hosting an event on campus. Don’t just go to an event and be the first to leave; stay and ask questions that are actually of interest to you. Speak with other students at the event too; it’s possible that some of them could become your colleagues in the future.
3. Be yourself.
Do not try and be someone you are not. Be open and honest; you’ll be happier, you’ll know more quickly if this is the career for you and you’ll connect better with your colleagues and clients. Your unique perspective is valuable – it would be a shame to mask it.