Through the EVOLVE SERIES, we, the Media Committee, Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, strive to exhibit what it takes to excel at the rich internship roles offered at IIFT. We hope this series would be extremely useful for aspirants and also to all students to envisage a right head start into their SIP!
In today's interview, we have Samayita Bhattacharya with us from Indian Institute of Foreign Trade's Class of 2021! Before we hop on to her interview, here's a brief of her profile:
Internship Company: Goldman Sachs || Internship Role: Summer Analyst in the Corporate Treasury Division || Background: M.Sc Quantitative Finance, FRM(L2) || Hobbies: Painting, dancing and binge watching TV series
How did you prepare for this role?
My preparation involved brushing up on basic to advanced finance knowledge. I also made sure to brush up the concepts I had learned in my previous degrees and certifications so I was prepared for all kind of questions related to them.
Having a finance background defintely helped me in this case. Apart from this, I also read up on the current affairs that were affecting the financial services industry from a global perspective. I made sure I understood the job description really well so I can handle questions specific to them.
Your selection process experience for this company:
The selection process involved two sets of interviews both of which were mostly technical in nature.
In the first interview, I was asked to tell about myself, followed by which they asked me basic to advanced level questions on finance. In the second interview, I was given practical situations to analyse, and questions were asked on their effect on the organisation and what would be my recommendations in these cases. At the end, I was asked about my teamwork skills and why I thought they were important for any organisation.
Your overall experience during the internship:
As a fresher this was my first corporate experience and I had hoped to be physically present for the entirity of it. When I was informed about the virtual internship, I had initial apprehensions since I thought it would lead to lesser interaction with my team.
However, even before the internship began, GS made sure to make us feel welcome by alloting us buddies who guided us every step of the way. The projects that were alloted to me were very carefully chosen based on my skill set and there were regular knowledge transfer sessions within the team in order to teach me the nuances of how the division functions as a whole. The best part of working for an organisation like GS is the stellar work culture which encourages inquisitivity and team-work.
The regular interactions with my manager and my team which were not only restricted to work helped build the great team dynamics one hopes to achieve. The interns were also given the opportunity to interact with senior leadership and understand their perspective on work and things beyond that, which probably was the best takeaway from the internship.
Overall I believe the experience has helped me understand the importance of teamwork and being a learner throughout your professional life.
Technical skills used:
I was handed two projects both of which required me to possess sound knowledge of advanced Excel. I also used R and Tableau to carry out my analysis as the projects dealt with stress testing and internal policies within the division. The knowledge of statistics and quantitative finance, greatly helped me to understand the problem statement in a better way and ask more relevant questions to my team in order to come up with appropriate solutions.
Understanding of financial statements, financial ratios and capital structure was very important as I was analysing balance sheets for the organisation and its subsidiaries. So there was a mix of conceptual as well as software based knowledge required.
Factors which you think got you the PPO
I think when looking to hire a potential full time employee, the factors which an organisation looks at are their teamwork skills, ability to overcome challenging situations, analytical skills and inquisitivity. I believe these are some of the factors which set me apart and helped me bag a PPO from my dream company.
How has IIFT helped you in this internship?
My experience at IIFT has been bittersweet given the rigour that a bschool prepares you for. Along with the intense competition that one faces in a top bschool, the interaction with your peers is one of the biggest takeways from MBA. IIFT not only prepared me to face the challenges at my workplace but also handed me the opportunity to challenge myself and understand my strengths and limitations.
Learning from the experiences of others has been truly enriching. Also, the knowledge transfer sessions before the placement season prepared me to tackle all of the challenges during the selection processes.