Swapnil Basak and Nishad Acharya interned with the Global Markets and Corporate Finance divisions at Deutsche Bank, Mumbai for a period of 8 weeks in summer 2014. In this edition of T5E’s internship series, they talk about the experience. You can find other internship stories on T5E here.
Deutsche Bank was one of the first companies that came to campus for intern recruitment last year, piling up on the same day as ITC, HUL and P&G. Like most other internships, DB selected candidates by a resume shortlist followed by a round of interviews. DB hires under two profiles — Global Markets and Corporate Finance — through the same interview process. The interviews started at 8 in the morning and went on till lunch. Most applicants had three or four rounds of interviews, with the last one ending at 1.30 and the results being declared at 3. They were centered on ‘quant’ skills (probability and statistics), soft skills, and finance, with the weightage in that order. The most important part of the process, however, is the ridiculously expensive late lunch they take you to as an ice breaker, mainly because it involves free food. In the 9 months between the interview and the internship, you are allotted a guide who will interact with you periodically, and help you build your finance aptitude.
Global Markets — Swapnil
The markets internship starts off with a four day bootcamp, introducing us to basic financial mathematics, financial instruments and some simulations. There’s an exam on the fifth day, after which you are allotted a project under a specific desk. I was under Rates Trading, and my project was, in a nutshell, to develop an integrated pricing and risk management system in Java for non-volatile Inflation Products. I enjoyed my work, which struck a balance between coding, picking up how inflation instruments work and their math. Work there is very diverse too — I had co-interns working on core math, simulations, modelling, core finance, regulations, and core programming.
Corporate Finance — Nishad
Corporate finance interns too had a four day bootcamp, which brought us up to speed with what the analysts primarily do. The camp went over the basics of accounting, modelling company finances and building investment cases. Progress was continuously evaluated by a reasonably simple test. Soon after the test, the interns were allotted a project and assigned a desk. I worked with the Europe, Middle East and Asia Industrial Sectors coverage team. My project was a full-fledged acquisition thesis drawn from a real-world scenario — in simple terms, this means I had to build an investment case for company A to acquire company B. Apart from the project, interns had to work on tasks and projects that came in from the onshore team. The work was a healthy balance of project work and desk work, thus providing a good, holistic view of what the business does. Work hours are a little stiff (a typical workday lasted fourteen hours) for Corporate Finance interns, although that’s compensated for by free dinner and coffee, free cab drops home, and the office culture.
Work Culture and Evaluation
The entire office has a wall-less, cubicle-less structure, and everyone, irrespective of designation, sits next to each other. People are welcoming and friendly, which allows for a lot of interaction and excellent insight into how investment banking works. Most importantly, this helps you figure out what sort of role will suit you the best, and, indeed, if you fit in in this industry in the first place. Watching the World Cup at DB was a treat — bankers love numbers, and drawing up stats and trends for the weirdest of footballers’ qualities to predict results was a common pastime. For those interested in being offered a job by DB, it has an amazing evaluation system. Your performance is rated by your mentor/guide, along with a mid-term review and an end term review in front of a massive panel of Vice Presidents and Directors. Your final assessment is a weighted average of these three scores.
Experience, Perspective and Other Long Words
With regard to experience, perspective and other long words, this was an eye-opener. The learning curve is really steep, and unlike anything one encounters in college. The office is formal — both in attire and conduct, and helps you develop a corporate and professional approach to work. It gives you a business perspective of the investment banking industry. As a bonus, it teaches you a lot of jargon that you can use to show off to friends. In terms of career scope, you can start in Mumbai, shift intra-bank to other centers like London, Singapore or Tokyo (although this is slightly difficult), join a hedge fund or private equity firm, or pursue further studies (an MBA or an MSFE, among other possibilities) after a few years. There’s also starting up, entrepreneurship, and joining a rock band. In essence, if you like numbers and/or finance and want to decide if Investment Banking is your cup of tea, go for this internship. Even if you decide otherwise, there is a lot you’ll take away from Deutsche Bank.
Regarding accommodation, DB gives you the first week at The Leela after which most interns stay at IITB hostels. However, since we love IIT hostels so much, three of my friends and I rented a flat near office. Leela is easily the best part of your internship. The food (especially breakfast) makes you want to investment bank like you never investment banked before. The bathtubs, swimming pools and spas help too. Parties and treats at office are aplenty, with your desk frequently ordering in or taking you out and stuffing you with all sorts of food. Long story short, we got fat.
Feel free to contact either of us if you have any questions at all, or if you generally want someone to talk to.
About the authors:
Nishad Acharya is a fourth year student of Chemical Engineering. He loves food, music and is better at video games than Swapnil.
Have an internship story you’d like to share? Get in touch with us at t5e.iitm [at] gmail.com.