Welcome to blog 2 of Pranay’s investment banking internship.
This week has been equally as insightful as week one for our intern, though arguably more challenging, as Pranay has had to get to grips with a lot of new material, as he has delved further into the wonderful world of investment banking internship. So brace yourselves, here we go guys!
Week two has been exciting, as it has thrown me into the deep end of the interning world this week.
The first task involved tying up all the loose ends of week one’s tasks, i.e. finishing off typing up all the research on the shipping ports in India. The project had extended itself over the weekend as I realised that I wanted to include more information on my report than I had initially anticipated. After collating and compiling all the details, and logging the information into an Excel Spreadsheet, I reviewed the information and then finally submitted my report. After learning a bit about the ports in India, I was confident that I could move onto a new assignment, as I was ready for a new challenge.
The second task of the week was a much bigger one, which involved a more specific research method, but also different subject skills. Since the office was really busy this week, I had ample opportunity to get stuck into finding out more about the company, and more specifically, looking at the sort of cliental that the company receives. Firstly, I was asked to research all the key mergers and takeovers happenings this week, and then was asked to investigate projects which had been undertaken in recent months. The reason I was asked to do this mainly centred on understanding which companies use the services that my company offers, but also to track the progress of certain companies to see if they were returning customers and if so, why they returned. Having done some research on the takeovers and key mergers from over the last six months, I decided to make a report on my findings. I used news stories and client records in order to make the report, with some additional support and guidance from certain individuals who worked alongside me.
I really enjoyed the independent nature of this task, as I was able to pursue a project on my own, but to also get to the crux of the company, in terms of it being a major service provider. The great thing about this week too, is that I have gained a more refined knowledge of a specific branch of the investment banking industry, and also gained new research, evaluation and writing skills. Although the research was at times demanding, I was pleased that there were numerous sources that I could get information from, but also that help was always at hand.
As I passed the mid-week mark, I found that Thursday was to mark the beginning of a company specific project. Thursday brought with it the mighty task of creating a detailed document on Mitsui & Co., Ltd, a Japanese company which pursues a number of different projects ranging from worldwide logistics and financing to the development of major international infrastructure. Since its establishment in the 1930s, the company has come a long way and now has 148 offices in 67 different countries, and employs over 6000 staff. (If you are interested in reading more about them, check out their website ) Since the company is international, this made for an interesting research project, as there are so many areas of interest to their ever expanding business.
As can be seen just by this brief description, Mistui & Co. pursues a number of different projects, so it was important that I was given a particular branch of the company to research, to ensure that my time was spent productively. I was therefore assigned the task of researching the type of markets that Mitsui & Co. is in, beginning with the steel manufacturing and trading aspects of the company. I decided that it was important to introduce the company in my report, to find out what Mitsui & Co. actually do, but to write briefly about the key projects which were taking place in each market area. After this, I decided to look at costs, profits and sales and sought to investigate which aspect of Mitsui’s company makes the most money and why, which is the most influential and what the company’s main business in. These are all factors which contribute to the successful running and expansion of a business. I decided to head into this direction because it was important for me to understand the logistics of a large corporate company during the course of my internship.
In terms of the social aspect of the internship, I didn’t really get much time during the week to socialise as I usually have very busy days and only get home at around 9pm. However, the weekend called for celebration and relaxation, so I played golf and also went to a shopping centre called The Palladium. The Palladium is a fantastic place, and it’s full of amazing shops- both designer and high street and also comes equipped with a cinema and Hagen Daaz Café. Needless to say, I enjoyed an ice cream here, as I am a bit of a fan of Hagen Daaz. The weekend also brought with it a pub visit, to a local place The Irish. When I visited, it was karaoke night, but I decided not to join in! I am saving myself for a big finale at the end of my internship!
Hope you’ve enjoyed round two of Pranay’s internship, and we look forward to keeping you updated on his travels and experiences.
It’s not a stretch to say internships have become indispensable. The competition for jobs has never been stiffer. When making hiring decisions, Capital Placement notes, employers will lean heavily towards students who have at least some internship experience under their belts.
So, what does an intern do exactly?
Contrary to popular belief, completing an internship isn’t easy. If you think internships are about fetching coffee for everyone and generally riding on the team’s coattails, toss your expectations out the window. Modern intern roles – even the support kind – are as taxing and responsibility-ridden as full-time jobs!
It’s important you enter your internship with the right mindset. If you don’t know what to expect from your internship role, you’ll be better prepared and know what you need to do to succeed. Also, carrying out your intern responsibilities successfully will assist you in building up a potent skillset.
What is an intern?
An intern is a trainee who has signed on with an organization for a brief period. An intern’s goal is to gain work experience, occasionally some university credit, and always an overall feel for the industry they’re interning in.
Internships may be paid, partially paid, or unpaid. The engagement period may range from a handful of weeks up to 2 years. With longer-term internships, you’ll almost always be compensated in some way. The compensation may include a monthly wage, accommodation, travel expenses, and a food allowance.
Many companies require you to complete an internship with them before they even consider you for a full-time role.
What does an intern do?
So what does an intern do exactly? That depends on the industry in question and the kind of internship you’ve signed up for. Research internships come with a different set of roles and responsibilities than, say, an internship geared toward easing you into a full-time role.
An intern is primarily a support role – at least in the beginning. When you join up, your main job will be to assist, learn, and grow. After you’ve settled in, you’ll be expected to pull your own weight.
Here’s a general overview of the work you can expect to do as an intern:
1. Assist in day-to-day tasks
As an intern, don’t expect to spearhead a critical project anytime soon. But that’s by no means a bad thing. You’ll be groomed to spearhead projects in the future. Your boss will give you general errands to educate you on to the ins-and-outs of the organisation, to gauge your general skill set, and also to bring your skills up to par.
Here are some day-to-day intern roles and their responsibilities:
- Performing clerical duties: It’s almost a guarantee you’ll be taking memos, maintaining files, organising, sorting, creating PowerPoint presentations, drafting reports, and the like.
- Managing social media and emails: You may be asked to handle the company’s social media accounts, write emails to customers, talk to clients on the phone, and similar duties.
- Event handling: Interns are often asked to oversee the scheduling of appointments, organising conference rooms, and taking care of the food and drink.
- Research: Interns fresh from a university education have a great deal of up-to-date knowledge. Your organisation may put this knowledge to good use by placing you in a research role. You may be asked to assist in streamlining an organisation’s work process in some way.
2. Learn and gain experience
You’ll be expected to learn as much as you possibly can while you work, regardless of the kind of internship you’ve signed up for. What kind of learning will you be doing? It can be broken down into two main areas:
- Picking up hard skills: Hard skills are the technical skills you need to carry out your intern responsibilities, and eventually job duties, successfully. Examples include learning how to operate a computer program, drafting a company report, handling the company inventory, and maintaining the company database.
- Brushing up on your soft skills: Soft skills are as important as hard skills. Soft skills are all about your ability to relate to people and building mutually-beneficial relationships. Examples are talking, listening, conflict handling, time management, and development of empathy. You need soft skills to manage clients, not to mention get along with your bosses and colleagues.
3. Job shadow
Job shadowing has become the norm recently. As the name suggests, the practice involves “shadowing” someone as they perform their daily duties, observing their activities, and learning what the role entails via indirect experience. This is an especially popular practice in hands-on fields like engineering and healthcare.
How does this work exactly? When you join the organisation, you may be assigned a mentor. The first few weeks, you may be tasked with following them around. They’ll show you the ropes while they work. You may be asked to assist with light tasks here and there. You’ll be encouraged to ask questions. Eventually, you’ll be trained to take over the position and of intern roles.
4. Take on an increasing amount of responsibility
As time goes by, expect to shoulder an increasing amount of responsibility. Initially, they’ll gauge your current skill set and reliability with “grunt” work. As you prove yourself to your colleagues and bosses, you’ll be entrusted with more crucial tasks. The better you perform, the more the responsibilities you’ll be given.
When you join as an intern, it’s always smart to give it your all. The work may feel uninspiring initially. That’s understandable. But if you can demonstrate enthusiasm and perform without complaining, you’ll slowly but surely work your way to the good stuff.
Interns who really impress their bosses can expect glowing recommendations, if not an offer for full-time work.
While networking isn’t an official requirement as such, it might as well be. Networking involves building relationships with your bosses, colleagues, and customers and clients. You’ll need the backing and support of people in places to build a successful career. Also, building good relationships with customers is always good for the organisation.
Here are some examples of the kind of networking interns do:
- Finding a mentor: Mentors act as anchor roles for interns. If you find a good one, you can follow in their footsteps and build a successful career just like your mentor.
- Forming a peer support group: Interning is hard. Finding a peer support group who is going through all the ups and downs with you will make it much more enjoyable for everyone involved.
- Getting in with bosses and coworkers: Interns who can build strong individual bonds with their coworkers and bosses become a part of the “family”. You’re much more likely to be offered a full-time role at the company down the road.
6. Make a career call
Finally, usually at the tail-end of your internship, you have to make a career-defining decision: continue in the field you interned in or try your hand at something else entirely.
You got a taste of what working in your industry full-time would be like. Did you love the experience and can’t wait to dive back in again? Or do you feel you’d be happier doing something else?
Internships are usually short-term. They’re smaller investments in time and energy than full-time jobs. Consequently, they’re perfect opportunities to explore your options. You deserve work that’s fulfilling. If necessary, you can sign up for a different but related internship role elsewhere to see if you’re happier there.
Your internship is going to shape the course of your career. It’ll assist you in acquiring the skills you need to perform up-to-par when you’re hired full-time. It’s essential you use your internship as the training opportunity it represents.
You’re sure to have a bright future if you work hard, build positive relationships, and remain grateful for the internship opportunity. Capital Placement can assist you in securing a life-changing internship opportunity abroad, in line with your talents, skill-set, and career goals. Reach out to us now!
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