Deutsche Bank: Madalsa Singh

In this edition of Insight’s summer blog, Madalsa Singh talks about how her experience at Deutsche Bank – on of the most sought after interns on campus.

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madalsa
Deutsche Bank is the first IAF open for pre-final year students across all departments for an internship in finance and investment banking. Writing here about my 6 weeks of experience and some advice for the interested folks .

Selection procedure:
Being the first IAF, the selection procedure for the internship is rigorous with resume shortlisting followed by personal interviews with different panels. While having experience with statistics and coding increases your chance of making the cut, having some

The interviews (I had five!) broadly ranged on personality traits, puzzles & math and communication skills.

meaningful extra-curricular interests is helpful to make you stand out. Courses on macroeconomics offered by HSS, Khan Academy/Bionic Turtle videos and general awareness about macro-economic and financial events would make you stand out in the interview and help you make an informed choice before signing the IAF. The interviews (I had five!) broadly ranged on personality traits, puzzles & math and communication skills.
While they don’t require any economics and finance pre-requisites, if you have low coding and statistics experience, be ready to prove your interest in the field.

Work:
The internship started with a four-day bootcamp aimed at equipping us with some basic Financial Mathematics, different financial instruments traded in the market and statistical tools which may be required further at work. The bootcamp ended with a test, following which the projects were allocated in different fields- broadly structuring, trading and sales.
My project, in a nutshell is to understand the effects of the financial regulations imposed on the investment banks post 2008. The first few weeks went into tracing the regulation history and finding the loopholes in the previous directives which led to the crisis. Next step and onwards is to assess the impact on the bank. Additionally, as a part of my morning desk work, I am expected to track the market, economies, central bank and economic events around the globe and present a briefing to the team. (I can proudly make sense of Bloomberg now)

Culture:


The first thing I noticed was the wall-less workspace. Irrespective of one’s designation, your workspace is just another chair at the desk, a departure from the usual corporate office. It’s easy and recommended to interact with people and know more about their work and experiences in the field.

By the second week, you find yourself taking out percentages and plotting trends of most of the numbers you see (like the weight you’ve gained)

Work timings are pretty much dependent on the desk and the markets they deal with- Asia would be early morning and London is comfortably noon.
Most interestingly, bankers are short-attention-spanned, precision-loving folks and see most things through numbers and trends, which has been a great thing to pick up. By the second week, you find yourself taking out percentages and plotting trends of most of the numbers you see (like the weight you’ve gained).

Food and Acco:
We all wish for things which can motivate to spring up from the bed at 6 and look forward to the day (at least, morning). For me, it was Leela’s breakfast. The bank provides for your accommodation, travel and meals for a week at the Leela, after which most interns return back to the yellowed walls at the IIT hostels. DB has a cafeteria, which is easily the worst part of the internship. Nearby is a cooling tower and a mall for the likes of junk foodies.

Take-aways (so far):
Starting with the conventional, the learning curve is extremely steep and gives you the opportunity to know if finance is your thing. It’s a great entry point, not only in the limits of being a trader at the Wall Street (practically very few make it there), but also to chart out your future path – an MBA, an entrepreneur or pursuing this as a job.
Apart from the finance-specific skills, on a personal level, my major learning has been focused on concise and quality delivery of thoughts, imbibing a quantitative frame of mind and piecing together the everyday world events and their impacts, macro economically (for instance: Why would US’s positive employment data make gold weaker?).

Don’t rush for the shiny pendulum, decide why you wish to do this

For juniors interested in iBanking, I leave this piece with one advice and my perspective to this internship: don’t rush for the shiny pendulum, decide why you wish to do this – not for a great answer in the interview and to understand what you should expect at the end of your internship, and whether you see yourself fitting into the larger puzzle of investment banking. I’m halfway into making this decision and for now, things look good.

PS: Feel free to contact me if you have questions!

If you would like to share your internship stories on Insight’s Summer Blog, feel free to email us at insight@iitb.ac.in. To read (dis)similar internship stories written by IIT Bombay students over the years visit http://summerblog.insightiitb.org/.