An insightful article written by Bright Network member Victoria Thompson, who attended Spring Week at Deutsche Bank. Find out how the week went.
I decided to do a banking spring week as I was intrigued about the life of those who disappear into the tall buildings of the city for hours on end. What better place than the bank with a passion to perform. Here’s my experience of it.
From the 3rd – 7th April, I launched myself into the unknown (to me) world of banking. To put it into context, I am a 3rd year chemist on a 5-year course and finance is a bit of a grey area. Terms like DCF and TMT mean dichlorofuorescein and Trimethyltryptamine - not what the banking world considers their definition! Thankfully, as Deutsche Bank set us some optional online training to take on before the week, I’d completed a fair share of jargon busting!
Monday 3rd came around so I headed to HQ for my first day. I’d previously met a few of the other interns due to an intense selection process for the week, so breaking ice wasn’t a worry. The basic week outline consisted of 2 days of training followed by 2 days of work shadowing, then a final assessment day where places for the 2018 summer internship would be up for grabs.
On the morning of the first day, we had talks from a variety of Deutsche Bank employees. Namely: the EMEA co-head of ECM & Global Head of Equity services, the Director of workforce capability and the Head of CORE Programme. These gave us an insight into Deutsche Bank’s values, its position in the sector and how to stay on the right side of compliance. I considered them as a warm up for the jargon filled afternoon event.
I had applied for the Corporate Finance division of the bank so my afternoon was spent in the Industry and Product training (Front Office) workshop. I found this session very useful as it allowed us interns the chance to chat through and build upon what we already knew about the banking industry. In my case, very little, so I tried my best to be a sponge. At the end of the day all I really wanted was a cold cider and to digest the masses of information! Somehow, Deutsche Bank had predicted this and an evening of free drinks or as it’s professionally referred to ‘networking’ was on the cards! This gave us the opportunity to converse with successful DB graduates. They were extremely useful with myth dispelling and the explanation of concepts in layman’s terms – phew!
Tuesday morning’s arrangements were much the same as Mondays, but with more focused training sessions. I had a slight moment of panic when one of the employers dropped the bombshell that part of the Friday assessment day would involve a case study, as I had no idea what it would entail! The afternoon comprised of two panel sessions. One with successful DB graduates and the second with Senior Managers. The day finished with another networking session – this time with more experienced members of Deutsche Bank. It was great to be able to talk in depth about deals they’d been involved in and why they’d chosen Deutsche Bank as their employer of choice.
A mid-week mix up came on Wednesday in the form of the first day of work-shadowing. In the morning, I was based on the Infrastructure and Utilities desk while in the afternoon I changed to Consumer. Throughout the day, I managed to get a good feel for the positive work ethic that Deutsche Bank offers. Everyone was remarkably willing to help - even in my blonde moments! For the afternoon session, the employee to which I’d been assigned was extremely busy – living up to the stereotypically corporate finance banker lifestyle. Therefore, I busied myself with getting to know the rest of the team. Unexpectedly, I found an employee who had completed a chemistry degree. This helped put into perspective that a career in finance would be suitable for me and is an achievable goal.
Thursday morning saw me spending time on the Structuring desk of Equity Markets. Even though this isn’t strictly in Deutsche Bank’s Corporate Finance side - more global financial markets – I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. The opportunity to see a different area of the bank opened my mind to alternative career paths that I could take in finance.
Thursday afternoon brought all the interns back together for an outsourced workshop on Deutsche Bank values. Here, we had the chance to let our creativity run riot as we were assigned the task of making short videos to portray a value of the bank. My group’s video ended up being very tongue in cheek – think along the lines of Human Mario Kart but instead of racing rival characters we were racing rival banks. Under the value of sustainable performance, Deutsche Bank were the winners! On top of this, the session gave us the opportunity to share our week experiences – with the overlying verdict being that everyone wanted to come back for the Summer internship. The competition was definitely on for the assessment day!
To learn more about Deutsche Bank, check out their profile here.