Huge congratulations to Matt who completed an internship with AIG this summer. We recently caught up with him before he flies off to Hong Kong to play rugby for several months! In our catchup Matt told us all about the application process to AIG, the work he did on the job and what his three tips are for successfully securing an internship.
Why did you apply to AIG?
The AIG internship programme allowed me to gain real experience in a specialised role that I wanted to do. It was a non-rotational internship meaning I invested a lot of my time into learning my role and how to do front office investment and finance. There are few banks which actually allow you to do this and so that was one of the key factors that convinced me to apply to AIG.
What was the application process like?
In the preliminary stage I had to submit a CV and an application form. Following this there was a numerical test and then a pre-recorded video interview. The final stage was an assessment centre which was split into three stages: two different interviews and a group exercise. The interviews, despite being focused around technical questions, never felt incredibly formal or rigid, in fact, they felt quite free-flowing with both the interviews becoming more of a casual chat around finance and banking in general. The group exercise was a typical case study where we acted as financial advisors to a firm looking to acquire another firm in a politically destabilised part of the world. In particular, we had to examine the risks associated with such an acquisition.
What did you get up to on the internship?
I got to work on a single project for the full 10 weeks. This allowed me to develop specialist skills relevant to my role as well as take on a project which I had full control over. Consequently, I developed an in-depth knowledge of the field I was working in, a depth of knowledge I felt I wouldn’t have had the chance to grow if I had been placed on a rotational internship or one where I wasn’t given my own project to take control of. Throughout the internship I got a lot of exposure to clients too using my project as an opportunity to go out and meet different industry experts and senior staff. AIG gave me plenty of support along the way and the internship not only taught me a lot of technical knowledge but also helped me develop multiple transferrable skills. The firm also did a great job of encouraging networking and socialising between us interns.
What three tips would you give to fellow Bright Network members looking to follow in your footsteps?
- Learn from your mistakes and take on feedback you are given. Applying to graduate opportunities is an extremely competitive and difficult process. Therefore, if you do not initially succeed do not be disheartened but take the feedback you are offered on board and critically reflect on how you can improve.
- Get as many people as possible to look over your C.V. and give you constructive feedback. It’s always better to have an extra eye look over your work whether it’s an essay or a C.V.
- Be transparent throughout the whole process. If you are unsure about something then preface your answer saying this because the interviewers do not expect you to know everything. Do your research and be prepared to the best of your ability but realise that you can’t know everything and that recruiters don’t expect you to know everything there is to know about banking.
What was the hardest interview question you faced?
Can you predict the demand for electric cars in China in 2035?