Deutsche Bank – Abhay Vikram

1420 Views, Posted on: June 19, 2017

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Insight has been doing this summer blog for some time now, and there are two other excellent articles on a summer internship with Deutsche Bank (by Nishit and Madalsa). I urge you to check them out as well. From here on, I’ll do my poor best to add my own perspective and hopefully give you folks some new, useful, information.

Deutsche Bank – CIB Centre

For those of you who don’t know, CIB stands for Corporate Investment Banking. There are two more of these centres located globally (in Jacksonville and Manila) and basically here, you serve as a backend (more or less) for front offices around the world. There are three main sectors here, but generally, interns get to work either in ‘Global Markets’ or ‘Corporate Finance’. I’ll spare you the torrid details for now, but the reason I mention this is because your intern (both in terms of the work you do, and what experience you’re likely to take away from said intern) can vary massively depending upon which team you get (but more on that later).

The Interview

So personally, I’d done a finance intern in my second year summers as well, which I’d found to be an extremely interesting and satisfying experience. Being one of the very few finance interns that comes about, I was rather more inclined towards getting a DB internship from the beginning.

So on to the actual interview process. There is a standard presentation that happens earlier in the week (sidenote: try and stay awake during that; might help) and you have to go through three rounds of interviews. There really isn’t all that much prep that you can do for the simple reason that the interview process varies quite a lot for each person. One cannot stress enough on how important it is to have a handle on your resume. Simply speaking, if you claim to be good at something on your resume, then you need to be able to back up that claim in the interview. Generally, though, it’s a good idea to brush up on your current affairs. And although, it’s been said in the previous pieces as well, I’d like to reiterate this point: knowledge of finance is not a prerequisite for sailing through the interview. Your communication skills, ability to handle pressure, and your hold on your resume matter more. My final interview was (for lack of a better phrase) possibly one of the most random experiences I’ve been through in life – with discussions ranging from topics like Julius Caesar to my thoughts on genetic engineering.

Oh, a final note on the interview: they’ll almost certainly ask you if you have any questions. Try and think of good ones, which were relevant to the interview. For God’s sakes don’t ask them how to pronounce the name of the bank (near everyone did it this time, including yours’ truly and they got tired of it).

The Internship

While this place is no Stratton Oakmont, it’s not too shabby either. The internship begins with a training week (or as I like to think of it – the honeymoon period) where you get to stay at the luxurious Hotel Leela, whilst trying to absorb around an entire semester’s worth of knowledge regarding financial concepts and the activities of the bank. The training is quite different for the Global Market (GM) and Corporate Finance (CF) interns. The GM folks are trained by professionals from the UK, but for us CF interns, people from the floor handle instruction. It’s important here to not only understand what is taught during this period (as it will definitely be very relevant and useful regardless of what project you eventually get) but also to get to interact with and know your trainers, as these are the people you’d be working with later on the floor. There really isn’t all that much that I can add about The Leela. It’s opulent. Enjoy it. Period.

It’s after the training period where the real fun begins, where we get a desk allotted to us along with our projects. Your desk and project are generally allotted on the basis of what skillsets you’d displayed during your interview (all the more reason to be careful about what you say on your resume!), although that may not necessarily be the case. There’ll be two facets to your daily routine – desk work and project work. The project is a long term assignment which we work on throughout the duration of our internship (and is basically, what we’re here to do). Desk work will revolve around helping out with the daily work that people on your floor do. It provides a great learning opportunity by way of analysis, getting exposure to different fields and areas of finance, and most importantly, learning how to interact with others. You’ll get to work on live deals that the bank is working on, help slightly in making pitches and I can’t imagine any better real world exposure for an undergrad. Depending upon how committed you are and how hard you work, there is a significant impact that you can affect on the working of your team. Your work hours will depend not only on your desk, but also on the predilections of your team (it’s slightly different for the GM interns – their timings are mostly dependent on the markets they’d be working on).

Also, a special mention definitely needs to be made of the culture and the general atmosphere here, which is geared towards interaction and discussion with all and sundry – from your fellow interns to even the director of the entire floor! As one might expect, there is a steep learning curve, but it’s not that difficult to master provided you’re not shy about approaching people. The folks here are damn nice and patient. Since you’re not expected to have any financial knowledge in the first place, you’ll find yourself getting away with asking the simplest of doubts. Heck, given the sheer depth of the field, it’s not unusual to see even the analysts and associates approaching each other to ask questions regarding various topics. And you’d be surprised at the amount of information you can pick up by simply participating in the discussions that are going on the floor. You’ll encounter IIM interns during your first month as well. Be sure to pick up a hint or two from them.

Final Thoughts

All-in-all, so far, I’ve had a really positive experience (though to be entirely fair my midterm review is coming up next week). Apart from one bad experience involving Daylight Savings Time, an e-commerce company, and a mildly confused German lady, I’ve had an amazing time. Unlike what some of my friends feared, “corporate life has not sucked my soul and grinded(sic) me into an undifferentiated mould” – yet. (pointed looks all around, you know who you are). And as a VP told us in our first week, even if at the end of the day you realize that finance is not something that you wish to pursue, what’s of greater importance is that you leave this internship with some value added to yourself, and a clearer and more focused mind. Either way, unless you’re definitely certain that you want to pursue a research or core intern, I’d highly recommend trying out for Deutsche Bank.

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