Tanisha Agrawal – Capital Group

Hello Everyone, I’m Tanisha Agrawal, currently a fourth-year student at IIT Bombay studying Civil Engineering. I’m here to tell you the story of how I got an internship at Capital Group & my experience, I hope this helps you decide!

Long story short

They have a long selection process, but the work, the culture, (the stipend :P) is worth it.

Long story:

Many people crib about an online semester, but being away from campus’s closed environment helped me gain a bit of perspective and look at the bigger picture, which is just to know yourself well enough to realise that you will do something worthwhile with your summers and one way or another, everything works out in the end, for good.

So, do what you want to do, don’t just blindly sign all IAFs. 

With the same optimism, I signed up for this finance company, which I knew was a long shot given that I worked in an NGO during my second year, and because of my recently discovered interest in finance, I didn’t have very many impressive finance projects. 

But Capital Group is a very unique company, they shortlisted people on the basis of not just a resume but also a question “If you win an award, what would you want to win it for?” 

Just the prospect of writing this answer was exciting for me, so I stayed up all night when IAF opened, finished it & got it reviewed by 2 seniors I trusted. I would suggest get some sleep and then write something xD

Their purpose for this, in my opinion, is to simply see – What do you value in life? Who are you as a person? What makes you special? & whether that aligns with their values and culture.

The Selection:

After my shortlist, there was a short 20 minute HR interview, with basic HR questions. This seems easy, but preparing for an HR interview can be a much more of a harrowing experience because you can impress with your technical skills, but developing an impressive personality is another ball game altogether. I will give 2 cliche, but true tips here – be confident, and know yourself.

I gave 5 mock interviews and wrote down all the answers to glassdoor questions for feeling confident, do what works for you.

This was followed by a long unanticipated wait till December, which was difficult, to say the least. I was interviewed by someone from the Hong Kong office for 20 mins. I naively thought this was the final round.

By that time I had read a lot about them through their book, website etc. I loved what I saw, and believed strongly that I was the kind of person they were looking for, so I took a risk and didn’t apply for any other firms. I rather decided to focus that energy on the interview prep and myself. I read 5-7 books on finance, again gave 10+ mock interviews & continued to work on my startup idea.

In retrospect this was a bit of a rash decision, which could have easily turned against me as almost all the big opportunities dry up by January, although I did have a good enough external backup – so just choose your priorities wisely.

After clearing this round there are 8-9 more interviews, all behavioural! They ask questions ranging from interest in finance to what do you do for fun. I was prepared by then, but you can never actually prepare because all my interviews were different, they focussed on different aspects and had many unanticipated questions. The only thing you can really do is retrospect and know yourself & your actions inside out. 

It is a tough selection process, but I learned as many things about myself as the interviewers, which is invaluable, even if you don’t get selected.

After an anxiety-filled week, I was selected and as you all will experience it is one of the best feelings in this world 🙂

The experience

My location was supposed to be London which after a long visa application didn’t work out because of the second wave. I was a little disheartened but I think this year y’all will be able to go!

So anyway, I did a WFH internship, which was for 2.5 months, starting in early June to May end. The exact work profile was ambiguous before because you don’t necessarily do a finance-centric project, they choose something that suits your background but at the same time challenges you, think of it as more of a problem-solving project.

CAP  is structured more as a developmental program, you have an open-ended independent project, a group project and your own personal development goals. You design your own path and your own day- 90% of the internship is designed by you.

It is intense and challenging, especially if you end up working from India. I had to work in 2 opposite spectrums of timezones – Singapore & Los Angeles. (You also learn a lot about time zones xD)

They do make an active effort to make it inclusive for everyone, and in my experience, the return on investment was worth it. I loved my work, the culture is genuinely beautiful and you will feel like a part of the company even if you are 1000s of miles away.

My one and only advice is to make the most of your experience – the more you invest, the more rewards you will reap. The resources at your disposal are endless. So just make the most of this limited time, meet as many people as you can, do as much as you can with your project (maintain your health of course) and never, ever ask- Can I do this? Because know that you can.

I hope that many of you sign up for this program, and do get a chance to experience working with the company. And regardless, have the summer you want because it will be one of the best summers you will ever have.

Best of luck!

Tanisha

3 weeks ago

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