This blog is about what I experienced during the internship process, hopefully, you’ll gain something out of it. I’ve tried to structure this to some extent. The first part contains my introduction to put things in perspective, the second part would be about my preparation and the last one would be about my experience. You can read each section independently, depending on what you are looking to get out of this.
I’m Kritarth, a Y19 student in the department of Economic Sciences. I have a decent CG and have completed a couple of internships, the first one at ISB Hyderabad, and the second one at Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University. The work was mostly related to Finance/Data Analytics. I had one Finance related project on my Resume, had no industry experience going into the intern season, but was confident of getting shortlisted in my target companies.
I started by finalizing my Resume and getting it verified by as many seniors as I could. I already had a draft ready because I had applied for research internships during the summer before the intern season. This part is very important and should not be taken lightly. The first draft should be ready at least 14 days before the resume submission deadline, so do start early.
There are more or less 4 kinds of opportunities that you would encounter. I aimed for Analyst and Finance related roles. For the latter, the only company that was visiting campus for sure was Nomura (later other companies came too) and they had a GD section in their evaluation process, thus we formed a GD group in the summers, for discussions on sample cases. I practiced around 10 GDs in total before the intern season.
I was never interested in Software related roles and thus didn’t want to spend the summer doing Leetcode/Interviewbit/Gfg problems, but I eventually did spend a lot of time coding. Maybe due to peer pressure. Let’s not get more into it. It was not a pleasant experience. I also did a specialization in Data Structure and Algorithms from Coursera, just so I don’t miss anything.
I had registered for HSO201 in the fourth sem so I was aware of the basic concepts in Prob-Stats, so I just quickly recapped the course content, though most of the theory in the course is not relevant, only the expectation part comes in handy. Eventually, I learnt that some books like “50 challenging problems” would be of great help. I’ve compiled some useful resources here.
Just a week before the interviews started, I made a doc and summarised my interns and projects in it, just so that I have a basic structure when I describe them in the interviews. It was very helpful, for sure. I also prepared a short introduction about myself because that’s how the interview begins and you don’t want to mess that up.
The week before the D Day was lined up with screening processes of several Day 1,2 companies. Everyone knows what the tests are like so I wouldn’t go into that, also it has been covered in several past articles. I didn’t attempt the tests for Day 1 SDE companies (very few were open for my department), thus had only 1 shortlist on Day 1, i.e. Goldman Sachs, Round 1 went great but unfortunately wasn’t called for another round.
Coming to Day 2, Nomura had 2 rounds of interviews. I was asked questions on my CV, some puzzles, and some Economics/Finance related stuff. Surprisingly, I was asked a couple of coding questions too. You can find the detailed process here. At the end of the day, I had an offer from Nomura. I am excited about the role and making the best out of it.
There are plenty of resources available, if you have luck on your side and have a decent academic record then with proper preparation anyone can get a good internship. In the end, it comes down to expressing yourself in the interview, so maybe one can have a couple of mock interviews to feel more confident. Going through the internship process is an exhausting yet very enriching experience. If you’re lucky enough then enjoy and maybe help others, however, if you are unlucky, just stay focused soon you’ll get one too, and meanwhile, just learn through the experience.
One important aspect is to decide what role you want to explore, most people just do whatever people around them are doing and never search for what they want to do. The remaining period could be used to find what you want at the end of college or at least what you want to explore, later maybe build on what you learn during the internship.
As someone rightly said: “Results are not attained by chance, they must be sought for with ardor and diligence”
Edited By - Aviral Upadhyay