How did you get your job at Nomura?
I got involved with Nomura when I applied for spring weeks across the investment banks. This course gave me insight into which department I wanted to work in.
In my second year of university, I applied for the Investment Banking Division (IBD) Summer Internship at Nomura and after a few rounds of challenging interviews was offered a place. I was placed in the Natural Resources and Power team and spent 10 challenging weeks working on live deals and pitchbooks.
The internship included a project which was to value a company and produce a pitchbook outlining this. The team and other selected bankers then sat in and asked questions regarding the methodology. This was a good experience in being put under pressure in a meeting situation – something that will prove very useful in the future. I performed well throughout the internship and was offered a graduate role, which I have commenced in 2014.
Why did you choose a job in this sector?
I wanted to work in IBD mainly because I had studied valuation and found it hugely interesting. Additionally, it is an area that offered the combination of theoretical and practical challenges and a chance to test my intellect. After interning, I realised the calibre of people at the firm is excellent, which was one of the main motivations for starting my career at Nomura in IBD.
I am not scared of hard work, so the infamously long hours are something that I am used to, and if anything, give you more exposure in a shorter period of time which is ideal when starting out your career.
What was the application process like?
The application process for the Summer Internship is challenging at Nomura. There was an online application and psychometric tests which require a good logical mindset. After this, I went through two rounds of four/five interviews each with people from teams across IBD who asked questions regarding valuation, my opinion on market news, brain teasers and just about myself and general competencies. In addition, there was a case study with a follow up interview which was a good learning experience.
Having said this, having four or five challenging interviews in one day is a very good experience in that it does represent what the real job is like with colleagues pushing and challenging you on a daily basis. My best tip with the interviews is to relax and believe that you are good enough to excel. Having confidence in your answers goes a long way. The prerequisite is to have a good grasp of finance before the interviews because there are likely to be some technical aspects involved. If you have not studied finance or economics there are certain things you should ensure you are prepared for or have read up on. At the end of the day, they are not trying to catch you out, but to test your motivation, commitment and raw smarts.
What are your main duties?
- Data gathering
- Updating trading/transaction comps
- Financial modelling
- Compiling pitchbooks and generally being resourceful!
Is it a 9-5 job?
Quite simply, no. During my internship, I worked very long hours that most people in a typical 9-5 job would struggle to comprehend. As a full-time Analyst, you have more flexibility but the hours still remain much longer than the norm.
What are the most stressful parts of the job?
Trying to balance the demands of your colleagues is by far the most challenging part, but after time you learn how not to overload yourself with unachievable deadlines. Having a lot of responsibility is stressful but the nature of the job is that they push you to learn by doing a great deal. So while this is challenging, in my mind it is also the best way to improve your skill set on the job.
What skills are useful in this sector?
Being adaptable and analytical is essential, as are communication skills. If you lack these skills, then the job is made even more challenging.
What would you like to achieve in the future?
I would like to work my way further up IBD so that I can enhance my communication skills when engaging with clients, as well as developing leadership skills.
Can you offer any advice?
Take an interest in the theory of finance. This may sound boring but you are a financier when you join, so having a good grasp of the theoretical concepts is essential. Also read market news and sector news depending on which area of finance interests you. Be ready to be pushed and to embrace the challenge. Having the correct mindset and attitude underpins how well you perform on the job.
What challenges have you come across and how did you overcome them?
Mainly the long hours in my internship were the challenge. However, I overcame this by rationalising that this was only a good thing – it gave me more time to impress and learn from colleagues.