• Role: Technology Summer Intern
  • Location: London
  • University: Loughborough
  • Degree: BSc IT Management for Business
  • Organisation: Nomura

George Sofroniou

Why did you choose to do an internship?

I believe internships can be really important to students or recent graduates; it gives you first-hand experiences which you are unable to learn from a classroom or text book. However, you have the opportunity to apply knowledge that you have learnt at university in a role that not only gives you a clearer perspective on what role and department you would like to work in once graduated but also highlights which areas you may not be so suited to working in on a full-time basis.

How did it tie in with your overall career plans?

As a recent graduate from Loughborough University I managed to secure a place on the summer internship which enabled me to roll straight onto the graduate scheme without having to reapply the year after. The ten week internship enabled me to see if this was a company and working environment that I wanted to continue working in and start my career at.

What was the application process like?

There were two main stages to my application after I’d submitted my online forms; the first was a first round competency interview with the business, followed by a longer assessment centre. The assessment centre involved a further interview, a group exercise and an individual presentation.

For anyone thinking about a technology role in banking, I’d recommend taking some time to understand the industry as a whole. It’s important to get a sense of how current world events might be having an impact on the industry, and on Nomura more specifically. You’ll also need to be prepared to answer questions around Nomura’s core competencies and give some thought to how you structure your answers (perhaps using the STAR technique). Finally, I’d encourage you to ask questions during your interviews and to be confident, interested and friendly!

What attracted you to your role?

My internship and subsequent graduate offer was within the Service Operations team of the Infrastructure division. I was really interested in this role as it allowed me to not only learn about technology in Nomura but also the reliance on specific applications within the corporate side of the company. The team interacted with many other IT divisions across the bank including our production support teams, application developers and front office technologists. My role also gave me a lot of exposure during my internship, allowing me to work within support, development and business analyst functions and projects.

What were your main duties?

My ten week internship was split into two roles:

  • First five weeks: Initially I worked in Service Operation’s Incident Management team, where I assisted in facilitating the cross technology and inter business division first line incident management service (i.e. a technology based incident where its severity is decided upon factors such as financial or reputation). I would assist in facilitating calls between the relevant teams and ensure root causes were provided.
  • Second five weeks: In the second half of my internship I worked within Service Operation’s IT Service Management team. My role within the team was to help support and develop the service management software (ServiceNow).

What were the most important things you learnt from the internship?

I think the most valuable thing I learnt from my internship is the importance of networking and also how you can never ask a stupid question! If you are asking questions it shows that not only are you willing to expand your knowledge but you also have an interest in your role and the company.

What skills did you acquire or improve during your internship?

For me there are some key skills that I think are relevant for this kind of role and industry; analytical skills are really important whether you are analysing the users of a system or understanding the logic behind the systems themselves. An entrepreneurial flair is something that is really valued at Nomura, and demonstrating initiative and drive can help interns assume more responsibility than they would otherwise. A passion for technology is obviously essential, so it’s really important to be able to discuss your motivations and be engaged throughout the internship. Finally I would say that I really grew in confidence during the internship, and gaining that sense of what it is really like to work in a technology role is absolutely invaluable in your early career!

Do you have any advice for someone seeking an internship?

I would provide several pieces of advice for someone seeking an internship:

  • Do your research! Do not go into an interview underprepared, there can be nothing worse than someone asking you a question that you do not have the answer to.
  • Have a backup plan – you will have a preference of where you wish to work, however, do not only apply to that scheme and not be aware of any others. It is good to be aware of many opportunities.
  • Remain confident and positive! Today’s climate makes internship schemes highly competitive. If you are not successful in your first interview, do not be disheartened it does not make you a bad applicant; learn from your experiences, it will make you a more rounded individual.
  • Your interviews are an opportunity for you to paint the best representation of yourself, therefore be aware of your skills, where you can improve and look to build a connection as soon as you step into the building.
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