More insights from Jess
As an engineering student, I didn’t think I’d be qualified to work in the world of finance. However, now that I’ve done a summer internship at UBS in London, I realise what a diverse range of backgrounds are represented in the industry. During my time interning in the equities business area, I’ve met people from all over the world and with vastly different backgrounds – including a surgeon and even an Olympian!
The internship kicked off on day one with a lot of introductory talks and ice breakers. This was a great way to ease the nerves and learn more about the company. The day was rounded off with a social event for interns. It was great to socialise in a more informal setting and get to know each other.
One of the most enjoyable days during the first week was volunteering at a school in London. The pupils were split into two teams and tasked with preparing a bid for different cities to host the next Olympics. We helped them with the process of preparing their bids, and some of us even got involved in the opening ceremonies that the students had choreographed!
The most enlightening week was the second, where we participated in "mini-rotations." We rotated in pairs through each desk on the equities floor, spending two hours on each. I must admit that before the second week I didn’t know that half of these roles existed! I was surprised at how willing everyone was to give their time to really help us understand the work, regardless of their seniority.
After these mini-rotations, I was assigned my first placement with the global financing services trading team. During my time there I learned a lot about swaps (a form of derivative exchange), exchange traded funds and other products. I was also kept busy with our intern tasks and events. I particularly enjoyed the intern trading game, where we had to run a virtual portfolio. We traded lots of different products, so this helped me learn more about foreign exchange and other things outside of equities.
During the internship we have had weekly speaker events with incredibly interesting people, including Olympic gold medallist Alex Gregory. We learned about his journey through disappointment to reach the top, and even got to meet him individually after his talk.
One of the highlights of my internship was the senior women’s networking lunch. Female interns attended a lunch with some very senior women across the firm. It was inspiring to see such successful women holding leadership positions in a huge range of roles. It was also a great way to learn about business divisions I hadn’t been as exposed to.
I also found it really useful that I had been assigned a recent graduate buddy. My buddy was such a huge help when I had questions before and during my internship. It was great to have someone who had done the internship very recently to ask for advice.
Overall, I’ve really enjoyed learning so much about banking and markets. But for me, it's the culture of UBS that really stood out during my internship. Everyone I met was incredibly friendly and so willing to give their time to facilitate my learning, regardless of how senior they were or whether or not they were in my business division.
I’d sum up the internship as exciting, action packed and a huge learning experience for me. I’d absolutely recommend this internship to anyone thinking about a career in finance. The diverse range of roles within UBS means there is a place for graduates with a wide variety of degrees and skills.