BSc Economics and Finance student, Latika Sivaji

My name is Latika and I am a first-year Economics and Finance student hoping to work in Financial Services or Banking in the future. Like other students, I was looking forward to my second semester at Swansea but this was cut short due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Covid-19 dramatically changed the way we live in in a short period of time and impacted many aspects of our lives. One of the many consequences was not being able to gain experience over the summer holidays. 

My plan for the summer was to explore different career paths by getting work experience across different sectors however this was not possible. Some employers made their career events and insight days virtual, but it was still hard for students to access opportunities. During this difficult time, I came across Internship Experience UK (IEUK) with Bright Network on the SOM careers Facebook page.

Internship Experience UK appealed to me as it was an opportunity for students to gain work experience with world-leading employers such as JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs despite the pandemic; and allowed students to explore different career paths from the comfort of their homes. 

This has been beneficial for a first-year student like me as I was able to gain a deeper understanding of different industries as a whole, and individual firms. I took part in the Investment Banking and Finance & Professional Services Internship which were 2 out of the internships available across six sectors (Investment banking, Technology, Business operations and marketing, Finance and professional services, Consulting and Law). The Investment Banking Internship was of particular interest to me because Investment banking is viewed as a difficult industry to enter due to its competitive nature. However, Internship Experience UK allowed students from different backgrounds to explore the industry and gain the skills and knowledge for a successful career in Investment Banking.

Both internships were 3-days long and spanned over 2 weeks. During this time, I learnt about the industry through sector-focused seminars that were delivered by world-leading firms. These seminars covered many topics such as product groups, valuation methodologies and the deal lifecycle. We were able to listen to and interact with professionals in the industry who gave us an insight into their respective divisions and their career journey.

My favourite part of the internship was how we were able to network with other students. During this unprecedented time, we have missed out on social interaction and networking with peers as well as potential employers however IEUK allowed students to partake in 1:1 networking. We also received feedback from our peers on the project we completed on the second day of the internship.

I loved how the networking opportunities and the project replicated an actual internship. As part of these internships, we were able to interact with many companies including JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, PricewaterhouseCoopers, BDO and many more. This helped me to understand the recruitment process and opportunities in each firm as well as the culture of each firm which was particularly useful during this time when we cannot attend each firm to experience the culture ourselves.

During this period, 29% of students have had graduate roles or internships either postponed or cancelled but IEUK allows students to gain valuable skills and experience. I would recommend IEUK to any student who wants to boost their employability skills or explore different industries from the comfort of their homes. I found this virtual experience extremely insightful and enjoyable!

Blog written by: Latika Sivaji
Date published: 31/07/2020