Amelia Wall (right) together with Linda Shi, Analyst (left).
Amelia has been an intern at Nordea for four weeks, and the interview process is still top of mind for her. We asked her to reflect on the experience and share some tips for your application and potential interview.
Amelia Wall (23)
Intern at Debt Capital Markets (DCM) Syndicate
For starters, what do you study and why?
I study Industrial Engineering and Management, with a minor in Financial Mathematics at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg. I’m currently in my penultimate year of studying towards a M.Sc. in Quality and Operations Management.
When I initially applied for university, my aspiration was actually to work with Operations Management, and Industrial Engineering, and my Master’s programme seemed ideal for that, since it provides a good mix of subjects related to economics, technology and management. However, when I started studying Financial Mathematics and did my Bachelor’s thesis on corporate debt financing, I gained a whole new area of interest, which made me want to go into finance.
Why did you choose to apply for an internship in DCM?
I wanted to explore my interest gained through Financial Mathematics courses and my thesis. Additionally, I have a strong interest in capital markets and debt financing in general and was eager to learn more about these areas, which made me apply for an intern position in DCM specifically, an easy choice.
Why did you choose Nordea?
I had visited the Nordea Stockholm office twice before – once during a student event with Gothenburg Investment Banking Society, and once when interviewing two representatives from Sales & Trading for my Bachelor’s thesis. I got a very good impression of Nordea and its employees and therefore decided to apply for one of its internships.
How to stand out?
Can you describe the application process?
After I submitted my application, Nordea contacted me and invited me to a phone interview with two representatives from Leveraged Finance. It went well, and I was invited to Stockholm for two additional interviews with people from various areas within DCM. As a last step, I spoke with a representative from the Syndicate team.
Application do’s and don’ts
My advice would be to invest a lot of time in the application itself, to make it stand out from the others. Take some time to evaluate what you can offer the bank compared to your peers, and try to integrate that in your cover letter. Also, all qualities mentioned in your cover letter and CV should shine through in the application, such as “attention to detail” for instance. I highlighted the skills I believe are vital for the industry, why I chose to apply to Nordea, and emphasised what skills and strengths I had developed from previous experiences.
For the interviews, I’d say just be yourself and don’t be scared to show your personality. The interviews can be quite tricky at some points, so make sure you come prepared. Have a good understanding of what investment banking really means, and why the industry and the department you’re applying for appeals to you. And as for most investment banking interviews, it is likely that you will get some technical questions, so don’t forget to refresh your skills in accounting and finance.
Any idea what profile they are looking for?
Of course they look for people with a genuine interest in investment banking, but from my impression, what’s most important is having the right attitude and willingness to learn. Not having a financial background never felt like an obstacle, as I had put a lot of effort into gaining the relevant knowledge in other ways, simply because I found the subject really fun and interesting.
Finally, how would you describe the first three weeks of your internship?
It’s been a great few weeks. We started off with an introduction that lasted for about five days, where we were introduced to the different departments within DCM and learned the basics of, for example, Financial and Leverage Buyout (LBO) Modelling. It’s been an intense period, but I’ve also learned a lot – and that’s the main reason I’m here. I felt very welcomed by my team and the other colleagues. I even got “real” assignments already on the first day, which was exciting, and I continuously get more responsibilities.
Group photo with the current interns at Leveraged Finance/DCM.
Have Amelia’s words sparked your interest in becoming an intern at Nordea? Then put her advice into practice when you apply for your intern position. The next application deadline for internships is 14 February 2018.
For more inside tips, read the article “How to get an internship at Nordea?” in which Lisa Andersson, who oversees the interview process, gives three guidelines for students to follow.