Internship programmes can shape one’s career and when it’s J.P. Morgan, it is definitely fancy for your CV. However, there is surprisingly little information on the experience and scope of a corporate banking internship in Southeast Asia, despite growing interest among graduates.
We are going to fix that with an interview with a J.P. Morgan Chase Summer Analyst to provide you with valuable insights that will hopefully guide you in making great decisions in your professional career.
Related: Goldman Sachs or McKinsey? Neither.
1. What are the roles of a Corporate Summer Analyst at J.P. Morgan Malaysia?
On day-to-day activities, each role has its different set of objectives and business activities. As I’ve come to understand, each intern in my batch is placed in a different department, and what we do are all very different. Some have fixed SOPs that run on a tight deadline every week, others have longer term projects but require much more detail in terms of research and reporting. My role specifically requires a lot of flexibility as I am assisting corporate bankers with managing client relationships (can’t disclose exact activity), analyzing data, industry research as well as other administrative tasks.
On the other hand, in larger operations, roles are usually more well-defined and there is less pressure on new joiners (this is subjective, of course) and this may limit the rate of personal development if individuals are more passive and do not take the initiative to learn.
2. From your experience, what is the most important quality of a corporate banker that is valued most at J.P. Morgan?
The most important quality that I’ve heard from feedback from managers is resourcefulness – that doesn’t just mean utilizing resources that are in abundance, but rather seeking ways to solve problems even when resources are scarce.
From my experience, working in two different global banks, the cross-border corporate world values new joiners who are not only eager to learn and are able to perform, but they also seek talents who are willing to embrace cultures of diversity and collaboration that are inherent in a forward-looking firm.
3. Can you share some distinctions between Corporate Banking at J.P. Morgan in comparison to local banks in Malaysia?
Since both banks I’ve worked in are Northern American banks, I can’t really give a fair comparison of the environment in these banks to local banks. On a hearsay basis, the one comment I can give is that regulatory requirements are tightening and this affects both segments in similar ways. More firms are looking into restructuring and streamlining many end-to-end processes, and technology plays a huge part in this. The needs of finance related employment today may very well differ by the time our cohort graduates, as automation takes the lead in reshaping the industry.
In terms of growth potential, I personally think it depends on the scale of operations. A firm that operates at a global scale may have a strong presence in many regions, but often country officers which are not “hubs” tend to operate at smaller scales, and the nature of specialization doesn’t always translate from the larger “hubs”. This means, for entry-level employees at least, an opportunity to very rapidly understand various functions, out of necessity, of the firm operating at a small scale but supporting many other business functions within the firm, sometimes in a cross-border way.
4. How is the company culture and the working hours?
Firstly, I’d say it depends on what projects are being carried out at the moment. Some bosses may suddenly require a research report done urgently, and that could mean staying late to produce the report and ensure it is ready for the next morning. The funny thing is, when people bring up work life balance whilst at work, it invites a sense of disbelief – reactions that almost sound like “work-life balance? are you kidding me?” This could be valid in almost any workplace.
In my opinion, most managers and colleagues who work with us on a day-to-day basis will expect us to perform at the highest level, just as they are expected to by their own bosses. As long as we are able to deliver results, I do think it is possible to have a ‘better’ work life balance by crafting our schedule accordingly. This undoubtedly takes self-discipline and having clear goals in mind and steps to achieve them. For example, if you know you have plans for the evening and hope to leave on time, you want to make sure the tasks you have allocated for the day are done by a set time during the day, allowing for any other ‘surprise’ activities at work.
That’s a sense of urgency that benefits us, especially when multiple deadlines are imminent.