What it's like to intern at J.P. Morgan Chase (cont'd)

Wednesday, August 20, 2014 Rahul Das 0 Comments


Accommodation and commuting

Most software companies in Hyderabad have their offices in and around Hitech City. Your best option would therefore be to stay as a Paying Guest near Madhapur, Kondapur or Gachibowli. I spent the weekend before my first day looking for a place to stay and ended up choosing this place called Amulya (+91 95 81 834455 / +91 40 6555 5703) near the Gachibowli Flyover: Well-maintained, 3 decent meals a day, laundry, WiFi, a washing machine and a few other facilities at Rs 7,000 a month.

As for commuting, there’s nothing you'd have to worry about. The company runs a cab service between the office and your residence which you can avail almost anytime during the day.


First day

The plush telepresence rooms, the sea of cubicles, the bustling cafeteria, the access gates… Almost everything in the office seemed to amaze me the moment I set foot in the building! The 5 of us were given our orientation and introduced to the people we would be working with, including the manager, mentor and buddy assigned to each of us. Our work was to be monitored, depending on which we stood a chance to be offered full-time jobs, otherwise known as Pre-Placement Offers (PPOs), upon the end of the internship.


General routine

Flexible timings with work hours that weren't too hectic; being a bank, we were always asked to dress in formals (except on Fridays). 

More than the fact that even their most senior employees worked in cubicles with everyone else, what surprised me about the organization's “open” culture was how we were encouraged to address every employee in the firm by his/her first name. I was so used to addressing my teachers back at NITK as "sir" or "ma’amthat it took me quite some time to get used this.


Our work

A few days after the start of the internship, we were given personalized documents which outlined the key deliverables of each of our projects and included detailed timelines of our weekly targets. Now owing to the confidentiality agreement that I had signed prior to my internship, I am precluded from divulging any details regarding my project.



Settling in


During the course of the next few weeks, the 5 of us were trained to use software tools we had never come across and were given sessions that gave us an overview of the entire bank and its vastness. Being a part of the firm also gave us access to the firm’s extensive collection of online resources.

As for my project, my mentor would take some time off every day to guide me with my work. Both of us would have weekly meetings with my manager which during Week 5, included a mid-term evaluation and a telepresence with our HR recruiter in Bengaluru.

What I appreciated most about the organization was its people. Unlike what I had imagined, most employees didn't seem as stressed or overworked as I had expected them to be. On the contrary, they were always obliging despite how occupied they were.

For the post I was asked to write for the firm’s global Facebook page, I had to coordinate with people from the firm's marketing division in Hong Kong and used the opportunity to connect with 2 interns in Singapore. It was then that I realized how exciting the prospect of working in a company with such a global outreach was.


The biggest takeaway


As a part of the Senior Leadership Speaker Series during our internship, we interns were given the opportunity to have telepresences with some of the top brass of the organization at both the regional and global level. While the international leaders (all from the US) addressed and took questions from hundreds of summer interns across the globe, the biggest takeaway from the internship (after the stipend :P) was without doubt, the sessions we had with the regional leaders.

We had a total of 7 of these conferences during our internship, out of which 4 were with our regional leaders. With only the 29 of us taking part in these discussions from different locations in the country, I'd say that these sessions had a more personal effect on us. The thoughtful unbiased advice we were given and the clear logical responses the leaders had to our queries has without doubt, had a major impact on how I (and the rest of us, I'm sure) will approach our careers.



Travel

Paradise Hotel, Secunderabad
Birla Mandir
Yaganti temple in Kurnool District


What's the point in doing an internship if you're not going to explore the city you're in? The cuisine, the monuments, the people, my first solo adventure, my twenty-first: Every weekend I spent in Hyderabad had given me something new to remember. Use these posts to make your experience in the city a more enriching one.



Bidding adieu


Each of us had 2 interviews during the last week of the internship: an end-term evaluation with our managers and another telepresence with our HR recruiter in Bengaluru. Decisions on our PPOs were to be taken following these interviews. However, what made the week memorable was how the 5 of us made the most of it.

Since it was only the 5 of us who were allotted to Hyderabad, I'd say that we grew much closer than we anticipated. The drives we went on in Himaja's car, the amazing treats we were given by the employees who were now our friends, the company sponsored outing we had, that unforgettable final dinner together... They made things so much more difficult when on July 11, the time had finally come for us to bid goodbye to each other.
  
  

Final thoughts


Despite the fact that this was the firm's first summer internship program, I felt that the entire initiative was surprisingly handled well. The fact that I had amazing people as my manager, mentor and buddy could have led me to that conclusion. In any case, I do believe that an internship at J.P. Morgan would be a great way for you to get an insight into the corporate world, especially if you're keen on working in the technology sector in the financial services industry. 

Tip: Do not just use the internship as an opportunity to get employed. Assess what the firm has to offer you and whether a full-time job there would help you in the long-term scheme of things. 

Like I said at the start of this post, why publish this now when I had it ready weeks ago? Well, it was only an hour ago that I received a call from J.P. Morgan informing me that I have been offered the PPO - my first-ever job offer. Can't wait till I get back to the firm as a permanent employee in eleven months. As for now, it's time for me to publish this post, forget the internship and head for the celebrations!




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