Sriram Trikutam is an associate at Deutsche Bank in Jacksonville, Florida. He was an active member of The Fourth Estate and an avid quizzer. Read on to learn about his experience of getting placed in Deutsche Bank.
How did you get into banking?
One of my first electives in the second semester was Principles of Economics and we had a very interesting teacher and textbook for the course. I was instantly hooked and would read Mankiw’s book in my spare time, a rarity for any textbook! I ended up doing a minor in Economics and Finance and enjoyed all three courses. I’d briefly considered higher studies in Economics and even wrote the GRE, but chose the industry over further studies. After four years at IIT, I was ready for the real world and tired of studying.
How did experiences in the insti help you in getting the job and at your work places?
I personally felt that IIT was more about skills than “knowledge”; insti gives you the confidence to take on difficult problems in the face of the most challenging competition. You also have enough “critical mass” (students/alumni/teachers) to pursue any interests that you might have. Finally, insti gives you exposure to a network of students (past and present) who have gone on to achieve great things, which translates to loftier goals and ambitions for each subsequent batch of students.
Simply put, your job description?
Lend vast sums of money to hedge funds and earn tiny spreads, it’s really that simple! I get paid to ensure we lend appropriate amounts of money based on riskiness and quality of collateral (fund’s portfolio of securities) and charge enough interest to ensure sufficient profitability.
What does DB look for, in its potential employees?
A large fraction of jobs in Finance don’t need an advanced math or science degree. What is more important is being analytical, comfortable with numbers (and spreadsheets!), ability to work in teams, and communicate effectively. These sound like generic skills, but there is no special sauce or X-factor. For some roles, programming knowledge is useful. Finance know-how isn’t necessary, as it’s mostly acquired on the job, but it effectively demonstrates an interest in the field.
What are the PORs and Internships that you did in insti and how did they help you?
Being the editor of The Fourth Estate was a great experience, people value soft skills in (ex)students when they graduate from a school with IIT’s reputation. I was a part of the quizzing society and played a bit of soccer too that kept me active mentally and physically
How was the placement experience?
I was quite comfortable with the interview process as I’d had positive conversations during a workshop conducted earlier by DB. There were some nerves in the beginning, but after the first few interviews, I felt confident about the outcome. It helps to approach these as conversations rather than a test with an unforgiving examiner. At the end of the day, we were relaxing on a beach and having a memorable dinner.
Tips for students
As with everything else, success is the result of hard work and preparation. Starts with a solid resume, have it reviewed by seniors or contacts within the same industry or firm (if possible). Make sure you practice for the standard interview questions on your resume, quantitative skills (puzzles, coding, math, etc.), soft skills/fit (“Why Finance?”, “Why DB?”, etc.).