Tanmay Bagree from the Department of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering did his summer internship at Nomura. In an interview with Chennai36, he talks about his profile at Nomura, the selection procedure and shares some preparation guidelines. Read on to know more about getting an intern at one of India’s most reputed NBFCs (google NBFC to kick-start your finance prep :p)

Why finance and why Nomura?

“I’ve had some finance background because of my family and I was also interested in this field. Also, I’m from metallurgy and I figured I’m not interested in core, So for non-core you have Analytics, Finance and Consulting. I had done an Analytics Intern in my 2nd year, so I thought of giving finance a try since I felt consulting interns are not that great from the campus. Why I chose Nomura is because, there is no other good finance option, Nomura is the only good structuring finance role.

Work culture and experience so far – typical day?

So basically, it is 5 days a week, about 8-9 hours a day, but for a Nomura intern it’s a lot about networking and showing that you are really interested in this and want to convert this into a PPO, so you end up staying there till almost 12-13 hours even though your actual work demands only 8-9 hours a day. At Nomura, you have multiple desks – though I’m under GMS, I’m currently working with the EMEA (Europe Middle East and Africa) Credit Structuring team and will be working with Business Resource Management. The teams are small since their role is to support the international offices in London, Hong Kong etc.

How did you prepare for the interview?

I got inputs from seniors who got selected and went through this process on how to prepare for the interviews, so I knew they loved to ask about “Guesstimates”, general probability and statistics based questions. It’s fine if you don’t know finance a lot, but do not lie there since they can ask in-depth on it. But it’s better to know finance to differentiate yourself since it gives an added advantage. Also, they value general awareness a lot, so it’s better to start reading business newspapers like ET etc. I also visited the Chennai36 article about the Nomura internship to get an overall feel about the process. I had friends in Mech and Chem so I prepared with them for GD since I did not have prior GD experience.

How was the interview process? Did your Co-Curricular activities matter?

First, they have a resume shortlist. For Nomura, the resume is very important. They have 2-3 people going through every applicant’s resume and rating them out of 5. Since mostly alumni are judging these resumes, you can’t scam your way through. So put whatever is real and don’t try to lie in the resume. So though they don’t really care for your PoRs during the interview, it might be useful for the resume shortlist. About previous interns, they matter if you’ve done something which has added value to that organization. I am also genuinely interested in social work, so in my resume, I had showcased my NSS and Saarang-Spons related social activities.

The second part is G.D – Group Discussion, the topic is generally related to current affairs or trends. My GD topic was on A.I and its implications for finance. In my GD, the judges were disappointed since they expected the discussion itself to move towards the financial implications, but that never happened. People generally think that in a G.D the more you speak the better, but that is not the case with Nomura since they also hear what you speak and in my G.D those who were speaking a lot were only speaking B.S. Even though I didn’t speak a lot in my G.D they still shortlisted me for the next stage which is the interview.

Before going to the interview, they have a preference order in terms of the cumulative scores from the previous two rounds.

Nomura comes to insti for two profiles – Global Markets Structuring and Wholesale Strategy. You need to give your preference but can sit for both the interviews although they don’t consider you a priority in the post which you didn’t give preference to. In my case, I preferred GMS, so I gave 5 interviews for GMS and 1 interview in WS. An important point to note for Nomura is that only through their interns do they hire undergrads and they do not come for placements, so they put in a lot of effort to hire the best intern since this is their only hiring cycle. One of the interviews I had was with the MD of Nomura and he asked me what question I would like to ask him. I had anticipated this question so I asked about something I had researched about the company and this impressed him. But then he again asked me to ask another question and like that, I asked him 3 questions. So it’s important to ask good quality questions about Nomura and not ask stupid questions which can be easily answered by the internet.

During the last interview, they were undecided between me and another guy, so this interview had all 6 interviewers who had conducted my previous interviews and were like “If you solve this question you get the internship or else you don’t”. So they love to put you in high-pressure situations since the financial world is like that.

Any message for the upcoming batch of finance-enthu intern students?

In the summer, spend at least one month on probability if you’ve not done the insti math course, work on Mental Ability based questions which are helpful for all interns and not only Nomura. You must also do logic puzzles and brain teasers which are really helpful. Books which you can refer to are, “Day 1.0” and “Heard on the street” which have really good examples. Also, prepare for guesstimate questions but do not overdo it as it can constrain your thinking. For the finance part, start reading finance newspapers and if you can’t understand some word, Google it up and learn more about it. You should know very basic stuff like stocks-bonds etc. Investopedia site is a really good source to know about financial jargon. All of this and your smartness can get you an intern at Nomura.

Perks of being In Nomura?

The brand value of Nomura in the finance world is very high, and all the executives in the India offices are all veterans in the financial world, working from the times of Lehman Brothers when their Asian offices were taken over by Nomura. Also, the compensation after you get your PPO is good. Most importantly, the exit option after working in Nomura India is really rewarding i.e after working here for 2-3 years people generally opt for higher studies, so getting admission into top B-Schools like Harvard, Stanford is quite possible and easy. Getting transferred to one of their offices in London, Hong Kong is also a possibility.This is because, the people working here are very knowledgeable so when you leave, people know that you have worked with the best in the business and surely have learned a lot. This is a really great advantage. Other banking firms like AMEX or GS do not offer the full finance experience like Nomura does. Since in AMEX, it’s mostly analytics and in GS, it’s based on whether you get the correct team. In this aspect, Nomura is really great.

Authors:  Pranav Hari(DD-CE’22)

Editor: Susmit Panzade

This article is part of the series – The Intern Guru. To get regular updates on our articles, follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/chennai36 and Instagram @chennai36_iitm