Palash Somani is a 2015 Batch Dual Degree Civil Engineer. Let us hear about what he has got to say about being placed as an ‘Equity Research Analyst’ in JP Morgan.
Frankly speaking, it’s the travel and money associated with the field. On a serious note, understanding the requirements of people from the money that they get from their investments, learning and following global events such as crisis in Europe, Japan and the US economy since 2008 and understanding how linked the world economy is caught a hang of me. To add furthermore, I did an finance intern in Kirloskar Group in my second year. After this I just went on pursuing this new interest of mine.
How does one start exploring the field of finance?
If you don’t have any background in finance so far, you can always start from basic NCFM modules. Take up courses related to finance, for example I took Infrastructural finance in Department of Management Studies. You may also look for projects related to finance. I did my final year thesis on a project based on finance. I also had a couple of certifications for NCFM modules.
Simply put, your job description?
Equity Research Analyst – It is quite similar to invest banking, only with more research though.To put it in a more subtle way, I look at companies from a sector for investments which can provide long term returns.
What does JP Morgan look for in its potential employees?
JP Morgan looks for commitment and dedication for the job in its employees. They understand that students with engineering background will only have a basic knowledge about finance and its fields. The willingness to learn and grasping abilities play a major role. After all a slight inclination towards finance is the thing which drives you to learn new fields of finance.
How did PORs and other co-curricular activities help you in the process?
Through various PORs I took in insti, I somehow developed my communication skills; presenting ideas about literally any topic of discussion. I realised one could contribute to any discussion in the room without having any prior knowledge just by using logic. Every student inculcates important qualities like confidence of public speaking, multi-tasking and time management through various co-curricular activities.
How was your placement experience?
As I mentioned earlier, it is a very random process. Keep your cool, it’s all about holding the nerves. Don’t get pressurised and enjoy the experience. Talking specifically about JP Morgan, 16 students were shortlisted for 2 rounds of personal interview. The panelists shot varied questions from almost all the backgrounds like HR, behavioural, technical etc. A lot of questions based on financial markets based on global news were asked. Even if you don’t know the correct answer for a question, you can go by logic based on market trends and the news you followed. I had only two rounds of interviews, although some candidates had 3 rounds.
Any tips for students?
Expand your horizons, try out new things and give your 100% in whatever you do. Make up your mind before entering financial job profiles. It’s all about high working hours and high level of commitment. Have clarity regarding finance and consultancy before preparing for placements. Beyond placements, MBA is not the ultimate fate you may have to meet. There are a lot more options available and one can choose a course according to his/her requirements and interests.