In March this year, I completed a Spring Week in the Global Markets division at BNP Paribas in their London office. I applied for this programme last December after hearing about Spring Weeks from a friend. When I first began my applications, I knew that I wanted a career in banking but I didn’t have a clue about the different divisions that I could choose from. After some research, I decided to apply to the Global Markets programmes, as it seemed to best suit my maths background and I found it the most interesting. I was quite late applying, so I only managed to apply to a few Spring Weeks at banks. The applications mainly involved writing a CV, cover letters and doing interviews over the phone – I had never done these things before, but there’s some great advice online covering how to prepare for interviews, what kind of questions to expect and how to write CVs and cover letters, which proved invaluable to me!
The Spring Week started with introductory talks about both the working environment at BNP Paribas and what the different careers within Global Markets involve. It was a great opportunity to ask questions, improve my understanding of these roles, and figure out where exactly my interest lies. We also received technical training, which was great for me as I don’t come from a financial background. It also made me realise that you don’t need to know everything about markets or the structure of a bank before you arrive, as you will be taught everything you need to know! I was lucky enough to work shadow on the Credit Sales desk on the trading floor during the week, and also had the chance to sit with some traders. This was probably my favourite part of the week as you learn so much more when you’re immersed in the environment, watching people do their jobs. I really loved the atmosphere of the trading floor too!
Over the course of the week, we had evening events including socialising with the other Spring Interns at a bar after work and networking with employees over drinks at the bank. These were great opportunities to get to know both some like-minded people who could be future colleagues and also people in various stages of their careers, from recent graduates to heads of global departments, who are already working at BNP Paribas, and to find out more about life at BNP Paribas.
The last day involved group interviews, which were to help BNP Paribas decide who would be fast tracked on to the internship. I’m excited to say, I’ll be going back to complete an internship in Global Markets next summer!
Overall, I really enjoyed my week at BNP Paribas and am looking forward to working there in summer, since I felt that the people were very friendly and helpful and the environment suited me. I would definitely recommend getting involved in applying for Spring Weeks, as they are a great door into the world of banking!
Durham University Women in Business
On Wednesday 2nd November, BNP Paribas will be hosting Mock Interview Sessions in Durham. If you would like to participate, please send a copy of your CV to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll allocate you a time slot.