An Exclusive Interview
with a J. P. Morgan Intern
Here is an insider interview with our former deputy chairperson, Lau Sau Wei (Aaron) about his internship experience at J. P. Morgan London over the summer. Read more about how his experience in GC help him stand out in his cohort and secure this internship.
How was your summer at J. P. Morgan London?
It was absolutely wonderful! I really enjoyed the whole experience and everything that I went through, both the work and the social part.
Can you walk us through the application process, and explain the main challenges you faced?
It was a three-stage interview last year (online, tests, video interview, then Assessment Centre) but they have introduced new tests this year. Personally, the hardest part for me was to get past the video interview and proceed to the Assessment Centre. This is also true statistically as only less than 5% of applicants are invited for the AC while more than 40% of candidates from the AC eventually received an offer.
Introduction Day 1
What advice would you give to future applicants?
Do your research well on the company and also the role you are applying for. Do not just read off of the official website as it is simply not enough. Be confident when speaking during the interviews (virtual & in-person) to give the best first impression of yourself.
Would you like to share with us briefly about the work that you were involved in?
I was based in the Treasury Services Department, within the corporate and investment banking division. For the department as a whole, treasury services involves providing cash management, trade and liquidity solutions for global corporate clients and is a $4bn annual innovation and technology happens the most within the banking industry.
My team was specifically called the Legal Entity Strategy Client Delivery Team and we were in charge of the cross-border migration of treasury services of corporate customers. My day to day job involves a lot of reporting, project management and stakeholder management.
Annual J. P. Morgan Corporate Challenge that interns are invited to join. It is the largest corporate run of its kind, the London run is participated by over 30,00 runners from 750+ companies.
What is the work culture in J. P. Morgan London like?
I found it to be super nice and welcoming, in contrast to the typical 'banking' stereotypes that I was expecting. The one thing that is very noticeable and always mentioned by all interns (so this is 100% true) is that everyone is very open to sharing. There is a Starbucks on the 7th floor of our building and if you walk past it at anytime of the day, you will always see strangers meeting each other for the first time for a coffee chat.
People there are always very willing to teach when it comes to doing work, no one has ever told me to just go find my own answer. From there, it also builds the culture of everyone asking around even across different team when we need help hence a very collaborative culture.
What did you learn throughout the internship?
Well, first of all I gained a very thorough understanding of the entire wholesale payments industry, how the different teams work together to run the business and how it is evolving into the future. I was tasked to do a wholesale payments competitor analysis so that helped me understand what other major banks are doing as well.
Next thing would be that I learned how to work together as part of a team in a very formal setting with a manager to report to and different stakeholders to answer to. Being my first time working in London, I also had to suit my work etiquette to how everyone was doing so that I could work well with the team and get my work done up to the best standards.
What skills do you think a J. P. Morgan intern should possess?
First of all, definitely to be committed and hardworking. Trust me, there is no hard work that goes unnoticed. You don't succeed when you're not committed to your work and doing your tasks half-heartedly.
Secondly, the ability to learn quickly and adapt to the situation. It is also important to look at things in the broader picture when making any judgement.
Networking is also very crucial and it has been emphasised many times throughout my internship.
How did your experience in GC help you during the course of your internship?
GC is a professional student body and my time there has moulded me to work with teams efficiently and has taught me how to communicate effectively with other members. This really helped when I just started work as my team members found that I was quick to pick up how a piece of work is needed to be done. The emphasis is on how things need to be done professionally and it is something that I wouldn't have learnt it anywhere else.
Secondly, the more technical skills such as event planning and project management during GC was applicable on a broader scale as that was a very transferable skill onto my workplace. Even other minor things such as writing a formal email will come in handy at some point!
Then there are the corporate representatives that we deal with in GC that is definitely very important in the workplace as I constantly needed to make sure my work is in order and up to standards. I had to manage expectations of my managers or anyone I was working with since I was practically the most junior person on the team.