I was keen on interning at a boutique investment bank. Before approaching Raymond James, I contacted my classmate Patrick who works there, via LinkedIn to understand more about working at Raymond James and the company’s culture. I sent in my application, and received a positive reply within a week, inviting me for interviews.
The first round was a telephone interview which was very comprehensive. We went through my CV, my motivations for applying, (almost all WSO & BIWS) valuation and accounting questions. There were also some questions related to the industries in general, recent transactions and why these were of particular interest to me. The interviewer was extremely polite, and very friendly, and by this point I was interested in meeting more of the team to get to know them better.
After 3 days, I received an invitation to the Munich office for assessment interviews. I had 4 different rounds with 4 of my current colleagues (mostly analysts and associates). My first round was a numerical test, which was pretty standard. For the next round, I had to complete a PowerPoint test, which required reading and understanding information in a short period of time. The third round was an excel model to complete a DCF. The interviews took place in between the various assessment rounds. The final round I had was a fit interview to understand how well I might get along with the team. Finally, my classmate popped in with some tea, and broke the good news to me that I was liked by all the interviewers and that they wanted to offer me the internship role.
Internship (August to November)
My very first day was incredibly intense and extremely interesting as I was directly supporting one of the VPs on a project she was working on. I sit with my mentor, who is an analyst and my go-to person for any questions (related to work, personal life, all and sundry), and the VP who works in the healthcare sector. As an intern, I get to work on projects in different sector groups, thereby enabling me to understand what sector I’d like to focus on in future as an analyst. Since all my colleagues are easy to approach, I have mentioned that I’d like to work tasks to improve my valuation skills, and the team has always given me new and interesting tasks and seen to it that I learn as much as I can in my internship.
Raymond James Munich office has cultivated a unique working environment, which makes working late hours enjoyable since all of my colleagues are kind, considerate and extremely knowledgeable. The breadth of my internship experience involves valuation (comparable companies and transactions, LBO), understanding the industry, market research, preparing all sorts of presentations (short profiles, Confidential Information Memorandum, management presentations), potential buyers list, and a lot more. Since Raymond James has a strong sell-side advisory franchise, I get to work simultaneously on multiple projects that are at different stages in the sell-side process.
Every intern has a mid-internship review with their mentor. For me, this was a brief discussion on what I do well, what I need to work on, the general opinion about me by everyone I’ve worked with, and my goals for the future. It was during this time that I mentioned that I’d be very interested in working full-time, and the MD put me in touch with her colleagues in London. A week after, the MD, SVP and an
associate from London interviewed me and offered me a full-time position in London starting November!
My two cents
The most important thing I learnt from my internship was to try and never repeat errors. And to push to learn as much as I could from my seniors. Being smart, polite, and mindful at work is the culture at Raymond James, so these are the qualities that Raymond James looks for in candidates. If you’re hardworking, willing to learn and go the extra mile, your colleagues will certainly appreciate you. And if you’re curious about something, or want to know about how to grow in your career, the seniors here are more than willing to support you and give you necessary guidance.
P.S. I was also very fortunate that my internship period rightly coincided with the Oktoberfest in Munich, and I got to go drinking with my colleagues and seniors 😉