The benefits of being a working student
Working student positions can be a good entry into big banks and an opportunity to work along with the executive branch. If you are lucky, you’ll also experience colleagues interacting with internal and external teams as well as clients. Working student positions give you an opportunity to connect with the same network as an intern thereby opening doors for future career opportunities. Yet in some fields such as Investment Banking, it is challenging and demanding in that it requires strong efforts to obtain an internship or a full-time position later despite having worked in the bank in a student role.In general however, working student positions help you to get a foot in the door. They help you to develop strong working relationships and become familiar with a working environment in a different culture; a strong advantage for international students. Overall, it is a worthwhile experience to upgrade both your soft and hard skills.
Life as a J.P. Morgan working student
I am currently working as a working student in the Consultant Relations team in the Investor Services department of J.P. Morgan Chase and Co. here in Frankfurt. In my role, I actively engage with the Sales & Marketing and Custody & Fund services team.
I interact with Sales Consultants covering various deals as well as provide detailed analysis on consultant coverage across the European, Middle-East and African markets. These tasks encourage me to step out of my comfort zone and communicate seamlessly with people at the top of the executive ladder and have discussions regarding the intricacies of deals. This helps me develop a strong narrative to showcase my skills and most importantly, develop a better understanding of the business.
German in the workplace
I personally interact with teams in London, and thereby, my work is mostly in English. In general, however, working student positions do require a command in the German language. If your skills match the job however, the language requirement can be traded off and a working student position can be a strong opportunity for an international student to get into large organizations.
Working student vs Intern
Finally, the con of being a working student is that we are, in general, unsure whether such roles will lead to a full-time position but such opportunities do help you build strong skill-sets and a resume that may become your strength during the full-time applications. More importantly, if you have built a strong network, you can leverage that to at least gain information or references for full-time position applications.
Overall, I personally entered the job with a mindset to learn and enhance my skillset. Fingers crossed for the future!