What made my internship insightful was not only the things I have learned throughout the process but also the obstacles as well as opportunities I face. One of the major obstacles was my lack of professional knowledge in Investment Banking area prior to my internship.
In the beginning, it was hard for me to work on modelling and valuation when I did not know a lot of the professional vocabulary terms. Even though I have taken Finance classes at school, but I realized real life finance work is completely different. It was more difficult when I was given the tasks to value a company based on financial statements. Therefore, the first two weeks at work did not go well for me, as I have to improve both my Excel as well as financial modelling skills. However, such difficulty was expected when I applied for the internship. After being accepted into the real estate investment banking group, I was aware of my lack of knowledge in the sectors and the real estate industry. Therefore, I decided to spend extra effort to overcome this big challenge and turn it into an opportunity to prove my work ethic and curiosity to learn.
Throughout my internship, I would drop down the terms or concepts that I am not familiar with on my notes during the day. Whenever I did not know the term, I would research the definition of the term or ask other junior analysts about it. And after work, I would spend extra time reviewing the notes I took during the day. It was a struggle in the beginning but as time goes by, I have gotten a better understanding of the terms on the financial statements, which helped significantly when I was building my own model.
The obstacles came out to be a great learning experience since I was able to pick up concepts I did not know before after spending the extra effort in order to understand them. But I was able to turn the challenge into learning opportunities to adjust to the steep learning curve in banking. Reflecting back at my experience, working at Bank of America was an intense process where I was given many challenging tasks. Even though I had limited knowledge in banking in the beginning of the internship, I have learned so much during the process through asking questions and showing the initiative to learn. Therefore, I was able to complete the difficult tasks given by both junior and senior bankers. I am proud that I was able to overcome the obstacle and use it as an opportunity to learn, which made my summer experience even more enjoyable.