It’s the end of Week 7 and work here at JPMorgan has gotten hard. At this point in the internship, we are expected to provide a plethora of information ranging from simple things such as who is on our team, what we do, and what is the managing hierarchy – to more complex things, such as facilitating discussions and presentations with 10+ team members and being able to leverage resources in order to create reports for multiple areas of the business. Knowing the information isn’t necessarily the hard part though, its articulating what the end product you made means back to your manager. What I mean is that typically your manager will give you a project. When they give it to you, it will usually include a name, a huge data dump excel file (usually 150,000+ rows, the biggest I have seen was 489,000), and a few reports that you are supposed to download from different programs the company uses that will run analytics reports. From there, your manager will tell you what they expect in the end result and then it is up to you to create it from there with a few rough guidelines. This takes a lot of trial and error, along with problem solving and critical thinking. There have been lots of times where I take a break at this stage because I get frustrated or get critiqued on something I put a lot of time/effort into. However, the key is perseverance, take the criticism – put a positive spin on it and give it another chance. Eventually you’ll get it right, and if not…then they’ll just pass it on to someone more senior who actually knows how to do it and hopefully you learned something from it! After I put the finishing touches on my slide-deck, spreadsheet, etc. I’m expected to present it to my team – where they make suggestions and ask questions, while I’m expected to lead the overall discussion and explain to them what they are looking at, along with passing along important metrics that are key to the project we are looking at. The information is expected to be both concise and precise as upper management does not have time to deal with large amounts of information on a singular topic.
Although the day-day is hard and has become tiring as the weeks have gone on, I am loving the work that I am doing. While it does take a lot of practice and patience to understand the terminology and more importantly who/what/how/why something is happening – it is so worth it once you can contribute to your team in a meaningful way.
A few days ago I had a project that I contributed to significantly get presented by the department’s CFO at a town hall meeting. This was a great moment for me as I was able to see how my work was contributing back to the company and how I could make an impact through hard work. Being able to see how a small project that I worked on was able to get tweaked and refined as it went up the management ladder, until ultimately it was polished enough to be published publicly by the company was a great accomplishment as I had contributed meaningful work back to the company.
While work at JPMorgan is getting tougher, the relationships I have made with other interns has allowed me to forget about work (as much as possible) on the weekends as we have a great group who hang out quite a lot. Lately we have been going to a lot of Happy Hour’s with other interns from banks, while also meeting up on the weekend’s to explore the parks, neighborhoods and events that NYC is constantly hosting. This has been a great experience as I have gotten to explore and immerse myself in a new city, while trying so many ethnic and culturally unique foods in differing neighborhoods week by week. The neighborhood I live in (Crown Heights/Flatbush) is influenced by many Caribbean roots, thus my favorite food this summer has become Jerk Chicken. I’m convinced that it is the best way to eat chicken and I eat it at least 2x/week now.