This internship program provided by SMBC was truly a valuable experience for me. In the past, I learnt finance only from academic and policy side. However, this internship offered different perspectives from real day-to-day practice at one of the biggest financial institutions in Japan.
This two-week program was extremely fruitful and intense. I had learning sessions with different departments within SMBC, such as Institutional Clients Department (ICDA), Human Resource Department, and Risk Management Department, etc. During sessions, they told me their goals, future plans, and daily practices which they are currently conducting. Moreover, the ICDA even kindly took me to meet their clients. During the visits, I also learnt about their strategies and future challenges. Additionally, I also got a chance to discuss with employees from SMBC’s affiliated company, Nikko Securities. From the meeting, I learnt about the different nature of a security company, and how Nikko is cooperating with SMBC in order to provide more favorable service to their clients. As being mentioned, my previous background of finance all comes from academic perspectives. However, after this internship, I can utilize what I had learnt at school, and grasp a brief overview of what a Japanese bank is actually doing. For example, after the financial crisis, financial regulation is becoming increasingly strict. From this internship, I finally had an opportunity to know how these regulations, such as Basel III, alter and reshape the business at financial institutions, and how financial institutions implement these regulations while keeping providing their services.
I really appreciated that all employees I met were really friendly and helpful. On one hand, as interns, I was asked to complete call reports after meetings. My mentor looked through my report precisely, and even gave me valuable feedbacks and recommendations. On the other hand, every employee is willing to answer any question at anytime. Therefore, when I found anything I could not understand during the learning sessions, I could easily reach out to an employee and get detailed answer.
I would like to recommend this great internship at SMBC to anyone who has interest in working in finance industry in Japan, because during this internship, you can utilize your knowledge and experience the real practice in a large bank.