First of all, I would like to highlight the immense support received by GraSPP and SMBC during the whole program.
The internship had a length of only ten days, which made it very intense but still I was able to achieve my main objective. I specifically interned at the Institutional Client Department Asia in the headquarters of SMBC situated in Otemachi, Tokyo. SMBC, as a commercial bank, generates an impressive number of transactions per day through their clients: individuals and companies, but also perform inter-bank transactions with other financial institutions. My department was mainly in charge of the latest.
We received different lectures about all sections within the department, and also from other offices (e.g. Human Resources, Legal Affairs, Planning, among others). Furthermore, I was privileged to attend meetings with different SMBC clients (mainly commercial and investment banks), on which I could learn about how the financial sector works, how important is for all financial institutions to cooperate with each other, and which are the challenges for the future.
Moreover, I realized small tasks to assist the team and by the end of the program I had to deliver a presentation based on the internship experience but also about one of the topics within the company that interested me the most.
As a public policy graduate student but also as a legal practitioner, I have a strong interest on the relation between law and finance. For that reason, I decided to develop my brief research and presentation on AML and KYC (“Anti-money laundering” and “know your customer” respectively) policy. In my opinion, as organized crime, terrorism and other global threats continue growing, and financial transactions’ systems keep evolving, these two topics require continuous innovation and an integral vision of law and financial markets. I was able to largely learn about this, and felt very impressed on how institutions like SMBC prepares itself for these new challenges.
Finally, I want to express my satisfaction towards the knowledge I was able to acquire but most important I am grateful for the approach SMBC allow me to experiment with the financial sector, as part of one of the biggest financial groups in Japan and worldwide (SMFG). After the whole experience, there are principally two words I learned that I believe will always stay with me by enriching my professional career: reciprocity and innovation.
For those interested in finance, and more specifically on the relation and dynamic among financial institutions globally, this is the perfect internship experience for you!