Those considering careers in finance may be pleased to know there are several internship opportunities geared toward current and graduating St Andrews students. Citi, a global investment bank with a presence in 160 countries, is extending its hand toward interested students, and on Monday 5 October 2015 sent three representatives (two of whom were current or former St Andrews students) to share their experiences with students hoping to apply for internship positions. The representatives included Alan Chalmers, Christine von Lehmden, and Skylar Montgomery Koning.
Alan Chalmers graduated from St Andrews in the class of 1979. During his time at the University he served as President of the Student Union, as well as Rector’s Assessor. He has worked at Citi now for around 30 years. Asked what initially drew him to Citi, he joked that he had a long way to think back but finally decided it was the “globality” of the investment bank. Currently, he is the director of risk management, working to make sure Citi and its clients receive an appropriate return for the risks the bank takes, and he says he was surprised by the complexity and sheer volume of information that this job entails.
At the lower levels of Citi, Mr. Chalmers said, most work is numerical, involving some kind of data, so a background in finance or mathematics is quite helpful; however he stresses that, working at Citi, it is more important to be well-rounded and able to think critically. He said his first two or three years at Citi provided him with a tremendous business education, and stressed the importance of building a professional network within Citi.
Christine von Lehmden graduated with a Masters of Arts from the University of Edinburgh in 2012. She began in Citi’s graduate program in the entry sales division and is currently an Assistant Vice President working in short term financing. She works with corporate clients around the world, particularly in Western Europe. Ms. Von Lehmden said she was attracted to the considerable responsibility that Citi gave her at an early age, and that she appreciated the work-life balance that is possible working with Citi. Like Mr. Chalmers, she was also impressed that Citi is so diverse but functions as a single unit.
The greatest challenge Ms. Von Lehmden observes in new interns is lack of experience. However, she said that the training and networking opportunities Citi provides are very useful. Working at Citi, she says it is most important to be trustworthy, diligent, and team-oriented. In the future she said she might like to work elsewhere in the bank or, potentially, transition into politics, emphasizing the value of the experience she gained at Citi.
Skylar Montgomery Koning is a fourth year student at the University of St Andrews. She participated in Citi’s Spring Insight program, transitioned into a Summer Analyst internship, and is now on her way to becoming a full time analyst. The atmosphere of her first experience encouraged her to continue with Citi. The sense of camaraderie and helpfulness among her fellow analysts was both enjoyable to work around and helpful in dealing with the steep learning curve that faces new analysts. From the very beginning of her internship Ms. Montgomery Koning was given considerable responsibility.
Her work at Citi so far has included back testing, sales training, and reports on hedge funds. Though she is not sure exactly what her position will be after she completes her rotations for her internship, she hopes to continue working with the investment bank.
Citi frequently holds informative events in St Andrews so be sure to look out for the next one. You can also visit the Careers Centre for more information about the opportunities at Citi for St Andrews students.