Silvia Gómez tells us about Virtual Citi Insight 2020

@IE University

Second-year Politics, Law, and Economics student Silvia Gómez was selected some months back to participate in the Citi Insight Program (spring internship), after preparing her application and interviews for this highly competitive opportunity with her advisor from the Talent & Careers department at our Segovia campus.

The program, which takes place annually at the London HQ of Citi, brings top talent from all over Europe to the bank. During the spring internship, candidates work hard in the hopes that they’ll receive an offer for a summer analyst position.

Because of the global pandemic, this year, the Citi Insight Program took place virtually, as did the sister programs with other top banks.Silvia has some tips for students considering similar programs in the future: “If you are interested in any banking-related career, even if it’s out of curiosity, I would say try it! It’s a great opportunity and it helps demystify the banking sector. Considering we are at the beginning of our career and will spend 80% of our life devoted to work, it’s good to know whether you like it or not.”

Silvia Gomez

Below, Silvia shares her experience with us in more detail. Check it out!

What did this year’s Citi Insight Program consist of?

The Citi Insight Program (commonly known as Spring Week) is designed to be the “first contact” that select students have with banks. It is normally a week-long program, but this year, due to COVID-19, it was reduced to an intensive, three-day online project. It mainly consisted of talks given by the Heads of Office of different departments, where we as participants could grasp their day-to-day work and, more importantly, the true values of the company. These were alternated with case studies and simulations that made the experience much more real and enabled a more practical approach.

We were guided by three marvelous and entertaining recruitment employers who made the experience more understandable and linkable. They also offered unique guides and tips about the banking sector and our professional futures. All sessions had a Q&A section which was extremely useful. There was also a specific session with the purpose of “online networking” with current analysts and leaders.

What would you highlight about the experience?

This experience was unique. I actually could not believe it was possible to participate in a banking program from home. I would definitely highlight the opportunity and the effort that the bank put into offering such a unique and tailored online program despite the inconveniences of the pandemic. My favorite part was definitely the practical one. Simulations and case studies were really enjoyable, and being able to understand them while knowing that they are real examples of the daily work at the bank was exciting.

The timing was also interesting. During COVID-19 and our recovery from it, banks will be the essential mechanism for economic rebound. It was astonishing to see how that works, even though businesses are closing.

Where did you hear about this opportunity and why were you interested in applying?

I heard about this opportunity from an old friend of mine who will hopefully start her full-time job in September. She recommended doing the Spring Week program as it gives you an understanding of what the bank is and whether you fit in that career. In addition, it puts you on a fast track to the summer internship, where you really get a full understanding of the workload and daily routines.

How do you think your IE University experience and/or the support of the Talent & Careers department helped you secure this opportunity?

The Talent & Careers department was extremely helpful for me. I stress out easily, and I really appreciated the time and devotion of my advisor. She was available at all times and she provided guidelines and the support that I needed to succeed in the application process. She reviewed my work and suggested improvements in my writing that helped perfect my cover letter. In addition, she explained every step and provided me with tools I could use to improve my skills—in my case, analytical and academic skills. Finally, she provided me with the guidelines of a typical interview and a strategy to follow.

I am so grateful for the help and devotion of the department.

What would you say to other students interested in participating in the future?

If you are interested in any banking-related career, even if it’s out of curiosity, I would say try it! It is a great opportunity and it helps demystify the banking sector. The financial world lost much of its reputation during the 2008 crisis and people actually have a misconception of what it is. Even family members will be biased. It is only in the sector and in the company itself where you grasp the real idea of what it is and whether it suits you. I find this latter issue even more important. Considering we’re at the beginning of our career and we will spend 80% of our life devoted to work, it’s good to know whether you like it or not. It’s true that things change and you can switch careers, but it’s better to know beforehand! Banking is demanding, but if you’re passionate, I think it’s a great industry!