With a few more years until graduation, students at IE Business School have already started making preparations for their debut into the world of work. Admittedly, it’s still early days and, while they may not have settled on a specific end goal yet, they both already know that they want to build a rewarding career in finance.
Considered the best stepping stone to landing a role in finance, securing a Spring Week spot is a major milestone for any student pursuing a business or finance-related degree. It gives participants a platform to meet and connect with the biggest names in banking—an excellent opportunity to get the kind of exposure that could define their career
However, Spring Weeks are becoming ever more competitive as top students from across Europe apply for limited positions. We are proud that our students have consistently been selected for Spring Week at top banks year after year.
Recently, we spoke to two Bachelor in Business Administration students who secured positions last year. Raaz Viroomal selected for Spring Week at Nomura and Moody’s, and David Asdaghi, selected by Bank of America, offer their insights into the initiative and what you can do to increase your own chances of success.
How would you explain what Spring Week is to someone who hasn’t heard of it before?
David: Spring Week is a one- or two-week long program offered by the largest financial institutions; it is usually hosted in London or Frankfurt for the EMEA region. They introduce the banking sector, give insights into the work of a financial institution, and are usually targeted at second-year students of a four-year program, or third-year students of a five-year program.
Raaz: In simple terms, Spring Week is an incredible opportunity to experience and learn about the investment banking industry in further detail. Investment banks offer this program, which usually consists of a five-day course, to learn about the different divisions and responsibilities one can have within an investment bank—laying out a rough blueprint if you desire to pursue this career!
Many banks offer a possibility—either by the end of the Spring Week or later—to participate in an Assessment Center for summer internship positions in the following year.David Asdaghi
Why were you interested in applying to these opportunities, and what do you think are the benefits?
David: I learned about Spring Week through research on the banking sector and the IE University Talent & Careers department. I believe that Spring Week can offer a chance to really become acquainted with the financial sector by networking with bankers across business lines before, during and after the week, allowing you to gain firsthand insight into the industry. For sure, you will also meet later colleagues during Spring Week, so it’s also a great way to start friendships.
Raaz: I was interested in applying to Spring Week as I have always had a natural curiosity for the finance world, but always wondered what it would be like to work there. For me, this was a perfect opportunity to truly see if my interest in finance matched my expectations in the real world.
There are many benefits to completing a Spring Week program. As it is a highly selective process, you get to work with the top talent of students across Europe for several days, picking up skills that are not taught in a classroom. Additionally, if you stand out amongst your cohort, there is a high chance for you to get fast-tracked into the summer program or skip the screening process for the following year—as well as a strong bullet point on your resume, which not many students get to experience!
How do you think your IE Experience, plus the Talent & Careers team, helped you secure these opportunities?
David: The IE Talent & Careers team helped me prepare by providing several resources, such as prep material for video assessments, among others. I was also able to take one interview simulation that helped me polish some of my answers. My career advisors were also very helpful, assisting with both CV and cover letter corrections. There are many resources the department can provide, so anyone interested should make use of them.
Raaz: I believe that coming from IE University was a major asset when completing my Spring Week. I was confident when giving presentations to the bankers and was not afraid to ask questions as, in class, you are encouraged to participate often and complete multiple presentations throughout the year, giving me an advantage over other candidates.
What did the Spring Week you participated in consist of?
David: Spring Week, in general, offers abundant opportunities for networking with business representatives, ranging from first-year analysts to EMEA heads of different business lines. These, and insights into the different divisions ranging from Corporate Banking to Sales & Trading and Technology, were the main pillars of the Spring Week.
Raaz: The Spring Week at Nomura consisted of networking events, divisional workshops, trading simulators, group projects, lectures and case studies or Assessment Center practice.
On the other hand, Spring Week at Moody’s consisted of an insight into the main business areas—Moody’s Investor Service, Moody’s Analytics and Moody’s ESG Solutions Group—a Q&A session with analysts, the Personal Brand workshop, a credit rating case study, Moody’s Analytics Workshop and other networking events.
What would you highlight about this experience? What did you enjoy the most?
Raaz: One of the main highlights of participating in these Spring Weeks was getting to experience what it would be like to work at one of these companies. Being flown out to London and working at these massive office buildings was very exciting!
Furthermore, having the opportunity to network with the various employees at different rankings—from managing directors to analysts—was incredibly insightful. This was an incredible opportunity to ask for advice or guidance regarding investment banking.
What did the selection processes consist of? How can a student prepare to succeed?
David: The selection process consists of completing an online application form and uploading your CV and cover letter. Usually, applicants have to complete a video interview once they pass the first selection stage. The last selection stage is an interview with a representative of the bank. I was also able to do a mock interview through Wizco which helped me polish my answers alongside a professional. Finally, I found practicing with close friends who shared the same interest as one of the best tools for preparation.
Raaz: The selection process is quite rigorous; however, this should not at all discourage you from applying! You must send a tailored resume and cover letter to the desired bank, explaining why you would like to participate in their program specifically. Once successful, you will be required to complete a numerical and verbal reasoning test. Finally, you will have a 30-minute interview, usually with an analyst or associate. It is crucial to show enthusiasm and interest here!
From my experience, practice is key to understanding the selection process. The Talent & Careers department offers valuable support in this regard. IE University, for example, offers one-year access to JobTestPrep, which is extremely helpful for preparing for certain types of tests.David Asdaghi
Anything else you’d like to recommend to students interested in participating in this next year?
David: A keen interest in finance is key in participating in the recruitment process. I can recommend regularly reading the financial press and being updated on what happens in the markets. You will understand some concepts learned in class in another light and internalize them much better.
Raaz: It is vital to apply early for these roles, as they can have up to thousands of entries. For most banks, applications are on a rolling basis, so timing is key! Further, send out as many applications as possible, the more you apply the higher the chances of entry. Tailor your cover letter to each bank’s specific vision, culture and requirements.
And lastly, don’t be afraid to reach out for advice. There are many students at IE University who have participated in previous Spring Weeks and would be more than happy to guide you.