She was awarded the Director’s Gold Medal.
Read her interesting story of how she got the PPO for sure!
Q. A Few lines about yourself.
I am Ridhi Kapoor and I graduated in 2015 from Electrical Engineering Department. I had been really enthusiastic about music and hence was involved with the Music Club from the first year itself. I mostly sang but played guitar and drums too. I did an intern at the end of my 3rd year in Deutsche Bank and that’s where I got my PPO.
And so I joined Deutsche Bank in Mumbai as a Business Analyst and I take care of the European portfolios.
Q. What’s your job like?
Of the many things, it involves loan and property analysis. For example, understanding the value of the property as a collateral against the loan. It often involves visiting the property so I’ve been to Spain, Portugal and London for many days related to work. Yes that’s something I love about my work.
Q. How’s this kind of work different from college?
College is fun, ‘tum bakaiti kaat sakte ho’, you can skip classes and labs if you feel bored in between, but you can’t do this here. Even if you don’t feel like working, you can’t skip work. Though my colleagues do blame (and praise) me for making DB more chill and fun!
On a serious note, job comes with a greater sense of responsibility and the satisfaction of creating a real impact. While at IIT, unless we are working on a project, in our courses or labs, there’s no direct impact that we are creating in the world. Also in college, even if we don’t study the worst off can be a ‘fukka’, while at job you are dealing with real cash flows and the stakes are for real and there’s a greater sense of responsibility. Also unlike college, I am making a real impact every day for my company, our clients and the people and that’s a good feeling.
Q. What are the skills that you feel are required for this kind of job? Which of these did you acquire during your college years?
I think irrespective of department, the analytical skills that we develop at IIT are quite important for this kind of job. I picked up a few courses in Mathematics like probability and they have helped me in mathematical modelling, etc. A little bit of coding here and there too. Apart from the technical skills, I think one of the most essential skills required in job is time management. As I was involved quite enthusiastically with the music club, I knew that if there’s a practice from 8 to 11 in the evening I better study between 5 and 8 after the class. This taught me time-management well. This is quite ironic as people often say that getting involved in a club affects your academics, but on the contrary they made me plan well for them!
Q. Why finance? Didn’t you like electrical?
I did a core intern at the end of second year and frankly I loved the work. After the intern, I went for foreign-exchange to Canada. I find India really great and my experience abroad made me realise that I’ll miss the masti, ‘the concept of bakaiti’ and the homely feeling and hence didn’t want to stay abroad. Even though I was inclined for research, I knew that for proper research I will have to stay abroad or even if I come back to India, I’ll have to become a professor – both of which I didn’t want. So going abroad for masters or PhD was quite unlikely. Just before going for forex, I sat for interviews for the third year internship and got selected at DB. I tried the work and eventually loved it. My work there was also kind of research oriented and quite analytical, so I loved it.
After the intern, I got the PPO. And there’s an interesting story behind it.
When my business head called me for the mid-term review, he glanced at my CV and… asked me whether I sang. I said yes. And so he asked me to sing a song! This all is happening inside DB’s office, in peak silence. For the next 3 minutes as I sang the bhajan, he kept his eyes closed with a gentle smile on his face and… when the song completed, he opened his eyes to say… “Do you want the PPO?” And that’s how I got selected. :P
I don’t know if the song did its magic, but other members of the panel (who came late and didn’t know that I had just sung a song) were quite impressed with my work and in fact my interview extended way beyond the expected time. By the end of it, I knew that the interview had gone well and that’s how I picked up finance or rather finance picked me!
Q. What does Deutsche Bank base its selection on?
For my intern they asked me a lot of probability puzzles, analytical questions and stress handling situations. These were crucial. If you answer them well, you make the first cut. Also have a balanced CV with few spikes (like extracurricular activities or a good intern).
After the intern, when they were considering candidates for PPO; one of the most crucial things they looked at was how well you have been networking. This is something they laid their focus too. It’s not just how well you do your work, but how well you network around, get to know people from other desks, understand the different works and learn from them. Apart from that your presentation skills matter too.
Q. Advice for juniors?
Firstly, talk to a lot of people. Talk to seniors, build a good relationship with them and get to know things. They have experience and can really guide you well in some aspects.
Whatever people might say, CGPA does matter. Have at least above 8 and then definitely do other activities. But don’t neglect your academics.
And most importantly, don’t leave your passion just because you ‘can’t find time for it’. Example in first year I really wanted a DepC, I could have skipped Rendezvous but I was really passionate about music and I realised that in the worst case I won’t have a DepC, but if I miss out on the chance of getting into music, I'll be missing an integral part from my IIT life. And so I participated in Rendezvous and made a DepC too. In fact that’s when I really learnt how to manage time well. Life will give you a lot of excuses, but follow your passion! Learn to manage your time. If you’re really passionate about something, take out time for it.
Beautiful, isn’t it? ;)