About the Author: Sparsh Gupta, an IITR student, had a successful internship in Capital One at Bangalore. From the selection criteria, work culture, case studies to the excursion trips and recreational area – he has unraveled all secrets!
I’ve never been good with words. And summing up the crazy two months in 700 words is definitely a tough task. It makes me happy as well as nostalgic when I remember those days.
I was an intern at Capital One. It is a US based banking firm with its Indian office situated in Bangalore. That is where I was headed for two months. As it was the company’s first visit to IITR, I had no help from the seniors. The little help I could find was from a blog written by a previous intern. The profile offered was that of a data analyst, which would help me get acquainted with the world of finance and banking.
The company required all candidates to appear for a screening test, based mostly on Data Interpretation, which was quite easy. Nearly 60 students were shortlisted for the interviews. The interview process involved 3 rounds of case studies that judged our analytical skills as to whether we are aware of the data needed to solve the problem; whether we can formulate the problem, and based on the results whether we can make apt recommendations/conclusions to the case presented. I burnt the midnight oil studying case studies from different websites.
A tip for those who wish to apply to Capital One – during the interviews, we are provided with insufficient data. Ask questions so that the interviewer knows that you are on the right track. You will be provided with additional data if needed. And don’t panic if you make a calculation error; it is absolutely fine and you will get a chance to improve upon it. I made one in my first case study itself. Finally, after the tiring rounds, I got my birthday gift in the form of getting selected for the internship.
Capital One believes in treating their employees like kings. Before our actual joining in May, we were invited for a short tour of the Bangalore office. This gave us an insight of the operations carried out in the India office and its work culture. The company also offered us a serviced apartment for our stay. We, being the lucky ones, got a penthouse with top end amenities better than a 5-star hotel!
The first week was all about our training on SQL, MS Excel, etc. We also had a session for team building activities. The actual work on the project began in the second week. My project was on Machine Learning, a field relatively new to Capital One. In such a situation, all my teammates from India and USA proved to be extremely helpful.
Also, Capital One had team bonding activities like ‘Happy Hours’ and one-to-one discussions with the seniors for any problems. These perks from Capital One gave us a very relaxed atmosphere to work in. To keep the child in us alive, they also had a Playstation room, a recreational area on each floor furnished with La-z-Boy (remember Rosita?), books and magazines. My personal favorite was the massage chair which was frequently visited to recharge our batteries.
Bangalore is like any other metropolitan city, filled with restaurants, malls, pubs and cafes. It had delightful weather, cool and scattered with showers. I don’t remember spending more than one weekend cozied up in my apartment because I had so much to see. We went to excursion trips to Coorg, Nandi Hills, and Skandagiri. An official trip was organized by the company as a part of its Agile Work strategy to Chikmagalur. Hence, I spent every waking second exploring and meeting new people.
My internship ended with a presentation for the final review and a formal send off at Taj, by Capital One. I remember having cold feet at the thought of spending two months in a new city, but I had the time of my life! Apart from the technical skills promised, I learned some new soft skills necessary to survive in the corporate world.
This experience was the perfect boat – one that took me from the banks of college naivety to the shore of the corporate world. The journey was beautiful!
Editor’s note- If you also have an interesting story to share, you can send in your entries to Your Internship Story 2016 and win exciting prizes worth INR 1 Lac!