During the summer of 2022, one of our then-ambassadors, now board member spent his summer internship at the world renowned indices firm MSCI. We invited Til Winkler to give us an insight into his journey of securing the internship as well as his time with the firm.
How it all started
Exactly one year ago when I started my studies, I took part for the first time in Brown Bag Lunch (BBL) organised every Thursday by Finance Club. It was the 3rd semester week and the BBL guest was MSCI. They are of course well-known for their indices, hence I was genuinely keen to know more about their work. In addition, I was quite curious to experience the BBL first-hand. Never would I have imagined that this event would pave the way for my first job.
The one hour presentation was splendid as it gave us an insight into the process of index construction and sophisticated climate data models. When Nick Mihic, Managing Director for Client Coverage Germany, Austria & Switzerland, mentioned that MSCI is growing and looking for ambitious talent - I was intrigued. The described role seemed to match my profile quite well, so I engaged with Nick and got a business card to send my CV and cover letter. My first BBL was a total success. The journey, however, had only begun.
I now had to write a resume and my first ever cover letter. After several days of work and drafting, my application dossier was ready. Despite being thoroughly satisfied with the submitted application documents, I kept my expectations in check given the competition for this position.
The recruitment stage
Not long after, I received an email from MSCI. Overcoming nervous hesitation, I opened the email and was delighted to receive an invitation to two online interviews. The next week I had two 30-minute interviews over two days. I spent the weekend before the interviews reading and researching about MSCI and preparing for situational interview questions.
Needless to say, I was extremely nervous during my first interview. The nervousness was justified considering I was in the first semester of my studies and thus only had limited knowledge in certain topic areas, such as statistics. However, I was able to make it clear that I would read up on the topics and make up for my knowledge gap. Even so, I did not have a good feeling. Luckily, there was the second interview. Still nervous, but optimistic, I got through the interview quite well. It all went well and I got invited to further interviews the following week. I started to believe I actually might land this position!
After two more interview rounds, I finally received a verbal offer on my seventh interview in December 2021. I was tremendously happy. I went from a situation where I had nothing to lose to one where I secured a great opportunity.
“Coming to BBL and networking lead to an opportunity I seized, and I am glad I did it.”
During the interviews, MSCI got to know me better and decided I would fit best in the Analytics team. The Analytics Division provides risk management software institutional investors use to make better investment decisions. As they explained their reasoning, I was thoroughly confident that MSCI would know which team I would fit into.
The internship experience
The internship started right after my summer exams. I was based in the Prime Tower Zurich office, with my team mainly in Frankfurt and London. Right from the start, I could participate in client calls and learn about the day-to-day work of my colleagues. In addition, I spent several weeks learning about risk management and MSCI's various risk methods. Through plenty of one-on-one training on the systems on which we ran problem simulations, I acquired a solid basic knowledge of market risk measurement and management within a short period of time. Only a few weeks into my internship, I could already accompany my colleagues and visit several clients on-site in Zurich.
Moreover, I could also participate in meetings and events about MSCI's climate models and expand my knowledge about their climate methodology, e.g., Implied temperature Rise or Climate Value at Risk. The exposure MSCI gave me during my 15-week internship was immense. I had client contact every day and could learn about their current problems, which were tackled and solved by us as a team. But the highlight of the internship was my 10-day visit to the MSCI London office. The experience of working in the financial capital of Europe was incredible and receiving this opportunity as an intern was a gratifying surprise. I could not have asked for a better place for my first work experience; it was an epic experience.
Thank you for having faith in me.