During the spring of 2023, one of our ambassadors, spent one week in London for a spring insight programme at Citi, a leading bulge bracket firm. We invited Tim Guldimann to provide us with insights into his journey of securing a spot in the programme and to share his firsthand experiences.
How it all started
The Finance Club hosted a Citi Case Study event last autumn, which included a presentation covering the day-to-day tasks of an analyst. Additionally, two valuation methodologies, namely comparable company analysis (comps) and precedent transaction analysis, were discussed. While going through these topics, I encountered several unfamiliar expressions, as I had just begun to delve into the concept of discounting cashflows in my courses. Nevertheless, the interactions with both the Citi representatives and my peers were highly engaging and provided valuable insights.
Following the formal event, I was thrilled to participate in the apéro and gain further insights into the role of an investment banker. We talked about fascinating past transactions, including the recently announced Porsche IPO at that time. Given Citi's global presence, the Swiss coverage team had extensive connections throughout Europe with whom they collaborated on numerous deals.
For those who were more advanced in their studies, summer analyst positions or internship opportunities in Zurich and London were presented. However, being a first-semester student, I only considered the spring program. The demanding yet thrilling atmosphere greatly attracted me, and as a result, I opted to submit my application for the spring insight programme. I was comfortable in the application process, having already established a connection with the company through the event.
The recruitment stage
One remarkable aspect of Citi's recruitment process was the absence of virtual tests or interviews. Upon submitting my application, I promptly received an invitation for a first-round interview. This interview was conducted by an HR professional responsible for the spring insight programme. I must admit I felt nervous as the interview began, but that unease quickly faded away thanks to the interviewer's friendliness. The conversation was relaxed and not heavily technical, and I received detailed information about the programme and the following application steps.
In the following weeks I was invited for a second interview, which was conducted by an associate. This interview primarily involved questions related to personal fit, and I took the chance to ask some interesting questions to engage with the interviewer.
Fortunately, I received confirmation that I could take part in the 2023 Spring Insight Programme. So, my journey to London could begin.
The programme experience
The program took place in the middle of May. Preparations regarding accommodation and transportation had been made in advance. A few weeks before the programme, I received a manual that provided a concise introduction to Citi and its various business lines. Most importantly, it included a list of all the participants. Out of the 65 attendees, 23 were assigned to the Investment Banking division. Additionally, I was among the five students studying in Switzerland who participated.
I should clarify that this program had a hybrid format, with two out of the four days conducted online. This meant that for the virtual sessions, I participated from the Canary Wharf Marriott Hotel.
During the Zoom sessions, we gained a deeper insight into Citi's entire business landscape through presentations and discussions with panellists who shared their experiences and career journeys. I came to realize that Citi is more than just an investment bank; it operates like a well-oiled machine with numerous interconnected components. One particularly fascinating eye-opener was that Citi was one of the first to provide ATMs to its customers.
We received the chance to learn more about the recruitment process. The best part of the virtual part of the spring insight programme was an IPO Amplify Trading session. There we had on the one hand to perform a successful IPO and on the other hand to invest in prosperous imaginary companies. The fast paced and demanding environment was thrilling.
In the evening we went for a drink to get to know each other a bit better.
After completing the virtual part of the Spring Insight Programme, the much-anticipated moment finally arrived. We commenced our day with a standing breakfast at the Citi office and then met our assigned buddies for the upcoming two days. I was placed within the Power & Utilities team, where I received a warm welcome and engaged in many informative coffee chats. Interestingly, I'm not a coffee enthusiast, so I had the pleasure of exploring various flavours of English tea instead.
Thankfully, my buddies had some spare time to guide me through previous deals and provide an industry walk-through. I really enjoyed my time in the office so much that I almost felt like I was already part of the team. Our days in the office were accompanied by senior networking events and a farewell party.
I must say that I had the pleasure of meeting incredible individuals during that week, and I genuinely had the opportunity to immerse myself in the world of working for a truly global investment bank. As a result, I have made the decision to apply for the 2024 Summer Analyst Programme.
I highly recommend this experience to anyone who wants to know if this industry might be for them.
Feel free to contact me via LinkedIn for further questions.