1) Why did you select this particular field? What were options available to you during placements?
Firstly we must all accept that campus placements are very random and many people do not actually know what field is best for them. It’s better to give time for introspection or else apply in (almost) all the companies.
Now, the reason I applied for Model Risk Management profile is mainly because of two reasons, one that it’s Credit Suisse and the other that this profile involves lots of maths.
The other options available during placements were mainly data science/analytics roles in Deloitte, Walmart labs, ANZ bank and a few more.
2) How did you get in Credit Suisse? What was the selection procedure? How did you prepare for it?
Credit Suisse has a completely fair criteria of choosing candidates through a test that involves some quantitative questions based on matrices & eigen values, differential equations, statistics and general puzzle based questions. The interview shortlist is done purely on the basis of how well have you performed in the test, irrespective of how weak you feel while looking at your grade card.
I had done multiple courses on statistics, differential equations which covered all the aforementioned topics. Revising the first three chapters of Jain and Iyengar helped a lot. They also test whether you are able to solve a question in a simple and elegant way rather than applying complicated methods. So yeah that sums it up!
During interview, you might be questioned on your CV, a few puzzles and to derive some general cases from it. Understanding of basic algorithms and maths would help for sure. May be asked to do a guesstimate. But most importantly your problem solving skill and smartness would be tested.
3) Can you describe your work profile/average day for us and tell us whether it was what you expected when you sat for placements? How would you describe Credit Suisse work culture? How is the work-life balance?
Work is based on validating the financial (mostly risk/mathematical) models of the firm. There are different teams which you can be a part of based on where your interest lies. Some are quant heavy, some are more into finance and some are a blend of both.
MRM is a group of amazing people who will help you with the pittiest of doubts that you might have. You can approach literally anyone for help which is the best part of the firm.
There’s this amazing fresher’s training programme and the concepts are taught from very basic level. There aren’t any specific office hours and you can’t adjust your work hours accordingly. Delivering work on time is important for which you ll get roughly 3 months for a model validation, again it depends on your project. Some projects take just a month and some may take more than half a year!
Work life balance: You will have ample amount of time to focus on your interests. There would be a few weeks of over work but then if you work and plan your validation efficiently, you can skip last moment adrenaline rush.
6) Any specific advice you want to give for junta sitting for placements this year and juniors who aspire to be in Credit Suisse?
Work on your CV. If you can’t defend your CV, it shows you haven’t prepared well.
Work on problem solving skills. Don’t see the answer while solving a quant question or a puzzle and in the process you will know numerous ways of ‘how to not approach’ a particular type of question.
Lastly, everything boils down to how smart you behave in the interview. Dont be fake, be natural. Show your desire to work with them. Feel free to reach out to me for any further details or queries that you have.