BS/IS student Jose Ramos discusses his practicum experience at JPMorgan Chase.
What is your area of interest at the iSchool?
My focus is on data science and analytics, particularly understanding different techniques for retrieving, processing, and interpreting information.
Where did you work this past summer, and what was your role?
I was a summer analyst at JPMorgan Chase. For ten weeks, I was able to get a preview of the Corporate Analyst Development Program (CADP), which is a two-year, full-time program consisting of data analytics, process improvement, and project management rotations. I was an intern for the data management and remediation team, and my role consisted of amending, organizing, and mitigating data on a client and/or account level, while ensuring that the quality of information collected was both accurate and current.
How did you find out about the practicum?
During my internship search, I used LinkedIn and Handshake to apply to different positions. However, I also did my own research and found companies that interested me. Within my list of companies was JPMorgan Chase, in which I was able to find more information about CADP on their website. From there, I was able to apply and go through the recruitment process.
What knowledge and skills did you acquire?
I was able to work on my technical skills, as I learned to use different software/applications to complete my summer projects. Such projects consisted of retrieving and reviewing client information, exporting data to excel sheets, and gaining a deeper understanding of the databases used by the team.
Furthermore, I also was able to improve my soft skills, such as communication. At first, I was a bit nervous reaching out and asking for help, but over time, I learned that my team was there for me, and they were always happy to help. I learned that it was okay not to know something, because by asking the right questions, I would find the answer. I also learned more about the power of networking and reaching out to different people within the firm.
What did you like best about working at the organization?
I enjoyed learning more about JPMorgan Chase and how analytics play a role in a financial institution. It was eye opening being able to understand how data is collected and managed on a large scale and the teams needed to protect and organize such data. Furthermore, I enjoyed working with people at the firm, as they were always willing to help and teach me something new. Through multiple coffee chats during the summer, I was able to learn about different careers and the vast array of opportunities that exist at the firm. I also had the opportunity to work with mentors and summer interns, which was a great experience as I gained a sense of what CADP was about and learn about the other cool projects my peers were working on.
What advice do you have for students who are interested in a practicum?
My advice for students who are interested in a practicum is to find companies and work that interests them and apply to those positions. Sometimes students are under the impression that they are unqualified for a role, but from my internship experience, I have learned that the most important part of being an intern is the willingness to learn and grow. Many employers are aware that we are still students, so they do not expect us to know everything! That is why these internship positions exist, as they are means for us to continue learning and get meaningful real-world experience.
I also highly recommend using the career services in the iSchool and on campus! They have helped me with resume reviews and mock interviews as well as how to understand job postings. Take advantage of these resources as they will prepare you for what lies ahead.
Lastly, for those going into internships, my biggest advice is to enjoy the moment. Internships are usually only 8-10 weeks long, so enjoy every day. Take the time to network, ask questions, and have a deeper understanding of the work and the people. This will help you as you move along with the internship and start seeking a full-time role.
What are your plans after you complete your degree?
After I graduate next spring, I will begin my full-time analyst journey with JPMorgan Chase. I will be part of the CADP for two years in the city of Chicago!