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Summer 2017

Summer Diaries: S&P Global

July 24, 2017
- Vaibhavi Katiyar

S&P Global does not recruit from the campus, for both - internship and placement. I applied off-campus, on S&P’s online portal for internship. My work profile, till now, has been in “Energy Economics,” which actually helped me get through the resume shortlisting process, because my applied sector concerned ESG Indices. The application was submitted during the month of March and the results were declared by April.

The entire process comprised of four stages:

  1. Resume shortlisting: One was supposed to upload one’s CV on the online portal, whilst applying. I’d like to point here that many people confuse resume with CV, however that is not the case. A CV is supposed to be more descriptive whereas a resume should not exceed a page and a half.

  2. Technical Interview: The technical round is conducted over skype and goes for a span of 45 minutes. It encompasses questions about one’s existing knowledge and questions about any previous projects/interns completed by one.

  3. HR round of interview: A telephonic interview - one receives a mail confirming one’s application status, as that of an intern, within a day after the HR interview.

  4. Final round of interview: The area or the sector, that the intern will be working on, is decided.

Work

Headquartered in New York, S&P Global is a publicly traded American company. It is the parent company of S&P Global Ratings, S&P Global Market Intelligence, and S&P Global Platts, and is the majority owner of the S&P Dow Jones Indices(S&P DJI). Of the 4 units mentioned, I interned at S&P Dow Jones Indices. S&P DJI defines the way people measure and trade the markets. They provide essential intelligence that helps investors identify and capitalize on global opportunities. Currently the largest global source for idex based concepts and home to iconic financial market indicators such as the S&P 500 and S&P Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P DJI operates in India as Asia Index Pvt. Ltd., wherein 45% of the stakes are owned by BSE (Bombay Stock Exchange) and the remaining 55% by S&P Global.

I worked in the sector of ESG Indices, wherein my job profile was that of a Research Analyst. There were 2 divisions in the ESG sector – the “Corporate Ratings team” and the “Financial Institutions team”. I worked in the former. S&P Global Ratings’ ESG team provides intelligent analysis to global institutions, worldwide, that are in need to assess the impact of their ESG risks and opportunities - presented by ESG climate change, resource constraints, demographic shifts, innovation and technology, politics, regulation, etc. - and that aim to capitalize on the transition to a greener and more social economy.

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The intern was duly divided into 3 parts. The first week comprised solely of the training sessions to get me acquainted to indexing, the importance of ESG while calculating the market capitalization index, and some concepts related to carbon-footprinting and equity markets. The training sessions went on till the end of the intern, and were organised on a weekly basis after the first week. For the initial 4 weeks, I worked on the E-part of the ESG sector, which involved monetizing the environmental aspect to check compliance with the Paris Treaty and calculate the carbon-footprint of the companies that were traded in S&P DJI. For the remaining 3 weeks, I worked upon a very different project which aimed at quantifying the S-LCA ( Social Life Cycle Assessment). Apart from these, I also worked on a few sales support tasks that involved a bit of market research using “FactSet.”

At S&P, the work was not done on a regional basis, rather, for each project, a global team was formed, which was decided based upon the available capacities of the analysts. Each team comprised of 4-5 members - a supporting analyst, a senior analyst, a lead analyst, and the line manager. The line manager was decided based upon the time zone compatibility of the client (company being dealt with) and the analyst available. With the senior analyst mentoring you, the line manger could be anyone across globe. For Example, in my case, the line manager was based in London. There were regular VCs organised, for knowledge sharing and to keep track of the work done by everyone. Everyone works on multiple projects, with the projects requiring the use of Excel VBA, Factset and MATLAB.

S&P has open workplaces, than cubicles. The Senior management ensures that the work-life balance of the employees was not disturbed. There are no mandatory working hours. The only thing important is to drive the project to completion by the due deadline. At times, I used to work from 9am to 9pm, however, there were days, when I would reach at 12pm and leave by 6pm. As long as you deliver upon the task assigned to you, no one is bothered about how long you work. Employees could also use the leverage of working from home, however, in general, people prefer working according to the time zone of the client they are dealing with.

Location

S&P Global has its office on the 14th floor of the BSE building. It’s situated in South-Bombay and is surrounded by other corporate houses. The place has an abundance of eateries around it, with employees preferring to explore these, than eat at the pantry/canteen, during lunch. Thus, you know where you’ll find people to chat with. An important highlight would be the “weather.” It can get a bit depressing if it’s pouring continuously for 5-6 days, for, chances are, it’ll kill your weekend - Bombay is an amazing place to explore or hang around, on weekends.

Summing Up

To the people in non-circuital branches, I would advise them not to be too obsessed with the on-campus hiring, as there are not many non-circuital companies that visit the campus. People tend to get very disturbed if they are unable to make it through a visiting company. However, the visiting companies are not the sole companies present. Although, I don’t discourage anyone with entrepreneurial inclinations, who actually do want to work in a start-up, I’ll recommend that rather than getting demotivated and switching to apply off-campus, at start-ups, it’s better to search for suitable roles in the prominent companies based upon your interest. You never know which giant has its shoulders ready for you to stand upon.

For S&P, it’s an amazing place to intern if you have your interests vested in domains of equity markets, commodity pricing, energy economics, bond calculations, indexing, or other finance related fields that you might be intrigued by. S&P shall provide you with the opportunity to understand and implement the latest index products, conceptualized by the clients, along with liaising with key stakeholders in the business - internally and externally - with exposure to the clients, by working with them. The people are amiable and always ready to help, in case you encounter any difficulty.

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