What was the secret of securing your internship?
The Luxembourg Finance Tour is special in that students are in direct contact with companies that are actively looking for trainees. This gave me the opportunity to pick and choose in which firm I most wanted to work as intern. Being proactive at pitch-sessions and showing interest during the events is key to improving your odds. A little initiative will get your far and is most likely to be appreciated.
Did the Luxembourg Finance Tour prove to be a useful in making future career choices?
Like many other students, the breath of firms in the industry was confusing. I had a lot of questions and was eager at the prospect of learning more. Having made the selection and partaking in the Tour has offered a clearer idea of what finance really is. I learned how a fund operates on a daily basis, how venture capitalists pick companies to invest in, what really lies behind the doors of a stock exchange and how complex a large bank can really get. In this respect, the Tour has proven to be the perfect guide. I am now perfectly equipped to know in which sectors I want to develop my career.
How has the Tour helped broaden your perspective on the financial marketplace?
More than any university course, the Tour made me realize how many possibilities were out there for finance students. Of all the companies that were represented, each offered the different career paths and opportunities.
The very wide and complete panel that welcomed us gave me a clear idea of what finance was really all about. Companies took the time to present us with their latest initiatives and future plans. I was, for example, surprised to learn how “Corporate and Social Responsibility” values had redefined the sector in recent years and how quickly Luxembourg companies had been able to adapt to this trend.
Have you made any useful connections or broaden your network?
The Tour featured many networking opportunities between the pitch-sessions and the events. We were able to meet with and to get insights from employees with very different backgrounds, jobs and experience levels for extended period of times. Lunch and dinner breaks were especially useful to make new acquaintances in more relaxed settings. Workers recently graduated were easily inclined to mix with us. Being only a few years older, their advice was priceless. Additionally, this was also a great opportunity to learn more about and share our experience with fellow students taking part in the tour.
Which strongest recollection have the visits left you with?
The strongest memory I keep from the Tour is probably being led to a business club on the upper part of the city. There, we were met by businessmen that took the time to present us their companies’ funds or activities. It has proven to be the perfect introduction to the city’s thriving financial sector. Oh yes, and being able to visit Kneip’s art gallery or to ring the bell of the Luxembourg Stock Exchange were highlights in themselves too.
How has Luxembourg surprised you most?
What surprised me is how connected and ever changing the city seems to be. Luxembourg is a very important financial center but at the same time remains small-scale. This gives the city a flexibility that larger capitals are structurally unable to achieve. Everyone seems to know each other and, to me at least, the city appeared to be one of the few places where talented and motivated people can truly thrive and achieve their objectives.
Would you recommend students partake in the 2019-edition?
I would one hundred percent recommend students to take part in next-year edition. The tour was both a very insightful and enjoyable experience. During those few days, I was able to get a better feeling of what I aspired to achieve and whom I wanted to become.
Students sharing an interest in finance but lacking some real-world input can really benefit from such an opportunity. Others might also find out that finance can be much more than what they initially thought it would be.
Did you have fun, as well?
We certainly did enjoy our stay. Between the captivating presentations and the various networking events we were able to visit a city that is both beautiful and inspiring, with an architecture and geography unlike anywhere else. Luxembourg’s nightlife was also surprisingly lively and worth exploring.