Pascal POLLO, a 4th year student at ECE Lyon, is an intern as a risk/financial counterparty analyst at the private bank Edmond De Rothschild Europe in Luxembourg. He had the choice between 2 internships at the end of his studies: business analyst for a large cosmetics brand in Paris, or the one he is currently doing. Today, he lends himself to an interview to talk about his internship and share his experience:
What are your main tasks at Edmond de Rothschild Europe?
My main mission is to analyze counterparties (custodians, sub-custodians, brokers, etc.) from several points of view: finance, strategy and risk. The analysis of balance sheets, income statements, the correlation between the figures and the adopted strategy, solvency, market risk management and so on are mainly what I have to analyze and report to my superiors.
This mission is really interesting because it allows me to intervene on multiple aspects of finance and to use many analytical tools. It is also an opportunity for me to learn how to use key figures and to deduce good assumptions from my results.
Can you describe your typical working day at Edmond de Rothschild Europe? What is the atmosphere?
My working day starts at 8:30 am, with a good coffee and the press, and ends most of the time after 6 pm. In the morning, I first process the emails received from international or internal sources, before carrying out financial analyses, counterparty monitoring, updates, etc. At noon, I have lunch with colleagues and a few other interns in the company cafeteria. 1 hour lunch break, then it’s back to work! It may sound strict, but the office atmosphere is just great. Everyone is on first-name terms, there is no animosity and you quickly feel at ease in the great “Rothschild Family”!
You had the choice between 2 courses this year. Why did you choose Rothschild?
I was indeed lucky enough to get two internship offers, with two giants from diametrically opposed universes: private banking on one side, cosmetics on the other. This choice was difficult to make because it was not without consequences on the orientation of my professional career, in the short and long term. To get an idea, I didn’t hesitate to ask my family, my teachers and the ECE internship department for advice.
I had a choice. On the one hand: learning to work with (almost) carte blanche, rubbing shoulders with the world of cosmetics, learning to be accurate, to listen, to be in the field, and to live close to my family. And on the other hand: to join the private bank E. de Rothschild Europe, to learn extreme rigor (no right to make mistakes), perseverance, respect of the time limit, new terms, to work on my elocution, my presentation method, and all this in an unknown country.
Having chosen to integrate the ECE for its international dimension, the internship abroad finally won my preference. Of course, Luxembourg is not very far, but it is not the same administrative management. The laws, the environment, the language (Luxembourgish, German, French), the population, the remuneration… everything changes!
Banque Privée Edmond de Rothschild Europe appeared to me as a challenge and as a golden opportunity to deepen my knowledge of banking finance, a very technical field.
What was the selection process like for these two companies?
For the Rothschild Europe bank, I conducted a first group interview in Paris, organized by Mozaik HR. I was then summoned to Luxembourg, where I met with Rothschild’s Head of Risk and my current internship supervisor. While remaining serious, I tried to differentiate myself from the other candidates, by answering with some humor and nerve! As soon as I got out of this interview, I went straight to a psychological interview, which was a bit more difficult, with very specific questions.
In parallel to this recruitment process, I met the French recruitment manager of a cosmetics brand, who asked me to leave her my CV. Two days later, I received an invitation for an interview, followed by a second one with the operational staff, who would have the final say on my recruitment.
Both companies finally came back to me the same day, to give me their positive answer! And for the record, it was a Friday the 13th!
What is your project after this internship and your 4th year at ECE?
Concerning my future and my projects, I have a lot of ideas.
I am currently working on a personal project that is close to my heart and that could revive a declining market. I have already done several studies on this, and I am looking for collaborators specialized in computer/digital development (small call for witnesses ^^).
In the medium term, I envisage 3 different scenarios. The first two depend on the outcome of my internship at Rothschild. Either the bank decides to hire me at the end of my internship. Or I go on a V.I.E. in Latin or Central America. In both cases, my idea is to work for one or two years before going back to school to get a Master 2.
My third project would be to travel around the world for a year! This life experience, with its share of unknowns and unforeseen events, seems to me to be an excellent way to learn how to manage in all situations, to know one’s limits, to show hindsight, diplomacy, negotiation skills, and so on. In short, qualities that are indispensable in professional life!
For the long term? It’s a little early to say, I’m only 22 years old, but my long term goal is to practice what I love. You can’t predict the future, so you might as well forge it by making the most of every moment; and success will usually follow.