School: Hamilton College, Class of ’21
Major or concentration: Economics
Semester abroad: Fall ’19
My name is Jacob Han, and I am a junior at Hamilton College. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to participate in the London Investment Banking Week (LIBW) this fall. To give a little background about LIBW, the project started in 2004 by the Business Committee at the Student Association of the Stockholm School of Economics (SASSE). The project aims to offer 25 bachelor and master students in their penultimate year a chance to visit different investment banks in London and gain insight into the industry of Investment Banking.
I first got interested in Investment Banking after interning at a private wealth management firm two summers ago. I spent the summer analyzing specific clients’ spending habits, and after reflecting, I realized I wanted to take my analytical skill set and apply it to companies. I was intrigued by the transactional nature of the industry, where consistent teamwork and focus over an extended period of time are integral elements to reach a common goal. As I was looking at various activities on the SASSE website, I thought the LIBW would be an optimal opportunity to pursue my interest and meet other SSE students outside of my program.
We visited a total of 9 different banks throughout the week: Goldman Sachs, Citi, Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank, Jefferies, BNP Paribas, Blackstone, Rothschild, and Greenhill. Each bank conducted various activities, such as transaction walkthroughs, buy-side pitches, and company Q&A’s. These hands-on activities made each day exciting and provided helpful insight into each bank’s unique culture.
In terms of the 25 students, I was 1 of 3 exchange students, and more specifically, the only American on the trip. Although I am still developing my elementary-level Swedish speaking skills, I had no trouble befriending many of the Swedish students. On the only sunny afternoon that week, a couple of us took a walk through the city and saw many of London’s attractions, such as the London Eye, Buckingham Palace, and Regent’s Park. We had to take a quick bathroom break during our walk, and as we were deciding on where to stop, we passed the Ritz London. Given that we were all in our suits, we figured “why not?!”, and snuck in no problem for a 5-star bathroom break!
LIBW has been one of my favorite experiences during my study abroad. The project provided me with exceptional exposure to the daily lives of investment bankers, and has only further developed my interest in pursuing a career in the industry. Personally, it has been the most effective way for me to develop friendships with local SSE students, as these friendships have continued since coming back from London. I highly recommend applying to LIBW for future SSE students who have an interest in developing a professional career in finance and wish to explore the city of London.