Interning at OakNorth

By: Max Li

My name is Max Li, and I recently graduated from Exeter University. For the past 3 months I was fortunate enough to intern at OakNorth as part of the Credit team.

As I was part of the Credit team, I got to work on Macro modelling for NAICs Sector Data and was introduced to Python and R. I hadn’t previously done coding and am grateful for the skills learnt which will be considerably useful for future employment. Working at OakNorth allowed me to integrate my degree in economics with a new skill in coding, which furthered my desires to work in this field and led me to appreciate how coding literacy can increase my aptitude in the financial sector. Even as an intern, I felt I was actively helping the credit team and used my on-the-job training to provide the modelling for several NAICs sectors.

What made the experience all the more enjoyable was the fact that everyone was so welcoming, especially Ashish Abrahams who was always ready to help me even with the time difference from India late at night! Ashish was a great mentor throughout my internship and made sure I got the most out of my experience working with the team. Interacting with the team from India was a pleasure and gave me a newfound appreciation for the multicultural reach of companies which I had no experience of at my previous workplaces. It was great to celebrate Diwali and talk about our experiences during lockdown which made me feel part of the team. The team gave me the opportunity to grow in a field I enjoy, whilst also allowing me to tackle tasks individually to promote self-learning through coding.

I very much enjoyed the effort taken by the team to introduce new employees during the Christmas celebration, as well as the initial induction which helped me put names to faces. Speaking to Joel Perlman, one of OakNorth’s co-founders, in my first week really allowed me to experience first-hand the One team value of OakNorth as he personally introduced all the new employees to OakNorth’s values and gave everyone a chance to ask questions. One highlight of the week was the weekly calls with the bank/credit team as it helped me understand the inner workings of every team and appreciate the effort everyone makes towards the success of OakNorth, as well as Joel’s one-liners! Hopefully, one day when everything settles down, I can visit the office.

I’d like to thank the OakNorth team for everything over these past three months. I have thoroughly enjoyed my experience and am grateful for all the efforts made to ensure this was a fruitful and enjoyable learning opportunity.

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