follow us

Navigating Career Transitions: Insights from Noyonika Banerjee, Electrical Engineering Graduate to Senior Associate in Finance

Navigating Career Transitions: Insights from Noyonika Banerjee, Electrical Engineering Graduate to Senior Associate in Finance


Noyonika Banerjee, a graduate from BITS Pilani (Goa ‘15) with a major in Electrical and Electronics, currently works as a Senior Associate at CPP Investments. Prior to this role, she worked at JP Morgan. In this interview, she shared valuable insights on transitioning between fields. Banerjee emphasizes the importance of adaptability and transferable skills. Her journey serves as an inspiration for individuals navigating dynamic career paths, highlighting the significance of a strong educational foundation and a receptive attitude towards change.           

Can you share some of your favorite memories from your BITS Pilani days?

My fondest memories are of spending time with friends, especially at Bogmalo Beach. Those carefree days of laughter and relaxation by the sea are still incredibly cherished.

What inspired your shift from an engineering background to a career in investment banking?

Several factors led to my transition from an electronics major to a career in investment banking. While studying engineering, I developed an interest in economics through faculty discussions that inspired me. I started dedicating more time to researching economics classes because of my genuine interest in the subject and the encouragement from my friends. A pivotal moment came when JP Morgan visited our campus for a job fair, inspiring me with the potential of a career in investment banking. The combination of my academic curiosity, peer support, and a notable recruitment opportunity solidified my decision to change course and pursue a career in finance.

What does a typical day look like at your workplace?

In the real estate and private equity industries, evaluating investments is a daily task that requires a strong grasp of finance. Due to the nature of the analysis and decision-making involved, my job is not as flexible for remote work compared to computer science roles. Despite being fast-paced and competitive, the finance industry provides a stable environment. Navigating through financial complexities continues to be an exciting part of every day, despite the challenges, which adds to the dynamic nature of my work.

As you have worked in both the Indian and overseas markets, what would you say is the key difference in how things work there compared to here?

Based on my personal experience, the main distinction between working in India and overseas is the intense competition that accompanies living and working in a country as large as India. It often requires a deeper understanding of theoretical knowledge, promoting thoroughness in one's approach. On the other hand, the focus shifts overseas. While knowledge is important, presentation style and soft skills become more significant. The strong soft skills I acquired during my studies at BITS Pilani, my alma mater, greatly helped me overcome these challenges. Emphasizing the importance of communication and presentation skills in professional settings, the focus was not only on knowledge acquisition but also on effectively articulating and presenting that knowledge abroad.

Did you participate in internships or gain work experience related to your field of study during college?

I actively sought internships in my field of study during my college years. My father's position as an electronics engineer at Indian Oil made it easier for me to secure a summer internship, which helped me gain experience and expand my professional network. However, the turning point came when I was placed at JP Morgan during my college years. Being one of the eleven students selected from the entire university for JP Morgan was a life-changing experience that felt like "Uni 2.0," giving me a comprehensive understanding of finance and acting as a crucial learning curve for my future professional path.

What advice would you give to students considering a move into finance or investment banking?

First, consider doing a minor in finance or taking related courses to increase your chances of success in interviews. Engaging with professionals and learning from seasoned experts in the field is crucial for effective networking. Develop skill sets in college that are useful for finance positions. Some examples include learning Python, becoming proficient in Excel, and subscribing to Economic Times or Bloomberg Updates. Most importantly, set your own goals rather than blindly following others; take charge of your own destiny and forge your own path. Ultimately, strive to be your own best sales person by continuously assessing and shaping your experience in investment banking or finance.