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A day in the life of an ECB analyst: Interview with the QTEM alumnus Alberto Gilesi

Updated: Nov 27, 2020

Are you curious about knowing what is like to work at the ECB, which skills should you have, and how QTEM can help you? Read the interview with Alberto Gilesi, QTEM alumnus and former QTEM Student Association treasurer.

What is your role? Which are your main tasks?

Since the creation of the SSM in 2014, the ECB became the single supervisor of the European banking sector. Hence, in addition to the monetary policy, the ECB is tasked with the direct supervision of the so-called SIs (Significant Institutions) – ca. 115/120 banks in the Euroarea.

When I started my traineeship for the ECB, I participated in the activities of a JST (Joint Supervisory Team), hence I was directly supervising an SI. This meant taking part in the ongoing supervision carried out in the SREP (Supervisory Review and Evaluation Process), focusing on specific risk areas like market risk and credit risk – including internal models. The work of the JST is truly fascinating as I had the chance to be exposed to so many fascinating topics and projects and I was in direct contact with the supervised entity – which also meant I got to travel a little bit!

As I recently became Supervision Analyst at the end of the traineeship, I also changed team and joined the Credit Risk Experts division: here, my tasks are horizontal and my work is important as it supports all JSTs on specific topics related to credit risk and internal models in particular.

What would be your advice for current QTEM students?

I would absolutely recommend applying for a traineeship or a job at the ECB, as I really value my experience and I enjoyed a lot my work so far. To all people willing to apply I would suggest setting out clearly their motivations and be determined in facing all the steps of the selection process – which might take more than 3 months. In particular, leverage your international experience and be ready to answer HR questions as well as broad technical questions. Remember the ECB is a European institution, so don’t be shy in pointing out whether you believe in the European project and why.

How did QTEM help you achieve your dream job?

I did my QTEM exchanges at UvA in Amsterdam and at Waseda in Tokyo. Both exchanges have proven valuable in improving my knowledge on topics I currently work on.

At UvA, I attended a very stimulating course called Financial Institutions and Banking. This significantly enhanced my technical knowledge of topics like Basel standards, structures and institutions of the financial and banking market, and it did so much decisively that at the interview I was asked a question about a topic the professor explained in class. On a more personal development note, the experience in Amsterdam made me understand how important and necessary it is that we Europeans get closer together in our diversities that make us all richer and more protected.

Thanks to Waseda I improved my skills with statistical tools and built solid bases for some of the work I do today. In particular, thanks to Applied Macroeconomics and Finance, I started using EViews independently with a decent handiness. The ECB is a data- (and document-) intensive institution and having the right tools is key to make the best use of these resources. Overall, the experience in Tokyo amazed me and pushed me to constructively challenge the traditional thoughts workflow, and always bring in that one additional perspective that enriches the final outcome delivered.

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