The Summers of 2018 is a miniseries about the various categories of roles offered by companies for summer internships. The author talked to interns from Consulting, Finance, Marketing, General Management, Product Management, Operations and International Intern roles to understand a bit more about their work life. The articles are meant to give the reader a glimpse into the life of an intern, and maybe help the reader understand their own fit in that particular role. This article, the third in the series of seven, describes the life of a finance intern.
Contributed By: Ameya Kulkarni
Edited By: Chandrasekhar Muramalla
FINANCE IN J P MORGAN
I did my summer internship at JPMorgan South East Asia Limited in Singapore. I was entrusted the role of a Summer Analyst at their Currencies and Emerging Markets Trading desk. The desk primarily dealt with the trading of rates and FX with multiple products ranging from spot, forward and swap markets.
Over the period of 2 months, I learned about the corporate and investment banking line of business of JPMorgan from the public side i.e. trading for clients. Along with generating trade ideas from time to time (which would make money for the firm!), I was also assigned a project where I was tasked with coming up with an algorithmic trading strategy for forex as an asset class. An average day at a trading internship involved shadowing traders for the first half of the day, observing their work and getting insights on how they form their own views about the market. The second half of the day was spent on reading news, events and working on the assigned project.
For a trading internship in currencies and rates, Macroeconomics was the primary field of study that I had to concern myself with. I had to be on top of the news each and every day especially in the current volatile market environment (Read Trump tweets!). My work timings were 8 AM to 9 PM every day and I also had to drop in to work on a few weekends. The culture at JPMorgan was truly welcoming and I had no problems settling in my role right from day one. I got to interact with people from multiple nationalities and a variety of functions e.g. sales, structuring and strategy. Every day of my internship was different and unique as the theme for the day depended on the current news and expectations of how it will play out in the future. One of the key challenges that I faced was to keep up with the speed with which the markets moved and to react to them fast enough. Being from an engineering background and having no finance exposure, I took some time to get accustomed to the terminologies used by traders.
Every Friday, the desk used to draw the PnL (Profit and Loss statement) of the week and if turned out to be good (which it was every time) they used to take all of us interns out to a fancy place. Pretty cool, I know.
My major takeaway from the internship is that even though the general perception is that markets are governed by numbers and math, it is primarily driven by an understanding of the human sentiment. According to me, markets lie at the intersection of economics and psychology, which makes the job particularly interesting for people with an inclination towards those fields.
For more interesting articles at various career opportunities, stay tuned! Read part two at http://b-heard.in/2014/the-summers-of-2018-marketing/