As an intern on the Rates Trading desk at MUFG, my internship experience was perhaps slightly different from my fellow peers. As an intern in this particular division, it was more difficult to take on real responsibility given the close proximity to the market and the nature of the department, which handles and deals with large sums of money. The challenge then lies in learning as much as possible within the confines of this position, but also adding value and assisting in whatever way you can.
Much of the first half of my internship on the Rates Trading desk focused on gaining enough knowledge and understanding of the business processes so that I could comprehend what was going on and why. This not only included the finer details of the financial products that were being traded, but I also needed to grasp the terminology that was being used. This learning curve was challenging but incredibly useful. I was keen to keep up with the fast-paced nature of the job and, by being thrown into the deep end and learn the common abbreviations and jargon; I believe I got a lot more out of the internship. Once I had a decent understanding, I was positioned well enough to become more involved and assist in pricing enquiries. This in itself furthered my understanding of how traders hedge their positions within the markets and enabled me to ask more informed questions, where relevant.
I then spent the latter half of my internship on the desk sitting with and talking to as many peers as possible. This gave me exposure to a variety of perspectives, different techniques and preferences on the market. It was incredibly useful to not only network with people within the Rates Trading desk division, but also to meet and liaise with other employees in different departments. Everyone was incredibly friendly, helpful and insightful and it meant that I developed my understanding of how the different areas worked together and combined their expertise across the business.
My main project was to research and present on the drivers behind recent trends in cross-currency basis spreads. This took up a reasonable proportion of my time on the desk and was split up by occasional smaller projects.
This has been an incredible experience and I would highly recommend taking part in MUFG’s internship programme, as it promotes responsibility, initiative and career development from an early stage. It is particularly great for anyone who is interested in the world of finance, and thrives in an ever-changing, diverse and fast-paced environment.
Three pieces of advice I would give to anyone following my path on the Rates Trading desk would be: