I was part of a structured internship programme called the Quantitative Summer Institute (QSI). Each QSI intern receives four weeks of training classes and exercises from colleagues within Quantitative Strategies. After the four weeks of training, each intern moves to a specific desk on the trading floor and is given a six week project. The internship has been a great learning experience and I would strongly recommend the QSI programme to anyone interested in pursing a career within Quantitative Finance.
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I enjoyed this internship very much. The internship involved four-week classroom training (covering a rich range of asset classes), and a six-week individual project. The work was always interesting and challenging. From the classroom training, I began to understand the piratical work. I particularly enjoyed my project, working with my great supervisor.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
The colleagues are very friendly. We had very inspiring and efficient discussion which helped a lot for my project. I presented my work three times in this six weeks and they gave me very helpful comments. The division organized a welcome drink event and a goodbye lunch for the interns.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
My managers and supervisors were extremely helpful. I cannot finish the project without their help. They were super busy, but they spent a lot of time teaching me the stuff. As I mentioned, they listened to my presentation three times in this six weeks. I did appreciate the support and guidance I received.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
This really depends. At the beginning, I got stuck in both the topic itself and the data system for internal use. So I spent much time to familiarize myself with these stuff and ended up working very long hours. But after a few weeks I began to feel comfortable and left at 6 usually. The working hours were absolutely flexible.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was given full responsibility of my own individual project. I could manage my own time and decide which steps I could take for the project during the whole internship. Also the supervisors encouraged me to work independently. They treated me as a full-time employee, which was very helpful for my own development.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I have learned a huge amount from this internship. Though I knew almost all the topics before the internship, this training still inspired me a lot in many aspects, at least from a more practical view. I also polished my programming skills a lot by undertaking the individual project. The skills will be absolutely useful in my future career.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
very good general atmosphere. Everyone was friendly. I often went with members of my team to get coffee. They treated me as a full-time employee and spent a lot of time teaching me new stuff. I felt super welcomed and was very glad to be a part of the team.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
Extremely well organised. I would say this program is absolutely the best one in the industry. All the interns received four weeks of training classes and exercises from colleagues within Quantitative Strategies. The exercises were either written or programming based and very helpful for understanding the key concepts. All the exercises were marked and we received feedback on them.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
The firm invested a lot to us. During the first four weeks I had at least one 2-hour class each day and a series of exercises to complete. Each set of exercises was marked by the Quant Strat who gave the relevant class. All the presentation slides and lecture notes were easy to access.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
I guess i will receive the news very soon. This internship strengthened my willingness to work at Credit Suisse as a future full-time employee. Everything was so nice and I hope I can receive the return offer. According to previous year data, the possibility of receiving the return offer is quite high.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Yes absolutely. I usually had lunch with my fellow interns every day. There are also many chances to meet the interns in the other divisions at all different kinds of events which were organized by Credit Suisse HR, including a welcome event, a goodbye event and a philanthropy day in East London.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
The cost is high obviously since we are in London. But still acceptable.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
many pubs nearby.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
There were many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work. There were a lot of different kinds of clubs we could join, e.g. LGBT+, sports, BAME, etc. I played tennis each week with my colleagues in the team. I absolutely enjoyed these activities outside of work very much.