Alma Mater: MIT
Hometown: San Jose, CA
I've been primarily involved with Traders@MIT since my freshman year, and currently serve as the Co-President. Through its activities, I've had the opportunity to speak with many students who have interned or worked at SIG. I've also participated in other trading competitions, like the UChicago Midwest Trading Competition.
Definitely SIG's education program. As a college student, I am still figuring out my career, and SIG offered a strong emphasis on both educating its interns and trying to find the best fit for them at the company. The people and culture were also a big aspect of my decision; during my final interview, my interviewers created a very open and honest dialogue with me that made me feel like this experience would be extremely worthwhile.
My favorite aspect of SIG as an intern was the amount of communication we had with the educators and full-time traders on our desks. This really made my experience comfortable, and I learned much more this way. Of course, I have to mention the number of great events we had organized for us! Bowling, comedy shows, soccer matches, and dinners, just to name a few.
Throughout my entire trading internship, the people at SIG never felt stuffy or closed off. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised by how far everyone was willing to go to help me. Every person I came into contact with encouraged a dialogue that helped me learn more. There was no beating around the bush - people believe firmly in honest and helpful discussions. SIG's focus on education at the intern level made me feel as though they were truly invested in not only my future at SIG, but also my future in general.
I generally carpooled to work with a few other interns, and we'd get to SIG at somewhere between 7:30-7:45 a.m. Sometimes, I'd also come in a little earlier to prepare the desks for the traders. Then, I'd either resume project work, shadow traders on the desk, or help with other Assistant Trader tasks, usually involving broker calls. By lunchtime, the interns would gather upstairs and begin education. Our education time would be split between options theory lectures, mock trading, and poker (all the interns always look forward to poker time).
I didn't have any experience playing poker before I got to SIG, but the educators make sure that everyone gets up to speed. Between hands, we'd discuss all the decisions just made and talk about where we could improve. I particularly enjoyed it when we got to play with the educators; sometimes we'd even find them after work hours to play with us just for fun!
On a personal level, I experienced the bulk of my collaboration while working on a group project that I was assigned on the desk. I worked with two other interns, and we were given lots of helpful advice from traders on the desk. None of us had very much experience in the field or with the tools the traders typically use for analysis, so they happily taught us and found the appropriate resources to get up to speed.
I also witnessed a lot of collaboration on the desk - sometimes there would be larger-scale trades that one person was in charge of, but before coming to a decision, almost everyone in the group got to discuss and weigh in.
I am a burgeoning foodie, and I thought the food scene was amazing and so much fun. Also, it doesn't hurt that SIG gets discounted restaurant gift cards. My intern friends and I also went to beer gardens, which is something full-timers told me was a classic "Philly" thing to do. But overall, I'd characterize Philly as a great big city with a small town vibe.
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