Unique Internship Experience

Design by Vignesh

Getting an internship from IIT Madras is one of the most sought after dreams of the students studying in the institute. It serves as one of the major reasons why they spent sleepless nights during their JEE days to make it to the IITs, and many more exhausting nights to crack intern tests and interviews. 

But when the ever-fighting-never-giving-up lad gets an intern offer from a company, he signs up to devour all the knowledge-appetizing learnings, and make enriching social bonds and memories that an intern experience gives him, much like when Harry got a letter from Hogwarts to come and join the school and devour everything it had to offer.

The experience is really magical; the amount of knowledge that a student earns from an internship, be it technical or managerial, is very huge, not to mention the rich connections that they make there with other interns or the guide which makes their career brighter and merrier.

To give you guys a glimpse of the journey of doing an internship somewhere not that commonplace, T5E interviews Kevin Martin (EE19B student), who interned this summer at Jane Street, Hong Kong as a quantitative trader. Here’s what he has to say about his experiences and insights after working at Jane Street.

Correspondent: How would you describe your work and overall experience at Jane Street?

Kevin: I had an amazing work experience at Jane Street, much like what I expected it to be. Quant roles are generally a bit hectic, they require you to be fast and accurate and proficient in coding/math skills. I liked the environment to which I was exposed and found it to be extremely fun and thrilling. Although my working hours were from 8.00 AM to 6.00 PM, I never felt the urge to look at my watch while at work. My work generally involved statistics and coding, with a deep learning curve on maths and stats. We had a very big trading floor for our work, the floor housed interns and some full time traders; it was exciting to work side by side with them. We were provided with breakfast and lunch at the office, there was even a cafeteria where you can have a coffee/ice cream whenever you pleased to have some! In a nutshell, the place always had an electric air of thrill and pace, which really suited me.

Correspondent: How different was it working with people from different parts of the world, especially in a place like Hong Kong?

Kevin: I can proudly say that interaction with my colleagues gave a holistic shade to my experience. They were mostly Asians as the firm was based in Hong Kong, with some people coming from Australia. We would sit together over a big workspace. Although we had individual projects to work upon, an occasional nudge over a small query in the code/implementation was always welcomed. There was a wide variety of people coming from different parts of the hemisphere, which really increased and improved my collective knowledge. Language was never a barrier, we always conversed in English, although sometimes it was difficult to comprehend due to differences in pronounciation.

During breaks, we would always indulge in games that often involved betting and have a laugh together! Overall they were very friendly and supportive. My relationship with my mentor wasn’t that deep on a social scale. We had weekly meetings in which we discussed progress of my work, what needs to be done in the future and general feedback. Initially the meets were offline, but after some weeks he had to go to Singapore, thereafter the meets were scheduled online. Nevertheless, I learnt a lot of things from him.

Correspondent: An internship is not only about learning new things or implementing your state-of-the-art ideas, it also gives lots of recreational fun and lovely memorable events to look back to. And if the internship is at some foreign location, it’s a cherry on top of the cake. What according to you were some of the most memorable moments during your time in Hong Kong?

Kevin: My weekend life was generally adventurous and explorative, as it should be if you go to work in a foreign land. Some of the events like the enthralling rides at Ocean Park and magnificent fireworks at Disneyland are permanently etched to my memory. I also went to see a horse race with my friends, we would generally bet on horses as is customary with respect to our profiles. I also went on a cruise ship and did some hiking. There were some Singaporean colleagues with whom I would occasionally go out and try out new stuff. One more distinctly memorable experience is of the vegetarian  food quality in hotels and restaurants. There were many Indian interns travelling with us and some of them being vegetarians, I tried out veg food in both Indian and local cuisine and believe me, the veg food was pretty good in Indian restaurants there.

Correspondent: Has this internship helped you to decide your career path in future or have confused you more regarding the same? 

Kevin: After working for 8 weeks there, I am pretty certain that I want to become a quantitative trader in my life, or take up some similar role. This intern was like a path finder for me, I am pretty certain now on what to do in future. Apart from providing me immese technical knowledge, the internship also gifted to me memories which I will have a hard time forgetting.

Each internship experience is unique in its tone and flavor, nevertheless the learning-fun bonanza combo is omnipresent in all of them.  

Edited by Ridha Shemil

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