Internship
HSBC – Anna Senkevich

Type of internship:

3 month placement with HSBC, Global Banking and Markets UK

What did the placement involve? 

The three-month placement was at HSBC Global Banking and Markets, with FX eRisk Spot, quant strategies team in high frequency algorithmic trading of cash foreign exchange spot products. My project was to assess the performance of the market fill simulator for algorithmic execution of trades, and to propose, implement and test improvements. The project had a distinct interdisciplinary flavour, combining probability, statistics, complexity science and programming with applications to finance.

Anna’s reflections on the experience:

You can read a full report of Anna’s placement in blog post that she wrote for the University Careers website.

In a way, the format of the project was not too different from doing a PhD: it was technical, without a clear solution but with multiple possible ways to approach it. Beyond the technical knowledge and coding skills, the project relied on the ability to conduct research independently. However, the project was a lot more hands-on and goal-oriented with a clear deliverable objective at the end of my three-month internship.

Throughout the internship there were plenty of opportunities to learn, to get exposure and to present my work to senior management. Being part of a larger cohort of interns made the experience more sociable. Everyone was placed at different desks throughout Markets & Securities Services (MSS), and so we worked on a variety of real-life problems. This way, we could draw upon each other’s experiences and learn about the range of problems faced by quant teams and possible solutions suitable for some asset classes but not for others. We were also encouraged to shadow experienced colleagues and to attend networking sessions held over lunch, to learn more about various products and business lines within HSBC. Moreover, there were a few programming workshops organised for us, to help us pick up relevant coding skills.

Doing an internship during my PhD was a great way to learn about opportunities to apply my technical skills to high impact real-life problems in the finance industry and to secure a permanent role in the team I knew I enjoyed working with.

Comments from Anna’s supervisor:

The placement has helped Anna bridging the gap between research at university and research in industry. The team at HBSC directed her towards topics where she could use and enhance her expertise.

The experience was positive from my point of view and I would recommend similar activities at the final stages of a PhD if time permits.

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