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.


Mediatek – Paolo Grazieschi

My research will benefit from this because I experienced a different and differently organised environment, with other ways (but similar) of working together to achieve the desired goals

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Government Office for Science – Rosa Kowalewski

I highly recommend the internship to PhD students who are curious about research impact and policy and who are looking to gain work experience beyond academia and industry.

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Cytel – Robbie Peck

My communication and collaboration skills benefitted from this experience, and I learnt about the working environment within a private company in the software industry

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Institute for Mathematical Innovation – Allen Paul

I would absolutely recommend such an get an understanding of how valuable mathematical research can be in such a diverse set of problem domains

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UK Health Security Agency – Jason Wood

The opportunity to work in a fast paced, collaborative environment taught me a lot about both the internal workings of government and about best practises working in an agile environment.

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The Alan Turing Institute – Gianluca Detommaso

It has been a fun and constructive year...being away from a close supervision for one year helped strengthening my discipline and independence

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University of Bath, Department of Psychology – Nadeen Khaleel

The opportunity to work in an interdisciplinary team where I was communicating my work to people from different departments was invaluable for my work beyond my PhD

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Cummins Turbo Technologies – Kate Powers

I gained insight into what it would be like to have a career in industry. It was great to experience the culture in the offices, and the learn about processes they use to progress research and development projects.

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Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs – Laura Oporto Lisboa

I was able to meet amazing people from different backgrounds that helped me so much understanding the work and made me feel welcomed

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Graz University of Technology, Austria – Seb Scott

...this research visit provided me with an invaluable opportunity to work and network with world leading experts

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