Keys to succeed as a summer Sales & Trading intern

Saymo's picture
Rank: Chimp | banana points 8

Hello everyone,

I am currently a Junior in an undergraduate business school and, after working hard, I have just secured a summer S&T internship at a BB bank in NYC. I am now willing to provide the necessary effort to do well.

I would like to have some tips on how to prepare for the internship. As of now, I am not interested in a specific desk. The program is rotational and I would like to have two trading rotations and a sales one. I am a Finance and Math major and I would like to have some advice on how to choose the desks for the summer. I want to do the following simultaneously: learning a lot from the summer, creating great relationships, and satisfy the expectations.

I want to choose strategically. Of course, the usual advice is to go with what I really like. However, although I have a slight attraction towards equities and derivatives, I am ready to choose other desks if it gives the opportunity to express myself better and use my specific skills (math, two foreign languages) to my advantage. I also want to favor the desks that are more likely to have available spots for full time offers. What desks do you think I should prioritize? Do you think that it's even better to just go with the people who I had good feelings with from networking sessions?

My purpose is to do well and show my potential fully, rather than securing a full time offer. If I show my real potential and I am not offered a full time spot, then I wouldn't have any regrets. Please let me know of ANY advice you might have. How could I prepare well? What are the things that I HAVE to know before my first day. Most people who got the same internship know much more than I do, but I have a stronger motivation. It is my motivation that led an offer to me. Now, I want tips on how to prepare well, please.

Thank you very much.
Saymo

Comments (30)

Best Response
Mar 1, 2015

1. Don't piss people off. You will be doing a lot of shadowing / sitting around doing nothing. Try not to irritate the traders that are busy. What they're doing is more important.
2. As soon as you figure out what you're rotating on, read as much as possible about that subject area. I didn't rotate and found out in May what group I was working in and spent a month learning everything I could about that product.
3. I'm so fucking sick of this phrase, but you really do need to find ways to "add value". You can't just seem interested all summer and get a job. You need to try and actually do something that helps the desk, no matter how menial the task seems.
4. Learn VBA. If you can do math you can code. This sorta goes with point 3, but helping traders improve their spreadsheets with VBA is a great way to add value.
5. If you get a task or rotation you don't like, don't complain or think it's a waste of your time. Everyone is judging you.
6. Make friends with the middle office and research people. They can help you and their opinion matters also.
7. Proof read things and make sure they're "polished" before you show them to senior people. This is not college, presentation and format matters as much as content.
8. Don't piss people off.

I'm sure there's more but that's off the top of my head. As for what desk, no idea bro. More complex products are usually better because they are more secure if you're good and often more profitable. I wouldn't get into cash equities right now, not sure about derivs.

    • 2
Mar 1, 2015

Hey Anonymoose,

Thanks a lot for your advice. I will definitely go by it.
Other than that, I am really interested in knowing which desks are appropriate for my specific situation.

If anyone has ANY advice, please share it. What would be a good book to read for preparation?

Best,
Saymo

Saymo

Mar 2, 2015

Theres tons of threads on this on the site if you search, I think at one point I wrote a whole thread about it.

But number one thing: meet/get to know as many people as possible. Hiring at the end of the day is largely a popularity contest.

Mar 2, 2015

My experience was working on various projects, reading research and summarizing these, networking a lot across the different desks (i.e. sales, trading, research), talking to people, learning more about the products / derivatives, asking questions about the market, getting coffee, attend meetings and writing the minutes, listening into calls, coming up with trade ideas etc. Market research is done by the research team, at a BB they're not going to ask you to do market research.

Rien a prouver.. neuf quatre

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Mar 2, 2015

Thanks City. Sounds in line with what I might want to do.

What desk were you at? Equity, FI, derivatives? Or was it a rotational program?

Mar 2, 2015

Trading ideas, trading ideas and more trading ideas. Some excel work (only vanilla stuff though).
It really depends on what sort of sales you do... If you do structured products you will most likely work on some presentations, term sheets, fact sheets and that sort of stuff.
On a cash desk you'll most likely only be asked to contribute as much as possible (trading ideas), do the week aheads, wraps etc. Make sure you're on top of things and understand what is going on. Find yourself a niche (say the steel sector) and try to know as much as possible about that particular sector so you can "add value".
You'll most likely be asked to do some research. Example: 20 minutes before market open a sales guy says: Theres a rumor that this tractor manufacturer is going to acquire a competitor in europe supposedly a high quality one. Find out which tractors are the best ones in terms of price and which are the best selling ones. So I called the biggest distributors in Europe and pretended that I was gonna buy a couple. Asked some questions..... Turns out his clients made 10% that day.
Its the small things that matter. When I said good bye to everyone when I left the firm some sales guys that I never even worked with told me that I should come back after graduation. So keep in mind that those small things really matter. Received an email from the head of sales the other day asking what my plans are in terms of employment. Note: I hardly did any work for him. (No "bragging" intended)
Make sure you are the first in the office every morning and the last one leaving the office in the evening (pretty obvious). Ask questions, come up with trading ideas, be yourself, joke around and have fun. In the end it comes down to whether or not they like you.
Hope this helps

Mar 2, 2015

Thanks nauprillon, I will be sitting on a cash equity desk (I think) so it might be what you mentioned about contributing as much as possible.

Could you or anyone expand on what the differences are between structured products vs. cash desks? I have heard some type of comparison being made but don't really udnerstand it...

Mar 2, 2015

Cash equities is just plain listed equities.
Structured products can be linked to anything really - rates, commodities, indices, currencies. These products are basically a combination of derivatives and in some cases zero-bonds and rates products like the euribor for example. So its a completely different ball game. You gotta think of a structured product as sort of closed end with a specified maturity (3 years, 5 years and sometimes only 6 months). So what the sales do is: sell new issues to clients until a certain level is reached and then it goes onto the market and is tradable. But sales still pitch the product and sell it. The traders just need to make sure they are properly hedged. Almost all clients hold onto the products until expiry because otherwise theres not really a point in holding it since it all depends on the payoff at the point of maturity. Most products consist of exotic orc derivatives (digitals, knock out, knock ins... you name it) so its not really something you want to trade like a stock since most products are quite illiquid. Some more vanilla structures are more liquid but extremely hard to trade since most people don't know what is structure consists of.
While a cash trade makes the bank approx: 20 bips these products make the bank approx. 100 bips and in some cases even more.

Mar 2, 2015
nauprillion:

Cash equities is just plain listed equities.
Structured products can be linked to anything really - rates, commodities, indices, currencies. These products are basically a combination of derivatives and in some cases zero-bonds and rates products like the euribor for example. So its a completely different ball game. You gotta think of a structured product as sort of closed end with a specified maturity (3 years, 5 years and sometimes only 6 months). So what the sales do is: sell new issues to clients until a certain level is reached and then it goes onto the market and is tradable. But sales still pitch the product and sell it. The traders just need to make sure they are properly hedged. Almost all clients hold onto the products until expiry because otherwise theres not really a point in holding it since it all depends on the payoff at the point of maturity. Most products consist of exotic orc derivatives (digitals, knock out, knock ins... you name it) so its not really something you want to trade like a stock since most products are quite illiquid. Some more vanilla structures are more liquid but extremely hard to trade since most people don't know what is structure consists of.
While a cash trade makes the bank approx: 20 bips these products make the bank approx. 100 bips and in some cases even more.

I recently spoke to a cash equities trader and he said that because of Dodd Frank, he can't use puts to hedge his long positions because of Dodd-Frank. How can a trader at a bank hedge now given Dodd Frank?

Mar 2, 2015

I am a soph. and i have two offers right now and i am wondering which might look better for my junior year internship seach (in S&T). I have an offer to work at a Royal bank of canada private wealth managment office and an offer to work at the St. Louis federal reserve. Thank you for any help

Mar 2, 2015

Good stuff.

Mar 2, 2015

@ChrisMorehouse It really depends on what sort of work you'll be doing at the Fed. Some shops really put a lot of weight on macro understanding.

@TraderDaily I thought Dodd Frank only applies to OTC derivatives...

Mar 2, 2015

TraderDaily, that can't be right. You must have misunderstood the guy...

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Mar 2, 2015

Well I done mine at Citi

There's very little you can do because you need your exams(7&63) before you can talk to clients or use certain trading programs.

Its mostly just sitting around watching whats goin on and watchin how everyone behaves.

You get to sit in on alot of analyst/client meetings and just take notes and you also get the opportunity to come face to face with senior corporate management.

There is a substantial amount of entertainin involved also-from either playin golf or eating at fancy restaurants to attendin concerts....all fun things basically.

You will be giving project work which is of little importance but it is just a way for them to see how you actually apply your knowledge in a real working environment and how you interact with others.

My experiance was first class and I seriously recommend it.

Mar 2, 2015

Varies widely. A lot of people spend the summer shadowing, etc. Some desks you actually do real work (making sure trades get booked correctly, the risk is correct, etc)

Mar 2, 2015

There are separate summer analyst programs for S&T. You apply directly to the program in which you're interested (S&T, banking, research).

Mar 2, 2015

Know ur product, know bloomberg, know ur clients, know their portfolios, know your traders, know how to have a good time

Mar 2, 2015

I will make sure to go around town, pick up menus from each restaurant I see, and start practicing at home right away!!!

Thanks!!

MKballer

Mar 2, 2015

haha

Mar 2, 2015

this is no joke... never leave without 100% certainty what everyone wants... ask if they want a drink also

Mar 2, 2015

How do you carry it all back?

Mar 2, 2015

and how do you normally pay?

Mar 2, 2015
Walkio:

and how do you normally pay?

Why, with your Titanium Amex of course.

Mar 2, 2015
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Mar 2, 2015