Q&A: Sales And Trading Internship

Hi everyone,

I recently finished up a sophomore summer internship in S&T at a BB, got the return offer and plan on going back next summer to then be considered for FT. The point of this post is to answer any questions anyone might have about S&T (the process, internship, networking, etc) and try to give back a little to the WSO community. cheers!

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Comments (25)

Aug 20, 2017

What desks were u on this summer?

Aug 21, 2017

I did 3 rotations: Delta One Sales, Emerging Market Sales, and Fixed Income Securities Pricing

Aug 22, 2017
Aug 27, 2017

how technical (if at all) was delta one sales

Aug 20, 2017

Non target / target? Day-to-day, what do you do if you aren't licensed? (not meant to be a dig just curious)

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Best Response
Aug 21, 2017
  • Target
  • Day to day: Depends on the desk/group that you're in. But overall, S&T internships differ in that, the worse thing you can do as an intern is to sit at your desk and do work. Most of your day is spent shadowing people on your desk whether they are sales or traders and finding out what they do and if its something you want to do. Most people that you shadow will explain what their doing and their day-day as they go along and why they're making the trades or sales they're making. Others will prefer if you just sit and write down questions and later come back when things are less busy and they can answer then in full without being interrupted. Really depends on the person. With that, you have to find a lot of your own work. Some desk will have specific intern projects for each rotations, and of course a trade pitch. But most of the time you have to be proactive and ask for work. i.e: Ask a sales person or trader if there's something they want you to do or if there's a project they've been working on that they haven't had a chance to do or finish.
    • 4
Aug 21, 2017

Did you have any interaction with the structuring desk? When starting an S&T internships can you asked to be put into structuring?

Aug 21, 2017

I had little interaction with the structuring desk, but that depends on the bank you're at. Some S&T desk have structuring components, like index derivatives structuring, but that all depends on the bank

Aug 20, 2017

i do structuring now - why do you like it? what makes you want to do it

Aug 21, 2017

Now besides my interest in financial markets and derivative products, I was hoping that structuring could be a job that is both demanding in terms of quantitative abilities (might even make use of programming skills in Python/VBA) while at the same time having a front office position where I interact with interesting clients. Also after doing an M&A internships I was hoping that structuring would be interesting work that does not require me to stay in the office past midnight every other day. Do you think my assessment is correct? Please do correct me where I'm wrong. Did you get into structuring by doing a Markets / S&T internship and asked to be put on the trading desk?

    • 1
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Aug 24, 2017

what is normally involved in the intern projects? what did you do? (if you can say)

Aug 21, 2017

It depends on the desk. For example, the index derivative desk at my firm for the intern project, had all the interns build an option pricing model from scratch in excel using VBA. The interns each had to build the model, and then throughout the rotation, use it to make trades and then keep track of their P/L.

That's just one example, but that would be a technical thing to do if you had no exposure to VBA and did't know how to comfortably use excels capabilities. Each firm before your internship will usually give you a book with all the desk, a description, what the desk if looking for in terms of skills, expectations, etc.

Jan 21, 2018

The interns each had to build the model, and then throughout the rotation, use it to make trades and then keep track of their P/L.

How did you make trades without being licensed?

Jan 23, 2018

What technical skills did you come into the internship with?
What skills (programming, etc) would have been helpful? (I guess this might depend which desks you rotated through)

Aug 21, 2017

I came in with some technical background but not necessarily a ton. I've had an interest in finance for a while, so I came in knowing the basics about stocks, fixed income products, derivative, and structured products.

I wish I knew more Excel, and by that, I mean VBA and other more complex functions in excel because a lot of the work given can be made a lot easier if you know those functions. I had some projects that would have went a bit smoother or could have done differently if I knew more Excel. I would recommend also knowing some type of coding language, a lot of people at the firm recommended I learn one