Aaron Ingram is a finance major graduating in May 2018. This summer, Aaron interned with Citi as their Sales and Trading Analyst in New York, NY. This company was able to reserve rooms close to the NYU dorms as well as provided relocation stipends.
How did you land this internship? Landing this internship was easily one of the hardest things I’ve done in college. In short, I was fortunate to receive help from Jeff Welter who works in Eller’s Professional Development Center. Jeff advised me on how to navigate the recruiting process and who I should get in touch with to learn more about the industry. After he connected me with the UofA alumni currently working at Citi and speaking with them on the phone, I flew out to New York with the Investments Club as part of their annual trip to meet Wall Street firms. While in the city, I had in-person meetings with the alumni and other traders, got pushed for a Superday Interview, and flew back out to New York in November for final round interviews (which consisted of a one hour long case study, followed by 4 twenty minute interviews).
In total, I flew out to New York seven times in the span of seven months, had countless phone calls and emails exchanged regarding the recruiting process and was also offered an internship with BlackRock. The BlackRock internship was with the New York Trading & Liquidity Strategies team and I was the only one chosen for that position out of 600 applicants. I ultimately leveraged that BlackRock offer when talking to other firms in order to make myself a more desirable candidate.
What was a typical day like? It’s true when they said there’s no such thing as a typical day in Sales & Trading; when the financial markets become volatile, you really don’t know what will be thrown at you next. With that said, my routine usually consisted of arriving to the office around 6 am, writing up a morning report / overnight recap for my desk, then scheduling out my day. Often times, there were intern events where lunch would be served in a private room and different trading desks would come explain a little bit about what they specialize in. I also had to carefully manage my time working on a project for my trading desk, working on a separate intern project, and still finding time to grab coffee with professionals across various sales and trading teams. I had to be strategic about when I met with people, so I would avoid the super busy time frames like the opening and closing bell and would use those times to research asset classes and develop well-thought-out questions. I would then ask those questions during the late morning and early afternoon, and would save my projects to work on after everyone went home.
If you worked on a big project, please describe it. During my second rotation my intern team worked on an interest rate pitch in which we suggested two types of trade ideas. Both trade ideas aligned with a macro theme that accounted for where we saw monetary and fiscal policy headed in the next 3 to 6 months as well as an explanation of where we saw opportunities to make a profit if the given situation were to play out. Interns were given two weeks to prepare and then 15 minutes to present and 5 minutes of Q&A in front of senior level professionals in the firm.
What advice do you have for other students seeking a similar internship? It’s important to talk to people who have done this before. Both Investment Banking and Sales & Trading are very rigorous careers and are careers you must be passionate and dedicated to in order to be successful. Take lots of time outside of school to self-teach and learn the conceptual and technical sides to the business.
Start early! Every year, Wall Street has seemed to move up its recruiting timeline, meaning students begin interviewing as early as the summer going into their Junior and Senior year.
Don’t ask a question you can simply find the answer to by Googling, and don’t ask questions just for the sake of asking a question. Instead, write down any questions you developed while researching and save them for later. Then, when you’re sitting with someone you can explain what you had been researching and where you needed clarification.