During my freshman year, I looked for internships to apply what I had learned and gain real-life experience in the workforce. Luckily, I received an offer from BGC Partners, a leading financial services company, and readily accepted it. I would be working as a Business Analyst for the Trading Technology Team.
When I arrived on my first day, I was not sure what to expect. After all, I had only taken ten classes as a college student, and now I was walking along Wall Street. However, looking back now, I am extremely grateful for the experience and for the people that I met.
When I walked into the office on June 10, I had three main focus areas:
- First, apply what I had learned in my first two semesters to help the company
- Second, learn more and gain exposure in a variety of areas
- Third, have something to take away from the summer
I joined the Middle Office section of the company, where there were plenty of projects that needed immediate help. On the first day, I discussed with my manager about how I wanted to try a variety of things to get a sense of what I like and don’t like. He took this advice, and promptly placed me on three different projects to help with.
- The first project was helping to solve a logical problem, and involved some data analysis and thinking creatively.
- The second project was analytical in nature, and involved keeping track of trade metrics from the past year.
- The third project was more technical, and involved analyzing two different file formats and finding the differences.
By helping with these projects, I got my feet wet in a few key areas. Consequently, I have a better understanding of where my interests lie for the future.
Working in New York City is a very different experience from going to school or working anywhere else. First of all, it begins with the commute: I lived at home in New Jersey, so I faced a one hour commute each way every day. Furthermore, once you get to the city, you see millions of other people just like you — hustling around, waiting for no one, trying to reach their destination. One of my favorite parts about working in NYC was the amount of food that was available to try during lunch and after work. Also, social events were always fun because of the vast amount of activities to do. The next step for me would definitely be to experience living in the city as well, and everything that that entails.
If you’re looking for an internship, just be patient. I applied for many months before finally finding something that I wanted to do, and getting an offer. Once you do have that internship, make the most of it and use it to learn and meet new people. The best piece of advice is that you never want to burn bridges, so make the most of everything that you can.
Overall, I definitely learned a lot in my first summer away from school. I now have knowledge of a few new platforms and analytical tools, along with some real experience helping a business. The most important thing, however, is definitely the network I have gained. I appreciated how people like the CIO cared about our projects and remained involved, and it is a common theme in companies like BGC. I will definitely reach out to the network I have created in the future, and I expect to remain in touch.
Summer 2019 was a great success and I have BGC and it’s employees to thank!