Daiwei has learned what it takes to become a trader, and he's sharing his advice and key takeaways from his summer internship as a Quantitative Trading Analyst.
During my summer at DRW, I held the position as a quant trading intern, and was given a wide range of responsibilities on various teams – from equity index futures and index options to fixed income.
I was fortunate to work on various projects with the other quant trading interns, and I even got to use some of the mathematical theory I have learned from my degree and apply it to a real-world setting. My first project included performing statistical analysis on market data and generating trading signals that teams could trade off of. Another project I found to be exciting was working on an optimizer, which transforms hedging decisions into a mathematical optimization problem and solves it computationally.
By working on multiple projects, my responsibilities have varied – from coming up with new ideas on how to solve problems, to writing the code and implementing the solutions to these problems. The best part is that the traders continue to use the products that the other interns and I have created for day-to-day trading objectives. For example, one of the first projects that we worked on is still being used by the traders, and the other interns and I consistently were able to resolve certain issues as they asked for feedback. It’s really encouraging that the work that we do is valuable and useful to the traders.
Throughout this internship, one of the most important things I learned was just how complex and theoretical trading is. As a trader, it’s important to be aware of what’s going on in the world around you. Additionally, you must form a view and analyze what you think other market participants are doing and how they’re reacting to different situations. I also learned how important quantitative skills are and how often they come into play to help traders make decisions quickly.
To anyone looking to take on a similar internship, I would advise you to simply be curious and inquisitive while preparing for your new roles. Whether you have some free time during your university studies or the holidays, try to study these subjects through online resources, books, and even on YouTube. Additionally, if you try to develop some programming skills, I think you would be very prepared when undertaking any internship of this kind. Getting ahead in this sense and building up some knowledge in these areas will put you in a really strong position before starting a similar internship.