The heavens had already started to rumble and give the East Coast a hard time as I flew into NYC a few days after New Year. The first day of work I took the wrong bus and ended up walking 31 blocks down Madison Avenue. Although it wasn’t the most pleasing thing, it was an experience on its own – weaving my way through herds of humans that flock midtown Manhattan every morning. Seeing those skyscrapers tower above me, the financial powerhouses of the world, was an enthralling sight.
I strode into the Conquest Capital office and all I could hear was the buzz of CNBC market tickers signaling stocks, futures, currencies, commodities and what have you. Conquest is a hedge fund involved in trading futures and currencies based on signals from the mathematical mazes underlying their strategies. As a result, most of my work was based on grasping the very elements that make up a trading strategy. I was using a combination of MS Excel and Visual Basic (VBA) to build my model which revolved around what is called a “moving average” in the financial world.
Another part of this great experience was observing traders strike out deals and place orders depending on market conditions. The release of job numbers and retail industry figures for the holiday season coincided with the time I spent there, and I got to see Economics 201 (which I had taken in the fall semester before) at work. I got a real sense of market volatilities and how significantly market indicators can impact trades in S&P 500 and the world currency market.
Apart from the work experience, NYC was awesome. And that’s probably an understatement. Marc, my externship sponsor, invited all NY-based externs for a dinner at the New York Athletic Club. It was a great evening of hearing Olde Reed stories and making new connections.
However, this stint would not have been possible without Lauren Dunn and Pamela Matsuda-Dunn who generously hosted me for a fortnight and showed me around the city. We discussed how Reed had changed over the years, interracial harmony, fusion music and almost every topic under the sun for hours after dinner every night. They were the best hosts I could ask for!
To sum up, after having seen the Wolf of Wall street movie earlier in the week, it was great to get to experience the groove of the real Wall Street.