Despite the recession, firms including Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, Deutsche Bank, and BNP Paribas already have begun to tap the brainpower in the Master’s in Financial Engineering (MFE) Program for mid-program internships.
With three months remaining before the internships begin in October, 13 students already have secured internships. MFE Executive Director Linda Kreitzman is optimistic about the internship placement opportunities for Berkeley MFE students. “We are right on target since the MFE internship process has just started and demand for our MFE students’ skills are needed now more than ever,” says Kreitzman.
Four students will work at BNP Paribas, one in Tokyo and three in New York; three students will work for Citi; one for Deutsche Bank; one for Standard & Poor's; one with BondDesk, a Mill Valley hedge fund; and one at Scotia Capital in Toronto.
Ian Swanson, MFE 10, will join Citi in New York as an associate engaging in quantitative financial strategies and analysis. While the specific work he will be doing has not yet been determined, Swanson notes, “The broader goals in the industry are clear: The field needs to more carefully understand the causes and implications of the recent crisis.”
“As a physicist, I appreciate the discipline and rigor that comes with wanting to understand a particular problem or investment strategy down to the last detail," adds Swanson. Plus, he notes, “One of the most rewarding aspects of these kinds of problems is that the market is the ultimate judge of any particular opinion or outlook."
Alexandre Morali, MFE 10, is looking forward to applying the concepts and techniques he has been studying while working as an intern on the equity derivatives trading desk at Scotia Capital.
Morali hopes ultimately to work on derivative financial instruments on a trading or quantitative research desk. He says he gained key technical skills from Adjunct Professor Domingo Tavella’s course on quantitative methods in derivatives pricing, while Professor Mark Rubinstein’s course on the economic concepts of derivatives has given him a deeper understanding of hedging and the replication of financial securities.
“I am sure I will have to adapt (the concepts) to make them work in a real-world environment. Especially after being through this crisis, all models will have to be revised and we will all probably be asked to work on that as well," Morali says.