An internship at IMC is the chance to take your first steps into the world of trading and work on projects that make a real difference to our business. Martin Hu recently completed a month long Trader Internship. Here’s what he had to say about the experience:
What was it that attracted you to IMC over another company?
- IMC had been known to me as a well-established trading firm with an amazing work culture. They really pride themselves on treating their employees like friends and family, and supporting them every step of their way through their careers. Although I’ve always been interested in technology-driven trading, I believed it was out of my reach because of the level of talent and intelligence required to get in. But when I heard about IMC’s Winter Internship, I took a shot and applied, and was ecstatic when I received an offer.
Was there anything that really took you by surprise when you started?
- I was surprised by how absolutely awesome the people working there were. They’re funny, social, very intelligent, and all know how to have a good time. The chilled yet high-performing work environment really surprised me too. The bar and kitchen is packed full of food and drinks, and there’s pool, table tennis, video games and even a Street Fighter machine for when you want to relax. From day one, I really enjoyed myself and felt really comfortable. I can’t imagine working anywhere else.
Was there any kind of special training you were given?
- We spent a few days learning about the basics of trading and how IMC operates as a business from perspectives in both finance and technology. I had a bit of prior knowledge about how trading works, but the low-level software and hardware engineering concepts underlying technology-driven trading was all very new to me.
Great. So would you say you felt supported at IMC?
- There was definitely a lot of support. Everyone was easy-going and would regularly come over to check on how you’re doing or extend a helping hand. We learnt a lot by shadowing some of the traders and seeing in real time how various strategies were performing in different markets around the world. Also, from the get-go, I felt very included and as if I’d been working at IMC for a much longer period of time. There were so many social events going on that it became naturally easy to get to know the team and the IMC culture.
What do you feel is the biggest thing you learned during the internship?
- I learnt that the world of technology-driven trading is much more fun, complex, and interesting than I could have ever imagined. It is a fairly niche field, so prior to undertaking the internship I did not have a solid understanding of it. Even now, after learning lots about market-making and trading equity and derivative products, I know that I have only brushed the surface. There is so much more to learn and I am excited to expand my knowledge in the future.
Can you tell us about a big project you worked on? Was there any interesting technology involved?
- I worked on a project that involved coding a trading simulator in Python from scratch and developing algorithmic trading strategies, which were tested within it. Using in-sample and out-of-sample historical data from the real world, the simulator implemented an exchange matching engine which allowed us to determine the profitability of our strategies. A computer science background allowed us to get the simulator up and running earlier than expected, which meant we had more time to create and fine-tune various profitable strategies.
Because all our trading was done within our own simulator, we weren’t able to bring out the big guns, namely IMC’s extensive state-of-the-art proprietary software and hardware. However, with Python alone we were able to do everything from running the simulation to data processing and statistical analysis. In the realm of trading, it is a very powerful programming language for analytical purposes.
How did you feel once the project was over?
- To be honest, I felt pretty sad once the project was over because I didn’t want to stop working on it. Discovering new things about the market and coming up with and testing strategies became so interesting that I became heavily invested into it. Fortunately, I’ll be able to work on more new and exciting projects as a graduate.
If you could give advice to anyone looking to intern at IMC, what would it be?
- Don’t hold back, and give it your best shot, because it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to work for, quite possibly, the most amazing company in the world. Oh, and don’t be afraid to be yourself.
We’re looking forward to having Martin back at IMC. Click here to find out about Graduate and Intern opportunities at IMC.