Development, Life

Morgan Stanley Internship

After work (Canary Wharf, 2010)

After work (Canary Wharf, 2010)

Last week I received a short e-mail from my former manager at Morgan Stanley:

"Hi Manfred,

Just to let you know that GlobalAxe all went live last week and so far no issues at all."

Since the people on the trading floor started using my system and it seems to be standing on its feet so far, it probably is a good time to recap on what had happened over my ten week internship at Morgan Stanley.

I was working as technology analyst in repo trading team (in institutional securities group). My task was to develop and integrate a new screen into trading software, to create an associated e-mail subsystem generating daily/weekly reports for senior executives and to code a website which would provide access to the data for executives/sales people without the trading software on their machines.

Development-wise it involved working with quite a wide range of technologies, such as C# and CAB for UI development, Java/Spring for e-mail report generation/server backend, MVC under ASP.NET for the website, Transact-SQL for Sybase DB backend; everything interconnected with SOAP/XML and distributed locally over in-house pubsub systems or through IBM's MQ for inter-continental data transactions.

Even though working and learning about all these technologies was fun on it's own right, the best thing I would say about my experience was the people.

Night at Canary Wharf, 2010

Night at Canary Wharf, 2010

There is no better feeling than having a quick call with traders in New York demoing them the stuff that you just wrote, then dropping an e-mail to Tokyo checking if your recent changes made it through to their database, discussing the architecture of your system with the guys in your team and then going to the global team video-meeting; all in the same day.

And sometimes you feel the need to pinch yourself, because the level of responsibility that you get as an intern is staggering. You have the same rights and responsibilities as any other team member: a screw up in your code can block sixty people from submitting their code before the end of the iteration, a failure to convince the head of traders in NY that what you are doing is going to help them will affect the name of the whole team, and so on.

But then, you own your project: you make the final design decisions, you implement it and you give it to the end-users, who often appear to be bigshots. And that more than makes up for a few late nights in the office. Plus, Canary Wharf is absolutely beautiful at night.

Without expanding too much (and breaching too many non-disclosure agreements) - it was definitely the best experience so far: in terms of team, project, technology, skill, involvement and everything else. And it seems like I will have a chance to repeat it again: I have already received an unconditional offer for the internship at MS next summer!

Oh, and regarding the summer days spent in glass, steel and stone towers... well, Majorca more than made up for it!

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Education, Life, Music

"The Hard Way is the Right Way"

While the Europe is paralyzed by the volcanic ash and I am restrained from coming back to Cambridge, here is a quick recap of what I have been doing for the past couple of months.

1. Guitar

It looks like it is becoming a tradition - another vacation ends with a guitar video. This time - a short slow blues in Stefan Grossman's style. The usual apologies for the sound, video and playing quality apply.

Slow blues in E (Sefan Grossman's style).

2. Professional

The Chartered Institute for IT
I was accepted as a student member to the Chartered Institute for IT (former British Computer Society). For the next two years (at least) I should be reachable through this e-mail:

3. Studies

Without getting into the gory details, the outcomes of the Lent (read: second) term in Cambridge can be summarized by:

Mandelbrot Set

Mandelbrot set (1280x1024)

  1. a wallpaper "spit out" by ML depicting a rather standard Mandelbrot set fractal (on the right),
  2. an animation "spit out" by Java depicting eight-hundred generations of the spacefiller pattern in the Conway's Game of Life (further on the right),
  3. and an insane amount of material to prepare for the upcoming exams; both broad and not as shallow as I expected.

I am still extremely enjoying it, even though the amount of my spare-time has decreased. (As an afterthought - I still had time to play basketball for Blues, Lions and my college, so maybe it was not that bad).

4. Internship

Over the summer I will be working as a Technology Analyst for Morgan Stanley, in their Innovative Data, Environments, Analytics & Systems (IDEAS) group.

During the interviews Morgan Stanley really left a very good impression both at the level of knowledge of the people working there and the communication and culture inside the company. We will see if that applies in day-to-day situations. In any case, I have nothing against spending the summer in Canary Wharf and seeing the investment banking industry from inside.

It will surely give me more things to write about in this blog, so be sure to check back once in a while.

Internship Offer Packs from Morgan Stanley and Citigroup

Competition: internship offer packs from Morgan Stanley and Citigroup.

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