Internship Field: Finance
Major/Minor: Economics, Physics
Host: quirin Bank AG
Duration: 3 months in summer of 2015
Description: "Quirin Bank redid its portfolio strategy a few years ago and implemented a three block system known as “Markt–Meinung–Wissen.” The system is an added component of diversification, a risk management technique used to spread risk among multiple investments.
My work mainly focused on the "Wissen" component which strives to identify individual market anomalies or arbitrage opportunities and is short-term focused. I was given one large project which would be a centerpiece within the "Wissen" block. The Portfolio Management department began creating an indicator model with the goal of helping the bank predict what direction an economy is headed. When I arrived, there was already a model in place for the United States, Germany, Euro Zone and Japan. My job was to expand this model to other countries using the Bloomberg Terminal. The first step was identifying what macroeconomic indicators are relevant: unemployment rate, gross domestic product, new manufacturing orders, consumer confidence indices, etc. The next step was determining what sources are credible and to select the most credible option based on researching the source. Some countries could have government manipulation within the index, so I had to research each source to determine credibility. I was tasked with creating a database for all of the indicators and used Bloomberg to retrieve the entire history of the index. Once the database was finished, I took each index and made a graph. I then had to determine the bounds of what we could consider “normal” values, where anything above could be considered “good” or “improving” in most cases (except unemployment or inflation) and anything below would be considered “bad” for the most part. The last part was adding this to what was already in the indicator model and writing some of the basic functions, but I was not tasked with writing the code."
Comments: "For me, the internship was a showcase of the financial sector. I found what I was doing at work interesting and I was able to do it at a time when the Grexit crisis was happening, so I could research the actual effects in real time. Personally, I felt that I was in way over my head coming in with a German-only internship, but throughout the past three months, I was able to prove to myself that I could work in German and live in a country 5,000 miles from home on my own where English is not the official language. I also proved that I could socially integrate into the office’s culture and adapt to a different work environment."
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