Name: Edith Lorna Jepkirui
Class Year: 2021
Hometown: Eldoret, Kenya
Internship Organization: Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Job Title: Sales and Trading Summer Analyst
What’s happening at your internship?
This summer, I was a sales and trading intern “sitting” on the Equity Derivatives Trading desk at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. I spent the first three weeks of the internship in training where I learned about the various lines of business at BofA—business writing, accounting, data literacy, the markets—and how to be successful in a virtual environment.
When I hit the desk, I began networking with traders on the Single Name, Index, and Exotics desks under Equity Derivatives. I put time on people’s calendars and began learning about the products, product pricing strategies, client motivations, and product limitations. I also received book recommendations from my desk managers and began doing some self-study. I sent out end-of-day recaps to my managers every day with a list of questions that came up during my reading. Additionally, my desk conducted regular teach-ins to solidify our understanding of various options concepts including option payoffs and option Greeks. I attended markets meet-ups to learn about other desks across the firm and called in to meet-the-leader speaker sessions by various leaders in the firm. I also volunteered at the Smithsonian for six hours as part of the bank’s Environmental Social and Governance initiative.
I had a strong support system through my mentor, my cohort lead, my managers, and the team of interns at the Derivatives Trading Desk.
Why did you apply for this internship?
I am passionate about the markets and I had a strong desire to learn about derivatives. Additionally, I have a strong quantitative background and the Derivatives Trading desk offered me a great opportunity to put my quantitative skills to use.
Working remotely for the first time? What has that experience been like for you?
While I enjoyed the convenience of working six feet from my bed and wearing my “Zoom shirt” without any pants on, I had to be more intentional about setting boundaries to create a work-life balance. I spent a lot of time making calls and studying but I also stepped aside to connect with friends and family and get food to eat. I logged off work at the end of the workday and did not log on until morning.
As a sales and trading intern, I found it quite inconvenient that I couldn’t sit next to a trader on the trading floor and ask questions. I also couldn’t see traders execute trades in real time and that took away from the internship experience as a whole. I was, however, able to place calls to traders whenever they had time and learn from them.
Can you give us three adjectives and three nouns that describe your internship experience?
- Technical Skills and Business Acumen
Visit the Summer 2020 Internships page to read more student stories.