Markets Internship by Sneha Kotecha

Friday, 10 July 2009

For any second year university student, the summer holidays are usually spent interning somewhere, as panicked twenty year olds realise it’s time to figure what to do with their lives. “The beauty about a degree in Economics is that you can then go on to do anything,” my careers teacher once told me. But for me, therein lies the problem. With no real idea of what I want to do, the one thing I wanted from my internship was the opportunity to see how my degree could be put into practice, and that made the FT the perfect place to be.

It was my responsibility to cover the Asia-Pacific markets with a fellow correspondent in Tokyo; a task which seemed thoroughly daunting at first, but proved to be very helpful in terms of developing my understanding of the world’s most dynamic region’s markets. Compiling the report required me to analyse which indexes were the biggest movers and why. The thing I found most interesting was how everything was interlinked; for example, during my first week, poor US non-farm payroll figures were released. The knock-on effect was that the Asian markets fell the next day, as investors around the world thought the data indicated that the worst of the recession may not be over. This really emphasised for me how we truly do live in a globalised world.

Another one of my jobs was to update the FTSE 100 online report throughout the day. I found this particularly exciting because it was fascinating to see how the opening of the US markets at 2:30pm and its subsequent trading session could cause the direction of the FTSE to change. More than anything, it highlighted the key skill any successful journalist should have- the ability to cope with the ever-changing nature of the job.

Apart from the obvious thrill of seeing my articles published in the world’s most prestigious paper, the main highlight for me had to be just simply being in the newsroom and observing how everything came together, with a simple suggestion for an article from a reporter turning into a fully-fledged piece of analysis by the next day.

Overall, interning at the FT was everything I expected and more. The continual support throughout the internship made the whole experience thoroughly enjoyable and gave me the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the financial world. The dynamic atmosphere is one which I can really see myself working in in the future, as every day is different to the last and there is always more to read and investigate. One thing I’ve realised is that you will never be able to know everything about the world of finance, but a career at the FT is definitely the best place to try and find out!


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