Hi All – I just finished up from my internship last Friday and, whereas it has been different not having to go to work every morning, my project write-up has kept me busy.
The SSgA Chief Economist, Dr Chris Probyn, spoke on the US and European economies at our final Wednesday lunchtime speaker series and it went down well. There was also a reception for the SSgA interns on the top floor on Thursday evening where CEO, Scott Powers, gave an encouraging wrap-up speech. The food at the reception matched the magnificent views (or was that vice versa?!) and it was a last chance for the interns to meet SSgA executives, share war stories and swap contact details.
SSgA (and State Street Corporation) really has developed an excellent internship program and I’d advise anybody thinking of a internship in finance to check it out. Not only will you get the chance to work with helpful and interesting people, you will also get a chance to meet interns from schools all over Boston and, indeed, the US.
I had a thoroughly enjoyable summer and fantastic opportunity to learn, not only about the world of global macroeconomics but about other aspects of the business as well. People will take the time to help or sit down and talk to interns. I would like to thank the Economics Team (and my bosses), Dr Chris Probyn and Mr Geoff Somes, for their direction and guidance and I had a great time working with them. Likewise, I’d like to thank Prof Torrisi for his guidance on my project.
I look forward to meeting the rest of the class and hearing your stories in person having followed your blogs throughout the summer. I hope you’ve found my blogs interesting and, for any new or prospective GMBA students, do not hesitate to reach out to me if you have any questions.
All the best,
Paul Miney, GMBA Student
This weekend, me and a colleague of mine took a five-hours bus ride to hike in the Yellow Mountains. After the cable car took us up the mountain we enjoyed the spectacular views at Lion Peak and the Grand Canyon. We walked in a sea of clouds, saw absurd stones and pines. In the morning, we got up at 4:45AM to hike with hundreds of Chinese to the "Refreshing Terrace" to see the sunrise. It was an amazing experience and a refreshing one too. The temperature was below 20° Celcius at the top of the mountain, compared with 42° in Shanghai. I strongly recommend that place for everyne who travels China.
As I approach the last week of my internship at SSgA, I just wanted to touch on the learning opportunities available at the company outside of the regular day-today or project work. Every week, representatives from several companies visit SSgA to give their view on different matters. For example, last week the Chief Economist of Decision Economics visited to talk on the world economy and to discuss generally about which countries/regions they had taken positions. We also had a senior analyst from Bank of America talk about the Chinese banking system. We’ve had several analysts from the Eurasia group speak on political risk for various regions and international politics – China, Japan, Europe, the Middle East, etc. I’ve seen these analysts on television news programs!
Furthermore, we’ve had visitors from Barclays Bank, JP Morgan and economists and political consultants from the Observatory Group, to name but a few. These meetings are of interest to the Economics Team but are also of interest to traders, analysts, portfolio managers and specialists. Although I can’t make it to all, I try to get to as many of these as I can as they provide huge learning opportunities and to allow me to get a different perspective on current issues.
If any of you reading this end up interning at SSgA, make sure you take these opportunities to expand your knowledge.Paul Miney, GMBA Student
The last month at Whyte & Mackay has been quite busy. I've been working on multiple projects for both domestic & international markets. While most of these projects require me to be in the office, late last month I was sent to the Isle of Jura- a large, mountainous island in Scotland's Inner Hebrides region that is inhabited by only 180 people (but 6,000 red deer!). It's here that Jura single malt whisky is distilled in Craighouse, the only village on the island. Though Jura lies roughly 12 miles off the coast of Scotland & is only 60 miles as-the-bird-flies from Glasgow, it takes nearly 4 hours to get to via plane, bus, ferry & coach.
The 3 days I spent on the island were certainly not your typical days at the office! Because there is only one hotel/bar on the island, you tend to meet people, locals & tourists alike, very quickly. It was interesting to speak with so many whisky enthusiasts, some of whom had travelled from as far away as Australia & Japan.
The amazing natural scenery on Jura isn't done justice through pictures, but I'll post one anyway.
A farmhouse outside of Craighouse
To make sure I don’t go dull, I took a trip out to the Great Wall. There are different parts of the Wall that you can visit and I ended up at Mutianyu Great Wall. You can take a cable car or hike up to this section of the wall, I opted for the cable car. Below are some photos of my trip.
Cable Car ride
Great Wall Hike
It was a nice day trip and it was a much needed escape from the city. I enjoyed the fresh air and got a great work out.
I was in New York over the weekend and took some time to visit what for many is the epicenter of the financial world - Wall Street, which is about 1.1 km or 0.7 miles long. It worked its way into popular culture via the 1987 film of the same name through characters such as Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas) and Bud Fox (Charlie Sheen).
It used to be that most of the banks and brokerage houses were on Wall Street but with the advent of computerized trading technology, many of the big players have decentralized. However, there are still many interesting sites. On one end is Trinity Church which dates back to 1846 (although the first version dates as far back as 1698). Further down the street on your right is the New York Stock Exchange. The Bank of New York Mellon has its headquarters there as well as Deutsche Bank’s US headquarters. The Federal Reserve apparently had gold vaults underneath the street. On week days, Wall Street is teaming with brokers, traders and bankers but at the weekend, it is ruled by tourists. Former employees give tours now showing all the major buildings that house(d) companies that played a major role in the financial crisis. Whether or not you’re interested in finance, it is well worth a visit the next time you are in New York.
Paul Miney, GMBA Student (SSgA)
"Shanghai recorded its highest temperature in 140 years on Sunday - 40.6 degrees Celsius. Temperatures will remain above 38 degrees throughout the week as a subtropical high-pressure ridge continues to sit above eastern China." (ChinaDaily)
When I call my friends in Germany these days, who are also complaining about the hot weather, I can only smile, since the heat and huminity in Shanghai is not comparable to anything else. Right now, I believe that even the heat in the Sahara is easier to deal with. At the weekend, nobody was on the streets and the few who went out tried to stay in the shadow. The air condititioners are running 24h now, because there is no other chance to survive.
But there is also a good thing about the summer heat and its the pool, where we go whenever we can to realx and cool down.