Alex Sugarman
Vice President
High Yield Bonds

New York

As an intern, a typical day starts with going through a wide variety of research reports, daily commentaries, and Bloomberg screens to get a good understanding of what happened the night before, and what is going to happen in the coming hours. That not only entails following the treasury markets, but also understanding the relationship that fixed income has to global stock markets, commodity markets, and foreign exchange markets. Depending on the desk that I am sitting at during the week, I will be sure to look for any news regarding any specific trades or issuances that could be of interest.

After I’m up to date on the markets, I check my email to see if there are any specific tasks or projects that have come up. If there are none, I then begin scheduling meetings with different salespeople or traders for that day. With each person on the desk, I come prepared with a general idea of what they do, and a set of questions or topics of interest that they can expand on for me. The internship, above all else, is a learning process, and everybody is more than happy to go into as much detail as you need about different topics.

When having those conversations, I ask if there are any projects that I can assist with, whether that entails running portfolio regressions, analyzing relative value trades, or simply compiling research reports and giving brief summaries. I’ve found that the more proactive you are in seeking projects, the more willing my colleagues on the trading floor will be to guide me through their product to get a deeper understanding of what’s going on.  As the day winds down, I go back to Bloomberg to see exactly what happened that day, what major events caused any movements, and to try and figure out what big factors will play a role in the Asian markets trading, and for the next day.

Overall, my internship at Jefferies has been a very valuable learning experience, both in terms of understanding the entire landscape of fixed income, and digging deeper into specific product areas through projects and presentations. Everybody at Jefferies has been more than willing to take time out of their day to guide the entire intern class through their products, and because of that, we have all felt, not only very educated, but also integrated within the firm.