Two students from Shanghai Jiaotong University's Shanghai Advanced Institute of Finance (SAIF) got the chance to intern at world leading financial exchange Eurex, in Frankfurt, this summer, and picking up plenty of new ideas to take back to Shanghai!
Masters in Finance student Xu Shu and MBA student Lei Junwei were offered the opportunity to spend three months with the exchange house through the SAIF’s career services.
Frankfurt is the financial centre of Germany and the largest financial centre in continental Europe. The city is also home to the largest stock exchange in Germany, the Frankfurt stock exchange, which is owned and operated by Deutsche Börse, the same company that owns Eurex, the European futures exchange.
Earlier in the week we spoke with Xu and Liu to hear about their time in Frankfurt. Liu was still over the moon at being selected for the placement. Having majored in Physics for his undergraduate studies at Wuhan University in Central China, he wanted a chance to learn more about derivatives.
Xu wanted the opportunity to experience working in Europe. She began the SAIF Masters in Finance immediately after completing her undergraduate studies in Finance, also at Wuhan University. "I love walking along the main river in Frankfurt and we have lunch with our colleagues in the canteen and that way we get to talk to everyone", said Xu.
Both of the interns see themselves heading back to China to work in full-time roles but they wanted to understand the different work cultures. They both agree that derivatives or fixed income could be a growth point for China in the coming years and they would like to be prepared to apply their skills in their own country. “The exchange market in China is developing and I wanted to learn about it from a foreign perspective”, said Xu.
Their first impressions of working in Frankfurt? For Xu, the work pace is slightly slower than she had anticipated. “I talked with a colleague here and he said that the work pace in Frankfurt is not as fast as it is in Shanghai. I understand why that’s possible because cities like Shanghai are experiencing very rapid change and people need to work faster to keep up”, she said.
For the duration of the internship, Xu and Liu are tasked with completing a report that will be submitted to SAIF at the end of the internship period. Xu’s area of focus is business development for derivative products for the Middle East and Asia: “Eurex has recognized the region as being increasingly important to its business and is putting more effort in promoting business there."
Liu’s research is focused on analyzing clearing systems in Asia. “After the financial crises, financial bodies have required clearing systems to be regulated. I will be analyzing the progress of clearing systems in Asia and looking for opportunities for European houses to cooperate with Asian houses”, said Liu.
The interns will also get a chance to be involved in marketing those products for the Asia Pacific region. Throughout the period they will communicate their findings and progress to Eurex executives in Taiwan, Singapore and Hong Kong.
Eurex’s human resources office helped Xu and Liu find their accommodation in Frankfurt, in a perfect location for them to do as much sightseeing and exploring as possible in their free time! They've visited several museums and particularly liked and exbihition dedicated to Korean history at the Frankfurt Museum of Applied Arts.
They’ve also made trips to the Black Forest and last weekend they visited Cologne where they got to walk along the Rhine River and saw the Cologne Cathedral. Xu is thoroughly enjoying the weekend expeditions. “We went aboard a ship, saw castles and buildings in ancient times. Its quite different”, she said.
Xu and Liu will return to Shanghai at the end of September but they’re hoping to squeeze in a trip to one or two European cities outside Germany before that. For now, they are enjoying forming relationships and learning from the three other interns in their department -one from Hong Kong, and two from Taiwan - and their colleagues and supervisors at Eurex.
Read more about students, alumni and programs at Shanghai Advanced Institute of Finance here