Alpha Technology: An Intern's Perspective

Intro

Every year, Man Group Alpha Technology offers summer internships to several aspirational students lasting 10-12 weeks, giving them an insight into how high-performing tech teams work and a gateway into financial services.

At Man Group Alpha Technology, we look for candidates with genuine passion for technology, who aren’t afraid to take on big projects and embrace challenges. This year’s cohort of interns have immersed themselves in our company culture and gained valuable career experience as a result, despite the challenges imposed by the ongoing pandemic. We asked five of this year’s group to describe their experience of technology at Man Group and what they learned over the summer.

Atikah Hussain

During my internship, I worked within the Alpha Technology team which supports Man GLG Portfolio Management. I was assigned a project that involved adapting Python scripts to create a user experience suitable for non-technical marketing specialists. The goal of this was to offload work from the engineering team and give the Marketing team control over the reports generated by these scripts. One of my main challenges was picking up the business knowledge required so that I could understand the problem this project would solve.

The biggest lessons I learned throughout this internship were, surprisingly, not strictly tech related. Managing a project's progress, gathering requirements, and balancing practicality with perfectionism are just a few of the areas I improved on greatly. I was overwhelmed at first, but my team gave me so much support. Everyone I came across at Man Group was incredibly friendly and willing to help me learn. Work aside, I thoroughly enjoyed participating in many of the events, training sessions, tech talks, and volunteering opportunities on offer. It wasn't long before I felt that I was part of a community of passionate people who go above and beyond. Overall, it's been an amazing experience!

Safiyya Onanuga

This summer, I was fortunate enough to intern within the Alpha Platform team. After completing induction, I was given my project, which was to create a web user interface to display Man Group’s No Click Deployment (NCD) projects. NCDs are code changes automatically deployed to their respective environments, hence the ‘No Click’. My project would be showing users their NCD information with a user-friendly view.

At first, I was worried this project was way out of my scope. There was a lot of technical jargon that I did not understand and I felt underqualified for the project, but my teammates reassured me that I would improve my technical skills – and I did. I coded the backend in Python, and on the frontend, I used VueJS as well as JavaScript and styling languages. I was able to complete my project and move to testing, which was also a new experience. This led me to improve how I wrote code for other people, following language constructs and include robust testing for a solid project. Being able to come into the London-based office was refreshing, as it was helpful to learn the different ways people write code, tackle work and debug in person.

Overall, my time at Man Group has been thoroughly enjoyable. It has been an eye opener for what the tech sector offers, how broad the challenges span, and how there are so many like-minded people ready to team up and give a helping hand. I am grateful to Man Group, especially Alpha Tech, for supporting me through this internship – it has been a blast!

 

 

Sipan Petrosyan

During my time at Man Alpha Technology, I was embedded in the Execution Research department, where I worked on a data visualisation project. I was to use several APIs, combine their data and create a visualisation tool that will allow traders to analyse data and generate reports with very minimal coding knowledge. To achieve this, I first created an API that would pull the data and generate a graph based on set parameters. These parameters could either be manually manipulated, or presented in a UI which I built.

Despite the challenge of doing the internship remotely, I gained a lot of industry insight. Not only did I improve my programming skills, but I also learnt a lot about finance and trading. My first few weeks had quite a steep learning curve as I familiarised myself with the structure at Man, the code base and the libraries I had to use – it was hard to imagine the project in context, but as the weeks progressed, I felt fully integrated in the team and was able to deliver my project successfully. I really appreciate the opportunity provided by Man Group and would love to return in the future!

Shrimat Kapoor

I have learnt a lot during my 12-week internship at Man Alpha Technology, especially in machine learning and finance. I was placed in a team within Man AHL, creating a visualisation tool for data created within the equities team. This required knowledge of the data and details of how the algorithm worked. We decided to split the user interface for the tool into two levels, one for displaying information about the predictors and the other for filtering them and applying optimisation techniques to generate optimal portfolios. We also started to think about interpretability in machine learning and how we would use models to simplify some of the complex formulae for predictors.

The best part of the internship was the great mentor support throughout the project, which gave me the independence to suggest and execute my ideas. Before starting, I was excited by the engineering and quantitative sides of work and – fortunately for me – my project revolved around both. The opportunity to showcase my ideas regularly gave me a sense of purpose and helped me align my targets through constructive feedback. I did struggle with some technical aspects of finance, but I was always able to ask my team questions about subjects that were new. Working alongside smart researchers and engineers from various backgrounds was an enriching experience, and I will be leaving equipped with a better understanding of statistics and machine learning.

 

 

Jordan Chigbo

Despite working partly from home, I’ve felt very involved and part of my team. We had daily standup calls, which helped maintain team synergy and communication. My project was to develop a dashboard to allow the asset management team to efficiently manage rental properties. This involved retrieving data, filtering it through a series of custom-made issue types, and then caching it. I then wrote an API which provided endpoints for retrieving this data.

I had a fair amount of Python scripting knowledge prior to my internship, but I had never created a production-level application in the language. Creating the backend gave me a big appreciation for effective system design, as in the industry projects tend to be comprised of a lot of moving parts operating in harmony. A lot of technologies were new to me and writing industry-level code was certainly challenging, but my experience has genuinely improved my conceptual abilities as a software engineer. I’ve had a great time interning at Man Group. Alongside my project, I got to engage in numerous socials and events, such as virtual lunches with colleagues across Alpha Tech and Man AHL. We had frequent training and town hall events, which made me better recognise the firm’s vision.

Apply for a Summer Alpha Technology Internship

Man Group Alpha Technology is offering summer internships, to run between 10-12 weeks, based in our head office in London. This is a great opportunity to join one of the most prestigious tech teams in investment management.

To learn more about the internship opportunities and to apply, please visit our careers site https://mangroupplc.wd3.myworkdayjobs.com/en-US/Man_Group_Careers/job/London/Alpha-Technology-Intern_JR002584

Apply to the Technology Graduate Programme

As one of our Technology graduates you will have the opportunity to work within three different Technology streams, Analysis, Engineering and Infrastructure, assisting the teams in the execution of their duties whilst gaining a diverse skillset and first-hand experience of various systems across the business.

Graduates will gain a broad understanding of the business and, having successfully completed the 2-year programme, will be well-placed to develop a long-term career in Technology at Man Group with the opportunity to progress into a leadership role.

To learn more about the graduate opportunities and to apply, please visit our careers site https://www.man.com/students-and-graduates

 

 

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