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TT: The Next Generation…of Interns

TT interns grab some snacks from the kitchen and socialize at the Chicago headquarters. 

I’m just now starting my second month as a summer intern at TT, and to be honest, my experience was not what I originally anticipated.

To my surprise, I walked into a corporate playground—an oxymoron filled with unlimited snacks, any and every beverage you could ever dream of, an extensive game room, and—get this—a bar. I then got to my desk, which was adorned with yet more snacks and a picture of Eric Estrada (I, as a college student, admittedly had to ask who he was) awaiting my arrival. To say I was taken aback by everything was an understatement. And I was a little uncomfortable as I was the only one in the building wearing a blazer.

This all made me a little apprehensive as I was acclimated to a more corporate environment in past internships and experiences. I honestly questioned how people got work done with so many distractions—let alone how they stayed healthy with bagels every morning and Doritos at arms reach. That is until I actually started working and met the people I would be working with.

I soon realized that every employee was intently working all day, and that the unusual environment actually instilled this innovation and efficiency. At TT, we are working in a rapidly evolving industry and making radical changes on a weekly basis. Therefore, it is important that we work in an atmosphere that facilitates creativity and keeps employee satisfaction high. The expression “work hard, play hard” had never made so much sense.

Ladies and Gents, Please Join Me in Welcoming…

Now let’s talk about the interns considering that, well, I am one of them. Excluding myself, there are eight other interns at TT this summer working in a variety of departments in Chicago.

Charlie Case, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Computer Science

Charlie is the newest intern on the Global Support team. He grew up in Aurora, Illinois and lives in the neighborhood of Oakhurst. Charlie mainly works with the TT Software Development Kit (TTSDK™).

Leah Fessler, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Graphic Design

Leah is working as the Design intern. She is busy working on digital banner advertisements promoting various products and events, making signage to direct people around the office during events, creating event email templates, and working with the team to redesign the website. Overall, Leah is responsible for working with the team to make sure the TT brand is staying cohesive throughout all avenues of communication.

John Lefkovitz, Lake Forest College, Economics

John is working in the IT department this summer. He’s from Winnetka, Illinois and was an intern at TT last summer as well. He is busy assisting with general computer and tech related issues and is in charge of inventory and IT assets.

Likitha Lokesh, Illinois Institute of Technology, Information Technology and Management

Likitha is working with our Web Client team as an Engineering intern. She grew up in Bangalore, India and currently lives in the Chicago area. She’s busy working on client and server components. She’s also working on the TT Web (TTW) client, which is the web-based front-end trading application in the new TT platform.

Alexandra Martinez, Chicago-Kent College of Law, JD Candidate

Alexandra is working in our Intellectual Property department. She’s currently researching the total number of patents in our WIPO and USPTO classifications that have been issued in the past nine months.

Daniel Park, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Computer Science

Daniel is working as the Quality Engineering intern. He grew up all around the world, in South Korea, Vienna and California, and is now living in Chicago for the summer. Daniel is mainly working on the automated testing process, but also does some manual testing.

Bunty Patel, University of Illinois at Chicago, Computer Science

Bunty was born in Boston, grew up in Carol Stream, Illinois, and currently resides in Huntley. He’s working with the Performance Engineering team and just finished his first project, which helped reduce the runtime of current and future test suites. He’s currently working on components that are used in live and simulated trading.

Haolin Zheng, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Computer Engineering

Haolin is working with the TT Algo SE team as an Engineering intern. He grew up in Shanghai, but lives in Chicago for the summer. His general responsibility is working on the performance build for ADL® in the TT algo web designer.

And then there’s me:

Genna Pirrong, Indiana University-Bloomington, Marketing and Professional Sales

I’m pursuing a double major in Marketing and Professional Sales with a minor in Event Planning, and am interested in working where marketing and finance intersect. I was born just outside of Ann Arbor, Michigan, grew up in St. Louis, and am living in Chicago for the second summer in a row. This summer, I’m working with the Marketing team and am responsible for working on TT marketing initiatives. This includes working on social media strategy, website redesign, marketing communications, events and public relations.

Chicago TT interns celebrate the Stanley Cup win at the Blackhawks parade.

We also have three talented interns working in our New York office with our internal trading group. Their projects include working with historical futures market data, developing new trading strategies, building a regression model, and using the TT API to automatically generate a weekly economic and market data report.

Tingting Du, Cornell University, Master of Engineering

Tingting is currently working towards her second Master’s degree. She already holds an MS in Computer Science from New York University as well as a BS in Chemistry from Renmin University in Beijing. She previously interned at Pingan and Guosen Securities.

Han Hong, Cornell University, Master of Engineering

Before entering Cornell, Han received his undergraduate degree in Computer Science from Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China. He has held numerous student leadership titles.

Janice Yan, Carnegie Mellon University, Computational Finance

Janice holds a Bachelor’s of Law from Fudan University in Shanghai. She previously interned with Orient Securities.

Field Trips, Educational Events and Some Healthy Competition

Although we’ve only been at TT for one month, we’re already making an impact. One of the first projects that we all participated in as interns was a field trip where 20 Intrinsic Schools students ranging from 7th to 12th grade visited our office. We played some surprisingly fun icebreaker games, gave them a tour through our space, and taught them about our company and the industry at large. In addition to getting their minds blown by our open kitchen, the students got some thought-provoking insight from the intern crew and employees. We shared advice from our experiences and perspectives as college students, and TT employees shared theirs. I thought it was rewarding to hear stories from all ages and backgrounds to show how many different paths there are to get to a career that you are passionate about. It definitely gave me reassurance and something to think about as I continue on my own path.

Looking ahead to the rest of the summer, I’m particularly excited to work with John Lothian’s team for the MarketsWiki Education 2015 Chicago World of Opportunity Summer Intern Education Series that TT is hosting on August 7. This event features leaders in the industry who will speak briefly about topics that will span the entire scope of our markets, as well as Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. We’re looking forward to welcoming the mayor to TT. I attended the series last summer, and can assure you that it’s worth attending. If you’re an intern in the Chicago area and are interested in attending, you can learn more and sign up here.

When we’re not busy working, my fellow interns and I are competing against each other…in the 2015 Intern Trading Challenge. Just like students in the TT CampusConnect™ program, we are learning how to use the trading software that TT creates. We are paired in teams of two and each have mentors who guide and teach us about the industry, our products, how our customers use those products, and most importantly: how to make it big (with fake money of course).

Internships are a great opportunity for college students to transition into the real world, and I know I can speak for all of my fellow interns when I say that we are all very fortunate to have been given the opportunity to work with TT and become part of the family. Although it has only been four weeks, I have already gained so many skills and experiences that I can apply to future endeavors. I’m excited to see what the rest of the summer has in store!

Posted by: Trading Technologies

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