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Four months ago, I, like many of my fellow college students, was finishing up midterm exams and looking forward to a relaxing week off for spring break. Yet in a matter of weeks, even days, the reality of COVID-19 and the overwhelming impact it was about to have on our country became increasingly apparent. I left for spring break thinking I’d be back on campus in ten days. Instead, over the course of that week, we were informed classes would be moved entirely online for the remainder of the semester. Students living in on-campus housing needed to move out as soon as possible, and seniors were left with glaring question marks about graduation and commencement ceremonies. It also meant that suddenly, so many of our carefully planned summer internships and full-time job offers were no longer guaranteed, adding additional stress on top of everything else. 

Before the coronavirus pandemic, I was fortunate enough to have accepted a summer internship with Trading Technologies, a company committed to providing its interns with valuable learning experiences and professional development opportunities—whether that be in-person or virtual. Amidst the scramble to adjust to the new normal of virtual learning and working, TT provided upfront and honest communication regarding necessary changes to the summer internship program. Adapting an intern’s job description to a completely virtual format is not an easy task. I am extremely grateful for TT’s flexibility as we worked together to craft an amended position to suit both our needs. 

While this summer looks different from past internship programs, the three other interns and I are looking forward to tackling real-world projects, attending virtual lunch-and-learns with executives, and learning more about the TT® platform and the fintech and trading industries. We’ve been perfecting our video conferencing skills, meeting our coworkers’ pets and children, and learning how to navigate the dreaded moment when two people talk at the same time during a virtual meeting. I’ll admit, I was looking forward to experiencing the cityscape views and fun office amenities first hand—especially the snacks and drinks at the Tech Tap. But there’s an upside to everything: the elimination of a commute downtown means I’ve been enjoying an extra hour of sleep, one of my favorite aspects of remote work. 

So, without further ado, please meet the 2020 TT summer interns. In a satisfying turn of events, the four of us are split evenly between our deep dish and thin crust pizza preferences, further proof that we’re going to have a great summer together. 

Mark Auger, Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis
Mark will be returning to Indianapolis in the fall to start his senior year at IUPUI, where he studies computer science. This is Mark’s second summer in TT’s Engineering Department, and he’s looking forward to reviewing the TT code base and improving on what he learned last summer. Outside of work and school, Mark enjoys swimming, programming and cooking (on occasion). His favorite Chicago activity is walking along the river and enjoying deep dish pizza—specifically Giordano’s. 

Taylor Cazy, Indiana University
Taylor is starting her Masters in Public Affairs at Indiana University this fall and hopes to attend law school one day. An intern in TT’s HR Department, Taylor is looking forward to learning more about the HR team’s legal agreements and hiring processes. Taylor enjoys reading, exercising and painting when she isn’t busy with school or work. Taylor has to go with thin crust when it comes down to choosing between deep dish or thin crust pizza. 

John Sullivan, University of Illinois at Chicago 
John earned an undergraduate degree in accounting from Notre Dame in 2019 and completed a one-year MSA program at University of Illinois at Chicago this past year. Since November, he’s been working in the Finance Department and is looking forward to getting back to the office on a day-to-day basis. When John isn’t studying for the CPA, he enjoys playing cards, biking, golfing and being outside. When it comes to pizza, John’s favorite is Lou Malnati’s deep dish classic with mushrooms. 

Claire Battista, Saint Louis University
This fall, I’ll start my senior year at Saint Louis University, where I study integrated strategic communication and marketing. An intern in the Marketing Department, I’m excited to work on blog posts (such as this one!), social media content creation, and design and culture-related projects. My pizza answer tends to be slightly controversial, especially among native Chicagoans. Frequent trips to the east coast when I was growing up have made me into a die-hard fan of thin crust, New York-style pizza. 

To learn more about what we’re doing this summer, follow us on Instagram at @trading_tech where we’re documenting our experiences using the hashtag #TTinterns. You can also follow us on Twitter at @Trading_Tech, like us on Facebook, follow us on LinkedIn and subscribe to our YouTube channel, TradingTechTV.