This summer I had the pleasure of working at the New York Stock Exchange, located on 11 Wall Street in New York City. 11 Wall Street is the building most people think of when they imagine Wall Street. Countless tourists asked me on my lunch break everyday if I could take a picture of them in front of the building or give them a tour inside (it has to be prearranged in our post 9/11 world). When walking into the trading floor one is reminded of the history of the company by the pictures from the last hundred years lining the walls. As of 2011, NYSE Euronext (NYSE: NYX) had $4.552 billion in revenue and over 3,000 employees; however, that number seems to be much smaller presently because the Intercontinental Exchange (NYSE: ICE) recently purchased the company.
My role at the New York Stock Exchange was that of a Floor Operations Intern. The majority of my time was spent performing various tasks on the trading floor, from learning how to use all the various different technologies used on the floor, making sure the market makers properly opened and closed all of their stocks, and setting up trading halts. Unlike the other interns on the trading floor, I often found myself attending multiple meetings concerning the migration of broker systems to UTP architecture, because my two bosses could not always both make every meeting. I drafted summaries of the progress being made based on the meetings I attended.
I usually got onto the trading floor at 8:30AM and left at 4:15 PM. I was paid fairly well and there were a bunch of perks available, such as a subsidized local gym membership. There was a general NYSE internship-training program that involved guest lecturers such as Alvin Hall, who gave a full daylong course about the securities industry. My department, floor operations, actually had another training program. I would go in early 2-3 days a week to hear lecturers from people who work at various companies (Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse) from different departments. At the end of the internship, I worked with other interns to put on a presentation about how the NYSE could improve its functions, especially with relation to dark pools, based on the lectures we listened to and the outside research we conducted. The other interns in my department were from Northeast and Midwest schools, with a large contingent from schools in the New York area.
The most challenging part of my job was learning about the operations of the exchange. There are a lot of computer programs I had to learn in a very short span of time. It was rewarding at times when I reached the point I was able to finally start contributing in the later meetings. I don’t see myself working in the same role long-term, but I look forward to working on Wall Street in the coming years.