Two Sigma’s summer internship program is always an exciting time for the company. This year, we invited a talented group of students to New York City, Houston, and London to build and innovate alongside our data scientists and engineers, work together to find fresh approaches to hard problems, and to have fun while doing it.
The company hosted 110 interns across many different teams in 2022. When we weren’t whiteboarding solutions to real-world problems together, we found plenty of opportunities to build community and make the most of summer in these three cities—whether by catching a Manchester City F.C. game in Houston, or going to a Broadway show in New York.
We asked several 2022 modeling and engineering interns about their experiences. What did they learn? How did they grow professionally? What were their most meaningful experiences? Read on to find out.
What did you learn from the projects you worked on this summer?
Enako M. (Bachelor’s student at Harvard, Data Engineering intern) — I worked on creating a UI for a preexisting internal system, and I learned a lot more than just programming through my project. Technically speaking, I learned a new programming language and used different libraries to create the UI, but that part was not a brand-new experience for me.
What I learned the most through this internship extended beyond the technical aspects. For example, I learned about the importance of interviewing potential users and using their feedback to design and guide my project. Because my project was based on a preexisting system, I also learned to navigate and understand large codebases to figure out how the system worked and how potential users might interact with that system.
Mustafa A. (Master’s Student at MIT, Data Science intern) — My project this summer was very educational in a technical sense, as I learned quite a few niche techniques to handle very specific data science problems. This included statistical modeling techniques as well as the use of hands-on tools needed to implement the project.
Another major aspect of my learning during the summer was the work dynamic I picked up as part of a data science team. Communicating with clients and vendors and having technical whiteboard conversations taught me a great deal about working as part of a technical data science team while also connecting to a broader audience.
One of the biggest things I learned from this summer was the process of patiently formalizing a problem/idea before jumping in.
Kevin S. (Bachelor’s Student at MIT, Quantitative Research intern, Two Sigma Securities) — One of the biggest things I learned from this summer was the process of patiently formalizing a problem/idea before jumping in. In school, it’s common to have a very clear-cut scope and direction. After getting lost in the weeds a couple of times, I slowly learned to think and understand the problem before even touching any code.
Helen W. (Bachelor’s student at MIT, Trading Engineering intern) — Besides the hard skills I picked up from the tech stack I worked with, I learned about more abstract concepts like non-functional requirements and best practices in system design. Through fast-paced feedback cycles, I also developed a stronger set of soft skills, and I’m more confident when communicating about technical tradeoffs and results.
Can you describe a meaningful interaction you had with your team members or Two Sigma colleagues?
Angela Z. (Bachelor’s student at U.C. Berkeley, Application & Infrastructure Reliability Engineering intern) — I spent a week during my internship reaching out to female engineers on teams I was interested in hearing more about, and everyone was super nice in setting up calls or in-person meetings with me to chat more about what they do and their backgrounds. I learned things like how Two Sigma Securities works and how to balance a master’s program on top of work, and it was all really eye-opening.
Haozhe Z. (Ph.D. Student at Duke, Quantitative Research intern) — Every single interaction I had with my intern managers was super meaningful. In particular, I remember I was struggling to improve my model’s performance, but I couldn’t get it to work for quite a long time. Then, I reached out to my managers, and they kindly offered to brainstorm together with me. Some of the ideas from the brainstorming turned out to work very well.
I had a great time working with my manager at Two Sigma. We worked with each other very closely.
Yu S. (Ph.D. Student at Yale, Quantitative Research intern) — I had a great time working with my manager at Two Sigma. We worked with each other very closely. The project was about a challenging and novel problem in portfolio construction. It seemed intimidating at the beginning, but we brainstormed together on how we should approach it and gradually outlined the roadmap for solving the problem. Throughout the process, we exchanged ideas, discussed the next steps, and pushed forward. Over the ten weeks, we made meaningful contributions to understanding the problem, and we built a great connection between us.
Jennifer L. (Bachelor’s student at Harvard, Modeling Engineering intern) — I truly appreciated the weekly team lunches and collaboration week. Getting the opportunity to chat about the projects my team members are on, as well as exploring lunch spots around Soho, were highlights of working in person.
Enako M. — I had many meaningful interactions with my team members and other Two Sigma employees. I conducted multiple interviews for my project with people both in and outside my team, Data Onboarding, and got to know them well throughout the internship.
The Data Onboarding team was extremely supportive, and many of them individually reached out to me to give me feedback and encouragement after every presentation. In particular, my manager, Michael, was extremely helpful and made my first internship experience a truly memorable one. We had daily meetings to go over my project and anything else that I wanted to talk about, and his guidance was unparalleled.
Helen W. — My manager and I had a conversation early on to align our expectations, and it was clear that he had thought a lot about how I could make the absolute most of my summer. He emphasized that I should prioritize getting to know full-timers and gauging my passion for the industry over relentlessly chasing technical goals, and offered sincere advice that demonstrated he cared more about what was best for my summer experience and future career path than the volume of work that I could churn out. This set a great tone for the rest of the summer, and through all ten weeks I felt that both my work and my desire to explore had the unconditional support of my team.
How has your internship shaped your goals for your future career?
Yu S.—I have thought about several possible career paths after my PhD, including academia, tech, and quantitative finance. The Two Sigma experience has made this choice quite easy for me — working there has the combination of the rigor of academic research, a collaborative environment, and the excitement of the fast-paced financial markets, all of which I enjoy.
Two Sigma’s internship program is super well-designed, and it helped me to get a flavor of the day-to-day as a modeler there.
Haozhe Z.—Two Sigma’s internship program is super well-designed, and it helped me to get a flavor of the day-to-day as a modeler there. I really enjoyed working on the summer internship project. It was challenging and super exciting. I feel like I learned a lot from it and solidified my passion in quantitative investment management.
Enako M. — Everybody that I met at Two Sigma was so kind, interesting, and eager to learn from one another. I experienced firsthand the importance of company culture, and I think that will be something that I will always look for, whatever I end up doing in the future.
Angela Z. — Something my manager told me when I was really struggling with my project was that he wanted to make sure that I felt like he supported me enough to provide a safety net for me to make mistakes. After working with him, I want my future to be on a team where I can take risks and create interesting solutions to the problems I’m given, knowing my team members got my back.
Helen W. — The internship exposed me to many new potential career paths, and I feel lucky to have interacted with so many different but equally critical roles. My colleagues provided steady encouragement as I learned more about their specific areas of interest, and I realized over the summer that lower-level engineering was uniquely exciting to me. Moving forward, I’m definitely looking to dive deeper into systems and performance engineering.
Jennifer L. — I enjoyed my time interning in Modeling Engineering; not only did I learn how to be a better software engineer, I also got the opportunity to be exposed to more finance. This opportunity to grow and to constantly learn new things is something I hope to have in my future career.
Do you have a favorite memory from this summer that sticks out to you?
Kevin S.—The summer party! It was really well organized, and I had a great time playing games, hanging out with my friends, and seeing my co-workers out of the office.
Enako M. — Since there were only 10 freshman interns in Houston, we got to spend a lot of time together, going on different outings or playing board games at the office after work. I made amazing friends and connections through the internship, and that will always stay with me.
Helen W. — All of the social events hosted by the intern program coordinators were wonderful, but I particularly loved the weekly board game nights thrown by other engineers. I was able to meet recent graduates working across all areas and verticals, and the strength of the company’s culture was really highlighted in their empathy and the breadth of their passions. Different people cycled through each week, but I found their genuine thoughtfulness and approachability to be constant, and much of the most memorable advice I heard this summer came from those card games.
Jennifer L. — The summer party! It was a blast hanging out with other interns and getting to meet up with my team in a more informal setting.
Mustafa A.—On my second day, my mentor shared with me that the company had a slack channel for jam sessions where people organized sessions to play music together in the music room after work, almost every week. I joined the channel, and I found out that the next session was on the same day!
That evening, my mentor and I both decided to check it out, and we jammed in the music room on the guitar and piano respectively, along with others, for the next three hours! This memory is by far my favorite. I consider myself very fortunate to have found like-minded people who shared the same interests/hobbies—and on my second day!
Angela Z. — I loved playing tourist in the city, from late night walks on Brooklyn Bridge to reading random art books in the MOMA to enjoying our company summer party at the Central Park Zoo. There’s always something to do, with lots of great restaurants to explore, and it’s unlike anywhere else I’ve lived.
Interested in learning more about Two Sigma’s summer internship program? Head over to our internships page for more information.
If you’ll be attending NeurIPS 2022, be sure to stop by Two Sigma’s booth to meet our modeling recruiting team and learn more about internship opportunities.