On the first day of Reading Period after winter vacation, instead of relaxing back on campus, I woke up early for my Princeternship at the New York City office of Mr. Timothy Douglas ’86, the Managing Director and Global Head of Securities Finance within the Global Transaction Services division at Citi. I arrived at 8 AM to find Mr. Douglas already at work on conference calls. Having never been inside a large bank like Citi before, I quickly realized while listening in on the conversation that I had much to learn!
After a call with another bank of which Mr. Douglas’ division is a client (a relationship he described as “co-opetition,” since Citi and this bank cooperated in this relationship, but competed in others), I joined Mr. Douglas in a review meeting of the division’s December 2011 performance in the Americas, EMEA (one of the many acronyms used during the day- EMEA stands for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa), and Asia. As Global Head of Securities Finance, Mr. Douglas must manage his division’s performance and operations around the world, so he had several questions for the representatives from each regional division on the call. Immediately following, I listened in on another international call concerning Citi’s securities lending services, which allows large institutional clients like pension funds to lend their stocks and bonds to other Citi clients like brokers and banks to cover short sales.
Mr. Douglas kindly let me sit in on his entire busy day, and subsequent meetings and calls discussed everything from staffing to how Citi manages some of its services. In the few minutes between these meetings, Mr. Douglas answered my questions about previous meetings, the structure of Citi as an entire organization, as well as about the finance industry in general. As someone who is seriously considering a career in finance after graduation, I was very grateful to receive advice from someone as experienced as Mr. Douglas, who has worked in the industry since 1986, on everything from Business School to the current economic climate. Beyond this valuable advice, sitting in on these meetings and calls gave me a great sense of the day-to-day work of the Securities Finance division, as well as the importance of a strong work ethic to maintain such busy schedules (while I left Citi at 5:30, Mr. Douglas’ workday did not end until after a 7:00 conference call), and with the many interactions between co-workers across the globe, of the high importance of great interpersonal skills!
I felt very privileged to have such an inside view of Mr. Douglas’ division, and I greatly appreciate the kindness of Mr. Douglas and his very gracious colleagues in including me in every aspect of their day. This great Princeternship only furthered my interest in working in finance after Princeton, and I would like to give a big thank-you to Mr. Douglas for his continued support of this incredible opportunity!