Senior Geoffrey Ching is interning as a software engineer at S&P Capital IQ.
Geoffrey Ching is interning as a software engineer at S&P Capital IQ, a division of McGraw Hill Financial. He works in the firm’s IQ Lab, a small group that focuses on developing experimental yet risker financial services. The firm is located in Lower Manhattan, near to Wall Street.
It’s a great job for Geoff, a senior who majors in business (concentration in finance) and minors in computer science. He excels in both fields, so one day, especially now that he’s getting intern experience, he can work either for a top finance firm on Wall Street or for a software development company in Silicon Valley.
Geoff comes from a bright family. His older brother, David, who graduated in May from the Albert Dorman Honors College, was accepted into the mechanical engineering master’s program at Stanford University. Geoff is also a scholar in the Dorman Honors College and both brothers were homeschooled. In this Q&A, Geoff talks about his studies and his internship at the IQ Lab.
What are your main projects at your internship?
As a software engineer, I work mostly on writing code for programs. Capital IQ focuses on providing analytics and data for the financial services industry in the form of a web terminal. The work I do is focused on making the platform better and more useful for finance professionals.
Do you like the job? Is it enhancing your education?
So far, I am enjoying my experience at Capital IQ. Working on real problems helps to solidify my understanding of how computers and programs are used in real businesses. As a business student working at a large company, it's also interesting to observe the effects of the managerial structure.
How'd you get the internship?
I ended up with the internship indirectly by participating in the Big Data Visualization Challenge, a business management competition that Capital IQ hosted this spring at NJIT. My team won the contest, which I think is the key reason I ended up working in the IQ Lab.
During the competition, I talked briefly with several of the Capital IQ people running the competition, and they recommended that I email them my resume as well as apply online. It wasn't a set reward for winning the competition, but it might have been a soft reward, provided my skill set was a good fit for them. The group that ran the competition is from the internal lab, so I ended up interviewing with them. I'm working with them now, so winning the competition and having them pull for me was probably the key reason I'm at Capital IQ now. And I think the IQ Lab is one of the most exciting groups to work for at Capital IQ.
You were homeschooled. Did that help you?
Homeschooling allowed me to really study at my own pace. Although it wasn't always as easy to learn new concepts, I still learned very fast, and had a lot more time to pursue subjects of my interest. My brother David and I also studied hard; after a lesson in math, for instance, we’d do all 30 problems listed at the end of the lesson, not just five or 10 problems. Eventually, I became quite good at catching on to new concepts. Without as much oversight, being homeschooled also forced me to learn to manage my time well, which has been invaluable in my college studies.
What do you want to do after you graduate from NJIT?
I'm considering applying to a graduate school to study financial engineering/ computational finance. While I haven't taken many math courses yet (I will be taking additional courses in the next year), I think my strong technical skills and understanding of finance are the perfect combination.