The HBK Summer Intern Experience

Read a summary from two of our recent interns and learn more about what it's like to be a part of the HBK family for a summer.

HBK Intern: Thomas

Thomas joined our intern class of 2017 working with our core engineering team in Dallas. Thomas graduated from University of Texas at Austin with a degree in Computer Science. Thomas joined HBK full-time in 2018 as a software developer on our core engineering team.

Tell us about your summer internship at HBK

I interned on the Core Infrastructure team at HBK and my project involved working on both backend and frontend code for several services used in the firm. I was tasked with updating the admin interface used by the other developers on the team for testing or troubleshooting any problems that came up with the services.

What does a typical day as an HBK intern look like? Tell us your highlights!

A typical day started with a stand-up meeting with everyone else on the team. These meetings were nice to be a part of as an intern because it gave me an idea of what everyone else was working on.

My work on the project was split up into several smaller tasks that were assigned to me on an issue tracker. Whenever a task was completed, I would submit it for code review and get back feedback on various things I could improve in the code such as the logic or coding style. Since I was working on infrastructure that was used by a lot of other software at the firm, testing was an important focus and was something different from the usual coding I would do in school. Overall I learned a good deal about writing production quality code from this process with the help of my mentor who was available to give me guidance whenever I ran into any roadblocks.

At the end of the summer when the projects were completed and in production, all the interns had to give a presentation to everyone from different teams summarizing what we worked on. My manager was pretty involved in helping me prepare for the presentation and gave advice on presentation content and style. We had several practice runs and iterations of my presentation before I arrived at the final version. Some of the focal points of the presentation included summarizing the project so different teams understood what the project involved, explaining why the project was useful to the firm and what I learned while working on it.

Why did you choose to join HBK full-time?

After my internship I decided to accept a full time offer with HBK because of several factors. I felt the breadth and challenge of the work would allow me to grow as a developer. I found the work interesting and it exposed me to a lot of different technologies that I wasn't too familiar with. I also enjoyed getting to know everyone else on the team and thought it would be great to work with them again full time.

HBK Intern: Eric

Eric joined our intern class of 2017 working with our Core Engineering team in Dallas. Eric graduated from Georgia Tech in 2018 with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering. Eric joined HBK full-time in 2018 as a data engineer.

Tell us about your summer internship at HBK

During my internship at HBK in the summer of 2017 I had the opportunity to work on two distinctly different projects as a member of the core systems development team. The first project added improved tracking of modifications made to transactions. The second was building a server-less service in AWS that allowed our systems to send automated phone alerts. The first project was an awesome opportunity to get familiar with HBK’s full transaction processing pipeline and our larger trading system ecosystem since my changes impacted most all of our endpoints for trade entry and modification. The alerts project was similarly a unique chance to build a system from scratch using recent technologies. Moreover this project gave me the opportunity to grapple with more obtuse challenges such as maximizing the system’s reliability or providing a flexible schema for alert escalations.

What does a typical day as an HBK intern look like? Tell us your highlights!

My average day at HBK consisted mostly of working as a regular developer within my team with intern-focused events sprinkled in. I’d settle in each morning after grabbing my regular coffee, fruit, and yogurt from the cafeteria. I’d use this time to continue working on my project and briefly prepare for our daily standup meeting at 11AM. The standups were a great opportunity to get insight into what the full time developers were working in addition to being able to ask for help on any challenges I was facing. Following this was lunch – either with the full core development team in the cafeteria or out at a local restaurant with the six other interns and a handful of employees from another department.

Afternoons were largely devoted to working on my projects split between programming and having impromptu meetings with my mentor or other HBKers to discuss my project. HBK’s collegial culture made it easy to get help from whoever I asked. We also had weekly presentations from different departments which, combined with the intern lunches, were a fantastic opportunity to get familiar with the different people and areas of HBK both formally and informally. Frequently after I wrapped up my work for the day there was an after-hours event to attend. These ranged from the firm-wide bowling event to more intern-focused events like indoor skydiving or a Dallas food tour from tacos to barbecue to ice pops. These events were lots of fun thanks to great colleagues and seemingly endless food and drinks.

Why did you choose to join HBK full-time?

After my internship I decided to return as a full time employee, although instead of in Dallas on the core development team, I joined the financial data development team in New York. While I originally applied to intern at HBK because I was interested in financial software, what made me decide to stay were the people, culture, and projects. Everyone I interacted with as an intern was eager to help me learn and integrate into the team. Moreover due to the size of HBK there are abundant opportunities to make an impact at the firm. Most telling is after starting back with HBK on a different team in a different office the culture and opportunities remain the same.