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October 12, 2012

Xiao Cui ’13 Learns Importance of Confidence to Economy through Credit Suisse Internship

As Maurice Bennett ’06, an equity sales and trading analyst at Credit Suisse in New York City, will tell you, an internship with the bank is “a real job in the real world and not an experience just anyone gets.”

Maurice Bennett ’06, Xiao Cui ’13, and Danielle Harris ’09 at Credit Suisse in New York City

Maurice Bennett ’06, Xiao Cui ’13, and Danielle Harris ’09 at Credit Suisse in New York City

This summer, three Lafayette students landed 10-week internships with Credit Suisse through its innovative virtual recruiting program. Mathematics-economics major Danielle Ebenstein ’13 (Princeton, N.J.) worked in wealth management solutions and economics major Gregory Rau ’13 (Fair Lawn, N.J.) interned in fixed income.

Xiao Cui ’13 (Beijing, China), a double major in international affairs and economics, put in over 200 hours through the virtual recruiting system and kept after Bennett with questions about the business, something that reminded him of himself when he was a student.

“Everyone she talked to in the process of getting the internship was impressed,” says Bennett, who trades companies that have above average debt. “Xiao, by far, was the number one standout I’ve ever worked with. She went above and beyond, which is why she made it.”

Cui completed two rotations within fixed income research. First, she studied macroeconomics and monetary policy. In addition to analyzing economic data and writing research reports, she helped her director write a research digest on student loans in the U.S. She also analyzed data on mutual fund flows.

For her second rotation, she worked with U.S. interest rate strategy, learning about the different kinds of interest rate products and how the news each day can affect the markets. She wrote pieces about the market and trade ideas as well as the market recap, which summarizes the movements in U.S. Treasury yields and the relevant news and economic data that affect them.

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Sitting on the trading floor was a unique experience for Cui. She says a Chinese saying sums up her experience: “You never know the taste of a pear until you try it.” Just observing the trading floor made her see how everything in the global economy is connected.

“It feels very close to the market. Sometimes, it makes me think that the economy is all about psychology,” she says. “It’s a game of confidence. Confidence stimulates investment and spending, which stimulates the economy. And all the central banks around the world are trying to rebuild confidence among market participants.”

Cui says she could “feel the Lafayette connection right away” with Bennett and Danielle Harris ’09, a human resources specialist for Credit Suisse’s private banking arm, PB Americas. They helped her prepare for the rigorous interview process and shared their experiences and career advice with her.

“Internships and externships are so important because when you’re in college, you’re in a bubble,” says Harris, who credits her Lafayette connections with helping her get her start at Credit Suisse. “You don’t know the corporate world.”

Like Harris, Bennett believes that helping the next crop of Lafayette students is simply the right thing to do. He appreciates Lafayette’s tight knit alumni network.

Cui has made the most of it. Last summer, she interned at the American Institute for Economic Research in Great Barrington, Mass., a program administered by Donald Chambers, Walter E. Hanson/KPMG Professor of Business and Finance. She also completed externships with James Cottrell ’77, a partner at Deloitte & Touche, Mauricio Leyva ’07, junior professional associate at the World Bank, and Thomas Dunlap ’94, managing partner at the law firm Dunlap, Grubb & Weaver. She also works regularly with her career counselor Nanette Cooley, associate director for employer relations in career services, and is a member of the Fed Challenge team.

posted in Academic News, Alumni, Have Cur Non Impact, News and Features, Student Profiles, Students, Top News

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1 Comment

  1. Hi, Xiao, good job you’ve done! Chinese in mainland China still don’t understand why capitalism works! But somehow you have explained it in a few words. Congratulations on your success and wish you a very bright future.

    says Hongyi Yin
    October 17, 2012 at 10:44 am
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