The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences

NOTES FROM THE FIELD: CINDY ZHU '20

Cindy Zhu '20 SEC

Cindy Zhu '20 interned at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission with the Student Honors Program during the fall of 2018.

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Cindy Zhu '20 interned at the US Securities and Exchange Commission during the 2018 fall term. The following is an excerpt from her internship report.

This fall, I interned at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission with the Student Honors Program in New York, New York. I worked under the Division of Enforcement in the Market Abuse Unit (MAU), which plays an essential role in the SEC’s goal to maintain fair, orderly, and efficient markets for both Wall Street and Main Street. The Market Abuse Unit was created in 2010 as a platform to study traders, their decision-making, and how private information can flow between them. By hiring ex-traders, former FBI agents, and quantitative analysts, the MAU sought to harness the knowledge and experience of members of the industry to more effectively understand market manipulation. As a result, this “trader-based” approach has been instrumental in detecting illicit stock market activity.

As part of the Market Abuse Unit, I performed data analysis with Python to assist with cases brought to the SEC, built a convolutional neural network to detect spoofing and layering (a form of illegal stock market manipulation), created an updateable price database of the S&P 500, and learned more about the effects of regulation on not only professional traders but also a typical investor. Though challenging, I found each project I worked on extremely interesting and highly educational. Not only did I learn far more than I could have imagined, I also got the chance to actually contribute to the work of the SEC.

With this closer look into the use of quantitative analysis in the government, I have been inspired to further consider a career in this sphere as well as take more classes at Dartmouth that focus on the role of data in our world. I now look forward to applying my experiences in complex financial law and data science to future organizations and, hopefully, add to a broader impact on our society. I am truly grateful for the grant provided to me by the Rockefeller Center. This generous funding support has provided me with invaluable experience that I will remember throughout the rest of my career.

The Rockefeller Internships Program has funding for Dartmouth undergraduate students to help defray the cost of living expenses associated with a full-time, unpaid, leave-term internships in the fields of public policy, public affairs, and social entrepreneurship.

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