Projects at Citigroup for UCL Computer Science students
23 April 2008
In April 2008 Citigroup invited 28 UCL MSc Software Systems Engineering students to join a five-month project within Citi Markets and Banking technology group at their European headquarters in London's Canary Wharf.
For the second year running, UCL Computer Science is pleased to participate in an industrial collaboration with one of the leading investment banks in the financial industry. The students were excited to have the opportunity and believe that the MSc programme has prepared them for this challenge and the several cutting-edge projects on which they are going to work.
The students have been presented with three projects which they will complete to fulfil the group project part of the MSc. Three teams have been created and each student will be graded upon the effectiveness with which their team successfully meets and completes Citigroup's requirements; the work they will do will be a major component of the final grade of their MSc. The projects will require full-time commitment from students between April and September.
Project coordinator/team leaders from the programme will monitor their group's status and will act as a link between all three projects and Citi management and UCL academics. There will be regular weekly progress reports highlighting each milestone and deliverable. There will be one grid-technology project team and two finance-related project teams.
Last year, the collaboration was extremely beneficial for Citi, UCL and for the postgraduates. Citi benefited from a fresh outlook to the competitive challenges they faced. The students were given valuable exposure to Citi's business and development processes in a real-world environment. They were also given exposure to new technologies which gave invaluable experience and a highlight to their CVs.
The same is set to continue this year with a bigger team of students, some already having a wide range of technical and consultancy employment experience to complement their academic history. This is a significant bonus for Citi.
At the end of the project, students will be invited to apply for positions in the project team in which they have a particular interest or strength. The project management team will review applications and allocate individuals to the teams for which they are best suited, should full time positions be available.
Donald Lawrence, an ex-Citi banker and UCL research fellow and collaboration facilitator, said: "We are delighted to build a bridge between the academic environment and Citigroup. Many of the students have ambitions to work in financial services, and we looked for the most effective way to prepare the UCL grads for the high-pressure Wall St-style environment."
Anthony Finkelstein, Professor of Software Systems Engineering and Head of UCL Computer Science, commented: "Last year's collaboration gave opportunity to many of our graduate students to start careers in the 'the square mile'. Our excellent relationship with Citigroup and other world-class investment banks is a win-win for the partners, our graduates and our staff. We will continue to build on UCL commitment to produce highly sought after graduates."
Since 2004, UCL and London Business School have had a unique academic partnership that has enabled faculty collaboration and student cross-enrollment in courses. "Adding business school perspective to the world-class technology training available at UCL lifts the capabilities of the students enormously," says Bruce Weber, Professor of Information Management and Subject Area Chair for Management Science & Operations at London Business School.