This is what an internship at the SNB could look like: Three supervisors and three interns talk about their jobs and experiences.
Alexander Flühmann, Head of Financial Account, Statistics
In 2002, after finishing my degree in economics at the University of Zurich, I was hired as a Research Assistant at the SNB. I have been in charge of the Financial Account (Balance of Payments) team since 2010, and my team and I are responsible for processing data on the economic linkages between Switzerland and the rest of the world. We are in close contact with global corporations and international organisations. Our interns help us to react quickly to changes in this dynamic environment, as well as making sure that we can maintain the quality of the figures. Their support also allows us to carry out further developments in the methodology. I particularly appreciate the external point of view which interns bring to the job, and the innovative and unconventional solutions they propose.
Annabelle Rey, intern at Financial Account
After completing a bilingual Bachelor of Economics in Fribourg, I wanted to make a break in my studies in order to apply what I had learnt so far. I decided to make an unsolicited application to the SNB because of its exceptionally good reputation. Moreover, as a French-speaking Swiss, it was important for me to cross the language border and take a position in German-speaking Switzerland. I did an initial internship in the Balance of Payments unit, where I worked on data collections for the financial account. Subsequently I had the opportunity of doing a second internship in the Publications and Data Banks unit. While I was there I wrote a report on market data. A year ago, I began a Master’s in Economics at the University of Zurich and am continuing to work two days a week at the SNB alongside my studies.
Nicolas Stoffels, Head of Economic Analysis (International)
I studied economics at the University of St Gallen and completed my doctorate there. Since 2003, I have headed the unit responsible for international economic forecasts at the SNB. Interns are very important for our analysis of the global economic situation because they look after the systematic model-based processing of incoming data on an ongoing basis. This is an interesting task, but it demands a high degree of commitment, a real flair for computer programming and a solid grounding in economics.
Simon Beyeler, intern at Economic Analysis (International)
I did a Master in International and Monetary Economics (IMIE) at the University of Bern. After completing my studies, I began an internship in the Economic Analysis unit with Nicolas Stoffels’ international team. One of my main tasks was to manage the Nowcasting models which are used to estimate the current economic situation. I was also able to support the economists in their work and became involved in various projects. I chose to do an internship at the SNB because I wanted to get some initial practical experience after completing my degree, and the macroeconomics area at the SNB seemed a particularly good way of doing this. The one-year internship was very interesting. It taught me a lot and gave me a good insight into the inner workings of a central bank.
Marco Huwiler, Head of Financial Market Analysis
I studied economics at the University of Basel and completed my doctorate there. Since September 2012, I have headed the Financial Market Analysis unit in Department III. The interns in my unit bear great responsibility for our technical infrastructure. They manage an internal financial market information platform and are developing it further. In addition, they write daily reports and support the team’s economists in their analyses and preparation of presentations. For me, it is vital that interns – most of whom have just completed their studies – learn to bridge the gap between theory and practice. In particular, they should get to know how shares, bonds and foreign exchange markets react to new developments in the economy. Important prerequisites for an internship are a strong interest in financial markets and a real flair for information technology.
Benjamin Plattner, intern at Financial Market Analysis
Following a commercial apprenticeship at a Swiss big bank, I studied economics at the University of Basel, concluding with a Master in Finance, Controlling and Banking. Apart from my main focus on economics, I also learnt a number of programming languages during my degree. These skills are of enormous value to me for my internship in Financial Market Analysis, where I am managing and further developing an internal graphics platform and a time series data bank. In this way, I am helping the economists with the preparation of presentations and speeches for the Head of Department III. I find the proximity to everyday events on financial markets incredibly exciting and informative. I chose this internship because of its diversity; another factor in my decision was the importance of the SNB for the Swiss economic system and its outstanding reputation.