The cold email. It’s scary, intimidating, yet exciting. In January, I sat in the library, obsessed with each word I was about to send. I was determined to work at a trading firm for my graduation project. Susquehanna International Group (SIG) was the cream of the crop for that, I had recently learned from Mr. Long. The email was my plea for a seat on their famous poker-inspired trading floor.
Surprisingly, SIG received my signal. In between Chris and John, two away from the famous quantitative analysts, and six away from the company’s CEO, John Zhang, Zach Hoyt, and I were working in the eye of the trading storm. And if it couldn’t get any cooler: we were working on crypto.
The crypto world, known for its meme-like stories and Elon Musk tweets, contains a j-curve of knowledge: the more you know, the less you know. John, Zach, and I witnessed this firsthand. On our first day, we likely had an average of 1,000 “lightbulbs” light up; “I think I get it,” Zach said.
We rolled to his desk, and he showed us a graphic. We looked at each other with wide eyes and celebrated our new understanding. The cycle continued with each of us taking turns demonstrating our competence. Curiosity led us deeper into the rabbit hole, eventually popping out in the wonderland of crypto. The topic of our desk meetings helped us to realize we knew nothing—NFT video games, decentralized exchanges, Uncle Blocks, and much more.
SIG also brought new ideas for a Haverford Blockchain Club. Every day, my conversations with Zach and John were fun and thought-provoking. They revolved around anything crypto-related and usually resulted in heated discussions over what we would do in different protocols. These great conversations eventually led us to think up a place at Haverford where the same could happen every week.
“Through this whole process, I found what it meant to be a Haverford man.”Will rubin ’22
Through this whole process, I found what it meant to be a Haverford man. While at times I might have felt lost and stressed, I had two of my brothers sitting next to me. They were just as confused sometimes, if not more. Those moments of strife, though, were the times when we came closest together—literally. Huddled around a monitor, squinting to see correctly, we experienced what Mitav and Mr. Casertano have been preaching all year: support. So make sure to send your cold emails. Check every word, write a good hook, and take the time to stress over the send button, because you never know where it will lead you.
I expected to find a new love for finance, and instead, I found family.