Mohamad Afiq Bin Zainal

Intern, Quantitative Analyst

Afiq is a Quantitative Analyst intern at Deriv Services

Choice of internship

I was determined to pursue my career path in Quantitative Analytic (Quants) field, and Deriv is one of the companies that offer this kind of job prospect. Interning as a Quants here will provide me with insights and experience that will benefit me because usually, it’s difficult to start your career as a quantitative analyst, so this opportunity is valuable to a fresh grad like me. Plus, FinTech companies like Deriv are experiencing rapid growth and represent the cutting edge of innovation, making them an exciting place to work and learn at.

Deciding to intern

In my opinion, an internship is the best time for a fresh grad like me to learn and experience the working life in my chosen career path. Besides, I will get an idea about my suitability in becoming a quantitative analyst when I get a full-time job later, if it meets my expectations, if I have the required skill set and ability, etc. I expected that my internship will be challenging and adventurous as interns here are treated like other employees and will be given real tasks like solving complex problems as expected in the quantitative field.

An intern's responsibility

In the Quantitative Analysis team, I am responsible for 2 main tasks. One is updating daily information that is necessary for day-to-day operations and monitoring trading activities, and the second is minimising abuse. Every day, I update key figures such as volatility, correlation, dividend, interest rate, and others based on Bloomberg and other data providers utilised in our products (option contracts) pricing algorithm. On top of that, I’ll be monitoring our clients’ trading patterns based on their preference, geographic, and other factors and generate periodic and ad hoc reports that summarise clients’ trading trend to improve our risk management process.

Internship experience

My internship experience is unique, especially when we were instructed to work from home during the MCO. It is kind of difficult to perform my tasks as I’m new and need to communicate more with seniors about the projects but I’m really grateful to have a supportive and friendly team to walk me through them. Other than that, being a quantitative analyst opens my eyes to the coding language that is used in this team such as Python and SQL. As I learnt C++ before, it’s easier to learn other languages and apply them to my analysis.

Lessons learned

The most important thing that I learnt is that all analytical projects here are done from scratch, which means that there’s no standard template or provided platform to do your analysis. It’s up to our creativity and understanding of the problem that will build the framework of analysis. Plus, programming is vital in quantitative analysis as we’re dealing with a large set of data. So, coding is essential in helping us getting the insights that we want and to automate daily repetitive tasks instead of doing them manually which is a waste of time.

Do's and Don'ts!


  • Ask your seniors each time you don’t really understand something to avoid miscommunication and mistakes in your outcome that will be costly to the company. 
  • Network with colleagues from different departments because eventually, we’ll be working with them a lot, especially when each team has various connections in order to complete every project.
  • Show some effort and initiatives to learn the general processes in our company and team. It displays your personality that you are eager to learn and contribute to the team.


  • Procrastinate. When we have a lot of tasks in hand, it’s important to multitask and manage our time to meet the deadline and not burden others in case the tasks have multiple assignees working on them.
  • Sound arrogant or selfish with another person. Please be as cooperative and friendly as possible so that the project progresses smoothly and efficiently, without miscommunication or unclear guidelines during production.
  • Show up late in every meeting or discussion, especially if you are new, it makes a bad impression on your team lead and colleagues. You can set your own reminder in Google Calendar or something. Please be prepared and ready if you’re expected to give an update in a meeting.