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A record 1208 students sent in over 3000 applications to the MIT Alumni Association’s Externship Program this year, according to Katie C. Maloney, Director of Parent Association and Student/Alumni Relations. Over a third of the applicants plan to spend this January’s Independent Activities Period (IAP) working with alumni sponsors worldwide.

The externship program has grown substantially over its 18 years of operation, and it saw an increase of 215 applicants and 545 applications over last year. Of the 1208 students that competed for hundreds of externships, 1045 of them are undergraduates and 163 are graduates.

Of all listed externships, students can apply for up to three, in fields such as financial services, engineering, and medicine. The first of two rounds of matching occurred on October 30, in which 396 students accepted externships and 117 declined. Those who declined were ineligible for the second round of matching that took place on November 12. The smaller second round saw only 27 students accept externships and 20 decline.

Many of the most popular externships were for trading companies, such as Five Rings Capital, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, and Jane Street Capital. These companies received a combined total of 178 applications for their trading opportunities, and each ranked in the top ten for most applications received. By far the most sought-after position was assistant trader at Jane Street Capital, which received 83 applications.

Rajeev K. Parvathala ’18, who had no prior experience in trading, was one of the students who received an offer from Jane Street. “I heard a lot of good things about it [the assistant trader position] from upperclassmen,” said Parvathala. “I enjoyed the interview process — all the questions were very mathematical — and that’s one of the things that made me think I would enjoy the work.”

Parvathala will spend the month of January in New York City at Jane Street’s first and largest office.

The most competitive program was a health care externship, Introduction to Surgery and Medicine at Tufts University — one student was accepted from 30 applicants. Other highly desirable externships included machine learning positions at Microsoft and Diffeo, both of which received 40 applications.