Thursday, June 11, 2009
I landed in Zurich a couple of weeks ago after taking a direct flight from JFK that was about 8 hours. Overall the flight wasn't too bad - food and drinks on international flights are free, apparently, which was a pleasant surprise. On the morning of Saturday, May 30th I arrived at my room at the Oase, a student house with close to ideal location as far as I can tell. I am but a 2 minute walk to the office at the University of Zurich where I will be working for the summer, and less than a 10 minute walk to the "old town" here in Zurich where there are many cafes, shops, etc. I was so lucky to have the secretary at the Swiss Banking Institute at the University arrange all the necessary accommodations for the summer, as I've heard finding an apartment here can be a pain.
A few days after arriving, I met with the Phd finance student who I will be working a lot with over the course of the summer. The aim of the project I'll be assisting with is to examine how an individual employed by high-profile investment bank can engage in behavior that is detrimental to the bank's reputation, yet increases the individual's payoff. This issue is clearly very relevant today, and I look forward to contributing to the project. After getting some logistics squared away last week, I was able so start working this week by pulling data on past litigation against investment banks.
Other than that, I've been able to check out some of the attractions in the city. The picture to the left was taken from the top of the Grossmunster, one of the cathedrals in the city. For the most part, everything is within walking distance from me, although taking the tram is quite convenient as well. Overall the weather has been great, basically 65 and sunny every day. I was also able to meet up with Katie Peige, who is studying at the University of Zurich as well. Finally, I got to check out some of the clubs one night. They were all very posh and laid back, as I've found the city and it's people as a whole are all pretty easy going. Everyone here also speaks pretty good English, which was a relief since I don't know any German at all. Another thing I quickly realized is that nothing in this city is cheap whatsoever. A Big Mac meal here was something like 13 chf. I've been doing my best to buy groceries to avoid eating out too much. I hope to do some traveling on the weekends in the next couple of weeks and really start to dig in to the work I'll be doing for the summer.