Ask Ellen - Job Hunting and Career Development Advice

TracyTANG

New Member
Hi, ellen, I have a question about the job called sales and trading. I want to apply a sales job but not trading job. So can I just apply sales without applying trade part of this job??? Because most of the companies post their jobs titled sales and trading but not only just named a position as sales.
 

Andy Nguyen

Member
Hi, ellen, I have a question about the job called sales and trading. I want to apply a sales job but not trading job. So can I just apply sales without applying trade part of this job??? Because most of the companies post their jobs titled sales and trading but not only just named a position as sales.
Sales and Trading (S&T) is commonly referred to a division/function of a bank. You can apply to specific sales jobs in this division.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sales_and_trading
 

MRoss

Well-Known Member
At what point is it appropriate to ask the company how my interview went?(i.e. two weeks and no word from them)
 

Ellen Reeves

Career Advisor
Input on this question appreciated besides what I told him--to contact the programs and talk to their admissions people about his profile and what he needs to do to get in....

  1. hello,im studying an undergraduate program in telecom engineering and have a passion for finance.Although my gpa is less ,i aced in mathematics and signal processing subjects in my course and would be giving my GRE next year. currently,im working on research paper on HFT and emerging economies. also finished 3 software certifications and 5 finance models related to C++,Java,MySQL and PHP. All i wanted to know is what more should i do to enroll in MS in financial engineering program in US from top universities. Also,i wanted to seek your help for advice in which universities suit my current profile,as my gpa is low currently,and would try to improve the score in my final year.
 

Andy Nguyen

Member
Appropriate business attire for interview. We have a pretty good discussion on where to buy suit.

About 75 percent of the 501 hiring managers polled by Adecco, a human resources consulting company, said that Millennials, those born between 1981-2000, frequently fail to wear appropriate interview attire. Fashion gaffes were the biggest mistake observed, followed by Millennials posting “compromising content” on social media channels like Facebook (70 percent of hiring managers saw this) and lack of research on the prospective position (62 percent saw this.)
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/24/millenial-biggest-interview-mistake_n_1910103.html
 

Ellen Reeves

Career Advisor
At what point is it appropriate to ask the company how my interview went?(i.e. two weeks and no word from them)
One of the most common mistakes job-hunters make is not asking, at the end of an interview, "what's your hiring timeline?" Most people feel so vulnerable during the job hunting process that they forget they have rights, too--and you have the right to know when you'll know! Even if the answer is..."we don't know" because at least then you know THAT!
Things you can do:
1) At the end of an interview, DO ask what the hiring time line is and add "Will you be in touch or should I check in in the next few weeks?" Then do what you say you'll do; if you agree that you will call them in a few weeks, make sure you do. Ask whom to contact and how: Phone? E-mail?
2) Do send a thank-you know reiterating how enthusiastic you are about the position and reminding them with concrete, measurable examples how much you can do for them based on your background. You must position yourself as the perfect person for the job.
3) If no time line is forthcoming, wait at least 10 days to two weeks, then send an e-mail inquiring about the position. A gentle nudge can't hurt--if it's really gentle. Use yourself as a litmus test: you probably wouldn't mind a check-in, but if someone called or e-mailed every few days, this could cross the line from persistent and interested to annoying. Be psychologically prepared to hear it has been filled--sometimes you aren't contacted because you're out of the running. Be ready to say how much you enjoyed the interview, how much you are interested in the company, and that if anything else comes up you're interested. If possible, ask: is there anything I might have done to improve my candidacy? They may not want to answer this question for legal liability reasons but especially if you've connected with someone at the company it never hurts to ask.
 

yatici

New Member
Ellen,
I recently had a bad interview partially due to my interviewer. It was one those big name firms and I was confident of my knowledge. Unfortunately when I picked up the phone I found myself interviewing with a guy whom I have no idea what he was saying and he had no idea what I was saying (I am a native speaker). And at the background I was constantly hearing his native language. The interviewer had to repeat himself multiple times, I had to repeat myself multiple times. I would give the right answer and he would say it is wrong and tell me the "right" answer which was the answer I gave. I got really frustrated and lost my focus and most likely blew it. Was this some kind of a test for me that I failed at? Obviously it is unacceptable to ask to be interviewed by someone else during an interview. Are there any tips or suggestions to overcome a problem like this? I am worried if something like this occurs again. I thought my biggest fear was getting an impossible stochastic calculus problem at an interview...
 

Ellen Reeves

Career Advisor
I'm sorry you had this difficult experience but it's an important one. Remember, when you say "Native Speaker" you mean native speaker of English, the language I presume the interview was conducted in, but of course the interviewer was a "native speaker"--just not of English! In any situation you have to ask the other person to slow down and repeat as necessary. You can't get upset. You can BE upset---you just can't communicate this during the interview. I don't think it was a test although I suppose it could have been. But where I think you're mistaken is in not feeling you can ask for another interview. If I really wanted the job, I'd call up the person who set up the interview, or some other intermediary, and without being negative about the interview or interviewer, I would say " The interviewer and I were having trouble understanding each other" and I'd give one or two brief examples without sounding upset and then I'd ask if it's possible to have another interview since you are very serious about this company and this position and you feel the situation did not allow for a valid interview. All they can say is no, but at least you tried.
 

gawker

New Member
Dear Ellen,

I have a background in Computer Science and Economics. I'm currently a software developer at a financial services company and will be doing Financial Engineering courses as part of my MBA. I am wondering what sort of career paths or opportunities would be accessible to me? I've noticed that PhD and MFE are the best bet for being a quant so I am wondering what other opportunities are there for me as an MBA graduate? Will the MBA discredit me?
 

BILEL

New Member
Thanks a lot Ms.Ellen for this article. It's very important to me, of course, i failed to get a job at Fidelity investment few days ago:(!
 

Ellen Reeves

Career Advisor
Bilel, here's what I say when someone doesn't get an offer: Congratulations! A bullet dodged you. This means it wasn't the right job for you, for whatever reason. Because if it was, you would have gotten it. You were spared for the right job. Here's an excerpt on rejection from my book CAN I WEAR MY NOSE RING TO THE INTERVIEW?:

While rejection is never ideal, you can make the most of it. You can’t get every job you apply for—and I’m a firm believer that if you didn’t get it, it wasn’t the right one for you. There’s a reason for everything. Perhaps you’ve been freed up for the right opportunity.
Sometimes, though, a rejection is about you. Employers may offer a reason (“We took an internal candidate”); but if they don’t, and you feel you had a good rapport with the interviewer, it doesn’t hurt to ask for feedback. “I’m very disappointed. I’m wondering if, at your convenience, you might be able to offer suggestions for improving my candidacy.” (If you’ve got an ally on the inside, you may be able to get some behind-the-scenes informa-tion on who was actually hired and why.)
You might learn something useful. One candidate scheduled a feedback phone call and got some very constructive criticism: First of all, she was competing with a pool of candidates who all had MBAs; she was also told that during her interview, her "headlining” skills were weak. (They expected her to be able to offer a brief, focused summary of her résumé orally, tying her skills and experience to the stated job requirements.)
Given the legal issues surrounding employment and the proliferation of discrimination suits, don’t be surprised if you can’t elicit any feedback. And remember: There are several reasons you might not get a job, even if you’re perfectly qualified. There might have been an internal candidate or a candidate with more experience.
Were you perceived as overqualified? Time to rethink your résumé or the jobs for which you’re applying. (Of course, if you feel you’ve been discriminated against on the basis of age, race, gender, sexual orientation, or religion, you need to decide if you want to pursue legal recourse; U.S. Department of Labor guidelines are available online.)
Take steps to remedy any obstacles that might be standing in your way. If you think you’re lacking experience, go out and get some. Intern, volunteer, or temp in the field.
If the interviews went well and you get the sense that you were a top candidate, communicate how much you enjoyed the interview process and the people; express that you’re more determined than ever to find the right position at the company, and ask if they’d be willing to keep your résumé on file. Keep in touch. Another position might become available in a few months or even weeks.

Good luck--you WILL find the right job for you.
 

Ellen Reeves

Career Advisor
Dear Ellen,

I have a background in Computer Science and Economics. I'm currently a software developer at a financial services company and will be doing Financial Engineering courses as part of my MBA. I am wondering what sort of career paths or opportunities would be accessible to me? I've noticed that PhD and MFE are the best bet for being a quant so I am wondering what other opportunities are there for me as an MBA graduate? Will the MBA discredit me?
Dear Gawker: This is a question better posted on the QUANT EDUCATION board---please re-post there if you're still looking for an answer. (See FORUM on the home page and then QUANT EDUCATION). Thanks, Ellen
 

Ellen Reeves

Career Advisor
Bani--short answer: absolutely. If you're an undergrad, your college or university alumni or career center if they have one may be able to help--have you tried there first? Some programs take grad students but there are many internships in the finance field especially for undergrads. And if a company has a program for grads and not undergrads but you really want to intern there, you might find out if you can shadow someone or "volunteer." There are laws about unpaid internships for students that you will need to familiarize yourself with before you propose this. Good luck!
 

bani_light

Member
well im in france right now and next year i will go continue my final year in UK (bachelor), so when i have to start searching for internships?
 
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