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Freshman at Caltech, Help!

emilyyy

New Member
Hi all!

I'm new to QuantNet, so please excuse any mistakes I might make--I'm here to learn from you guys! I'm a freshman at Caltech interested in pursuing a career in (you guessed it) quantitative finance. I know that my main goal right from the get-go is to learn as much as I can and to secure an internship as soon as possible. I plan on declaring double major in applied math (ACM) and business (BEM). Since COVID is pushing everything online, I've had little opportunity to interact with others in these majors with similar career goals and I feel a bit lost. Let's assume I have no relevant background yet, and start building from zero. I'd love to hear your advice and I'm totally open to suggestions and criticism.

The way the curriculum works is that my freshman year is essentially pre-determined. I'll be on the "analytical" track for math freshman year as required by my major, so I'll be doing very proof-based multivariable calc and linear algebra. I'll be taking CS1 (Python) in the fall and if I successfully placed out of physics first term, I'll also be taking CS2 (data structures and algorithms, iirc) in the winter. You can probably notice a distinct lack of finance/econ and major-specific courses, but that's just how things seem to be shaking out.

Since I have a month before I start my fall term, I just decided to take Columbia's edX course "Intro to Corporate Finance" to start understanding the terms I might be working with in the future. I won't be getting a certificate, but I'm going though it quite quickly and if y'all have any suggestions on other online courses, I'd be open to hearing them. I'd also like to start learning a relevant programming language: I've learned C before through Harvard's CS50, what language would be worthwhile to begin to explore?

I'd like to know: what can I do to learn more about the wonderful world of quant? I don't have many connections to people in the industry nor do I really know what a career path during undergrad (particularly freshman/sophomore year) might look like. I want to get a "head start," but I'm struggling to find out how.

I appreciate your time, and thank you in advance for the help!
 

mark_z

Active Member
as far as corporate finance, Khan Academy has a nice finance course, it covers some of the corp fin stuff, you could also try udemy, or read your text book, these business text books are usually easy to go through, hope that helps.
 

emilyyy

New Member
as far as corporate finance, Khan Academy has a nice finance course, it covers some of the corp fin stuff, you could also try udemy, or read your text book, these business text books are usually easy to go through, hope that helps.
Thank you! I'll definitely start on Khan Academy since I've used it a lot during high school so it's more familiar. Do you have any specific recommendations for business textbooks?
 

mark_z

Active Member
Thank you! I'll definitely start on Khan Academy since I've used it a lot during high school so it's more familiar. Do you have any specific recommendations for business textbooks?
What I would do is google the syllabus for the class I am planning to take, look at the texts professors previously used, texts for corp fin are pretty much the same
 
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