From Academy to Quant research

Wow, that's interesting. It's possible that I will need that book at some point.

What do you think of companies such as "Into City Prep"? They offer a paid internship (in the sense that I need to pay them) and guarantee I will find a job after that. It is worth mentioning that they were among the fastest in replying to my application :D
Paid-for internships such as this one or Amplify Trading can even be a negative as they are a signal that you didn't make it into a “normal” (read: competitive) internship.
 
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I had my first oral interview yesterday and I think it was good. This is for an internship position. But... I still think that at some point something is going to be wrong. How realistic is to be hired for £120.000 in London?
If we already know that it's almost impossible, I hope to do an internship at some banks instead.
 
I got this feedback from a company that rejected my application for an internship (without any assessment).

I appreciate you are disappointed for not being shortlisted for the next stage of interviewing.



It is difficult to provide feedback for each candidate considering we have received 550+ applications in the last 3 weeks alone. Only less than 5% of candidates were invited to take the TM assignment. We had some outstanding candidates who were shortlisted for the next round of interviewing due to their relevant skills and experience, closer to what we are looking for.



You have a strong academic record but no commercial experience or internship exposure which is obviously preferred.

Please find below a brief list of resources which include a few recommendations: links, articles and books for FS (Financial Services). You might find it useful in your pursuit of developing a career within Financial Services industry. Good luck with your search.

To be honest, on their website they do not mention commercial experience but emphasize a strong accademic background instead.
I really cannot understand. How can I find a job if I need to compete with 550+ candidates, each one with an outstanding commercial experience?
 
To be honest, on their website they do not mention commercial experience but emphasize a strong accademic background instead.
I really cannot understand. How can I find a job if I need to compete with 550+ candidates, each one with an outstanding commercial experience?
Obviously not each of these will have relevant experience, thus only 5% being selected for the next round. You weren't what they were looking for - bad luck, move on. I don't see the point of this latest post.
 

Daniel Duffy

C++ author, trainer
small question: in the title, by "Academy" you probably mean "academia"?
Academy is a highly overloaded word. Some people mighy confuse it with Hollywood.
 
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Yes, sorry.

Btw, a company where I reached the stage 3 of their selection process has rejected me because of severe lack of programming and data science/ML knowledge.
I think their internship announcements are slightly misleading because they do not make clear what is really required to have a realistic chance.
I definitely need to study after my PhD.
 
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Daniel Duffy

C++ author, trainer
No problem. It's just native English screechers might get confused.

severe lack of programming and data science/ML knowledge.
These days you won't get far without them. This should be clear at this stage.


I definitely need to study after my PhD.
Probably too late. IMHO

Why not try to embed some applied/numeric maths into the PhD. Pure maths (and certainly w/o programming) is not directly useful. Pure maths can be a solution looking for a problem. "mettere il carro davanti ai buoi"

This is the best C++ course.

 
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Daniel Duffy

C++ author, trainer
I studied analisi numerica in Pavia some years ago.
And I did 5 years of private lessons the hard-core way. Knowing Latin is useful.

I would say it is never too late as such altho' I would recommnend to hurry up. Festina lente.
 
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Agree. Even though I cannot really understand why graduate teaching assistant is not regarded as a commercial experience (or why the PhD itself is not a commercial experience). I suspect that what they really mean is "I don't like that you have only been in a university so far" :)
 
Quick update. I was interviewed in 3 banks but have not yet received any response from them. I guess I wasn't bad enough to be directly rejected nor good enough to directly receive an offer. Is it common? Should I contact the recruiters?

Some more questions. How would you compare a summer internship with a graduate/off-cycle 6-12 months program? Is the second harder to get in? Do you know if banks have some age limits to hire associates? Is it bad if I finish my PhD without any summer internship in my life?

(Of course, if I fail in all the Canary Wharf companies I can still apply elsewhere (e.g. in Italy) but the salary is likely to be 1/3 than "a reasonable salary" for a quant job...)
 
Finishing a PhD without internships is the norm not the exception. Graduate programs are more competitive than internships. I have never heard of age being an issue for a graduate PhD hire as long as you are before your mid 30s.
 
Thank you. But do you think that quantitative associate in banks is still a good investment? I feel a bit flustered because it seems that internship/graduate program is almost the only way to get in. If I fail this year, I will be essentially unemployed at least until Spring 2023 (I will invest my time in studying hard of course).
The point is that even if a study a lot, the probability to be interviewed is quite low. So far only 3 banks interviewed me and only Barclays guaranteed that I can be directly re-assessed next year. Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, UBS rejected me immediately after the first automatic steps (and without any feedback). Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan never replied after the automatic steps.

I really need some precious advice... My University is ranked 6th in the UK (and I chose it without any consideration on the ranking). I wish to know how to increase the chance to be interviewed, because I cannot rely on a single guaranteed attempt (Barclays).

If my point of view is right (is it right?) perhaps would be much better to invest time in becoming a data scientist or SWE with the aim to gain a lot of working experience and landing into some FAANG at some point... (at least there are many available attempts).
What do you think?

I really need a honest and straightforward feedback at this point. I want to know the truth even if it would be a hard reality. Feel free to insult me :)
 
Finally admitted to a 15 minutes interview with the HR. It is the very final round after being interviewed by a VP. Do you think I should prepare every possible question? Is it easy at this point?
 
Finally admitted to a 15 minutes interview with the HR. It is the very final round after being interviewed by a VP. Do you think I should prepare every possible question? Is it easy at this point?
If this is really the very last interview station, then the decision has likely been made already (and is positive). HR is unlikely to be the driving force behind a rejection in the final round.
 
I want to write an update and some advice for outsiders like me, who read this thread in the future.
I am currently the first without an offer at the moment but there is a candidate that could decline his offer. They have been very nice and transparent so far.

I need to share what I did wrong, in order to help some future candidates in my same situation:

- The first one or two online "automatic" stages, usually on platforms like HireVue, could seem very easy. Just like a pre-screening test. However, they are extremely important and only a small percentage of candidates will proceed further to other stages, with "human" interviewers.
- In particular, it is very convenient to dress appropriately even if you are not speaking to a human, and preparing all the standard behavioural questions in advance with the STAR method. You may want to ask someone who succesfully passed this stage in the past.
- They always state that a knowledge in finance is not required for an internship (it is just a plus, sometimes). It could seem that an algebraist can leave his algebraic structures for 45 minutes, having a nice chat with an interviewer, and then coming back to his algebra with an offer. Well, not really... They actually ask a lot of questions on stochastic calculus, finance (the Black–Scholes model plus some technical knowledge in trading options), programming, as well as probability and some maths. A pure mathematician can easily outstand in maths and probability, but the rest is not something common in our background. If you really want the internship, please take a whole month to seriously prepare all these subjects.
- Start to apply in September, as some banks use to shortlist candidates on a rolling basis.
 
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