Graduated generic undergrad finance, hindsight 20/20 would have preferred the Mathematical Finance stream, bridging the gap on my own?

ReturnsOver

New Member
Context/Pretext:
In 2014 I hesitated on going the biosci route (As a teen I envisioned myself becoming a surgeon) after a stint in the hospital as a patient myself, that kind of turned me off medicine as I realised I hated being around sick and frail people, and that as a Dr a large portion of my day would spent dumbing things down for them [guess I'm not cut out for client facing roles in Finance either ;) ]. I was in it for the money/status and don't actually really enjoy biology and especially hate microbiology (aside from neurochemistry which I read about in my spare time to this day).

Body:
I was always stellar in math and really enjoyed learning and applying it, so I figured Finance would be a good way to leverage my skills and get to work with interesting math.
Now that I graduated last week I couldn't be more than wrong. The math we were exposed to (aside from in Fixed Income and Derivatives, a whole 2 out of 40 courses) was garbage that made me feel stupid and demotivated from my studies.
After joining a Trading Simulation in first year and being exposed to Options I dove into the math on my own and basically went on to to teach my classmates in study groups this semester when we finally took the Derivatives course that is only slotted in 4th year.
I had already clued in by halfway through my 3rd year that what I really was interested in was Financial Engineering/Financial Mathematics, but decided to eat the additional year and a half rather than switch, as at my school my BCom Finance credits would barely count for anything upon switching into FE/FM, and I'd be looking at a fresh 4 years + the 3.5 I had completed up to then.
I'd been applying for IB positions since second year but I went to a non-target Canadian school so never got any offers.
I looked at Masters in Financial Mathematics, Financial Economics, and Financial Engineering but since I didn't take any CS or Science Math classes in Undergrad and just Business Calc/Lin-Alg I stood no chance.
I was accepted into the Masters in Financial Risk Management at the University of Toronto which is some quasi-blend of Finance and the more quantitative side I wish I got into. The course teaches and integrates R and Python into the program to model various risk situations.
If everything tracks out right I will get a Risk Analyst / Derivatives Analyst role around this time next year as those are the majority of jobs people leaving this Masters get.
But I would still like to end up as a Quant Developer or in a more science-math role, so I've been self-teaching myself Python, R, C++, and am starting to dive into open access MIT Multivariable Calc --> Differential Equations --> Advanced Linear Alg to get the Math base down.
Once this is done I'll dive into Wilmott's The Mathematics of Financial Derivatives, then Stefanica's A Primer for the Mathematics of Financial Engineering, obviously modelling whatever I can from those books in Python and R to help better connect everything together.
And last but not least, I know networking makes anything possible, so while I'm in my Masters I'll be networking my ass off, I just don't know how seriously I'll be taken seeing as my background is in soft finance and not math finance.

Can it be done?

Cheers
 
Last edited:

TehRaio

Active Member
man... have you started the degree at UoT though?
I feel like you're just moving through the motions and making weird decisions after weird decisions.
Not to bash you but once you knew you wanted to become a quant, you should have stopped and considered getting a minor in math or stats at the very least even if it extended your bachelor's degree by a semester or two (not 3.5 years as you said above)

Now you apply and get admitted to UoT's financial risk management which, by your own admission, is not what you want but you still accept it, and you are now coming up with a stupidly convoluted plan to work your way toward a quant position. If you are going to self-study all the quant stuff, then why are you doing the UoT degree? save your money then. Are you paying for this degree yourself?
There exists lots of masters degree in mathematics/statistics which serve as pathways for people like you who didn't study lots of math in undergrad. Anyway, be very careful with the decisions you're making here, you may end up just making your life very hard (like the plan you have set up now) for no good reasons.
 

ReturnsOver

New Member
man... have you started the degree at UoT though?
I feel like you're just moving through the motions and making weird decisions after weird decisions.
Not to bash you but once you knew you wanted to become a quant, you should have stopped and considered getting a minor in math or stats at the very least even if it extended your bachelor's degree by a semester or two (not 3.5 years as you said above)

Now you apply and get admitted to UoT's financial risk management which, by your own admission, is not what you want but you still accept it, and you are now coming up with a stupidly convoluted plan to work your way toward a quant position. If you are going to self-study all the quant stuff, then why are you doing the UoT degree? save your money then. Are you paying for this degree yourself?
There exists lots of masters degree in mathematics/statistics which serve as pathways for people like you who didn't study lots of math in undergrad. Anyway, be very careful with the decisions you're making here, you may end up just making your life very hard (like the plan you have set up now) for no good reasons.
Good insight, appreciate your point of view.

Definitely not 100% yet seeing as I made this post and on other forums so thanks for checking my blindspots.

Will contemplate on it some more...
 

ReturnsOver

New Member
man... have you started the degree at UoT though?

you should have stopped and considered getting a minor in math or stats at the very least even if it extended your bachelor's degree by a semester or two (not 3.5 years as you said above)
Didn't really answer your direct questions.

The degree starts in the fall but I've paid the deposit and am way too late in the cycle to apply and get in to anywhere else and at this point I have some cognitive dissonance about wanting to be done school and finally start making some money and doing something but also enjoying academics and continuing studies; so I don't want to wait another year and screw around with some deadend job for a year or wait a full year to apply to different programs.

Lastly my school's business faculty has some stupid regulation where Business students cant major or even minor in any other stream...
 

cccca

New Member
What school did you go to? Im also from Canada and this all sounds too familiar... lol
 

Michsund

Active Member
C++ Student
At this point try cqf or maybe the free worldquant masters. You’ll learn a lot at a cheaper price. Then you could try networking yourself into a job.
 
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