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How do I manage an early IT quant job offer as an undergraduate sophomore in Math

Hi guys,

I've received an early offer for a IT quant/Software Engineering position in UK for a large financial institution's subsidiary.
I do have :
* strong math/phyics skills
* relatively strong computer science knowledge and programming skills (though I'm starting with OOP in C++ and Java)
* strong knowledge of how Wall St/City of London works
* some trading experience, good at analyzing economic events and giving recommendations
* good knowledge of quantitative finance (thought no formal training)

I'm only starting my sophomore year in September. How should I manage this situation ? Do you think I can negotiate a part-time position while still studying in some way ? Should I promise the recruiter that I would accept their full-time offer after graduation ?

Thanks a lot. Awkward situations in which I don't know how to respond to
 
Try to arrange to work part-time during the school year, and full time during breaks.

What the heck is an IT quant position? Does this report into "the business" or "operations/technology"?
 
Thanks for confirming my previous thoughts, mhy. It's a big opportunity, and I'm telling my inner self that missing out the op would be so damaging for my career start after graduation.

Oh, IT quants refer to quant developers. Basically, only Desk Quants and Quant Researchers fully use their Quant Finance skills on the job but IT quants assist "true" quants and traders in integrating pricing models within an IT logic.

For example, it's not just doing an Excel spreadsheet of the Black-Scholes formula and compute whatever you want. It's all about data collection and analysis, and calibrating the model.

Plus, with the development of algorithmic trading, IT quants (30% Quants, 70% Technologists/Developers) are more than needed.

By the way, IT quants is a term usually used in Europe and UK.
 
And also, IT quants are front-office or middle-office people and use the infrastructure developed by core technologists.
 
I agree with what mhy said. But I'll add you should be cognizant of the trade-offs of working part time. While the relevant experience you gain can be worthwhile moving forward, the functions of part-time jobs and full-time jobs are not always the same and more importantly, you are missing out on college life.

Accepting a offer to begin 3 years later is extremely meaningless. The company may not be looking to hire later, the recruiter might be gone, and they know you are not contractually bounded to actually work 3 years later regardless of what you say now.

You should clarify the function of the role, which at the earlier stages of your career is more important than the title. IT usually means "my mouse is broken ... fix it for me" while quantitative analyst/strategist actually deals with finance and modelling." I also have never heard of an IT quant but it sounds like your responsibilities are similar to that of an assistant trader or junior trader or analyst on a quant desk.
 
And also, IT quants are front-office or middle-office people and use the infrastructure developed by core technologists.

I am willing to bet you won't be in the front office (or middle office - that really is specific to Ops roles who work with sales & trading - Technology crosses front to back). More like desk-aligned development team within the larger tech organization.

Try to confirm this if you can, but if I were you I'd just take the opportunity since at this point you are a sophomore so any experience whether front office / tech / quant will help later on.
 
The truth is that I don't care much about being in the front-office in the first place. Most importantly are the interactions with other developers, traders and desk quants so that I can really learn how to solve business problems, design IT logic to comply with a business logic, and so on...

But thanks, I take it as a sound advice, I hope it would match my expectations and not make me sweat too much.
 
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