Is being extroverted vital for success in the financial industry?

danielfang

New Member
This question sounds a bit silly since there are a variety of people work in the financial industry and achieve their successes. But I was wondering whether being extroverted increases the chance of achieving success (or advancing careers) in the financial industry. Recently, I happened to watch videos about MBTI personalities. I have done a free online test and realized that I am an ISTJ-type person. I know a free test is mostly inaccurate, but I do feel this result fits me quite well.

Part of the reasons I want to become a quant is related to my personality. I enjoy working with data and code, and I find troubleshooting and solving problems are really exciting. However, I do find networking and proactively reaching out are important for careers, but they are something I have to encourage myself to do. Therefore, I want to hear your stories as professionals in the financial industry since I worked in an engineering firm previously. How did you or your colleagues achieve success in work when taking the personal traits into consideration? I hope you find this question interesting. 😄
 

Junaith

New Member
Now day's financial industry has great demand in the filed of Data science, Data Visualization, Data Analytics. Without Statistics and Financial Mathematics knowledge, you can't get success in the data science field. That's why Statistics and Financial Mathematics is known as the backbone of data science. All the essential mathematical equation, analysis, linear algebra, optimization, and probability theory only you can be done if you have enough knowledge about Financial and Statistics Math.On the other hand is has also demand in banking sector.
 

Onegin

Active Member
C++ Student
networking is a terrible idea. There's no point to going out and meeting people "in case". It's boring, cynical, and I don't know successful people who actually do that.

Being useful is a brilliant idea. If you have a high level of competency, and you can solve other people's problems, then you have something to talk about and you don't have to stand awkwardly at a cocktail party. So maybe to become useful first is a good approach.

I say this as an extrovert, who networked a lot, found it useless, then worked hard to learn something useful and then found networking much more enjoyable and MUCH less time consuming. You don't want to be in a crowd of people looking for a job or asking people to help you. Believe me on that one.
 

Nth Root of N

New Member
Maybe the only immutable truth of business careers: people tend to help other people where there's a real relationship (i.e. based on shared proficiency).

Help of the meaningful kind usually doesn't come as a standalone product.
 
networking is a terrible idea. There's no point to going out and meeting people "in case". It's boring, cynical, and I don't know successful people who actually do that.

Being useful is a brilliant idea. If you have a high level of competency, and you can solve other people's problems, then you have something to talk about and you don't have to stand awkwardly at a cocktail party. So maybe to become useful first is a good approach.

I say this as an extrovert, who networked a lot, found it useless, then worked hard to learn something useful and then found networking much more enjoyable and MUCH less time consuming. You don't want to be in a crowd of people looking for a job or asking people to help you. Believe me on that one.
This is true once you've broken into the industry. Once you have the right experience, everyone thinks you can do the job, and you don't necessarily have to network to get considered for those opportunities. The tough part for these competitive FO jobs is just getting your foot in the door though and breaking in. For many students, like the ones on these forums, networking actively is the best/only option if you don't have a connection on the inside already.

"networking is a terrible idea. There's no point to going out and meeting people "in case". It's boring, cynical, and I don't know successful people who actually do that." - So I can't actually tell if you're being sarcastic with that....Every successful person has networked lol. Networking is a great idea when you're young and looking to understand the industry better. Learning from other people's career paths and experiences will give you much greater insight into the best decisions for yourself. You also never know when a good contact may come in handy.

From my recent experiences, I interviewed for a top MFE program, and my interviewer happened to work in the same group as one of my contacts. I brought it up during the conversation to develop a connection and let my contact know as well. I ended up being accepted into the program. I'm not sure if my contact had much of an influence, but I'm sure it could've helped. Always be networking when you're young.
 
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This question sounds a bit silly since there are a variety of people work in the financial industry and achieve their successes. But I was wondering whether being extroverted increases the chance of achieving success (or advancing careers) in the financial industry. Recently, I happened to watch videos about MBTI personalities. I have done a free online test and realized that I am an ISTJ-type person. I know a free test is mostly inaccurate, but I do feel this result fits me quite well.

Part of the reasons I want to become a quant is related to my personality. I enjoy working with data and code, and I find troubleshooting and solving problems are really exciting. However, I do find networking and proactively reaching out are important for careers, but they are something I have to encourage myself to do. Therefore, I want to hear your stories as professionals in the financial industry since I worked in an engineering firm previously. How did you or your colleagues achieve success in work when taking the personal traits into consideration? I hope you find this question interesting. 😄
Strive to accomplish both. I think it's important to first nail down the hard skills and break into the industry. A lot of quants obviously come out lopsided as extreme introverts and have a reputation of being socially awkward etc. But the best ones in charge of these hedge funds are able to sell their products and intelligence to clients and develop camaraderie with coworkers. These things aren't always natural but they can be learned over time if you put in the effort. Being extroverted also makes social life outside of work a lot more fun.
 

Onegin

Active Member
C++ Student
This is true once you've broken into the industry. Once you have the right experience, everyone thinks you can do the job, and you don't necessarily have to network to get considered for those opportunities. The tough part for these competitive FO jobs is just getting your foot in the door though and breaking in. For many students, like the ones on these forums, networking actively is the best/only option if you don't have a connection on the inside already.

"networking is a terrible idea. There's no point to going out and meeting people "in case". It's boring, cynical, and I don't know successful people who actually do that." - So I can't actually tell if you're being sarcastic with that....Every successful person has networked lol. Networking is a great idea when you're young and looking to understand the industry better. Learning from other people's career paths and experiences will give you much greater insight into the best decisions for yourself. You also never know when a good contact may come in handy.

From my recent experiences, I interviewed for a top MFE program, and my interviewer happened to work in the same group as one of my contacts. I brought it up during the conversation to develop a connection and let my contact know as well. I ended up being accepted into the program. I'm not sure if my contact had much of an influence, but I'm sure it could've helped. Always be networking when you're young.
I agree with everything you said. I broke into the industry from a friend of a friend meeting me for a beer, and every opportunity after that has been through a contact rather than. Perhaps I overstated my case a bit. Connections are critical, and relationships are critical.

When I think networking, I think of the professional development program trainees who would tag along to drink nights, outings, etc because they were told "networking is everything." It was especially hard on the introverts. For me, it was important to realize I had to bring something to the marketplace, and look for the people who might have a problem I could solve. That insight changed a lot for me.

Another dimension of this is the importance of having a goal. It's a lot easier for me to connect with someone who says I've taken x classes, done y project, and from that I've realized I want to work in {quant equity || fixed income trading || circus performing}. It's harder when someone comes at me with "what do you think I should do" or "I'll take any job - I just want a start". For the first case, I feel sympathy but it takes a lot of time which I might or might not have. In the second case, I think there's the opportunity for the individual to do more research to understand what they want to do.

In any case @Prospective Quant , thanks for the correction and keeping it real.
 

tfors

Active Member
In my narrow experience, if success is defined in terms of becoming CEO or higher management, these types usually are not hardcore introverted. But I have seen introverted people become successful in specialist roles, such as head of research (and hedgefund managers in media don't come across as overtly extrovert either :) ).
 

Andy Nguyen

Member
@Joy Pathak shared his experience when he was an MFE student and networking was a reason he got in the door. He is very extroverted by the way.
 

danielfang

New Member
@Joy Pathak shared his experience when he was an MFE student and networking was a reason he got in the door. He is very extroverted by the way.
The tips in the post are still quite useful nowadays. Thanks for bringing this up.
 
I agree with everything you said. I broke into the industry from a friend of a friend meeting me for a beer, and every opportunity after that has been through a contact rather than. Perhaps I overstated my case a bit. Connections are critical, and relationships are critical.

When I think networking, I think of the professional development program trainees who would tag along to drink nights, outings, etc because they were told "networking is everything." It was especially hard on the introverts. For me, it was important to realize I had to bring something to the marketplace, and look for the people who might have a problem I could solve. That insight changed a lot for me.

Another dimension of this is the importance of having a goal. It's a lot easier for me to connect with someone who says I've taken x classes, done y project, and from that I've realized I want to work in {quant equity || fixed income trading || circus performing}. It's harder when someone comes at me with "what do you think I should do" or "I'll take any job - I just want a start". For the first case, I feel sympathy but it takes a lot of time which I might or might not have. In the second case, I think there's the opportunity for the individual to do more research to understand what they want to do.

In any case @Prospective Quant , thanks for the correction and keeping it real.
Okay I know what you're saying now. Yeah I obviously agree that you need to network with the right people by knowing what you want to do beforehand. Especially if you're in the industry or interviewing for full time stuff.

However, for young undergrads, I would recommend reaching out to people in many different industries, etc. When you're young, you have the most leverage to switch careers and make these decisions with ease. It gets a lot harder once you've gotten your first job. Then you have to consider mba/grad school or hope for an internal transfer. As a freshman-junior in college, I think you should talk to people across many industries/groups to learn about them and assess what's right for you. I wouldn't hesitate, you'd be surprised at how many people are willing to talk about themselves to eager youth.
 

wchurch

New Member
If you have the qualifications, I don't think you really have to worry whether you are an introvert or an extrovert. Opportunities are open to everyone.
 
If you have the qualifications, I don't think you really have to worry whether you are an introvert or an extrovert. Opportunities are open to everyone.
You can probably get away with this for quantitative entry-mid level positions and maybe even becoming a PM for a small fund or something. But moving up the ladder requires more people skills imo.
 
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Joy Pathak

Swaptionz
@Joy Pathak shared his experience when he was an MFE student and networking was a reason he got in the door. He is very extroverted by the way.

still networking..still hustling. 😀
 

pingu

Well-Known Member
If you have the qualifications, I don't think you really have to worry whether you are an introvert or an extrovert. Opportunities are open to everyone.
Opportunities are open for everyone but at some point you need to start selling yourself or selling what you are doing. That's how the "extroverted" trait plays a role.
 
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