Is it too late for everything?

YellowApricot

New Member
Hello quantnet.com users, I just wanted to ask if my situation is as bad as it seems.

I just graduated HS and I'm going next year to Washington University in St. Louis to major in Applied Mathematics + Computer Science but I'm concerned that this school is not MIT/HYP level so my chances as a quant are really small. I don't want to do a PhD or MFE and go straight to quantitative research after my undergrad. I don't have IMO medals but I'm not really bad at math (I also have a fear that I'm actually not that good at math as I think)

Am I destined to do masters/PhD because of my non-target undergrad or is there something I can do besides getting quant internships (Citadel/Two Sigma) during my undergrad to help me get a role as a quantitative researcher (I don't want to be a quant dev but if that's the only thing I'll be good for then that would be it). Is race already over for me?

My concern is that many people already got/participated in USAMO/IMO/AIME and other types of competitions while all I did in HS was just a member of the math club (I got great results from my physics science olympiads in 8th grade but that sort of died because I got lazy with videogames). I already started perusing "Heard on the Street" and doing leetcode but what if a race is already over for me?
 

quantsmodelsbottles

Active Member
Holy shit man, you figured this stuff out early. Congrats from one hustler from another.

You probably already know what to do. Try to transfer to an Ivy League school/MIT or something like UC Berkeley/CMU is my suggestion.

Do:
- undergrad summer research programs at your school
- data science internships
- internships at FANG, could even be software engineer. For some reason this doesn’t have the same effect as being a quant dev in finance in terms of getting pigeonholed into technology
- sell side quantitative finance internships (Morgan Stanley has one for undergrads)
- buy-side quant internships at smaller companies, just apply and try

Put the physics olympiad on your resume anyways.

Get an extremely high GPA and a few brand names on your resume like above and you’ll be good to go.

Feel free to PM me, I’m in kind of the same spot and just as hungry for it as you are, but unlike you didn’t figure it out this early.

See:


 
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TehRaio

Active Member
@YellowApricot you might be overthinking this. Just worry about learning cool and relevant stuff while you're a ugrad. By the time you're out of university, what you want to do might have changed. Definitely do not define the next four years based on one particular job you want (i.e. cookie cutter). Especially as a mathematics major. How do medals and olympiads help you as a researchers? think about these things a little more. If you like competitions, yeah do that, but as a pre-requisite for a target job? I don't know man...
 
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