I am very excited to see this post come to surface again.
I have heard that networking and meeting people in quantitative finance is one of the best ways to secure interviews, but what can I do if I do not live near one of the major financial centers. I am entering my third year as a Ph.D. student at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. While Atlanta is a large city with many banks, many of their investment banking units are not located here.
I have two questions related to this. First, how do you recommend I make contact with people in the field? Are cold calls for informational interviews worthwhile? Second, I am looking for opportunities for research projects. I would like to approach someone working in quantitative finance to pickup a project so that I can get some hands on experience. Do you have any recommendations for making such an approach, given many potential contacts would be outside the Atlanta area?
Best answers I can give:
1. Contact your alumni relations and career center and see if they can give you contact info for Georgia Tech alumni in the quantitative finance profession. Globally. You never know where an opportunity may exist...
2. That question I can't help you with, I'm afraid. Your best bet - see answer #1.
Best of luck.