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What is your career path?

Hi professionals,


I am a applied math undergrad who is very interesting in finance and math. And I would like to apply an MFE after I am graduating. However, I am currently confused by the career path. I do know that I can be a quant or risk manager after I am graduating from financial engineering program but what I know just the terminology of the jobs. I do not know what positions I can apply first, I mean the specific name of the position, and what I can be after geting many years experiences. I have nothing in my mind now. (Kind of hopeless. T-T)

So, can any experts here show me your own career path, I mean what is your first job(position) and what you were doing in this job, what you learned from it, what was your second position, the third, the forth and so on....just like a short story of your career life. I thought every one would love these kind of stories especially when they are from experts.

Thank you for your reply and sharing your story !
 

Ken Abbott

Managing Director
Commercial bank Analyst
Sales and Trading Associate
Research VP
Trading VP
Risk VP
Risk MD (before the Director/Principal was used, back when dinosaurs walked the earth)

Be aware that the movement to and from the front office is now impeded by the fear that people with back-office knowledge can use that knowledge for nefarious purposes. While people still occasionally move to support functions from the FO, the barrier has become semipermeable in other direction.
 
Commercial bank Analyst
Sales and Trading Associate
Research VP
Trading VP
Risk VP
Risk MD (before the Director/Principal was used, back when dinosaurs walked the earth)

Be aware that the movement to and from the front office is now impeded by the fear that people with back-office knowledge can use that knowledge for nefarious purposes. While people still occasionally move to support functions from the FO, the barrier has become semipermeable in other direction.


Thank you for sharing your exepriences, Ken. And what you reply works to me. Now, I know that before being a risk VP, I can be a analyst or sales and trading associate. After that is called Risk MD(before the Director/Principal was used, back when dinosaurs walked the earth). LOL. However, I would like to do something related to modeling or strategy. I want to be a quant. Do you have any ideas what kind of job or position is related to these? And do you think a graduate student who has none experience can handle this?
thank you very much.
 
my first job out of grad school was simply: programmer intern. in actual fact i do algo strategies, but we keep it simple on paperwork. i had no financial experience except c++ and vba to offer. they have no choice but to teach me every strategy so that i can implement them in c++. we still use vba to test out ideas, then use sas for the bigger scale of things in modeling. nothing fancy here.
 
... what kind of algo trader are you?!?

just another clerk on the trading floor. my boss and many others in the trading pit know nuts about computers. they got nothing but hell lots of experience and strategies in mind. expecting something complicated?
 
my first job out of grad school was simply: programmer intern. in actual fact i do algo strategies, but we keep it simple on paperwork. i had no financial experience except c++ and vba to offer. they have no choice but to teach me every strategy so that i can implement them in c++. we still use vba to test out ideas, then use sas for the bigger scale of things in modeling. nothing fancy here.

Thank you for sharing your experience, Keith. I am very happy to hear this from you because I might do the same thing as you did after graduating. I do agree that c++ and VBA are the best tool I will use in my career life. I wish you can tell me more about your job, like what you did everyday and your plan about you career path. As you said, your first job is a simple programmer, and now, you are validating strategy which I think that is very cool. I wonder more details about this job. Does this job have its position-name? And what kind of company will offer this position?

Also, I really interesting in algo trading. Would you might tell me more about that? Like what knowledge I need to learn for preparing? And what you need to do when you are doing this job?

Thank you very much
 
Thank you for sharing your experience, Keith. I am very happy to hear this from you because I might do the same thing as you did after graduating. I do agree that c++ and VBA are the best tool I will use in my career life. I wish you can tell me more about your job, like what you did everyday and your plan about you career path. As you said, your first job is a simple programmer, and now, you are validating strategy which I think that is very cool. I wonder more details about this job. Does this job have its position-name? And what kind of company will offer this position?

Also, I really interesting in algo trading. Would you might tell me more about that? Like what knowledge I need to learn for preparing? And what you need to do when you are doing this job?

Thank you very much

The exchange recognizes you as either a trader or a clerk. A clerk fills in orders for a trader. So i'm a clerk. you can come up with whatever fancy title you want but we don't need any of those. the experienced people here have been trading for twenty to fourty years, and they're doing the same today. there is no career path - they are happy trading or clerk-ing. btw clerks can trade in the company's account. same goes for me, i don't need any career path as long as i'm happy with what i'm doing.

everyday i'm coding. i don't go to the trading floor unless ensuring my code works and fills in orders correctly, or covering an absent colleague. other than that, i'll be hanging around in the small office upstairs most of the time.

Hundreds of different types of traders exist on the trading floor. some are hedge funds, some brokers, some trade on their own account. i'm sure you will some company suitable for you.

preparing? it depends on what you want to trade. Different commodities have different types of strategies, and everyone has different strategies. Say you need to know when are the harvest periods, they have seasonal highs and lows, and volatility gets higher nearer to harvest. you might want to do spreading or butterflies during these contract months. so know the products that you are trading well.
 
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