Hey guys, I'm a new member here and first time poster who aspires to become a professional trader and I'm seeking some advice from those who have made a successful and long term career in trading. Just to give you guys little background about myself, I am a 22 year old and finished undergrad back in May where I studied finance. I really had no idea what I wanted to do until senior year when I joined an equity research club at school and realized I found the public markets fascinating. Started out learning basic fundamental analysis of stocks but veered away from that style after reading a dozen plus books and learned more about discretionary macro approaches. I've find that a top down macro approach seems like it would suit my personality much better because I just find it much more fascinating. I've been studying for the first level of my CFA this december while working part time on weekends. I'm trying to build my own trading strategy while developing my own market views and am just about to start testing the waters with a small retail account. I'm not walking into this expecting to make money right away and have no plans to use more than minimal leverage while emphasizing a heavy focus on risk management and staying consistent with minimal draw downs. I've been doing countless phone calls/coffee chats with any professionals that are willing to answer my cold emails and get my resume out there but obviously getting that first foot in the door to get a role in trading is not exactly easy. An overwhelming majority of the professionals I have spoke to encourage me to learn to program because it's essential for data analysis. I plan on starting to learn a language in the coming weeks but I'm still trying to figure out which one would be most useful for the style I'd like to use. I don't have any interest in becoming a full blown quant who runs fully automated trading systems though. I'd appreciate any advice given as to what I should continue doing to set myself up for a career in this industry and what skills to focus on developing to make myself a better job candidate. I'm open to pretty much anything that'll get me close to the markets where I can learn as much as possible but I'd particularly like to end up on a trading desk that uses options such as FX, interest rates, emerging markets, or a global macro fund (I'm well aware the latter here is pretty unrealistic given my age and experience though so that's more of a long term goal). I know this is going to take years and thousands of hours of my life to achieve my goals and I'm not the type of person to expect my success to happen overnight. All I want to do is learn and grow as much as possible in the most efficient way I can given my current situation. Thanks to anyone who's willing to give a young aspiring trader some advice and direction going forward.