Recent College Grad with questions about trading

Discussion in 'Professional Trading' started by Chrisg, Sep 26, 2005.

  1. Chrisg



    I am a recent college grad with a degree in electrical engineering and I am looking to become a trader. Last fall I applied to a bunch of the IB programs but wasn't accepted. I have since been applying to all kinds of jobs in the financial services industry to just try and get my foot in the door as many people have told me that once you have an analyst or maybe a research position it might be easier to move to that company's trading desks. I have also heard that this is quite a rarity.

    I have been looking into prop trading for a while and it seems beneficial in that I could get sponsored for my licenses and also learn a lot about trading and market behavior.

    My question is, are there a lot of people that start out in this way and then make a move to a big bank or hedge fund? Obviously if one is making good money in the prop or retail business one would stay there, but is this a normal move in the industry? Also, what about the move to business school for something like financial engineering or an MBA and then a move to an IB in a quantitative trading role?

    Lastly, does anyone know of any trader trainee programs besides First New York that pay you during your training?

    I appreciate anyone's opinions and guidance.
  2. ozzy


    Why not get an EE job?
  3. Choad


    Yeah, what's wrong with EE work?

    It's been berry berry good to me! :cool:
  4. Chrisg


    I really just don't like EE.
  5. ozzy


    neither did I.

  6. oy vey

  7. Dear Chris,

    I hope my Response helps.
    First, I would consider obtaining as many series under my belt as I possibly can. I personlly contacted a friend at Merrill Lynch who worked as a Financial Advisor. He took me in as an intern. I worked for free for nearly 3 months. Thereafter, they agreed to sponsor me for my series. 6 months later, I passed serries 6, 7, and 63.

    My ambition was to manage a hedge fund, but didn't stand a chance, considering my credentials. Though I had all the necessary series, I didn't have an MBA. However, I did trade on their desks for good 8 weeks before the rigors of my medical academic career took toll. If you think EE and trading are different, I assure that Medicine and trading are a chasm apart.

  8. I finished with an MSEE degree and trying to work my way to trade independently. Having a day job for a couple of years has definintely helped... not worrying about steady income, being able to accept losses easily since you know another paycheck is coming in 2 weeks, etc. But working for someone else for a salary is not the life I want. The daily grind that most of the public do for the rest of their working lives is just not me.

    Having that EE degree is worth more than you know. A lot of professions prefer people with engineering backgrounds cause you can literally use your skillset in any other field. Medical, law, finance, management, etc, you name it. The technical aspect you learn is invaluable in trading. Interpreting charts, extrapolating data, the rigorous math, the problem-solving processes that engineers go through.. and so much more. The biggest weakness though, IMO, coming from engineering is the perfectionist mentality. That DEFINITELY has to go!

    Throw a book on options theory and mathematical modeling at a normal trader and they'd freak out with some of the advanced math. But if you got an EE background it's totally different. Believe it or not but that's a true edge... approaching trading from a different angle and education.
  9. ozzy


    I didn't have to go through EE to read charts. Give me a break. It's a completely different game.
  10. jason_l


    LOL.. then why didn't you change fields?
    #10     Sep 27, 2005