Recent Graduate....want to work as a trader

Discussion in 'Professional Trading' started by NeedaUserName, Jan 26, 2010.

  1. This info applies to any job search, not just trading.

    1) You want to get your resume to someone specific, if possible. "Sir/Madam" is a nice impersonal way to join the pile on the desk (if you're lucky) or the circular file (if you're not).

    2) If some of these places are within driving distance of where you live, go visit them. Talk to the admin at the front...who knows what type of info you might get? Be presentable, friendly, energetic, and you might get a wealth of info. Who knows who you might run it to while you're there?

    3) Do some digging to tailor your resume (and cover letter) to make it as specific as you can to the company you want to work for. Detail school projects that specifically would help you do the job.

    4) Adopt a "what I can do for you" attitude and not "what's in it for me"

    In this economy you need to stand out from the pack.
    Show some drive and initiative and you might be rewarded.
    #31     Feb 3, 2010
  2. +1 solid post
    #32     Feb 3, 2010
  3. alecpower


    The original post is certainly thought provoking.
    I am in a very similar position. I have an applied math degree from a top tier university, and an MBA from a lower tier school. During the MBA program I became friends with a professional trader who turned me onto the possibility of trading for a living. He did it by working a normal job for quite a few years, saving money, and eventually going to work at a prop firm.
    After earning my grad degree a few years back I went to work as a consultant, but wanted to be trader. Luckily for me, the consulting gig allowed me time through out the day to study the markets and trade. I applied to trading firms often, but never got a decent response. I came to realize my resume could never compete with the ivy league'rs or MIT wizards. I interviewed with prop firms but knew I was under-capitalized- it would have been financial suicide for me to leave my job to go prop.
    Over the last few years I came to a realization, and it may be the same one you come to.. it is- if you want to be a trader, be a trader- trade. You don't need a trading firm to do that. You need to get in the market everyday and start forming ideas on what you see. Study information available to you on the subject. Fund a trading account. Put on live trades. Practice getting stopped out for small losses. Find out if you love to trade. Can you take losses with grace? Can you accept pulling down singles and doubles, versus going for the home-runs? Can you string together winning days without blowing up?
    These are just a few of the lessons you must learn. They can be quite painful and distressing- they certainly have been for me- but through it all I believe i have learned the most valuable lesson- I love to trade. No one said it would be easy, and it isn't. Making a living trading is possible, and that is what keeps me focused- determined to push myself to do what it takes to succeed.
    With the resources and information available today, if you want to be a trader- be one. Don't expect anyone to help you along the way- they are too busy trying to make a profit for themselves.
    If you want to work at a top trading firm someday, there is only one way you will get there- by showing them one hell of a P&L. It is sink or swim in this game, and you have a lot of work to do, so get to it!
    The best of luck and success to you!
    #33     Feb 8, 2010
  4. fwstides


    thumb up!
    #34     Feb 14, 2010
  5. Great post
    #35     Feb 14, 2010
  6. It sounds like you're interested in the quantitative side. You might be interested in reading My Life As A Quant.

    He is currently a professor at Columbia University and Director of its program in financial engineering, he used to run the quant side at Goldman.
    #36     Feb 21, 2010
  7. No one here has pointed out that the demographics for pure traders have changed forever.

    How many employees does the average successful hedge fund have? Some have 5 and outsource compliance, accounting etc, while some clear internally, and therefore have more employees.

    My point is that wall street has come and gone. If you can formalize your trading, like those successful firms that have only a skeleton crew, then perhaps you have a chance.

    The foolish thing is that universities and business magazines make it sound like there are spaces for 1000s if not 100s of 1000s to become well placed and successful traders right out of college.

    Its a clearly misplaced idea, and like most other things out there- people looking for jobs in optical eng., comp sci, etc face even worse obstacles then those in the early 2000's, why would you think that trading would be any different?

    As for those suggestions that this guy work anywhere for the sake of trading, would you go work in a meth lab to get more experience so you could work in a research lab?
    #37     Feb 21, 2010
  8. Wow, that would be a false message even if it were still the 1990s. If they're actually advertising that today, that's a crime of misinformation. Nuts and bolts traders (non-quant) have been a dying breed, even inside the bulge bracket, since long before the credit crisis hit (even if you had the credentials/connections to begin with).
    #38     Feb 21, 2010
  9. aegis


    Well, OTCkrak's post may have sounded a bit harsh, but he's right. Those "trader" jobs are few and far between, and they're usually conferred to the best and the brightest from elite schools.

    The OP should consider taking the actuarial exams. He should be able to find a decent paying job after passing the first two or three. Another option, apply to a PhD math/physics program at a higher ranked school. A lot of institutions like to hire from those circles.
    #39     Feb 22, 2010
  10. phu780


    Needausername, where are you located? Many firms prefer to look at local candidate who can show up for interviews on a day's notice versus someone who must first arrange for travel plans. You may have a better if you move to a trading-heavy city like Chicago or New York. Or at least put down a local address if possible.
    #40     Feb 22, 2010