Trading and MBA/Corporate World

Discussion in 'Professional Trading' started by Robertwiz, Oct 17, 2010.

  1. Hello,

    Just wondering does a successful trading track record help if you later decide for whatever reason that you want a traditional "corporate career" in finance or want to get an MBA.

    Have any independent traders who wanted to make the transition for whatever reason managed to obtain jobs in corporate America or get admitted to decent MBA programs.

  2. if the records are under a corporate structure and you can produce return statements, if its under a personal account, most employers will think its bull luck.
  3. This is a really subjective topic. I'll give you my perspective. Unless you can use the track record to substantiate a skill or set of, it's irrelevant. Corporate can, and often does look down anything you pitch as entrepreneurial or an individual effort. The same reason corporate won't take working at a family business as relevant experience. Again, it depends on the job function itself and what it required of the candidate. Applying for a position in corporate requires a lot (and I hate this term, but it's accurate) "personal branding."

    It's more about the individual as a whole and who is the best fit for the position. If you have a serious interest in trading, lots of career prospects can come out of trading . From my personal experience I've seen traders from retail/prop fail miserably at everything they do at life and I've seen others go on to stay in the game or move to fields such as investment banking, private equity management, hedge fund trading, real estate management, even one or two that went from prop to the now debunked GS prop trading desk.

    I'd say if you have the discipline & skills required to be a consistently profitable trader, you can move to anything you want. As long as you don't attempt to substitute trading experience for education or real-world business experience.
  4. Why does corporate in general, look down upon individual and entrepreneurial effort. Success at any kind of entrepreneurial endeavor indicates that you have some real business smarts that could benefit the company in question in the long run. Rather than faking your way through the job and kissing up to your boss, you will be able to generate real revenue.

    So, you have seen some people who were great traders fail misreably in the real business world? Why was that? The ones who did make it, how did they manage to move to the other fields?

    The reason, I am asking is because I have a cousin who has ( verified) mid seven figure net worth almost soley from trading. He has much in his account, plus the trappings of wealth. I was hoping to work with him and if successful use my trading experience to either move into the mainstream business world or get into an MBA program.

    Does not successful trading experience demonstrate drive and intelligence. The same type of intelligence used to determine how to balance between a fast and slow trend following system is the type of intelligence needed to calculate how to balance as a regional manager for a retail chain how to balance between buying fast selling low margin items and slow selling high margin items. I am sure that the type of risk management needed to carefully position size leveraged futures and pick stop loss points would not hurt Trumps Leveraged Real Estate Empire.
  5. All it takes for you to get a job is an individual to come to a decision and then say "you're hired". Of course, there is human resources and other hurdles, but it usually comes down to one man that makes the decision. Nevermind your past or what you did before, I have seen people get hired into certain positions who obviously were not qualified. There are so many BS positions at these companies and you basically learn as you go.

    The best way for you to find work is network and know people. Look back through your college and high school graduating class. Send them a friend request on facebook...try to reconnect. What are they doing now? Maybe some of them work in responsible positions at a company somewhere and can help you out. Go to conferences and meetings, collect business cards. Go to and join some groups. Go to the "meetups".

    Do whatever you can to make friends and maintain the connections. Send everyone a card during the holidays, birthdays...try to call and leave them a message on their birthday. Call up your buddies and invite them to a happy hour. etc etc.

    The time to start making connections is not when you figure out you need a job. You need to develop these connections over several years of time. After a while, people consider you like a part of their family and will help you out when the time comes.

    The moral of the story is to make friends, maintain the relationship and dont offend or piss anyone off. No one hires someone they do not know unless they are desperate. Most of the posted positions are out of desperation because they couldnt find anyone else or felt bad about giving the job to someone they knew...
  6. A lot of people have made large sums of money trading during trend periods and either got out or lost it all. I can't count the number of traders I knew pulling in mid 6 figures during 98-99 and now are in different fields. Some are successful, some are not.

    Corporations are looking for people interested in being part of a team/kissing-ass/keep their mouth shut. The entrepreneurial type generally comes in and before long tries to move up the ladder quickly, and this of course is taken into consideration by the people who hired you who's job functions you now pose a threat to. They want puppets not people looking out for themselves.

    The Top MBA programs do admit a small percentage of entrepreneurial types, however, the overall goal of these programs are to produce managerial level candidates for the largest American corporations. Don't get me wrong, it's definitely a great demonstration of real-world aptitude to be a successful trader, and the quant skills that the programs themselves yield, but it's not really a "real job." You need to couple the quant/analytical skill with showing the ability to work with others and make decisions in a business environment where others are involved. A large part of the MBA programs are centered around dealing with issues that arise within an organization (codified and non-codified knowledge, political issues, etc.)

    I am currently in my 2nd year of a top 10 MBA program in NY (PM me if you want more info) There are benefits to the more quant-oriented MBA programs such as NYU Stern, Columbia, or Sloan and these are specifically suited for those looking to go into big banks or management consulting firms (most sought-after positions by MBAs in my program). For business, you need operations experience (sales, marketing, accounting, IT, customer service) coupled with networking and balancing your personal life.

    Here is a good article from Forbes re-iterating all of this:
  7. "Why does corporate in general, look down upon individual and entrepreneurial effort. Success at any kind of entrepreneurial endeavor indicates that you have some real business smarts that could benefit the company in question in the long run. Rather than faking your way through the job and kissing up to your boss, you will be able to generate real revenue."

    How naive. By and large corporate hiring managers are petty people who could care less about the big picture concerns that you mention.

    It is the institutional imperative. Large corporations want functionary drones who quickly pick up the vocabulary of corporate newspeak/buzzwords and are otherwise conformists. The most important thing is that when you, "think outside the box" you do not threaten the existing power structure or organizational methods. Thinking "outside the box" and taking initiative is a great way to terminate a corporate career.

    This may seem strange, but understand that today large corporations are often so regulated that they are in essence for-profit branches of the federal government. Political correctness, procedure, the ability to have frequent 3 hour meetings (often an entire days worth) that accomplish nothing, are all paramount to a successful career. To top off the indignity you will be asked to practice racial discrimination in your hiring, and you will be carefully monitored and tracked to make sure you are "with the program" of white male displacement. Troublemakers will have their files blackmarked by HR and further advancement will be impossible.

    A career at a large corporation is a terrible choice for a creative or entrepreneurial person, and the ass kissing dweebs that staff large corporations know this. If they make it hard for you to get in, they are doing you a favor.