non-finance major-> finance

This is a discussion on non-finance major-> finance within the First Steps forums, part of the Reception category; hi all, i'm a computer science senior in college. I'm very interested in trading and plan on pursuing a future, ...

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Jul 11, 2005, 7:07am   #1
 
2 Posts
Joined Jul 2005
non-finance major-> finance

hi all, i'm a computer science senior in college. I'm very interested in trading and plan on pursuing a future, but unfortunately I have little experience. Does anyone have any advice about how I can get in on it? any tips about how I can demonstrate that I am capable (other than learning the finance theories)? Has anyone taken a similar path? Thanks.
leodaguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 11, 2005, 1:20pm   #2
 
Robertral's Avatar
Joined Feb 2004
Quote:
Originally Posted by leodaguy
hi all, i'm a computer science senior in college. I'm very interested in trading and plan on pursuing a future, but unfortunately I have little experience. Does anyone have any advice about how I can get in on it? any tips about how I can demonstrate that I am capable (other than learning the finance theories)? Has anyone taken a similar path? Thanks.
Ever heard of a graduate programme at an IB???? they take on non-finance grads and train them....one has to be in the top percentile to get on them....best of luck
__________________
"I'm resourceful, I'm creative, I'm young, unscrupulous, highly motivated, highly skilled. In essence what I'm saying is that society cannot afford to lose me. I'm an ASSET"
Robertral is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 11, 2005, 5:19pm   #3
 
A Dashing Blade's Avatar
Joined Jul 2004
Grad programs for an IB are very very tough to get into (you're competing against a global cohort these days)

A possible route would be to get in as a "desk developer" for a trading desk (ie someone who sits on/near a desk and program small bespoke one off apps -typically in Excel- for them). You'll pick up more about the business in a year than you would in 5 years in a "normal" investment bank IT role.

I've seen more than a couple of these guys move onto the trading side in my time
A Dashing Blade is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 11, 2005, 6:53pm   #4
Joined Sep 2004
Quote:
Originally Posted by A Dashing Blade
Grad programs for an IB are very very tough to get into (you're competing against a global cohort these days)

A possible route would be to get in as a "desk developer" for a trading desk (ie someone who sits on/near a desk and program small bespoke one off apps -typically in Excel- for them). You'll pick up more about the business in a year than you would in 5 years in a "normal" investment bank IT role.

I've seen more than a couple of these guys move onto the trading side in my time
Good advice imho.

If I had my time over again, to be honest that's exactly what I'd do. I don't have a finance related degree either, and while my VBA programming is not too shabby for an amateur, with a little more application I could have been a quant / desk developer (the two jobs seem to pretty much overlap these days). If my calculus was up to scratch I'd rather do that than be a forex trader to be honest. I've always loved tinkering about with spreadsheets.

And the blade is entirely right about the amount and quality of the info you will pick up doing this job. Plus the exposure to the key people on a social basis. While we like to think of the markets as a total meritocracy when it comes to personnel, these sorts of things can still make a difference.

Good luck

GJ
__________________
"That which doesn't kill me makes me stronger"
GammaJammer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 11, 2005, 6:58pm   #5
Joined Apr 2005
I agree with the above 2 posts. Make sure any role you apply for sits within front office though and preferably on the desk. With the way IBs are going trading is getting more complex and so the ability to get a role means you need good Excel skills. If you have this then they can help you develop the trading side and being a quant will do that.

Alternatively there are the trading arcades but they won't pay you a salary and can be seen as Cowboy outfits.

Verno
Verno is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 12, 2005, 12:26pm   #6
 
A Dashing Blade's Avatar
Joined Jul 2004
Ahh, interesting post from GammaJammer above demonstrating peoples perceptions about this type of role!
My thoughts on the role (1985 - 94 derivatives broker/analyst/trader, 1994-5 MSc in IT, 1995 to date, desk developer)

The role is
1) Common sense (if you don't know then say so, don't bulls**t etc)
2) 30% business knowledge (how are bonds/options priced etc)
3) 30% IT knowledge (programming + appreciation of the bigger IT picture)
4) 30% getting on with people . . . a) traders b) network/support c) IT programmers

Get interviewed by the business & they're looking for 1 and 3a
Get interviewed by IT & they're looking for 1 and 2

Given that you're a competant programmer and have a broad business knowledge (an atm option has a delta of 50%, price of a bond goes up so yield goes down etc)
actual role imho is all about 1) & 4).
A Dashing Blade is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 12, 2005, 2:14pm   #7
Joined Sep 2004
I think they're always looking for 4, they just don't always admit it's a priority. I never saw someone get hired who didn't at least look like they were gonna get on with the people around them. Of course, interviews aren't a great predictor of this sort of thing.
__________________
"That which doesn't kill me makes me stronger"
GammaJammer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 12, 2005, 7:53pm   #8
 
2 Posts
Joined Jul 2005
leodaguy started this thread Thanks guys.
leodaguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Trader's finance Proverbs Home Trader 7 Jun 12, 2008 5:11pm
Yahoo Finance UK Orion Data Feeds 57 Apr 13, 2004 3:50pm
Fractal Finance ilia king Trading Software 4 Mar 8, 2004 9:37am
yahoo finance loftboy First Steps 3 Jun 9, 2003 10:50pm
Special Finance Sector David Cobbe Stocks 5 Nov 23, 2000 6:50pm

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)