I want to be a Sales-trader - 20yo


3 0
Evening all,

Thought I'd be brave and start my own thread, be prepared for quite a long prose about myself... :p

I've just turned 20 a couple of days back and since receiving my A-level results in August 2010, the last 1.5years have been hectic.

I faced quite severe mitigating circumstances during my final A-level exams though somehow still achieved straight-As at A-level in Economics, Government & Politics, Mathematics and further with an AS-level in Philosophy.

Then in September 2010, I went to read Law at the University of Manchester. I figured out quite soon that this was not the right course for me, but still I persevered and despite no real effort at all, I somehow passed the year.

By June 2011 I figured that I saw no long-term gain in continuing with a Law degree that I didn't enjoy and left university with a Certificate of Higher Education in Legal Studies. Though the socialising and mini insight-internships with commercial law firms in London was very satisfying and fun indeed.

Surprisingly I somehow managed to secure a entry-level analyst role for an investment bank in September 2011. I became part of a middle-office equities trade support team, where we carry out various functions and trader support on a daily basis with regards to cash equities and equity derivatives. I'm naturally quite a fast learner and the bank recognised this at an early stage and have already given me good scope for progression. I've been involved in process improvement projects, training of graduates, and currently studying towards the CISI Investment Operations Certificate which is sponsored by the bank! The qualification includes modules in securities & investment, FSA, and then an optional module from a range of assets.

Though my long-term ambition is to be a salestrader! Many reasons for this such as: I enjoy change and a fast-paced environment unlike what an MO role offers, I'm naturally quite charming, so I would be good at persuading and influencing clients haha, travelling is one of my keen hobbies and a number of other reasons.

I think my background and previous experience also in financial advisory, outbound telesales and accountancy would prepare me well for such a career.

Though I'm quite sceptical and confused on how to achieve this goal?! What would you do in my position? What is the best way to 'break in'..
I had thoughts on returning to university to read Economics, as this was my favourite subject and I won academic awards for it. I have quite a lot of extra-curricular activities on my CV too and have also been a independent advisor to regional Police authority.

I told you it would be quite long, though much advice and comments are greatly appreciated!

Many Thanks



Active member
101 28

You seem like a smart guy so its a bit strange you thought to post this, if you work in MO why not just walk over to the traders and chat to them about it? Sales Trading is one of the jobs where it is possible to move from MO (no matter what some people will tell you), I've seen it happen plenty of times. I'd say don't bother with going back to do another degree, just keep doing what you're doing... build strong relationships with your traders and make it known that's what you want to do. You're only 20 so you have plenty of time, many desks might be reluctant to put someone your age in front of clients straight away... but you could look at getting a more junior role on the desk and working up. Some IBs still have FO client service teams which is a good way in, that combined with trade support should work. But again, speak to FO and the head of the desk and see what they think.

Tone it down a little on selling yourself too ;-) Nobody is going to be impressed by your IAQ (or whatever its now called). This is usually for Operations staff and not very highly regarded at all. Look into CFA though.

Good luck!
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