Do quant gigs need the same level of networking as banking gigs?

Asking as a Canadian high school senior about to choose university programs. I'm still waiting on an admission from Waterloo Math/FARM, but already got into a relatively strong program for quant finance (Laurier-Waterloo DD BBA/BMath), but based in Laurier. I was just wondering if quant positions need you to do the same amount of networking as investment banking. And is FARM better than the other program for the top quant gigs? Any insights would be appreciated!

Comments (24)

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Apr 24, 2021 - 11:05pm

You don't need any networking (unless you go to a nontarget)

  • Prospect in IB - Gen
Apr 24, 2021 - 11:30pm

Thanks for the reply! Do you know if Waterloo FARM or BBA/BMath (Laurier-based) are Canadian targets?

  • Intern in S&T - FI
Apr 25, 2021 - 12:05am

Anecdotally yes in recent years, I've heard AFM is pretty good too for less quant-y stuff. I know a lot of people from both majors doing algo trading and S&T across bay street.

Apr 25, 2021 - 6:41pm
imnewhere, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Waterloo is pretty darn good in the CS/Math space. I regret (not really, but yea) that I didn't go there cuz I  was young and made stupid decisions. If you get in, don't think twice (at least in CS/Math/Eng, not sure about AFM). 

Apr 25, 2021 - 6:42pm
imnewhere, what's your opinion? Comment below:

On top of that, you can do like 4-6 coops. This is the greatest (and easiest) chance you could get to make connections which will go a long long way!

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  • Prospect in IB - Gen
Apr 25, 2021 - 8:59pm

I know that Waterloo is pretty much the place for quant finance, but the only issue is the program I got admitted to isn't really at Waterloo, it's Laurier, except I still get a Waterloo math degree, just don't have access to Waterloo Works. Would that still justify picking it over the others? Also, how good is Waterloo Financial Analysis and Risk Management?

Apr 26, 2021 - 2:09am
imnewhere, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Idk about that bro, I missed out on my chance and tried to make the best out of what I had. If you get into Laurier see if u can transfer into Waterloo. Co-op is really the thing that'll make you stand out, make connections, and a good-paying job right outta college.

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  • Managing Director in S&T - Other
Apr 26, 2021 - 7:11pm

Will provide a more in depth answer. Again "Double Degree combined schools" is the best program by far if you area actually interested in finance/business. The way the degree works is that you have half the cohort from Waterloo and half cohort from Laurier they take the same classes and compete against each other directly. The co-op works the same half the cohort is in the "uwaterloo co-op" and half is in the "wlu co-op". Now the reason the programmed is so well known is that you get the best of both schools. All "double degree" students can be in the school fund at WLU, actually many past PMs have been. WLU gets better co-ops for buyside (HF/PE style roles). You get to go the better business classes versus the Waterloo Arts faculty AFM style classes, you get to do the business case competitions etc...Now the one thing is as I said you do not get waterloo co-op, so DRW is only coming to 1 school in Canada and that is Uwaterloo on campus co-op and its open to all math/engineering students. There is prolly 10 firms like that and plus google is only going to recruit programmers from udub. But BMO banking is not giving a sophomore internship to udub compsci kid and so on. Gotta figure out which fits you.

As for the FARM program, its nothing special. Udub likes to do these programs/degrees to allow their students to join workforce right away. 70% of the classes in math/business, Act Sci, ops research, compsci, combinatorics is all going to be the same stuff. This is just math/business with forcing you to take some Act Sci classes so you get a start on the CFA/PRM for being a future risk person. Lots of quant risk folks come through Udub and lots of "quant risk" co-op jobs, that is not front office trading.

Once you get into udub switching around it ain't that tough since as mentioned 70% of students take the same classes. Switching into the "legit double degree" is super duber difficult and needs a crazy gpa in everything so again really consider that.

  • Managing Director in S&T - Other
Apr 25, 2021 - 12:08am

Tough one. Since you say "quant", but Double Degree programs in general have much better recruiting. Ofcourse the exception is quant like DRW is going to Udub for math brains. Think you fine either way. But across consulting/banking/buyside/trading/etc...Double Degree has best recruiting overall.

Apr 25, 2021 - 3:41pm
Undercover meme, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I'm going to cut against popular sentiment a bit here, and this is just from my experience.

Networking isn't needed  to get a job at a quant fund, but it sure as shit can help. Going into an interview where the people asking you questions already have the opinion that you're smart, hardworking, personable, and interested in the work makes you a much more attractive, and more importantly lower risk, hire.

"one for the money two for the better green 3 4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine" - M.F. Doom

  • 1
  • Intern in HF - EquityHedge
Apr 25, 2021 - 8:58pm

I don't think so.  But it's good to know someone in the top orgs.  Coming from MIT, I had the luxury of having alumni in most of the places I applied to for quant/qt roles.  Still, it's probably the most meritocratic process you can get in finance.  

Apr 25, 2021 - 11:32pm
powerforward1, what's your opinion? Comment below:

nope, at some quant places it's either Ivy or MIT/UChicago/Stanford or gtfo

I went to a Berkley/Michigan Level school and couldn't' score interviews at some of those places despite the fact that I was at least on the same level as them

  • Junior Trader in PropTrad
Apr 27, 2021 - 1:36am

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