FAANG vs Prop Trading

Deciding between two junior year internship offers. The trading firm is very unknown, but I'm told first year TC will probably be around 150K - 175K. SWE is Amazon. Points I'm considering:

Compensation is a lot more variable at the trading firm, and I've heard career path is hard to manage if I do join full-time, but it's a small firm so hopefully there is potential for large upside and fast growth. Tech has a more traditional path for compensation and career growth.

I'm worried about stagnation/lack of exit opportunities with the trading firm. I'm afraid that if I realize I don't like it or just get fired, I won't have any transferable skills to show for my time there, and nobody knows its name. At Amazon, I'll at least have FAANG on my resume no matter whatever else happens.

Amazon will probably give much better opportunities to go into tech full-time. I've never had trouble getting trading firm interviews, but usually don't pass resume screening at tech firms, as I'm majoring in math. I'm considering prepping for interviews and landing a better tech company full time by getting Amazon on my resume in lieu of a CS degree.

It would probably be easier to go from trading to tech than the other way around, though again without a CS degree tech may be harder for me than usual.

The Amazon location is near where I live, which is nice.

Can anyone offer insights into how comp looks ~3-5 years down the line at a non-top trading firm? In general I'd like to explore trading but don't know if I'd be an idiot for not taking FAANG. I'm thinking it may be better to take FAANG and recruit for better prop shops full time, but at the same time I liked the guys at the trading firm and I might as well explore it. Any perspective would be appreciated, I'm pretty lost here.

Comments (8)

dojio, what's your opinion? Comment below:

If I was in your shoes I'd take the Amazon offer. Opens more doors for you (transferrable skills) and you've got a name brand on your resume which is important for grad offers down the line. Given you can get prop trading interviews easily (and not tech), more the reason to go with Amazon.

Wouldn't worry much about comp too much rn as both can scale well, though prop trading (if you're an excellent trader) can give insane bonuses.

Do the intern periods overlap? Maybe you could ask if the guys over at the trading firm are willing to shift the intern dates so you can accept both lol

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  • Quant in PropTrad

Software engineering and trading are very different jobs so what interests you and what you want to pursue should be a big factor. In general I am bearish about smaller trading firms and there is certainly a much higher risk that firm either disappears or does very poorly compared to the very high likelihood Amazon will still be around. There is potential for large upside and fast growth but that is probably not the median outcome. If you have a strong preference for trading I could see a case for going for the trading internship and hoping to land a full time trading position at a more well known/bigger trading firm. Compensation would depend a lot on market conditions, firm performance and personal performance which is why it's hard to find any reliable numbers especially for smaller firms. Considering career longevity I would estimate long term comp is probably better FAANG than small prop shops.

AmOr, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I don't know much about trading and would like to try it out, but I just don't know if this is the right firm to do it at. Would being a trading intern at a firm with no name recognition give me an advantage for full time recruiting for prop trading/S&T vs interning at Amazon? Is it possible to recruit for prop/S&T full time with no trading experience? Math major at a target btw.

  • Quant in PropTrad

For an internship I guess firm quality is less important for trying out trading as you are investing months and not years there. Amazon into full time prop trading should be possible as well especially for roles that utilize a fair amount of coding. Perhaps a small disadvantage relative to a trading internship because you will know less about trading and would be less sure you want to do it. I have no idea about bank S&T. From what you have written I would guess easier to go from Amazon to another prop trading firms for full time than this small prop trading internship to another full time SWE roll.

  • Analyst 2 in Research - FI

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