HOW DO I GET IN WITH THE NERDS AT LUNCH? SEEKING ADVICE: PIVOT FROM SALES MANAGEMENT TO JUNIOR TRADING MID 20s

Just to clear the air - no I’m not a fucking awkward weirdo, actually wicked smart, just made one too many jokes growing up & didn’t get good grades

I’m 25 in Chicago - graduate in 2020 with a BS in Finance from a small private university. 2 rejection letters deep, OA exam for Akuna Capital coming up - wondering if this is all even worth it. I have golden handcuffs at my current job, strong base + incentive equity agreement. 2 to 3 yrs left on the contract and I’m worried by that time I will be 28 and have no chance to pivot

Hear me out:

I began my career as an intern during my sophomore year of college - six years later here I am. Starting out I directly mentored by the founder, who taught me everything to know about spotting opportunities often overlooked in the market. 

Since my promotion, the day-to-day has been focused on market value analysis, sales coaching and general company leadership initiatives.

I oversee 6-10 sales reps at a given time, responsible for driving revenue, goals, performance metrics, and all the other jargon associated with middle management

Myself and two other key employees oversee pricing on all non-contract shipments (roughly 1k loads/week) we do this through critical thinking rather than computer algorithms

.Questions and Summary:

1) How can I effectively showcase my analytical and leadership skills in finance interviews?

2) What are the best strategies for connecting with trading shops or finance recruiters in Chicago?

 
Most Helpful

In all seriousness, this isn't a career where strong management skills are HIGHLY valued like other careers. If you don't make money, you get fired, and no amount of political capital will save you.

You see terrible managers end up in those roles because they're making killer P/L, and internal management needs to move someone up. They'd rather be trading than managing people and juniors under their mentorship suffer.

Your only chance to pivot is to get a master's in a STEM subject from a decent school and apply for these new-grad roles. It will be incredibly tough to pivot from sales management to trading, especially at a prop firm. You're pricing things through "critical thinking" instead of running models/algorithms, and there's no value in that at a prop trading shop.

1) You said you don't use computer algorithms and instead are a "critical thinker." If your resume is not laden with Python projects and examples of problem-solving through programming, I can't imagine you going very far either. Juniors are expected to code in this role/environment and the ones who can get away with weaker programming knowledge are the seniors who have proven trading/risk-management experience.

2) You're probably a pretty confident guy in sales and can manage people, so you don't need to be coddled. Here's the hard truth. You're not pivoting from sales management to trading at a prop shop. You have more of a shot trying to hop to an S&T role at a bank, maybe on the sales sale, and then pivot to trading on the sell side.

 

God Damnt, that was so thought provoking and honest I can’t think of one awkward joke to deflect with ..

I think you hit it on the head, basically at a 4th grade level compared to STEM majors in coding - would be lying to say I knew that was a major part of the junior position. Now seeing that this would’ve been a massive waste of time so I appreciate the honesty !

will take your advice in looking elsewhere - any tips on S&T recruiting given what you know?😂

 

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