Comments (23)

 
Jan 3, 2021 - 8:01am

Math/physics double major, grad school, a few years of post docs and now assistant professor. Didn't want to stay in academia for various reasons, so I'm starting as a quant in a few months.

Most researchers nowadays however come straight out of PhD, and most traders come straight out of undergrad.

 
Jan 3, 2021 - 9:58am

All the best for the switch from academia to quant!

Would you mind elaborating more on your role, as long as it doesn't divulge too much of your info? Like whether you start on sell-side or buy side. What asset class do you focus on? How was the recruiting process? etc.

Thank you in advance!

 
Jan 3, 2021 - 12:52pm

Thanks!

Buy side, single manager fund, working in equities signal research.

For recruiting I set up a LinkedIn and wrote that I was looking for opportunities in finance, got a decent amount of interest off that, although still applied directly to a bunch of places. I had interviews with most of them.

For interviews, almost everybody would ask some probably brainteasers, some statistics questions (massive emphasis on regression) and then a bunch of other stuff - e.g. some basic linear algebra or differential equations etc. It's more important to be super strong on the basics than anything else.

There were a bunch of interviews (that led to offers) that didn't go that well but honestly I think having a near decade long track record of decent quality research lets you get away with a bit of sloppiness in the process, that say an undergrad who hasn't had publications in good journals (yet) can't afford.

 
Jan 3, 2021 - 10:02am

I don't think my role is that "quant-heavy", though here is the story so far.

  • Undergrad in Economics and Quant Finance.
  • Started as a quant analyst after graduation in a multi-asset team within an asset manager.
  • The job entails: programming to build new tools, research and implement low-frequency systematic strategies, other daily portfolio management stuffs, etc.
 
Jan 4, 2021 - 7:59pm

It was more of a double major program than one major and one minor. To be clear, I didn't study in the US so the terminology can be slightly different.

Regarding the math, I took as much as possible, such as linear algebra, probability, stats/econometrics, optimization, etc. These classes, however, are at the undergrad level.

 
  • Investment Analyst in HF - EquityHedge
Jan 4, 2021 - 11:02am

Absolutely! Comp sci is a must if you want to be a good quant (in my opinion). I took lots of CS courses, but stuck to high level languages like Python. 

 
  • Quant in HF - Macro
Jan 4, 2021 - 4:08pm

My undergrad major was Quantitative Finance with minor/concentration in Economics and Comp Sci. I started interning at my first HF during the summer of my Junior year. I received a full-time offer and continued at that firm. In my opinion I think the curriculum that I learned as far as QF goes was pretty close to the best it could've been to prepare me for my role (of course there's only so much you can learn in 4 years). 

 
  • Principal in HF - Event
Jan 5, 2021 - 9:30pm

Undergrad hard science (think math/physics/compsci) at reputable public college. PhD at top 10 private research institution. Bulge bracket (jpm/gs/ms) sellside quant. Hedge fund researcher heavily involved in portfolio construction & quanty alpha creation.

 

Best advice I have is to always be doing whatever it is you think you want to do for the rest of your life. I didn't do a PhD in science in order to work in quant finance - I did it because I wanted to do academic research, and then changed my mind near the end. Then I went to sellside not as a path toward buyside, but because it seemed fun until I realized that post financial crisis sellside wasn't going to be very interesting. At every point I was aimed at a career in whatever I was doing and only changed my mind when the circumstances or my understanding changed.

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