Exit opps/ Prestige for/of Big Oil trading?

Scholes's picture
Rank: Baboon | 108

Very interested in starting as a FT Trading at Big Oil. What's in it for me? What kind of exit opps that big oil junior traders typically go to after 2-3 year gig? How difficult is it to switch to IB trading? MBA? PE? Does it largely depend on whether I do physical or paper, esp when now some BB are in process of selling their physical arms?

Comments (14)

Oct 21, 2013

You really need to do a basic search or background research into these things, hell most things in general, if you want them to be a serious part of your life. It seems you vomited as many buzz words as possible regardless of their relevance to oil trading.

Maybe it's because I'm a bit cantankerous for being in the industry for a while but let's just chalk that it up as a learning moment.

HN96:

Very interested in starting as a FT Trading at Big Oil.

Awesome but I hope you have a good in depth reason "why" you want to be a trader and specifically an oil trader. If you are looking at it for "prestige" or other stupid reasons, abandon all hope ye who applies.

HN96:

What's in it for me?

Goes back to the previous point--what's in it for you? Well, it's a career/profession that hopefully you are interested or passionate about pursuing. At most it's a long-term career is a fascinating and potentially lucrative industry and at worst you'll be in a position that hundreds of WSOers would kill for.

HN96:

What kind of exit opps

99% of the exit ops in trading are trading. Trading isn't a "track" like investment banking (which is completely different than trading in every facet) where one does stints and puts in their time to be rewarded. Trading for the most part of is a meritocracy and if you excel, you'll continue trading--perhaps at another shop, your own account or at a hedge fund.

HN96:

that big oil junior traders typically go to after 2-3 year gig?

In most Big oil trading desks it'll take years (2-3) before you actually start trading a single bbl. You'll have to understand how the physical markets move, logistics, credit, risk and a myriad of other factors before you'll be part of a book or run your own book. You typically won't be bouncing after 2-3 years (unless you are canned)--instead your career will be just starting.

HN96:

How difficult is it to switch to IB trading?

Seems you are focused on prestige--not sure why you are occupied with IB trading but the caveat with any trading job is that if you are really good at it and survive, you can jump to another shop. Most physical traders move to physical shops like Vitol or Trafigura for bigger paychecks. In terms of difficulty well that all boils down to how successful you are at trading.

HN96:

MBA? PE?

I have no idea the relevance of an MBA to this question. Is it possible to get a MBA after spending 2-4 years at a big oil shop? Absolutely. But you could also be a professional lion tamer or Peace Corp officer and have the same chances. PE has absolutely nothing to do with oil trading.

HN96:

Does it largely depend on whether I do physical or paper, esp when now some BB are in process of selling their physical arms?

For exit ops? Big Oil companies largely do physical but they'll have paper on their spec books or to hedge. Either way the learning process is paramount for being a player in the market and you'll write your own story.

Anyway--you really should spend some time reading or searching the forum to figure out what exactly the oil trading industry is about.

Oct 21, 2013

Death, or getting fired.

Oct 21, 2013

Biz dev in oil & gas, marketing for an O&G firm, o&g logistics, storage, tanker stuff..

Oct 21, 2013

Your suggestions are more or less in line with what I expected. I.e. looking at jobs that supported you while you traded (broking, logistics/ops etc.) or biz dev. Marketing sounds like more trading except less entrepreneurial and stressful perhaps, but is still valid. I thought that there may be other less obvious but not too uncommon routes which I hadn't thought about. Thanks

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Oct 21, 2013

I feel like all these posts by college kids that are "exit opps for trading" is just them being on an S&T intern track and secretly hoping it'll end up with the answer being PE. Commit to trading! Submit! Trading is awesome.

Oct 21, 2013

You could be totally right on this one.

Any idea what my options would be if I traded physical, got sick of it or worse, didn't have a good track record after a couple years and wanted to do something else, besides what Goodbread suggested? And since you mentioned PE, I actually think that that would be a possibility later in your career, as well as some sort of O&G consulting. Just not sure what level of experience you need before being a viable candidate for a "non-excel monkey" role at those places.

Oct 21, 2013

Agreed. Great that you're trying to plan your life 10 years in advance, but there is no point dwelling on contingency plans. Find something you believe you'll be good at/enjoy and give it your best.

Oct 21, 2013

I'd be careful with your idea of "good track record after a couple years", in physical energy it'll take you a couple years minimum to get a trading seat then it might be a few years of being a junior trader then you'll have a chance to shine and get that track record. Now, at this point you're specialized, you have a deep network in the markets, and you've spent >5 years (quite possibly closer to 10) in the industry. If you have a good track record at that point I doubt you'd be going anywhere else cause while I'm not sure about seniority, i'm pretty sure no one outside trading will pay you the same.

Oct 21, 2013

So like coreytrevor said, COMMIT.

Oct 21, 2013

Quite common to see ex-physical traders join any of the plethora of support business and try to leverage of their network. Benchmark providers are an obvious choice (eg Platts). Other possibilities are exchanges/clearing platforms (eg CME, ICE) and system providers/consulting shops. It's a completely different lifestyle. Some enjoy it, others don't.

Oct 21, 2013

Thanks @Chewie, those probably wouldn't be places that I'd look forward to working in, except for consulting maybe but worth keeping in mind.

Oct 21, 2013

Thanks for your perspectives so far. I don't mean to be rude but, I'm not looking for someone to make up my mind about whether or not I should "commit", do what interests me etc. I just want to know what my career options could be, should I decide for whatever reason after having traded on the physical side for a while that that's not what I want to do anymore. It's not like the 100% of traders without enough money to retire early do their jobs until they hit "regular" retirement age.
So if any of you have additional ideas about what those traders who leave the markets before they retire end up doing, I'd appreciate getting your input.

Oct 21, 2013
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