Getting an entry-level Prop-Trading position

I'm going to graduate from a college that's not even worth mentioning (not even in top 100 colleges) soon and am looking to get into prop-trading. I have self experience in the market. I started individually trading about a year ago but have blown up many portfolios already. I will be only getting a BA in economics.

Is there a way for me to break into the Prop-trading business? If so, any advice on how to do it? I love the market and it would be a dream job for me. It'd be great to even get junior trading assistant positions or ANY entry-level position, but I have no idea where to start. However, aside from my personal experience in the market, I have nothing to show employers.

If there is no way for me to directly get into firms, what would be likely the best/most plausible path towards getting in?

Thanks in advance for any and all help!

Comments (9)

Jul 23, 2018

When I was interested in Prop Trading back in High School, I applied everywhere I could. Eventually a prop shop accepted me but I was working for free for a month. After earning a lot trading FX and Options, then I was accepted to their trainee program. But I decided that it wasn't for me (toxic, high risk, slave labour imo, YMMV).

If you think that you have enough 'experience' to beat the market, then I don't see the point in joining a prop shop. You can be trading yourself and be earning unlimited amounts of $$, no point for working for others right?

Jul 23, 2018
zPanda:

When I was interested in Prop Trading back in High School, I applied everywhere I could. Eventually a prop shop accepted me but I was working for free for a month. After earning a lot trading FX and Options, then I was accepted to their trainee program. But I decided that it wasn't for me (toxic, high risk, slave labour imo, YMMV).

If you think that you have enough 'experience' to beat the market, then I don't see the point in joining a prop shop. You can be trading yourself and be earning unlimited amounts of $$, no point for working for others right?

Did they require you to pay for training and everything? I've been reading around and the general consensus seems to be that legit prop firms do not charge you for much at the beginning. I'd like to learn more about the market and everything from the firm and they also provided capital so I'd be interested in that.

Most Helpful
Jul 23, 2018

There are usually three ways to apply for actual prop shops:

Intern, Graduate Program (Junior) and Senior (PAE).

NONE of them would require you to pay for training. If they provide in-house training in another country (lets say you're from NY and their home office is at Zurich), they'll fly you there for free. Getting in a prop shop is hard. It requires quick analytical and critical thinking skills, you'll be going through rounds of interviews (Think Jane, Flow, SIG) and only a few people make it (You could say that proprietary trading earns more than IBD within the first few years).

Fake prop shops would require you to go through a trial (usually a few months), where you borrow some of the company's money to make a profit. Some of the dodgy ones require you to pay for the trading desk, and to cover the losses that you might have made. If you pass that 'stage', then you'll be working 10-12 hours every day to basically earn a commission. You'll be competing against other sweat shop workers to earn more money, but in the end the higher ups take the greater share. Sure you may make money, but once you don't you're out.

Real prop shops train you properly for a long time with experienced industry professionals. You work with a small team and there is an encouragement of communication and a sharing of ideas. You'll be working in a relaxed environment and you will have the potential to move to other locations.

There isn't a lot of information online warning young professionals about dodgy firms, who are being taken advantaged over because they need experience in the industry to get a good job. My message to those would be: Know your worth.

Jul 23, 2018
zPanda:

There are usually three ways to apply for actual prop shops:

Intern, Graduate Program (Junior) and Senior (PAE).

NONE of them would require you to pay for training. If they provide in-house training in another country (lets say you're from NY and their home office is at Zurich), they'll fly you there for free. Getting in a prop shop is hard. It requires quick analytical and critical thinking skills, you'll be going through rounds of interviews (Think Jane, Flow, SIG) and only a few people make it (You could say that proprietary trading earns more than IBD within the first few years).

Fake prop shops would require you to go through a trial (usually a few months), where you borrow some of the company's money to make a profit. Some of the dodgy ones require you to pay for the trading desk, and to cover the losses that you might have made. If you pass that 'stage', then you'll be working 10-12 hours every day to basically earn a commission. You'll be competing against other sweat shop workers to earn more money, but in the end the higher ups take the greater share. Sure you may make money, but once you don't you're out.

Real prop shops train you properly for a long time with experienced industry professionals. You work with a small team and there is an encouragement of communication and a sharing of ideas. You'll be working in a relaxed environment and you will have the potential to move to other locations.

There isn't a lot of information online warning young professionals about dodgy firms, who are being taken advantaged over because they need experience in the industry to get a good job. My message to those would be: Know your worth.

Yea I'm planning on avoiding all those that require initial fees or payments to even have access to a "trial" period.
I'm very interested in the real prop firms though. What you described sounds like what I'd be into.

I'm assuming that the graduate program relates to attending grad school and using those connections to get in?
Would internships often lead to an actual position?

Jul 23, 2018
matthewsin96:

Yea I'm planning on avoiding all those that require initial fees or payments to even have access to a "trial" period.
I'm very interested in the real prop firms though. What you described sounds like what I'd be into.

I'm assuming that the graduate program relates to attending grad school and using those connections to get in?
Would internships often lead to an actual position?

By graduate program, I meant a program you apply for, once you're in the last year of your undergraduate degree. Internships across all industries lead to an actual position, provided that you've shown interest in your role, you didn't fk up and you fit in the firm's culture.

If you want to get into prop trading, you should start applying for roles considering you're in your last year. Hopefully you know that doing a science orientated degree would grant you in a better position when applying for these roles (Mathematics, Physics, Computer Science, Econometrics).

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Jul 23, 2018
zPanda:
matthewsin96:

Yea I'm planning on avoiding all those that require initial fees or payments to even have access to a "trial" period.
I'm very interested in the real prop firms though. What you described sounds like what I'd be into.

I'm assuming that the graduate program relates to attending grad school and using those connections to get in?
Would internships often lead to an actual position?

By graduate program, I meant a program you apply for, once you're in the last year of your undergraduate degree. Internships across all industries lead to an actual position, provided that you've shown interest in your role, you didn't fk up and you fit in the firm's culture.

If you want to get into prop trading, you should start applying for roles considering you're in your last year. Hopefully you know that doing a science orientated degree would grant you in a better position when applying for these roles (Mathematics, Physics, Computer Science, Econometrics).

Hmm, in that case it looks like I should look for internships now and see what happens. Hopefully I can get into one of them. Thanks for all the help!

  • Mr.Stanley-CK
  •  Jul 23, 2018

Hello matthew,

I'm VERY VERY glad I found your post in this forum. I have the exact same situation like you. I am graduating this December (not from a top school as well). Prop-trading was why I chose Finance as my major in school. Over the summer, I have done a lot of researches in the trading industry but it seems like it's extremely hard to land a job in the trading industry. My thought was applying to T3 Trading Group if I really did not have other option. T3 Trading has a very bad reputation in this industry, however it seems like this is the only choice I have for now.

Besides, I would like to keep in touch with you as we have an exact similar situation lol. Would you mind giving me your contact?

Jul 24, 2018
Mr.Stanley-CK:

Hello matthew,

I'm VERY VERY glad I found your post in this forum. I have the exact same situation like you. I am graduating this December (not from a top school as well). Prop-trading was why I chose Finance as my major in school. Over the summer, I have done a lot of researches in the trading industry but it seems like it's extremely hard to land a job in the trading industry. My thought was applying to T3 Trading Group if I really did not have other option. T3 Trading has a very bad reputation in this industry, however it seems like this is the only choice I have for now.

Besides, I would like to keep in touch with you as we have an exact similar situation lol. Would you mind giving me your contact?

Yeah for sure! How would you like to keep connected?

And regarding T3's, I've heard they have many fees that really catch you by surprise and they do not even care how well you do. It's looking a bit too shady for me I think.

Jul 24, 2018
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