Internship and Career - Guidance/Advice Needed

arp106's picture
Rank: Senior Chimp | 21

I apologize in advance for the length of this post. I really need advice on what I should be focusing my time towards. I recently transferred from a non-target to a semi-target (Cornell, Northwestern, Duke etc) as a junior studying Computer Science and plan on staying an extra year to get a masters in CS/AI. I have a near perfect GPA and test scores and have been involved primarily with research at school. I spent my freshman summer working as a SWE intern at a small company and have been spending this summer after sophomore year working as a research intern at a blockchain startup. My goal is to work as a quant researcher/trader or at a Buy-Side firm in investment research and I have been applying to as many prop shops and quant funds as I can find. I realized that obtaining an internship in these roles for next summer will be incredibly difficult so I applied across the board for roles at BB's and HF's as well as smaller shops for Asset Management and S and T roles. I have not heard back yet from BB's and most HF's have rejected me due to my lack of Buy-Side experience. I have done first round interviews for smaller shops and have completed a few first round tests for prop shops and it is becoming clear to me that I lack the depth of knowledge in mathematics/probability and have been reading quant interview books to try to catch up. I am also considering working at a large software company next summer if I am unable to obtain a trading/research internship next summer but I am also behind on practicing for technical interviews for companies like Google, Amazon, Fb etc. I am honestly not sure what to do and becoming increasingly worried as the recruiting season comes to a close. Should I focus on my quantitative abilities and continue to apply to Prop Shops/HF's as well as other Front Office roles or should I work on my algorithms/software technical interviewing skills and focus on getting a job at a large software company. I have heard that many people have already secured internships at banks next summer and am worried that it is already too late and that I am wasting my time looking for a SA position and should instead focus on my programming skills.

Comments (7)

Sep 3, 2018


Sep 4, 2018

Does it still make sense to network for this summer recruiting cycle? I was planning on networking for the next recruiting cycle.

Sep 3, 2018

"I have done first round interviews for smaller shops and have completed a few first round tests for prop shops and it is becoming clear to me that I lack the depth of knowledge in mathematics/probability..."

Well there's your problem. If you can't even handle your elementary Bayes brainteasers no amount of networking can save you at any shop that employs more than 20 people

Sep 4, 2018

I've actually passed most of the first rounds but for some reason haven't gotten super days after interviewing on the phone yet. I think I start running into problems not with the probability and Bayes questions but more so when companies have linear algebra and other math topics that I haven't covered yet like on the DRW test. Either way, I wrote that in a broader sense as in there are most likely hundreds of candidates who will be interviewing during the final rounds and I feel that the breath of my mathematics may not be up to par.

Sep 4, 2018

A fair number trading shops such as Belvedere or CTC don't go into actual math and stick to the traditional brainteaser format. High quality quant operations such as Two Sigma are a different story and you indeed sound not up to par.

However generally once you get an interview at any shop, consider yourself up to par with the candidate pool. There is very little chance that you do well on interviews and get cut solely because you don't have a broad math background. For prop trading in particular success is about getting the stars to align and knocking all of the tests/games out of the park.

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Sep 6, 2018

Do you have any advice for what I should be studying other than the usual brain teaser and probability review? What would Two Sigma be asking or looking for?

Sep 15, 2018