Opportunities after TDP at Supermajor?

Diglett's picture
Rank: Senior Chimp | banana points 21

Hi everyone,

I am considering an offer from an O&G supermajor for their TDP. I understand that not everyone who graduates from these programs ends up with a trading role and might even end up in the commercial stream. So in the case that there is no seat at the trading desk for me after the program, what are some other opportunities I can pursue? Would it also be a good idea to pursue a Masters after the end of a program and shift to a different trading house/supermajor? As for the Masters, I would really like to pursue one that is aligned with my personal academic interests (Public policy or international relations) rather than an MBA. How would that alter my chances of moving to a different trading firm or supermajor?

Thank you!

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Comments (15)

Jan 30, 2019

deleted

Feb 18, 2019

Hi!
I am an undergrad that has been offered a spot in the TDP by a supermajor.
If i accept the offer, I will be starting the program immediately after my graduation.

Feb 18, 2019

bump!

Feb 6, 2019

If you want to trade, pursue that with as much hunger and enthusiasm as you can. Go into the TDP and give it your all - they select folks they think have the aptitude to become successful traders, so you've already got a leg up on a lot of people. If you aren't offered a trading role but still want to trade, your best bet is probably another commercial role or risk/ops/etc -- the closer to the trading arm of the organization the better.

I've seen folks get trading jobs with little relevant experience right out of quality MBA programs, and while I imagine public policy / IR masters programs might give you a chance I think it's slim. I guess it boils down to deciding what you want to be when you grow up.

    • 3
Feb 6, 2019

I've seen folks get trading jobs with little relevant experience right out of quality MBA programs

Is this common? What's the thought process behind placing MBA grads straight into trading seats?

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Feb 6, 2019
princepieman:

I've seen folks get trading jobs with little relevant experience right out of quality MBA programs

Is this common? What's the thought process behind placing MBA grads straight into trading seats?

I doubt it's super common, though I have at least one friend/classmate who pulled it off.

Feb 18, 2019

Thank you for your insightful comment!
I did accept the offer in the end.
I am definitely very keen on trading but I am also keen to further my studies at a certain point in my life. So, say if I pursued a quality MBA after my TDP - would my previous experience give me a distinct advantage in applying for a trading role in other firms?
What about energy specific programs such as the one offered by McCombs? Do these trading firms recognise graduates from such programs as well?
I have definitely considered doing an MBA as well but I am currently a business undergrad major and I am not sure if i would find an MBA to be that exciting and would rather prefer alternative programs.

Feb 6, 2019
Diglett:

Thank you for your insightful comment!
I did accept the offer in the end.
I am definitely very keen on trading but I am also keen to further my studies at a certain point in my life. So, say if I pursued a quality MBA after my TDP - would my previous experience give me a distinct advantage in applying for a trading role in other firms?
What about energy specific programs such as the one offered by McCombs? Do these trading firms recognise graduates from such programs as well?
I have definitely considered doing an MBA as well but I am currently a business undergrad major and I am not sure if i would find an MBA to be that exciting and would rather prefer alternative programs.

Dude screw more schooling (This is coming from someone with a MA in Economics & Politics). You will learn 10x more from the TDP than you will from any MBA. Put all your effort into whatever roles they put you in/rotate you through and find out what you like and focus on that. Like others have said if you want to trade phyz learn the business with a focus on ops & risk. Knowing how the product flows and how all the moving pieces fit together (storage, t-port, etc) will make you a good trader. The name of the game at an oil major is optimizing assets.

    • 1
Most Helpful
Feb 15, 2019
Mr. T:
Diglett:

Thank you for your insightful comment!
I did accept the offer in the end.
I am definitely very keen on trading but I am also keen to further my studies at a certain point in my life. So, say if I pursued a quality MBA after my TDP - would my previous experience give me a distinct advantage in applying for a trading role in other firms?
What about energy specific programs such as the one offered by McCombs? Do these trading firms recognise graduates from such programs as well?
I have definitely considered doing an MBA as well but I am currently a business undergrad major and I am not sure if i would find an MBA to be that exciting and would rather prefer alternative programs.

Dude screw more schooling (This is coming from someone with a MA in Economics & Politics). You will learn 10x more from the TDP than you will from any MBA. Put all your effort into whatever roles they put you in/rotate you through and find out what you like and focus on that. Like others have said if you want to trade phyz learn the business with a focus on ops & risk. Knowing how the product flows and how all the moving pieces fit together (storage, t-port, etc) will make you a good trader. The name of the game at an oil major is optimizing assets.

Mr. T nails this one! An MBA is great and all, but if you want to trade focus on trading and being the best there learning everything you can. Two pieces of advice:

  1. I once had a boss that told me he had evaluated going back and getting an MBA early in his career. He said that he decided rather than pursuing the grind of further education that may or may not be attributable to his current role he decided to just put in the extra time at his current role outworking everyone else. This decision paid off for him tremendously, and he has continued to advance through various senior roles in trading over his peers that took the time to get the MBA.
  2. People get jobs in phys trading all the time because of the specialized skills they developed working in certain areas. Some huge traders got their starts working pipeline optimization jobs and when they made their first major advancement it was because they knew more about the operations of a pipe and how it operated than anyone else.

An MBA is great, but its not going to teach you how to trade and optimize

    • 4
Feb 6, 2019

If the TDP doesn't pan out and you want to trade, I'd wait on grad school and hustle 110% in the industry to see if you can get another shot. You can always go to school later (professional/exec MBA, part-time grad programs, etc)

    • 1
Feb 18, 2019

One more question - Is it quite common for many TDP graduates from Supermajors to join trading houses (Trafigura, Mercuria etc)? Because from what I understand, many of these trading houses also do have global graduate programmes. I would think that they would want to give these guys a shot at trading, rather than a graduate from a different TDP.
Thank you!

Feb 10, 2019

It's a process, but for the time being the top guys at trading houses still mostly have supermajor backgrounds. You will be attractive to trading houses whether or not you actually get a seat at the end of your program.

Also, a commercial role at a supermajor is much more interesting/rewarding/lucrative than the majority of things you will find after a master's.

    • 1
Jan 30, 2019

Most people in a graduate program aren't going to move right into a trading seat after completing the rotations. Most of those who do well can expect to move in to a fairly commercial ops or analyst type role and if they continue to perform well will be viewed as the next guy that should get a trading seat if a need arises and they want someone in-house.

If you're one of these guys and you can't wait or don't like the corporate nature of a major, you would fit the background trading shops are looking for if they want a junior guy. You would be competing against other people currently at said shop but these roles at trading shops are more career-long roles than they tend to be at majors.

You have to understand that these roles are responsible for so much revenue at the company that you need an airtight reputation to move into them. Reputations take good marketing and time. If you are 26 and running the ops on BP's crude blending at Cushing, people are going to know that BP has observed your competence, not to mention you'll know everyone. On the contrary, if you're in a role performing analysis on captive markets or scheduling trucks of ethanol in Arizona, the fact that you were in a TGP at a major out of undergrad doesn't make you a better candidate than someone with more meaningful experience. Having said that, a TGP is going to put you in a position where the likely necessary interim roles are yours to lose.

Feb 15, 2019

An MBA is basically useless if you're already into the TDP. We take undergrads and MBA students alike into the same TDP with no difference. All the MBA would do is set you back a few years of career advancement and potential earnings if you're end goal is trading. Think of the TDP as your "grad school" for trading. The things you learn in the TDP will far exceed anything you learn in your MBA when it comes to physical trading. Congrats on the role btw.

Feb 15, 2019
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