Tips for getting first round interview at quant trading firms?

Hey everyone, I am very new to this website. Just want to preface this post by saying that I do not feel as if I deserve a job at these top quant trading firms, but I would like to think I have what it takes to make to the first stage...

My situation is:

  • Education: Attend UK target (i.e. Oxbridge) and study STEM major (not mathematics, but still quantitative); good exam results and strong ranking in the year-group; take competitive/hard(er) courses (not the easiest ones on offer)

  • Academic/research: my university strictly prohibits students from joining research groups (although have tried to do some in holidays)

  • Technical/computing: Can program (Python is my main language, but also can do MATLAB); have messed around with ML/AI in my own time and with coursework

  • Quantitative: Qualified for some competitive mathematics (was never encouraged to prepare/study for it) in years 9 - 13 (high school), but never made it past BMO round 1 (British maths olympiad), but did get some certificates for phys and chem olympiads

  • Employment: I wish to stay anonymous, so I can say that I have no quant finance work experience/internships (not for a lack of trying) but have other semi-relevant finance experience; have also read up on basic options theory/greeks/vol curve/etc.

- I attend all the campus events/presentations/competitions, speak to the employees, and have been working through probability/combinatorics notes

  • I do play competitive games (e.g. chess, etc.) but am not titled

My question is what I can do to improve my chances of getting a first round interview at quantitative trading firms? Are there certain extra projects I can work on? Maybe extra skills I can learn? Blogs I can read/YouTube channels to follow to improve?

  • On LinkedIn, I see many of the employees were able to take part in research groups at undergraduate level, but I don't quite have the opportunity to do that. I am trying to think of ways to work with that constraint and still get an interview.

  • I have tried to network with employees at those firms who have done the same degree as me, but they said that grades and exam ranking mattered most

Whenever I submit a resume to these firms, I usually get rejected/no response without even getting to the phone/first round... it is a bit disheartening as it has happened for a few recruitment cycles and haven't seen any real improvement. 

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Comments (1)

Sep 10, 2021 - 10:29pm

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