What are my chances as a trader?....

iforgetok's picture
Rank: Monkey | 57

Hi all,

I wanted to get some feedback on my chances of become a trader (any desk)? Here's my scoop

-graduated in mechanical engineering '09, 3.5+
-few internships in rocket science, NASA, etc
-SA at GS ops with FX (supported their FX sales)
-currently a consultant and working with banks/insurers in investment management, ops
-planning for grad school in 2 yrs (MBA and/or MS in Fin Eng)
-then joining a trading desk?

What are my chances? What can I do now, for grad school, afterwards? any desks I'd be better at in particular? Will the masters degree be able to slingshot into S&T?

I'm wondering about electronic trading with a BB. maybe with my background, this would be a good fit?

also, for grad school I'm looking to Columbia, MIT (Sloan), or NYU (Stern). any thoughts?

Thanks in advance.

Comments (23)

Nov 18, 2009

You're too smart to be a trader

"I wanna Thank the Good Lord for Making me a Capitalist"

Nov 18, 2009

Yea man, trading is not rocket science, which you seem to have experience in haha.

Nov 18, 2009
banker88:

Yea man, trading is not rocket science, which you seem to have experience in haha.

HAHAHAHA, Nice!

Nov 18, 2009

Meche '08 grad from ivy school...if your smart you might enjoy a top tier prop shop as opposed to a BB bank and skip out the unncessary plans... but the longer you wait.. the more youll have trouble.. i had trouble and im only an 08 with ibanking internships and part time at gs..

you also have to watch out... when applying for top tier grad schools for business..your resume means a lot... i have friends who graduated from my undergrad with low gps, and not that spectacular gmat scores that made our grad school..probably over guys like you (no offence im saying you sound more qualified), because they did an ibanking gig at a bb..so doing ops or consulting might not qualify unless everything else is stellar..

again if you like and are skilled in math.. a quant algo/programming trading position or top tier prop trading position would probably suit you more than flow trading at a bb bank.... but for A LOT if not the overwhelming majority of quant/algo trading positions.. you need to be well versed in programming.. as a mech e major like me.. i assume programming is not your specialty..

Nov 18, 2009

i think you can get interviews at top tier prop shops. you don't even need an MBA, as it adds no value to being a trader.

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Nov 18, 2009

Have you ever traded an account before (real or demo)? If not, I would suggest getting at it now and at minimum try to establish some sort of track record that demostrates you know how to mitigate risk and keep losses low. It isn't until you actually start trading that you find out how apt your skills are (technically and emotionally speaking).

Nov 18, 2009

Thanks for all the replies.

I've looked into the algo trading (as I have some coding experience). This looks good, but I'm wondering how intense the coding is and how real-time the strategy is.

I've also had good experience with FOREX, which may be a safer trading desk.

any particular desks sound good for someone like me?

and any good sites that I can demo some trading?

and any feedback on MS in Fin Engineering? (how's that viewed by traders)?

Nov 18, 2009
iforgetok:

Thanks for all the replies.

I've looked into the algo trading (as I have some coding experience). This looks good, but I'm wondering how intense the coding is and how real-time the strategy is.

I've also had good experience with FOREX, which may be a safer trading desk.

any particular desks sound good for someone like me?

and any good sites that I can demo some trading?

and any feedback on MS in Fin Engineering? (how's that viewed by traders)?

I use think or swim... they let you trade fake money as well

Nov 18, 2009

Options monster and zecco are really good ones

"I wanna Thank the Good Lord for Making me a Capitalist"

Nov 18, 2009

If you go to Sloan for an MBA, you have 0 chance of becoming a trader.

Nothing bothers me more than Sloan MBA's thinking that they "go to MIT"

Nov 18, 2009
algorithMIT:

If you go to Sloan for an MBA, you have 0 chance of becoming a trader.

Nothing bothers me more than Sloan MBA's thinking that they "go to MIT"

They do go to MIT.

Nov 18, 2009
algorithMIT:

If you go to Sloan for an MBA, you have 0 chance of becoming a trader.

Nothing bothers me more than Sloan MBA's thinking that they "go to MIT"

What a moron.

Nov 18, 2009
algorithMIT:

If you go to Sloan for an MBA, you have 0 chance of becoming a trader.

Nothing bothers me more than Sloan MBA's thinking that they "go to MIT"

Bitter. That's all I can say. Bitter...

Nov 19, 2009

I think the inference was that Sloan is (far and away) the easiest way to get into MIT.

Nov 22, 2009

Haha the quants (ie math, stats, comp sci, hard science) guys at MIT are probably more heavily recruited them the sloan kids for trading, granted you can cross register there I believe? So it depends on how much you challenge yourself.

Nov 29, 2009

Carnegie, Berkeley, Stanford, Columbia, Princeton, and NYU for there Fin Math/Engineering/Computational Finance Programs. I would think those programs would really prepare you for some quant stuff. Forget MBA. Irrelevant.

Nov 30, 2009

Thanks again for the comments.

I'm thinking about the doint MS and MBA. (MS in fin eng for quant, and MBA for general business). Eventually, if I switch into something else, I know the MBA is more transferrable. Therefore, I'm mainly looking into Columbia, Sloan, and Stern. It's my thinking that these schools are good for both the MS and MBA, especially if I want to keep a financial services "theme" in the degrees. My thought is that east coast schools (esp in nyc) have good outlets to fin services firms.

And, what could I do to better my chances (if any) at a trading desk for GS, JPM, DB, or any of the same sort?

any thoughts?

Nov 30, 2009

Wait why would you do both a MFin and MBA at the same time?

Dec 1, 2009

Revsly: I figured if I'm going back to school for a master's, might as well do both at the same time (might be cheaper, more convenient, etc). I'm interested in the MFin, but I know the MBA is more transferrable for any industry.

Any advice on doing them seperate? Or if I try for a dual degree, any schools that are balanced well for the MFin and MBA?

Dec 1, 2009

I mean you can do whatever you want, but if you want to be in trading an MBA is basically pointless.

Dec 1, 2009
iforgetok:

What are my chances? What can I do now, for grad school, afterwards? any desks I'd be better at in particular? Will the masters degree be able to slingshot into S&T?

Re: What can I do now?
Go apply.

Re: Will the masters degree be able to slingshot into S&T?
Yes/no. More academic background makes you less easy to "mold," so it can actually set you back.

In all honestly, I think (and we probably all think) you have wayyy enough qualifications to apply. Why wait?

Dec 2, 2009
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Dec 2, 2009
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If you ain't buy side what are you doing on Wall St.? Gimme something good sport...