What are my chances of getting hired as a trader?

wouldbetrader's picture
Rank: Chimp | 2

Hi guys,

I don't have any trading experience, but I have always been interested in the market and I would like to become a trader, either for a prop firm, an investment bank, or a hedge fund. I am not sure exactly what area of trading (equities, derivatives, fx, etc.) I want to focus on yet. I would most likely be looking for a position in Chicago with a base salary and training.

My qualifications/background:

  • Graduated from University of Michigan in 2003 with a double major in Economics and Computer Science. My GPA was a cumulative 3.0/4.0, with my Economics GPA around 3.5/4.0.
  • I have been playing poker professionally for most of the time since graduation.
  • I am very strong in math. I should be able to do any mental math or probability questions, etc in interviews without too much difficulty.

What do you think my job prospects would be for getting into a top prop firm, investment bank, or hedge fund at this point in my career? Would I have a better chance to get some kind of investment analyst position rather than a trading position? I have a few concerns about my background...

1) Are firms/institutions more likely to hire a recent graduate or someone with several years of direct experience, rather than someone seven years out of college without any direct experience?

2) I have heard that GPA counts for a lot in the hiring process, and my GPA was only a 3.0. How much of an issue might this pose?

3) I had been concerned about my poker background, but have heard from people in the industry that the skills between trading and playing poker are similar enough that this should not hurt me too bad, and could even potentially help me.

Any comment or suggestions would be appreciated! Thanks in advance!

Comments (9)

Sep 15, 2010

7 years out is tough... all the rest is fine really, only the GPA would be a little questionable and you would normally still be fine if it was a smaller shop and you have good #s elsewhere (ie good SAT or extremely good grades in quantitative courses). I think recruiting will be tough for you without going back to school and/or very good networking with alumni. UMich has some people in various props that you could try reaching out to. The poker part is the absolute last thing you should worry about--there are many a WSOP competitors at the various props.

Sep 15, 2010

go get an mba and then when you're graduating apply

Sep 15, 2010

Since you've been out of college for so long, it would be very hard for you to land a good job. Your best bet would be to land a job at a prop trading firm. An I banking or hedge fund position would be out of your league. The less coporate the firm, the better chance you have at landing a job with your situation. As a pro poker player during college, I mostly used that to leverage a position at a good firm but 7 years out will make it much more difficult. If I were you, I would focus on reading a lot of book on trading and be well rounded enough to hold your own in an interview to show your focus and dedication to learning it. If you can't manage to get anything, than a MBA would be the next best route. In 2+2, there's a bunch of threads in BFI about this subject.

Sep 16, 2010
Sep 16, 2010


Not very helpful for trading.

As an aside, I wouldn't worry about your GPA since you've been out of school so long. Leave it off the resume.

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Sep 16, 2010

PS/FTP names?

Sep 16, 2010

take gmat and mba

Sep 16, 2010

I say take the GMAT and get into a top 15 MBA. If you cannot get into a top 15 MBA then you should look at prop shops. I feel like SIG and First NY would probably be very interested in your background (in fact see if they are hiring first and then study for the GMAT).

Sep 16, 2010