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August
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Joined: August 26th, 2002, 9:04 pm

Headhunters don't like over-40 job seekers?

August 26th, 2002, 10:56 pm

Hi, people! I have a B.A. and an M.A. degree in econ and am now studying statistics for M.S. degree at U. of Minnesota, Twin Cities. But I plan to file applications for qunt math/stat or Financial Engineering programs. I wanna work as a risk analyst for future markets or something like that later. Before applying, I need some info. Would anybody please give me a piece of advice/info about the following questions?Q. Age Handicap? The problem is I¡¯m 37 y.o. and have no finance-related job career--I was involved in publishing business before--. I¡¯ll become over 40 when I get a grad degree in the major and look for a job. Of course, it is not age but capacity that matters. But let me ask the following: Do you think other things equal, over- 40 might be little/a little/serious/absolute handicap? * When you answer this question, you don¡¯t have to consider the economic situation because the situation might be better later than now. Thank you. ------Augustinos
 
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Collector
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Joined: August 21st, 2001, 12:37 pm

Headhunters don't like over-40 job seekers?

August 27th, 2002, 3:53 am

Don't care about your age, it is all about how you feel. "I was born old and get younger every day. At present I am sixty years young" Herbert BeerbohmI think George (Soros ) started his financial career quite late, and he did okay.
Last edited by Collector on August 26th, 2002, 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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J
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Joined: November 1st, 2001, 12:53 am

Headhunters don't like over-40 job seekers?

August 27th, 2002, 4:31 am

Epsen:I like your comments very much!!!!! Very postitive!!!Jason
Last edited by J on August 26th, 2002, 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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Collector
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Headhunters don't like over-40 job seekers?

August 27th, 2002, 11:06 am

If the head hunters don't like you because your age then you always have a last opportunity; to become a head hunter.
 
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dc
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Headhunters don't like over-40 job seekers?

August 27th, 2002, 12:45 pm

I think that age makes it more difficult, especially at larger shops with young teams. If a department is mainly staffed with 26-32 year-olds (with up to 5 years experience) reporting to a 35-40 year-old manager, does a 40 year-old new recruit fit in? It is a reason to choose someone else with similar qualifications. This just means that you will have to work a bit harder to differentiate yourself and uncover opportunities.
 
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salsero
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Joined: August 22nd, 2002, 2:42 pm

Headhunters don't like over-40 job seekers?

August 27th, 2002, 1:27 pm

Hi, I never understand all these problems with age. You (head hunter) have this guy under examination. Not a 40 y.o. guy, but thatparticular one. With his skills and his personal story. Age alone shouldnever be considered as a plus or a minus.
 
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August
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Headhunters don't like over-40 job seekers?

August 27th, 2002, 4:49 pm

Thank you, guys, so much for all the positives and negatives. All advice helpful to me!------Augustinus
 
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Defcon
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Headhunters don't like over-40 job seekers?

August 29th, 2002, 2:39 pm

August, I picked up on two questions in your message. First, is over-40 a job seeker's handicap? Second, given the first, will it be difficult to enter the finance field? I find myself in a similar position. I'm over-40 (age 52), over-educated (BS, MBA-Fin., Ph.D.), who's biological sciences career is in a very small industry prone to long-lasting economic cycles (paper & forest products industry). I attempted to re-educate/train myself in finance and enter the financial field. I was successful to some degree. Until succumbing to a recent corporate downsizing, I was a Finance Manager in (yes, you guessed it) the damned industry I started in. [The downsizing was clearly biased against over-40 employees. That's why the corporation gave a severence package and a no-sue contract. But, that's a different story for a different time.] I was the corporation's senior analyst and managed a finance & accounting department. I have strived to secure a finance position in any industry in the Seattle, WA, area. It's been very difficult, disheartening, frustrating, and unsuccessful. Here's my perception as to why.Despite interviewing strongly for posiitons in financial analysis and accounting management, I recieve the same retoric: " There's no question you can do the work and your credentials are steller. But, I don't know if we could keep you challenged." Or try this one: " We were looking for someone less qualified than you." Reading between the lines, one must conclude that age and years remaining before retirement (I'd like to think 10-15 years) are working against me. Breaking into the investment banking area is not likely. According to many testimonies from others in this career area, it is very stodgy, boys-club oriented, and closed to most unless you started in the "club" right out of college.In summary, I wish you well my friend. Recently earned degrees will help you. You're not yet over-40 (or worse yet, over-50). So, your prospects will likely be good...not excellent...but good. Let's all hope the economy and corporate captains improve, ehh?
 
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August
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Headhunters don't like over-40 job seekers?

September 1st, 2002, 3:48 am

Thank you, Defcon, very much for your live advice. I am lucky to hear from you, a senior analyst. Hope you to come back to finance area soon. As you know, the depression won't last long. If I can enter the "stage," I'll do my business in 10 years. So, as for me, the important thing is "how to enter" rather than "how to survive". Could I ask some questions? (i) At what age did you put your first step in fiance? (ii) I understand what you wrote. Part of the difficulties is what I'm experiencing even at school. I still don't know what to do. I think I need to consider both options, quant math and biostat. Let me ask about the former. I guess, if I study quant math, an old(?) fresh finance-job seeker better be equipped with a Ph.D. degree because he/she has handicaps as you wrote. Can a quant math Ph.D. dgree be a make-up or nothing? Does it vary from particular position to position in finane area or almost the same? In short, if I keep going with the "plan to study quant math," had I, an old(?) guy, better finish study as a master's degree or a Ph.D degree? Thank you.------Augustinus
 
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vmkulkarni
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Headhunters don't like over-40 job seekers?

September 2nd, 2002, 3:00 am

August,I also find myself in a similar situation. I started my career in electrical engineering and completed my M.S. in finance with specialization in Derivatives. I had hard time getting entry into Investment Banking / Treasury as a quant analyst. I managed to get into FOREX and Derivatives field as a functional consultant to a treasury software and lator convinced my current bank for a position as a derivatives product structurer.My question to the forum is as I lack a quantitative degree such as Ph.D / M.S. in mathematics, Physics. But have done independent study because of my work in Options area. Please suggest if a quantitative degree is needed to make my career prospects brighter??? Or my work experience will suffice??Regards,
 
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dbm
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Joined: July 14th, 2002, 3:00 am

Headhunters don't like over-40 job seekers?

September 3rd, 2002, 2:58 pm

Hello All,I'm in a similar position to a lot of writers in this thread in that I'm trying to move into the Investment Banking arena.My position is somewhat different though - I'm in the UK, I am a qualified accountant (FCCA/FCMA) age 35 hoping to start a PHd in Mathematics/Statistics next year. I've been an operational Finance Director for some years and am bored with lack of challenge.What do you folks think of my chances? I certainly do not want to give up my job for the next two years and find I can't get a position.Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 
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Johnny
Posts: 2431
Joined: October 18th, 2001, 3:26 pm

Headhunters don't like over-40 job seekers?

September 3rd, 2002, 3:43 pm

dbmIt depends a great deal on what you mean by investment banking. As an ex-FD you might find the move to Corporate Finance the easiest to make. On the positive side, I'm guessing that this would have at least some gamekeeper-turned-poacher appeal? On the negative side, about the only corporate finance business happening at the moment is in the field of restructuring.If you want to move into trading/sales/structuring then the other postings on this thread are more appropriate. Particularly the one from dc with regards to investment banks, I'm afraid. It may be different with hedge funds, but I wouldn't bet on it.It's difficult to see how long the investment banking recession is going to last, but there might be a lot to be said for keeping hold of your boring job until sunnier days are here again ...
 
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balrog
Posts: 189
Joined: March 12th, 2002, 1:29 pm

Headhunters don't like over-40 job seekers?

September 3rd, 2002, 3:57 pm

Just to answer Collector: Soros was 26 when he joined Arnhold and Bleichroeder - previous to that he worked for a few months at Singer and Friedlander in the UK (he broke in to the old boys club because his interviewer was of Hungarian origin) - so though a bit old by undergrad standards of today and probably quite old even then, not really in the same league of 35-50.
 
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Defcon
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Joined: October 3rd, 2001, 5:35 pm

Headhunters don't like over-40 job seekers?

September 3rd, 2002, 8:26 pm

August,Tough questions you pose to me! At the risk of being rhetorical, let me respond in a humble, if not confused, manner. What is it you want to be when you "grow up?" I've asked myself this very same question (especially when my career plan has run afoul). It is an extremely simple question with an even more difficult answer because one desires to keep options open and not commit to one, limiting course of action, especially when times are difficult. But, its imperative to get a goal, chart interim objectives on your time-space continuum, and dive in, adjusting as need be. The random walk hopefully becomes directed with less variance and greater expediancy. If you have set your interim objective on earning a masters degree, then do it! Check with you professors, professionals, mentors, and colleagues about their suggestions to help you decide whether a doctorate is worth it. Just remember, "A Ph.D. and a couple of dollars (pounds) will buy you a cup of coffee." Let me end with a poem from an anonymous (I believe) writer.Press OnNothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent.Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.Education alone will not; the world is full of educated derelicts.Persisitence and determination alone are omnipotent.
 
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dbm
Posts: 9
Joined: July 14th, 2002, 3:00 am

Headhunters don't like over-40 job seekers?

September 4th, 2002, 4:36 pm

Johnny,My aim was to move into fixed income derivatives - and I was hoping to do research in this area for my Maths/ Stats PhD.I'm more of a 'back office' player than 'front office' and enjoy playing around with programming/ numbers and enjoy people management.Is the marketplace poor at present?I've seen umpteen positions advertised in the FT that pay excellent salaries. What do you think of the age thing? Is there an old boys club thats hard to break into?Many Thanks.
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