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robertwaugh
Posts: 4
Joined: July 14th, 2002, 3:00 am

PhD or no PhD

September 4th, 2002, 1:29 pm

If you came across well in an interview I'd hire you.Tough market at the mo but people are still looking.The fact is everyone has a PhD, C++/VBA, MatLab , yada yada yada on their CV. The real differance comes when you sit down with the poeple you will work with. If you're the kind of person that works well in a team and with people, has a coherent approach to problems it is obvious to the interviewer, well to me anyway. Stuffy academics who expect a job because they went to Porter House Collage end up teaching partial differential equations to first year engineering students.
Last edited by robertwaugh on September 3rd, 2002, 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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lazy
Posts: 45
Joined: August 20th, 2002, 1:29 pm

PhD or no PhD

September 4th, 2002, 1:35 pm

adeadeYou should find a quant developer job easily....your MSc does nicely complete your profile given your previous background. I am sure anyone from HR would say "a well balanced cv".Good luck
 
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matt247ryan
Posts: 111
Joined: July 14th, 2002, 3:00 am

PhD or no PhD

September 4th, 2002, 2:47 pm

Dear lazy,I see where you're coming from, but two things...1. I think I would find the pure maths degree more interesting, because I am a maths graduate. 2. With regard to the possibility of the class of pde going out of fashion. Well, then we're all doomed! Because if employers are fickle enough to drop their interest in you just because you're not an expert in the very latest "thing", then they're morons! A sketch should clarify...Interviewer: Hello matt, thanks for seeing us today!Matt: It's good to be here, thank you!I: Yes, indeed. Now a PhD in differential equations. That's very nice, tell me more!M: Sure, I had to find analytical solutions to the beep-beep-beep variety, you know, the ones you use in pricing boop-boop-boops!I: I'm sorry, let me stop you there, we just implemented software that prices boop-boop-boops as well as blip-blip-blips.M: Oh!I: Yes oh!M: But surely, this shows you that I am capable of doing this kind of work. And after all, at some point we all have to adapt. You know what I mean, for example, every time you need to solve a new problem, you don't sack the guy who isn't an expert in that particular problem and replace him with someone who is. No, you trust him to adapt, right?I: I'm sorry could you repeat that, I wasn't listening?M: Well I - I: Well I? Look I'm sorry matt I'm from HR, do you really expect me to be logical or even reasonable? Come on I've other things to do today, now, can you or can't you solve bap-bap-baps?M: Well no but I'm sure I can learn to - I: Learn schmern! Alright matt we're finished here, thanks for your time, we'll be in touch!
 
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sml31
Posts: 51
Joined: July 14th, 2002, 3:00 am

PhD or no PhD

September 4th, 2002, 3:48 pm

>>things which I'd appreciate some opinion/clarification on...>>1. Dempster's offspring? Is this a bad thing? What's Cambridge like?Cambridge is a nice place. They like their pound of flesh though. As for being one of Dempster's offspring - I'm just glad I'm not related :-)
 
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lazy
Posts: 45
Joined: August 20th, 2002, 1:29 pm

PhD or no PhD

September 4th, 2002, 3:53 pm

Matt247ryan,You are exactly coming to my point. Is there a need to study a special class of PDE when in fact what is asked is a good knowledge of pde. And currently a PhD is exactly what you said " an expert" in something probably the "latest thing" given the the progress of mathematics. For a PhD dissertation you have to specialize, this is unfortunately the current trend.So from all these years spent for your thesis how many will be usefull for your next career. Maybe only the first one that you will spend reading classical texts to have a broader view on your subject then narrowing your view as to begin your real work. This can be done by selfstudy.Remember what is asked from PhD's is not a real knowlege but rather an ability to demonstrate a logical approach in a quantitative field. your views are most welcome
 
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player
Topic Author
Posts: 2290
Joined: August 5th, 2002, 10:00 am

PhD or no PhD

September 4th, 2002, 5:01 pm

Dear Lazythanks for the advice.Definietly given me food for thought. The problem I'm facing is that I am very interested in this area ( particulraly the stochastic side of things) and would like to study it further but I dont know whether or not I have enough to go through with a PhD. A lack of computing knowledge and experince makes it very difficult to get past HR at the moment let alone get my face (beautiful though it is) on a quant/risk desk.I feel (although I may be wrong in this so your views would again be appreicted in this) that if I igive the Phd a try and if after one year I find it is not to my taste I can always leave. Through that year not only woyld I have have gained further knowledge of the whole stochastic processes and valuation of products my computing programming knowledge would have been enhanced to the point of referring to them as "robust" (see Huxley jobs pages.........thats how they describe it)Along with this I would have gained at least one years worth of work expereince and this should surely help me gain a positon in some quant desk. as for my PhD I more looking to researching in to possible trading strategies or introducing new products or using available products to make banks money rather than just focussing on the research side of things ie something that adds value to a firm or trading house i.e application rather than just pure theory. Again if you have any thought in this area they would be much appreciated.PlayerPS for Dempster offspring........Dont even get me started....
 
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rikhad
Posts: 6
Joined: July 14th, 2002, 3:00 am

PhD or no PhD

September 5th, 2002, 10:04 am

As someone who was a quant and now hires them, a PhD is good but I don't care what about as long as it is mathematical and the candidate was obviously nerdy enough to do it but sound enough to go and get me coffee when I want.I agree with robertwaugh - if you want to do a PhD - do it but don't expect to get a job just because you have a PhD - the most important thing about doing a PhD is that you want to do it and find your subject sufficiently interesting that you can dig deep enough to find something new about it.If you have a masters in finance, or whatever, you will be able to get a job in finance if you have the right character. If you can't, I doubt having a PhD in finance will help.
 
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lazy
Posts: 45
Joined: August 20th, 2002, 1:29 pm

PhD or no PhD

September 5th, 2002, 11:27 am

You see it seems that what ever word one may use there is a need for people hiring you to see a logical approach in your education, a sort of "well balanced" cv. An MBA do respond to a professional goal but a PhD is more like a personal path. An obvious sketch is Mr MBA X to Mr MBA Y "we need to finish the case study by next week could we meet tomorrow night"Answer "I rather prefer to start today if you don't mind"Mr Phd X to Mr Phd Y "I haven't understand the theorem of representation for azema martingales could we met to work on it"Answer "Currently I am lost in malliavin calculus could we postpone this meeting to next month..."Of course I am exagerating ....but....it isn't so far from reality.In short as said don't place all your hopes only on the Phd....
 
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adeade
Posts: 2
Joined: July 14th, 2002, 3:00 am

PhD or no PhD

September 5th, 2002, 12:00 pm

Dear Mr LazyThank you for your encouraging words. I'll start applying for those quant dev roles. I know the market is a bit quiet at the moment. But with a bit of luck, I hope to get a quant dev opportunity very soon.CheersAde
 
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lazy
Posts: 45
Joined: August 20th, 2002, 1:29 pm

PhD or no PhD

September 5th, 2002, 12:10 pm

Good luck adeadeIt would be unecessary I presume to advise you to direct your interviews toward "in-house automated trading system" given your background ....
 
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lazy
Posts: 45
Joined: August 20th, 2002, 1:29 pm

PhD or no PhD

September 5th, 2002, 3:12 pm

playertwo quotes from you"to researching in to possible trading strategies or introducing new products"In my view this is not a Phd subject...it is absolutely professional.... "I would have gained at least one years worth of work expereince"There we are ..."...this should surely help me gain a positon"Obviously you want to dely your entry on the job market as you don't feel confident in your current abilities vs the current requirements...One can only respect your decision. You should go for it.PS: You said "quant /risk" ...there are opportunities in risk whitout assuming any knowlege of C++, after you can evolve. In my view the risk department is one of the main internal provider for (traders, quant etc) after a bit of self education.
 
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matt247ryan
Posts: 111
Joined: July 14th, 2002, 3:00 am

PhD or no PhD

September 5th, 2002, 4:08 pm

Dear All,I'm sorry, but I just can't get this out of my head..."Dempster offspring""They like their pound of flesh though" you see, I'm seriously thinking of applying there, you know, as in filling out application forms an' all, so I'd really appreciate it if anyone could enlighten me about Cambridge and it's MPhil/PhD. I'm having visions of a dark castle and lots of electrical equipment! Just to avoid libel and demonstrate sincerity, anyone with information and can use my private address...matt247ryan@yahoo.comI would very much appreciate someone taking the time to fill me in! I don't want to end up like the Man in the Iron Mask!
 
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player
Topic Author
Posts: 2290
Joined: August 5th, 2002, 10:00 am

PhD or no PhD

September 5th, 2002, 4:08 pm

LazyThanks once again for the information. You cetainly seem to be giving the most credible advice. I think you are right to some degree in so far as I dont think I have yet the knowledge to enter the quant area. Finishing a masters is one thing but having the sufficient in-depth knowledge to apply what you learnt to the real world is quite another. Thats why I think I would benefit from the PhD as it would allow me to study this area in greater depth so giving me the knowledge to apply in the work place later on. My only concern, or rather main concern at this time is that if after a year or two years I run out of motivation to continue the PhD, would this be looked upon unfavourably by the majority of banks/ trading houses if I then decided to take a break from my PhD and go into the work place. My personal opinion is that if I decided to "temporarily" leave my PhD palce I would still have a lot to offer thruogh the knowledge and skills that I had acquired over my time as a PhD studentAs for the PhD topic Im considering hedging (greek) strategies and how they are affected by transaction cost. Would you say that is acceptable as a PhD topic?Your views again in both department are most welcomePlayer
 
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Russell
Posts: 135
Joined: October 16th, 2001, 5:18 pm

PhD or no PhD

September 5th, 2002, 4:13 pm

Player,Homespun wisdom: Never start anything you're not prepared to finish.I know it's cheesey but I reckon on balance it's been a good guide for me.Good luck,russ
 
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player
Topic Author
Posts: 2290
Joined: August 5th, 2002, 10:00 am

PhD or no PhD

September 5th, 2002, 7:50 pm

MattIt you give me your correct email address I'll fill you in on all the gory detail of CAm and also the best way to go about things to get an MPhil.......player