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melanez
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June 24th, 2008, 10:39 am

DearI apologise if a similar question has been approached in previous threads.I am currently a lecturer in mathematis at a top london university and I an considering to quit for a career in finance. I hold a degree from the Ecole Polytechnique (Paris), a DEA in probability (Paris 6) and a PhD in appplied mathematics. After a postdoc in Cambridge, I managed to take on a lecturership in London. After 2 years I feel like I am not enjoying being an academic. Since I am interested in economics in general and financce in particular, I am considering to apply to banks for a quant position. I have, I believe, an excellent background in probability but I am weak in programming even though I am prepared and eager to learn and to use computational tools. I would be grateful to see if anyone had a similar experience and is willing to share it.Many thanksMoez
 
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TraderJoe
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June 24th, 2008, 11:39 am

That's a strong CV.
 
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aiQUANT
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June 24th, 2008, 1:09 pm

Have you considered doing an MFE?
 
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TraderJoe
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June 24th, 2008, 4:37 pm

QuoteOriginally posted by: aiQUANTHave you considered doing an MFE?That's the last thing this guy needs. He'll be stuck in a classroom with a bunch of twenty somethings with a Bachelors degree in economics .
 
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aiQUANT
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June 24th, 2008, 5:27 pm

QuoteOriginally posted by: TraderJoeQuoteOriginally posted by: aiQUANTHave you considered doing an MFE?That's the last thing this guy needs. He'll be stuck in a classroom with a bunch of twenty somethings with a Bachelors degree in economics .So the classmate thing is an issue? Not so much the relevance/irrelevance of the MFE towards getting what he wants?
 
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katastrofa
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June 24th, 2008, 5:40 pm

The classmate thing is an issue because he'll be bored to death while the rest of the group is being taught things he already knows to the core (maths).
 
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HyperGeometric
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June 24th, 2008, 5:40 pm

Are you bored of being an academic or being in a Math dept? Why not try to get a position in Financial Econ department or B-School as a finance prof? Problem that academics generally face in the industry is the quality of work and life - you are forced to think only about ideas that make you money so you do end up sacrificing some intellectual satisfaction. Moreover, there is a lot of grunt work (e.g. programming) that you end up doing as a quant in the industry and you get stuck in a routine for life. If you want the names of math profs who moved to the industry after getting their tenure, you can PM me and I can give you their contact info. Having said that, if you have considered these factors already and are eager to move to the industry, get in touch with a well known headhunter and you should be able to get something good soon. Of course, MFE would be a complete waste of time (and a step down) at this stage.
 
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aiQUANT
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June 24th, 2008, 6:05 pm

Last edited by aiQUANT on June 23rd, 2008, 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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StatGuy
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June 24th, 2008, 6:11 pm

QuoteHow about CQF then? Would that be a step down?CQF is good for those already in banking, and want to move into the quant field. Stats Guy
Last edited by StatGuy on June 23rd, 2008, 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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aiQUANT
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June 24th, 2008, 6:17 pm

This got me thinking... assuming melanez was not a lecturer but applying his phd in some other (technical) way. An MFE would have sounded sound less pointless. But because he is a lecturer its somewhat hard to imaging him sitting in an MFE class. Interesting.
 
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ArthurDent
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June 24th, 2008, 6:20 pm

MFE, CQF etc are all trade-offs between money versus time in acquiring certain skills.If you think CQF is a step down, but you also think it is an effective way of getting to know specific content, then do the CQF part time, to accelerate your learning of finance on the side, and don't put it on your resume.Quite simple, no?
 
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ZmeiGorynych
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June 24th, 2008, 6:24 pm

Melanez, the last thing you need is more courses - you're a lecturer yourself, after all, and your background looks very impressive. The last ex-lecturer I interviewed was one of the best candidates I ever met. I would recommend getting DCFC's Guide to getting a quant job and studying it, and learning some programming in your spare time. There's plenty of threads on this forum on how to do that. I somewhat disagree with HyperGeometric in that I find working in finance a lot more intellectually challenging and fun than academe ever was - but the feel is certainly very different, and the question whether you are tired of academe or merely of mathematics is a very legitimate one, that only you can answer. Also, be aware that economics (as in the academic discipline) and finance have virtually zero overlap, so you should find out which one you are really interested in.If you decide you do want to do finance after all - once you ingested and followed the Guide, just start interviewing, that'll be very helpful in finding out what's out there and what you actually want to do (which is the harder part), and in time you will get fantastic job offers. There are indeed a LOT of very boring quant jobs out there and you have to be very careful not to land in one of them (getting DCFC's advice is quite useful there). If you want to chat about all that over a beer, please pm me.
 
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jfuqua
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June 24th, 2008, 8:27 pm

I agree with comments about not needing an MFE. However several math profs [fields with no exposure to finance] I've known who wanted to get into quant work but lacked programming went to a local university to take a couple of C++ courses. Yes they could have learned on their own but employers seemed to like that they made the committment to take the courses---and of course like programs allows the employer to 'check-off' something on their list without testing or asking for proof of skills without taking time to evaulate the skill----being interviewed by programmers could take care of this but the interviewers probably want to spend their time with more important topics.
 
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StatGuy
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June 24th, 2008, 8:57 pm

QuoteThere are indeed a LOT of very boring quant jobs out there and you have to be very careful not to land in one of themThis is a good point, but some of these dull quant roles pay very well so it's at incentive to do them. It takes time to get the right kind of quant role for you with the right mix of modeling and coding based on your strengths. So it's only when you have been in a few quant roles you will get an idea as to what you will be best at doing, but I guess it would be good to know this before you apply for your 1st quant role which is the tough bit. QuoteI somewhat disagree with HyperGeometric in that I find working in finance a lot more intellectually challenging and fun than academe ever was Indeed quant roles are more rewarding financially and challenging. But I think academia can be fun too if you get to do more cutting edge research and publish. Stats Guy
Last edited by StatGuy on June 23rd, 2008, 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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Nomade
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June 24th, 2008, 10:52 pm

QuoteOriginally posted by: ZmeiGorynychMelanez, the last thing you need is more courses - you're a lecturer yourself, after all, and your background looks very impressive. The last ex-lecturer I interviewed was one of the best candidates I ever met. I would recommend getting DCFC's Guide to getting a quant job and studying it, and learning some programming in your spare time. There's plenty of threads on this forum on how to do that. I somewhat disagree with HyperGeometric in that I find working in finance a lot more intellectually challenging and fun than academe ever was - but the feel is certainly very different, and the question whether you are tired of academe or merely of mathematics is a very legitimate one, that only you can answer. Also, be aware that economics (as in the academic discipline) and finance have virtually zero overlap, so you should find out which one you are really interested in.If you decide you do want to do finance after all - once you ingested and followed the Guide, just start interviewing, that'll be very helpful in finding out what's out there and what you actually want to do (which is the harder part), and in time you will get fantastic job offers. There are indeed a LOT of very boring quant jobs out there and you have to be very careful not to land in one of them (getting DCFC's advice is quite useful there). If you want to chat about all that over a beer, please pm me.Zmei is spot on. You're CV is already quite good. On a bull market, if you do your homework, I am sure you'll end up with some good offer. However the market is crappy right now, so I suggest you take the time to learn programming and prepare for the interviews. For that, plenty of tips on MJ/Dominic guides. Be sure to check the description of the various role in a bank. I guess MJ is very good on that front. Like Zmei said, hardest part is find what you want to do. On top of bad vs good jobs, I would add the people you'll work with. Even a decent job can be made crappy if there is a personality gap.
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