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Entry-level quant job prospects with "criminal" record

Posted: September 18th, 2008, 7:08 pm
by iggy101
I'm currently facing a possible court appearance for fare evasion of a train ticket. It was all an unintentional, stupid mistake and I intend to defend myself. However I am aware that if found guilty for intentionally evading a train fare then I face having a criminal record.I'm coming to the end of a Physics PhD working on an economics model and was hoping to start looking for quant jobs soon (current turmoil in the financial markets notwithstanding!)My question is will a conviction for a relatively minor offence such as this have a large adverse impact on my job chances? Will I have the chance to explain myself or is any mark on your record enough for you to be rejected outright?Any advice would be much appreciated. I'm obviously quite stressed about this.

Entry-level quant job prospects with "criminal" record

Posted: September 18th, 2008, 7:32 pm
by albertmills
This represents an excellent opportunity for networking! I propose you go to jail, where you'll be sure to make many excellent contacts among those most ambitious of corporate ladder climbers -- white collar criminals. In fact with any luck soon the prisons will be better for meeting industry contacts than country clubs. BTW How can you be doing a physics PhD working on an economics model?

Entry-level quant job prospects with "criminal" record

Posted: September 18th, 2008, 7:41 pm
by twofish
QuoteMy question is will a conviction for a relatively minor offence such as this have a large adverse impact on my job chances? Will I have the chance to explain myself or is any mark on your record enough for you to be rejected outright?If it is a misdemeanor with a fine then no one is going to care. Believe it or not, people in finance are not saints, and there are people with their share of traffic tickets, etc. Mention it if they ask about it, but there is a 95% chance that they won't, since interview time is too precious to be wasted on anything that will turn up in a background check. What will happen is that at some point they are going to run a background check, and it might come up when they get back the report, but I don't think anyone is going to make a big deal over it.

Entry-level quant job prospects with "criminal" record

Posted: September 18th, 2008, 7:42 pm
by migalley
QuoteThis represents an excellent opportunity for networking!I propose you go to jail, where you'll be sure to make many excellent contacts among those most ambitious of corporate ladder climbers -- white collar criminals. In fact with any luck soon the prisons will be better for meeting industry contacts than country clubs.If that fails, iggy101 might have to network with the man-rapist sharing his cell. Yuk!Anyway, how is not buying a ticket "an unintentional, stupid mistake"?If I was your potential employer I certainly wouldn't take the chance that you won't make any more "unintentional, stupid mistakes".

Entry-level quant job prospects with "criminal" record

Posted: September 18th, 2008, 9:55 pm
by iggy101
Ha well there's no danger of me going to jail thankfully. Just a hefty fine (for a student), which I'm totally prepared to pay as long as the conviction doesn't destroy my career prospects. So if asked is it better to look dumb for accidentally messing up or dishonest for trying to dodge a fare? I'm doing a PhD in Complex Systems which pretty much covers everything under the sun. We have physicists in our department working with economists, ecologists, biologists, linguists, etc. Its pretty interesting stuff but I'm looking forward to getting out into the real world after 4 years of it!

Entry-level quant job prospects with "criminal" record

Posted: September 18th, 2008, 9:56 pm
by aiQUANT
How did you end up with the court thing if you don't mind me asking? Is it in the UK? Normally its a on the spot fine.

Entry-level quant job prospects with "criminal" record

Posted: September 18th, 2008, 10:08 pm
by Anthis
You dont go to prison for not paying a train ticket. The total prison "accomodation" cost (shelter meals guards, healthcare, even transport to prison etc) is certainly far higher than the ticket value itself.

Entry-level quant job prospects with "criminal" record

Posted: September 18th, 2008, 10:14 pm
by iggy101
Yeah its the UK. I think it depends on the company. This was up north, not in London. The guy who stopped me just asked for my details and said that they'd be in touch. I got a letter today threatening to prosecute me in court but they first want me to send an explanation of what happened. Cue grovelling letter...Hopefully I can settle out of court with a fine but I think they're trying to crack down on people dodging fares so they could very well take it all the way.

Entry-level quant job prospects with "criminal" record

Posted: September 19th, 2008, 5:35 am
by KackToodles
QuoteOriginally posted by: iggy101I'm doing a PhD in Complex Systems which pretty much covers everything under the sun. We have physicists in our department working with economists, ecologists, biologists, linguists, etc. Its pretty interesting stuff but I'm looking forward to getting out into the real world after 4 years of it! Sorry, this is a bad bad career choice. You have a bunch of abstract ostracized physicists and economists working on impractical problems. What are odds that you can convince a mainstream bank to hire you -- especially when nobody is interested in trying out crazy subprime stuff nowadays?

Entry-level quant job prospects with "criminal" record

Posted: September 19th, 2008, 6:43 am
by DominicConnor
You really must not write any letter until and unless you have spoken to a solicitor.You really must not write any letter until and unless you have spoken to a solicitor.You really must not write any letter until and unless you have spoken to a solicitor.If you are in or near London, I can point you in the direction of some high grade free legal advice.

Entry-level quant job prospects with "criminal" record

Posted: September 19th, 2008, 7:13 am
by Cuchulainn
QuoteOriginally posted by: aiQUANTHow did you end up with the court thing if you don't mind me asking? Is it in the UK? Normally its a on the spot fine.Here on the mainland it would be a fine. It's not moral not to pay your way but 'criminal record' sounds so Dickensian.

Entry-level quant job prospects with "criminal" record

Posted: September 19th, 2008, 8:30 am
by gorgeous
Avoid getting a criminal record at all costs by getting a good lawyer. I got into a similar situation when I sat in a first class compartment with a standard ticket. I used a very good lawyer who checked the rail byelaws which states something about being an offender if "remaining" in a first class compartment. Unfortunately for the railway company, their summons to the court stated that I "occupied" a seat. The railway company had to withdraw the case quickly and even apologised for the mistake.

Entry-level quant job prospects with "criminal" record

Posted: September 19th, 2008, 9:17 am
by Cuchulainn
I once sat in a first-class compartment by accident (as a foreign tourist). had to pay a 50 pound fine. Not even the chance to move to 2nd class compartment. Money aside, I found it quite churlish of the conductor. I knew that he knew it was a mistake. Treat someone like a criminal, and they may act as one.On the spot fines, that works. Just like fines for driving too fast, after a few hefty fines, you will learn

Entry-level quant job prospects with "criminal" record

Posted: September 19th, 2008, 9:51 am
by twofish
QuoteOriginally posted by: iggy101Hopefully I can settle out of court with a fine but I think they're trying to crack down on people dodging fares so they could very well take it all the way.I agree with DCFC that you should talk to a lawyer before writing anything back. Big companies will often try to extort money using legal dubious methods and fear, uncertainty, and doubt. No doubt the railway company is trying to make you think that if you don't hand over money to them, that your life will be over. Usually even having a lawyer write back a letter will make them give up, because at that point the effort to get money out of you (which is what I think they really want in the end) is going to be less than the cost of fighting someone that has some clue what they can or can't do.In any event, I doubt anyone hiring will care about this. One other point is that in the US, employers can't base any decisions on arrests or trials, only convictions.

Entry-level quant job prospects with "criminal" record

Posted: September 19th, 2008, 10:45 am
by DominicConnor
iggy101 is in Britain, and under the regulations there, he may need to be a "Controlled Person", which has issues for him.One thing I'd like to make clear about my involvement here...I don't know who iggy is, nor do I want to know, and for very good reasons, I do not have access to the list of Wilmott IDs vs email/names.That means I can't know who he is, unless he tells me, so PMs et al put a level of security here.I can dispense advice without learning his personal identity.That's important, because if I did know, then there would be a conflict of interest if I ever represented him to a bank.