The strats who have "short" working hours work about 8:30 am - 8:00 pm Long hours are 7:30 am - 9/10 pm + weekends + having to moniter systems that are running over the weekend... The list goes on. GS pays their strats very well, but believe me talentschmalent, you have to EARN every penny that they pay in strats. If you want to look KING on your interview read up about how Amherst arbitraged JPM and a few others, make sure you understand it, and then bring it up in your interview. Personally, I think that mortgages are boring from a quant point of view (i.e. the work mortgage quants do) and would give it a wide berth - from trading or investment analysis point of view they are VERY interesting.... Best of luck buddy.