SERVING THE QUANTITATIVE FINANCE COMMUNITY

dushyantkumar1
Topic Author
Posts: 14
Joined: November 16th, 2008, 8:06 am

### Need Advice Regarding My Career

===================================================================================================I posted similar message in student forum by mistake and could not find any way to delete this. I would like to apologize for the duplication of message in two forums. ===================================================================================================Hi,I have recently completed my phd in physics. I was planning to join financial sector after my phd. However, I guess that this may not be the right time. The last interview call I got was in December/January. So, I started looking for alternative which was job in physics.Recently I have been offer a position at Cornell medical school as a postdoc fellow. While I decided to say yes, I got another offer from Argonne National Lab, Chicago. Now, I am in dilemma. I will appreciate advices from all of you.I still want to shift to career in financial sector (equity management, risk management, interest rate modeling et ). At Cornell: Pros: (i) C++ programming, Matlab, Bit of theory and coding, bit of experiment + Bayesian statistics which I simply love... I guess that these skills will be quite transferrable to finance.(ii) I would be in financial hub; so, I may get better chance of interview...just guessing.Cons:(i) Salary is almost peanut compared to my expenses, I will be staying in Manhattan or Roosevelt island which is quite expensive.(ii) My advisor is not well established yet.At Argonne:Pros:(i) I have already worked there, knows many people and have excellent relation with them...(ii) My advisor there will be a very well established guy..(iii) National lab certainly pays better.(iv) Plus, I will have better chance of getting a job as a beamline scientist which will be a good backup option.Cons:(i) I will be using IDL (Interactive data language) for programming... This is not used in finance like C++ or matlab that I will be using at Cornell..
Last edited by dushyantkumar1 on June 24th, 2009, 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

MatthewM
Posts: 416
Joined: December 17th, 2007, 12:49 pm

### Need Advice Regarding My Career

QuoteI have recently completed my phd in physics. I was planning to join financial sector after my phd. However, I guess that this may not be the right time. The last interview call I got was in December/January.See, now this makes me nervous.

MatthewM
Posts: 416
Joined: December 17th, 2007, 12:49 pm

### Need Advice Regarding My Career

Can you tell me how many interviews you got in total? When did you start looking?

dushyantkumar1
Topic Author
Posts: 14
Joined: November 16th, 2008, 8:06 am

### Need Advice Regarding My Career

QuoteOriginally posted by: MatthewMCan you tell me how many interviews you got in total? When did you start looking?I got only two interviews. One from some Canadian hedge fund, I guess that the name was something like waterfront international and the other was in Morgan Stanley. Those guys at Waterfront internationals were looking for C++ guru. Some HR lady interviewed me on phone for Morgan Stanley. She did NOT tell me that it would be brain-teaser and then she bombarded me with 5 brain-teasers. Considering, I never really really prepared for that. I could answer 4 out of five. Of course, she must be thinking that it was 3 out of 5. She asked me about that famous brain teaser of "10 box of coins with one box having different coins and all other nine having the same coins". Of course, that was new to me and I worked out the general solution which was different from her standard solution and she told me that I was wrong. Unfortunately, later part of conversation was bit bitter and when she asked me how did I feel about the interview, I told her that HR people should never interview a guy with phd.I did start looking sometime in October, 2008.Since I have been preparing myself for career in financial sector w/o any external guidance, I did waste lots of my energies. Like I spent much time exploring the application of Bayesian statistics in finance and risk management. It was much later that I realized that I should be preparing for brain-teaser. It was much later that I came across this site.
Last edited by dushyantkumar1 on June 24th, 2009, 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

musterseed
Posts: 99
Joined: December 29th, 2006, 2:31 pm

### Need Advice Regarding My Career

MatthewM
Posts: 416
Joined: December 17th, 2007, 12:49 pm

### Need Advice Regarding My Career

musterseed, how did you find headhunters? Are there any you would recommend (you can PM me with the names if you'd like)? Did the good ones do any interview prep with you?

Posts: 1544
Joined: May 19th, 2006, 9:50 am

### Need Advice Regarding My Career

QuoteHowever, I guess that this may not be the right time. The last interview call I got was in December/January. If you do not mind may I inquire what is your visa status? Do you need the company to sponsor you for the work permit? A lot of my friends who got the MFE from very prestigious schools are unable to get jobs as quants because the companies are not willing to talk to the international students. Take the Cornell job. If you become expert in C++ and Matlab that will surely help you in future in your search for a quant job.

dushyantkumar1
Topic Author
Posts: 14
Joined: November 16th, 2008, 8:06 am

### Need Advice Regarding My Career

QuoteOriginally posted by: musterseedI'm surprised you got only 2 interviews.Where did you do your PhD? Your BSc?How did you conduct your job search? Did you apply online? Did you use headhunters? I found working with several good headhunters really helps. They found me opportunities I could not have found myself. I did my undergrad from India and did my phd from some university not in ivy league, but still good enough. I did quite good there.I did try using some recruiters in phoenix (comprehensive recruiting etc); but, they told me that they mostly have position of guys with experience and not like me.I do not know how this recruiting thing works. I guess that they may be be getting commission for each successful candidate. I even offered them 20% of salary if I get a job in some prestigious firm.I almost gave up after March. Of course, it was also because I defended my phd in April. But, since then I focused more on post-doc position and diffractive imaging etc. May be financial sector is not for me!! I may try to shift to this field later on.
Last edited by dushyantkumar1 on June 24th, 2009, 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

dushyantkumar1
Topic Author
Posts: 14
Joined: November 16th, 2008, 8:06 am

### Need Advice Regarding My Career

QuoteOriginally posted by: traderjoe1976QuoteHowever, I guess that this may not be the right time. The last interview call I got was in December/January. If you do not mind may I inquire what is your visa status? Do you need the company to sponsor you for the work permit? A lot of my friends who got the MFE from very prestigious schools are unable to get jobs as quants because the companies are not willing to talk to the international students. Take the Cornell job. If you become expert in C++ and Matlab that will surely help you in future in your search for a quant job.I am an international student on OPT/ F1. I do remember that few times some HR people used to ask me for my visa status and then no reply.Thanks for your advice.

pgeek1
Posts: 86
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 7:18 am

### Need Advice Regarding My Career

MatthewM
Posts: 416
Joined: December 17th, 2007, 12:49 pm

### Need Advice Regarding My Career

QuoteOf course, that was new to me and I worked out the general solution which was different from her standard solution and she told me that I was wrong. Unfortunately, later part of conversation was bit bitter and when she asked me how did I feel about the interview, I told her that HR people should never interview a guy with phd.I think that allowing yourself to get emotional about this was probably a mistake on your part. Even if she was to find out later that you were correct, she would not be happy with your attitude. I hope that if and when I start getting interviews I can avoid this mistake.Good luck with your finance job search should you choose to continue it, and good luck with your academic job (whichever one you choose).

musterseed
Posts: 99
Joined: December 29th, 2006, 2:31 pm

### Need Advice Regarding My Career

MatthewM
Posts: 416
Joined: December 17th, 2007, 12:49 pm

### Need Advice Regarding My Career

Dushyant, have you considered a career as a medical physicist?Is the Cornell job going to prepare you for that? Medical physicists make pretty good money, especially since they don't have to live somewhere as expensive as NYC.

deepvalue
Posts: 918
Joined: April 25th, 2007, 6:08 am

### Need Advice Regarding My Career

medical physicist make about $55K -$80K, which is less than registered nurses make at most hospitals. you might as well go and teach high school calculus.

MatthewM
Posts: 416
Joined: December 17th, 2007, 12:49 pm

### Need Advice Regarding My Career

Deepvalue, that is completely wrong. Medical physicists with a PhD, 1-2 years fellowship and ABR cert make 100k+.