Just to clarify, I saw them the day after, before his death hit mass media, but they had not heard of his life. Cuch is right about the figures he cites, and of course I've read some of the work of both, but that's because of the sort of person I am.It's that idea, "the right sort of person" that I'm trying to get right in my own head. Hiring managers keep saying to me they want 'smart' people, and I like to think I'm relatively good at doing that, but I know I'm far short of perfect.There is a class of person I call algebraists, people who are good at symbol manipulation, a siginifcant subset of whom have very poor intution as to what the symbols mean, and seem to have very little of a "model" in their head.Related to that is people who may be good at learning stuff, but at the price of understanding.For instance, at a recent lecture by Bruno Dupire, we were treated to negative variance, which of course led us into the idea of imaginary numbers, which is mildly worrying when applied to asset prices.An simplistic algebraist would either have blindly carried on without caring, or rejected the framework.Bruno instead tried to work out what this meant about what was going on with volatility here.So he's clearly not simplistic , and of course has done quite in this line of work.He is good at algebra, but has what I shall label as "intellectual curiousity", which in my view should express itself in many ways because it is an attitude within your personality, not a skill and not something Matlab or Mathematica will do for you.Of course BD is near to the bleeding edge with his work, and by necessity it is hard to talk about this at interview with reliability, so as a proxy for this, I like to see some interest in "stuff".That was not a conscious decision, just the way my views have evolved, and it was only when a candidate blew up so appallingly on the general knowledge that I felt I needed to review / debug this position.I don't expect a candidate going into (say) equity derivs to know more about recent movements in oil prices than "in the last couple of years vol has gone up", butI expect their general knowledge to go beyond the job they are currently do.An acceptable exception is of course where they've been asked to do X, and for their own interest they've tried to go deeper, or tried to bring in an insight from a completely different domain, just to see what happens.But the reason I have drilled down into my own thinknig here is to leave it open for critique.
Last edited by DominicConnor
on October 21st, 2010, 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.