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zhaopenglu
Topic Author
Posts: 6
Joined: January 14th, 2011, 1:16 pm

Hey Guys, seriously need your advice!! Fed job vs CMU MSCF

April 14th, 2011, 1:02 am

Hello everyone, I have had this dilemma for a troubling week. Asked a lot of people, but still want to hear more from you guys.It has been a year with a lot of preparations, anxieties and excitements, and I have made so many good friends in this process. It has really been an invaluable experience!In fact, besides CMU, I have also been offered a job in Chicago Fed as research assistant covering financial market research. I am having a hard time deciding if I should take the job or going to CMU.The job itself is not very demanding, and not so much like what a typical quant job. However, I am thinking that I may possibly meet many top figures in the city if I network well, and there it is possible to transition into the private industry after 2-3 years. As Chicago is the clearing center for options, futures and some other derivatives, I feel it is highly likely I may get some first-hand experience on the development of financial regulations regarding those fields, and could possibly be useful in my later career.However, as for CMU, I really like it so much. It has been my dream school since my sophomore year. I like its balanced focus on financial theories and financial computing. The job prospect is also excellent. But nevertheless, I worried a little about going there without any w/e will put me in disadvantage. Since a decent job is so hard to get nowadays, and whenever something is rare, it becomes a valuable asset.In the future, I would like to work in derivative markets, maybe trading, maybe structuring. As more banks are cutting prop trading to comply with the new regulation, should I worry about the prospect of MFE?I will thank you guys in advance for your generous help!
 
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ppauper
Posts: 70239
Joined: November 15th, 2001, 1:29 pm

Hey Guys, seriously need your advice!! Fed job vs CMU MSCF

April 14th, 2011, 8:05 am

hopefully the Fed will be abolished when a republican replaces Obama after the 2012 election
 
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AlanB
Posts: 662
Joined: July 14th, 2002, 3:00 am

Hey Guys, seriously need your advice!! Fed job vs CMU MSCF

April 14th, 2011, 10:10 am

Take the Fed job... you can continue with your studies..they'll (actually we'll) pay the tuition, you'll get work experience you can apply to later opportunities, good benefits, yada, yada...QuoteOriginally posted by: zhaopengluHello everyone, I have had this dilemma for a troubling week. Asked a lot of people, but still want to hear more from you guys.It has been a year with a lot of preparations, anxieties and excitements, and I have made so many good friends in this process. It has really been an invaluable experience!In fact, besides CMU, I have also been offered a job in Chicago Fed as research assistant covering financial market research. I am having a hard time deciding if I should take the job or going to CMU.The job itself is not very demanding, and not so much like what a typical quant job. However, I am thinking that I may possibly meet many top figures in the city if I network well, and there it is possible to transition into the private industry after 2-3 years. As Chicago is the clearing center for options, futures and some other derivatives, I feel it is highly likely I may get some first-hand experience on the development of financial regulations regarding those fields, and could possibly be useful in my later career.However, as for CMU, I really like it so much. It has been my dream school since my sophomore year. I like its balanced focus on financial theories and financial computing. The job prospect is also excellent. But nevertheless, I worried a little about going there without any w/e will put me in disadvantage. Since a decent job is so hard to get nowadays, and whenever something is rare, it becomes a valuable asset.In the future, I would like to work in derivative markets, maybe trading, maybe structuring. As more banks are cutting prop trading to comply with the new regulation, should I worry about the prospect of MFE?I will thank you guys in advance for your generous help!
 
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Risiko
Posts: 10
Joined: September 27th, 2006, 12:20 am

Hey Guys, seriously need your advice!! Fed job vs CMU MSCF

April 14th, 2011, 9:07 pm

If I might say so, this is excellent advice. You could do both: if MFE doesn't suit you, you still have a job. Or if Fed job isn't what you expected after awhile, can take MFE fulltime, but some of your classes will have been paid by Fed.FYI, I switched careers to complete an MFE in the city - still worth it but very expensive. Either way congrats and best of luck!
 
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AllEars
Posts: 16
Joined: April 16th, 2009, 10:33 am

Hey Guys, seriously need your advice!! Fed job vs CMU MSCF

April 18th, 2011, 7:15 pm

Is it possible to defer your admission to the MFE by one year? If that is possible, go for the job right away. If things don't work out at the Fed, you can return to the MFE the next year. You gain one year of experience which might stand you in good stead when scouting for jobs post-MFE.
 
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zhaopenglu
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Posts: 6
Joined: January 14th, 2011, 1:16 pm

Hey Guys, seriously need your advice!! Fed job vs CMU MSCF

April 20th, 2011, 10:51 pm

Yeah, I tried, but apparently they do not give me admission deferral... I guess maybe I will just go for the program.
 
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calichristian1
Posts: 8
Joined: September 15th, 2010, 10:19 pm

Hey Guys, seriously need your advice!! Fed job vs CMU MSCF

April 21st, 2011, 9:50 pm

I would take the Fed job for sure!
 
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FOBquant
Posts: 7
Joined: April 25th, 2011, 1:44 pm

Hey Guys, seriously need your advice!! Fed job vs CMU MSCF

April 26th, 2011, 12:18 pm

If I had to make the choice, I would attend CMU (full time initially) and then apply for quant related work (switch to part time). I believe there's research assistant at NY Fed (if that's what you want to do) and they are 3 blocks away from CMU's 3-room campus.
 
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DominicConnor
Posts: 11684
Joined: July 14th, 2002, 3:00 am

Hey Guys, seriously need your advice!! Fed job vs CMU MSCF

April 26th, 2011, 4:38 pm

There exist two reasons for working at regulator:1:Interesting work of a kind that is hard to get in the private sector2:Really good contacts(1) is clearly ruled out by what you sayt.The utility of (2) is not very high for most quants. Yes it is possible that the CEO of GS comes in to explain exactly why the latest behaviour of his firm is entirely reasonable but the chances of him explaining that to you is about the same probability as bumping into him on a NY sidewalk. You'd be joining a reasonably large outfit, not quite a football crowd, but still large enough that the "fun" bits of work get spread thinly.Frankly, it's entirely possible that you never ever meet anyone that is of any use to you personally in your entire time there. That's because the Fed deals with the people at firms who deal with the Fed. That's mainly compliance and perhaps model validation, and rarely are either functions the target role for entry level quants.Even beyond that, your job is to analyse stuff, not interact with regulated firms, so they might even get a bit hostile if you suggested you did some of that.Never ever, not once has any recruiting manager said to me "hey Dominic, have you got any quants who've worked at the Fed ?"There do exist good jobs at regulators, this doesn't sound like one of them, you can do better, so unless I'm missing something big, go to CMU
Last edited by DominicConnor on April 25th, 2011, 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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FOBquant
Posts: 7
Joined: April 25th, 2011, 1:44 pm

Hey Guys, seriously need your advice!! Fed job vs CMU MSCF

April 26th, 2011, 5:56 pm

QuoteOriginally posted by: DominicConnorThere exist two reasons for working at regulator:1:Interesting work of a kind that is hard to get in the private sector2:Really good contacts(1) is clearly ruled out by what you sayt.The utility of (2) is not very high for most quants. ...on (2), I doubt at your current stage, knowing Bill or Ben or Tim would make any difference at all...I can see "good contacts" come into play when you have developed certain reputation or reached a certain position later in your career. It's really a relationship business, at that stage, it would make sense to focus on business & political connection and "quant" would more or less be good to have experience. I guess you probably don't have a good understanding of what you really want to do for the next 20 years yet... (Not to sound harsh) For now, between the two, I think you should go with CMU.
 
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zhaopenglu
Topic Author
Posts: 6
Joined: January 14th, 2011, 1:16 pm

Hey Guys, seriously need your advice!! Fed job vs CMU MSCF

April 26th, 2011, 10:47 pm

QuoteOriginally posted by: DominicConnorThere exist two reasons for working at regulator:1:Interesting work of a kind that is hard to get in the private sector2:Really good contacts(1) is clearly ruled out by what you sayt.The utility of (2) is not very high for most quants. Yes it is possible that the CEO of GS comes in to explain exactly why the latest behaviour of his firm is entirely reasonable but the chances of him explaining that to you is about the same probability as bumping into him on a NY sidewalk. You'd be joining a reasonably large outfit, not quite a football crowd, but still large enough that the "fun" bits of work get spread thinly.Frankly, it's entirely possible that you never ever meet anyone that is of any use to you personally in your entire time there. That's because the Fed deals with the people at firms who deal with the Fed. That's mainly compliance and perhaps model validation, and rarely are either functions the target role for entry level quants.Even beyond that, your job is to analyse stuff, not interact with regulated firms, so they might even get a bit hostile if you suggested you did some of that.Never ever, not once has any recruiting manager said to me "hey Dominic, have you got any quants who've worked at the Fed ?"There do exist good jobs at regulators, this doesn't sound like one of them, you can do better, so unless I'm missing something big, go to CMUYeah.. to be honest, initially I was thinking, because I am an international student from a US College, if I have some working experience in the US, I will differentiate myself from other students from China or India when I start looking for a job post-MFE.. At least, a year of working experience can prove my potential employer that I am able to communicate and work well in this country. But now, I think doing what I really like is much more important. I could always improve my communication skills more efficiently by writing and reading frequently, or talk often. Anyway, thank you so much! It really helps!
 
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FOBquant
Posts: 7
Joined: April 25th, 2011, 1:44 pm

Hey Guys, seriously need your advice!! Fed job vs CMU MSCF

April 27th, 2011, 2:54 pm

I believe more interesting work done at the FED require top clearance...Without US citizenship, I think it would be somewhat difficult to engage in those.
 
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closdubois
Posts: 64
Joined: September 26th, 2008, 1:12 am

Hey Guys, seriously need your advice!! Fed job vs CMU MSCF

May 5th, 2011, 7:50 am

i know someone who works as a RA at the DC fed. you don't really learn shit and the reports RAs work on are trivial/laughable. but you get to say you've "worked with large data sets" and did some stuff in matlab/R. in exchange for getting paid like peasants they'll write you good recommendations for grad school.you're probably still young, so i'd say enjoy life while you still can, and CMU is a good school.i heard the girls there are hideous though
 
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tu160
Posts: 363
Joined: October 23rd, 2007, 1:14 pm

Hey Guys, seriously need your advice!! Fed job vs CMU MSCF

May 6th, 2011, 12:02 am

Last edited by tu160 on December 9th, 2011, 11:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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traderjoe1976
Posts: 1544
Joined: May 19th, 2006, 9:50 am

Hey Guys, seriously need your advice!! Fed job vs CMU MSCF

May 6th, 2011, 7:03 am

Fed job is very relaxed and very secure. They never fire anybody. Also many of the Economics and Finance PhDs are able to move from Fed job to IMF and World Bank where the pay is quite good. Also, if you get good contacts at Fed, then you can get these contract jobs in modeling and statistical analysis for the rest of your career. There are some very smart people working at Fed and you can learn a lot from them.But, CMU is very prestigious, and I think that it is the correct choice for you. You can make good career and good money later on.
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