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JosephJ
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Posts: 11
Joined: April 8th, 2011, 10:22 am

Help with a 6month - 5 year life plan please.

May 6th, 2011, 4:38 pm

I'm currently finding that the more I look for answers to certain questions, the more questions I seem to accumulate. So I was hoping to try something else. This is my third ever post and I've received some great advice so far. Thank-you.I've recently completed a Ph.D in Astrophysics. It was heavily based on computer programming (not one of the industry standard languages though) and Monte Carlo simulations. I now want to leave academia and become a quant. I suppose my dream (perhaps wrongly?) would be to make as much money as possible over the next 10-15 years and then do something more relaxed, like teaching physics. I do however like writing computer scripted programs to perform monte carlo simulations. For this reason I think I would be best suited to becoming a quant and I would like advice on how to get there. (Although I'm not even certain on what kind of quant I would like to be as of yet).Currently I'm finding (even for the junior entry positions) that I don't have enough corporate experience. I'm also being told that I'm overqualified for support/assistant type role, the kind that would likely give me the desired experience. The recruiters are telling me that my CV is very impressive, not just from a computer numbers aspect, however I suspect they tell this to everyone.Recently I've been teaching myself C++, some Python, and making my way through 'Options, Futures and other derivatives - John Hull'.I've also lined up some work experience (unpaid) with KPMG, probably not more than a week or two. It won't be related too much to quant things, but so far it's all I can find (it's through a friend). I've also carpet bombed London with CVs asking for work experience. And I have a telephone interview in a week for a 12 month placement in an investment bank, rotating around Research, Sales and Trading, Market Making and Corporate Finance.Advice I've received here so far is to learn some stochastic calculus and perform my own financial research. So my plan for the next 6-12 months could include all or some of the following?:1.) Keep sending my CV to recruitment agencies - focused towards junior/entry level quant roles, but also broader financial jobs.2.) Keep going with the C++, stochastic calculus, John Hull's book and potentially my own research.3.) Take any job that becomes available in the meantime (such as the 12 month placement mentioned above?), just to get some corporate experience/references. Keep going with step 2 in my spare time. 4.) Take a summer school course. At the moment I've looked at LSE there is an actual module called 'Options, Futures and other derivatives'. It's this point that I'm most interested in hearing advice on. This module would cost about £2,500 and the majority of that would have to be covered with a loan as I'm currently unemployed. A CQF would be out of the question for now, as I would have to work for 12+ months to save. But I'm fine with doing any of the above if it would be worthwhile. As for a 5 year plan, I obviously don't have a solid idea of where I'd like to end up. I'd therefore welcome any advice you could give. I live in the UK, however I'm more than happy to relocate anywhere in the world few at least a few years or more.Although I'd like some sort of job so my summer isn't a complete disaster, I'm more than happy to spend this summer and beyond without one, poor and performing self-study. Likewise, I'm happy to take any further qualification that would help. Even if it means taking it part time while I work to fund it. Thank-you for your help and sorry for the HUGE post
 
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Hansi
Posts: 3300
Joined: January 25th, 2010, 11:47 am

Help with a 6month - 5 year life plan please.

May 6th, 2011, 5:43 pm

Go with 1 through 3.
 
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nyasha
Posts: 32
Joined: November 29th, 2005, 10:49 pm

Help with a 6month - 5 year life plan please.

May 9th, 2011, 8:18 am

1 and 2 look good, not so sure about 3 though. The thing is, recruiters are quick to pigeonhole you, because they need to tell a coherent story to their client. And finance has a lot of pigeonholes. So it's advisable to stick to a path that's highly aligned to the quant objective. You mention one general experience placement. Make it count, by impressing the most quant-centric desk you work on during that time, and networking in a very considered way. In general I'd advise being very disciplined about doing directly quant roles if that's what you see yourself doing. Within that space, there are plenty of different types of employers so lots of opportunities to go round, if you really want to do it. No need to go into corporate finance etc, which will only detract from your goals. --------- End distraction
 
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JosephJ
Topic Author
Posts: 11
Joined: April 8th, 2011, 10:22 am

Help with a 6month - 5 year life plan please.

May 9th, 2011, 11:24 am

Thanks for the help so far. Been reading through a few old threads, ultimately should I aim to do a CQF?
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