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Yair1978
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Advice on topic for masters thesis to further future career!

June 25th, 2011, 5:41 am

Hi everyone,I'm about to start my last semester taking a masters in financial economics. I'm studying in Sweden but where I'll be looking for a job will be Israel. Now, in Sweden every degree is finished with a thesis and as I really want to utilize my time to the utmost my thought was that perhaps I could choose the topic for my thesis in such a way that it'd actually enhance my chances of future employment "in the field". As far as what kind work I'm looking for, or in which sector, I'm open to just about anything as long as it financial and analytical.I got a general piece of advice from one of my lecturers getting into Asset Liability Management which he claims could very well open doors in fields such as pension fund, insurance etc, but I would really appreciate if anyone has any more specific ideas of what to delve into. Is there perhaps some "new" numerical method that required quite some knowledge in maths/statistics and computing that is popular today that would be a good idea for me to focus on to gain future competitive advantage?? Any piece of advice would be received with gratitude!All the best,Yair
 
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Yair1978
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Advice on topic for masters thesis to further future career!

June 26th, 2011, 5:58 pm

Ok, seeing as no one is replying I suppose the general opinion is that this question has been asked before. However, my primary question is how choose a topic that will actually enhance my attractiveness in the job market afterwards. F.ex., is there anything anybody could think would make a particularly good impression on a manager of a pension fund, or a bank, rather than just being academically interesting?
 
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Alan
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Advice on topic for masters thesis to further future career!

June 27th, 2011, 3:25 am

I will guess there aren't that many potential employers in Israel. So, my advice is, take sometime off, try to set up a half-dozen first round interviews there, and put your question to thoseemployers. Then, go do your thesis.
 
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phil451
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Advice on topic for masters thesis to further future career!

June 27th, 2011, 11:11 am

Funding and Liquidity Risk Modelling.
 
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Yair1978
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Advice on topic for masters thesis to further future career!

June 28th, 2011, 3:20 pm

Thank you both for your suggestions!Relating to what Phil451 wrote; I have not so much trouble thinking of a general area, more trying to think of what kind of specific "types" of questions within a certain area might forward the message to a potential employer that this guy is something he's want in his company. F.ex, for my bachelor I researched a certain technical trading strategy, and although interesting I don't think it shows anything about me other than that I know how to do backtesting and therefor some basic statistics, which many others also know. I'm more looking out for "cutting-edge" techniques that few know but that are highly sought for... Do such things exist? ;-) What could this be? Or am I thinking in the wrong direction?
 
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willsmith
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Advice on topic for masters thesis to further future career!

June 28th, 2011, 5:09 pm

Choose a topic where the interviewer is likely to ask "interesting thesis. what did you find?". That could become a great openended discussion in the interview and give you a chance to shine on an area you know a lot about. Maybe phrase it as a question, such as "can market inefficiencies still be easily found and traded in the commodity asset class?"
Last edited by willsmith on June 27th, 2011, 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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kc11415
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Advice on topic for masters thesis to further future career!

June 28th, 2011, 6:44 pm

You could try for a thesis topic which makes a generally favorable impression upon a wide audience, or something highly specialized which might appeal strongly but to a more limited audience. The latter may be more of a gamble but if focused accurately might give you a shot at resonating more strongly with your selected targets.As you already know the weekday calendar in Israel is more in sync with mid-east markets than with Euro or US or Asian markets. Any disparity can be viewed as either a problem or an opportunity to exploit. This has Israeli workers in the office on what the west thinks of as the weekend. There are numerous back-office & accounting tasks which need to be done outside of normal trading hours. It can be difficult to get highly trained staff to permanently give up their 'weekend.' This creates a niche where the Israeli weekday calendar becomes an advantage rather than disadvantage. Perhaps orient your thesis towards some topic for which the weekday calendar disparity is an asset rather than liability? While I'm inclined to think that might lean towards back-office accounting or portfolio analysis or reconciliation or clearing tasks, this is based on my limited observations, without any attempt think outside the box.The few financial markets professionals in Israel of whom I am aware have built some non-trivial credentials overseas before moving to Israel. The people of whom I'm aware might be considered to be over-qualified for the roles in which they are in. My relatively UN-informed impression of the Israeli labor market is as generally a buyers market, though generalities may have exceptions in specific niches. I suspect that for junior level roles you might be competing against over-qualified candidates. Perhaps consider gaining some experience outside of Israel before moving back? If you do that, then preferably an overseas firm with a branch office in Israel? While many such branches might be just a local sales office, I'd suggest such firms be crossed off your list. Do some digging to find out the orientation of the work in those Israeli branch offices. You might look for some branches which are doing some form of offshore outsourcing within their firm. Perhaps you might orient your thesis towards a topic in harmony with the work of those branch offices. Perhaps it might be easier to get into an entry-level position in one of the major market centers, then transfer within that firm to the Israeli branch office.A challenge in attempting such kinds of topics might be access to datasets for you to demonstrate your skill in analyzing such data. Perhaps you might explore some angle using data publicly posted pursuant to SEC rule 606 or SEC rule 11Ac1-6? Alternatively, perhaps you might scrape together data from exhibits in civil or criminal litigation? This may be tedious, but if it was easy then lots of students would be doing it.
 
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Yair1978
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Advice on topic for masters thesis to further future career!

June 29th, 2011, 8:10 am

#kc11415: Thank you very much for your answer, and your ideas!Indeed I'm also under the impression that the labour market here in Israel is a buyers market, but for personal reasons (kids) I have to make it work here, so.... ;-)
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