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psibladeZX
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Joined: March 12th, 2013, 4:28 pm

How to get a desk quant job if you're in the back office tech?

March 21st, 2013, 5:31 pm

QuoteOriginally posted by: ashkarQuoteOriginally posted by: psibladeZXQuoteOriginally posted by: traderjoe1976Why don't you agree to be trained as a developer? If the bank wants to move you from BA role to developer role, they are fully aware that you will not be productive for at least three years while you are being trained on the various technologies. After you are fully trained in the various technologies, then you can try for a FO technology support role. That is the closest you are going to get to FO unless you get a PhD from a top-ranked school.Your point doesn't address my second question of being pidgeon-holed. I'm almost 100% sure that the longer I stay in tech, the harder it's going to be to get out. The only "coding" I ever want to do is Matlab/SAS/R/C++ for econometric modeling or pricing and even then, I don't really feel like building out tools or anything, just want to use coding as an advanced calculator to answer real life questions. I've got no interest in building GUI's, batch running, etc. For me, I find answering real questions such as "what is the price of this commodity quanto with xyz traits" or "why does this exotic react negatively to xyz country debt moves" a lot more interesting. That's why market risk quant seems to be the way to go... Just trying to see if anyone out there knows about credit risk tech -> market risk quant jumps.The best way to move departments is to do it internally. If you're in a bank, I suggest you go and speak with the directors in various asset classes market risk management teams. I agree that your background is very good for market risk. Its just a case of building up some contacts and waiting for the right internal move.Thanks for this advice, it sounds like a very good idea. As I'm building up contacts in market risk, is there anything else I can also focus on? I've been reviewing all my time series econometrics and my MCMC book (MC methods by Casella). Obviously that's a given to keep up to date and not forget that?
 
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ashkar
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Joined: October 17th, 2011, 9:25 am

How to get a desk quant job if you're in the back office tech?

March 21st, 2013, 6:32 pm

If you have some free time, then consider taking FRM exam. Other than that I would say that just spend 30mins everyday reading economics publications in your bank. I think your background is quite good for interesting positions. You need to get out of back office IT and start getting some visibility. And, you need to do this quickly. Look out for internal positions and speak with potential hiring managers without giving much away to your own manager while you are doing this.
 
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psibladeZX
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Joined: March 12th, 2013, 4:28 pm

How to get a desk quant job if you're in the back office tech?

March 10th, 2014, 9:32 pm

An update...I (correctly) forecasted that there would be layoffs in credit risk tech where I was (layoffs happened in January '14). So in August of '13 I moved over to a risk control role which I was supporting before.Now I am basically doing busy work. I check the top counterparties' exposure movements for their validity. I basically run a macro I wrote in VBA to tell me that a specific group of trades is causing an exposure movement because of a change in status (which comes from a modeling change, a batch issue, or a booking issue).I am bored out of my mind and have been applying to any and every (proper) quant job I can externally. I graduated from my masters (one in math and one in economics) now almost 3 years ago (May of 2011). I'm starting to feel as if my skills are atrophying since I am not using any proper quant skill (no programming, no calculus, no stats, no econ).Can anyone suggest what my options are? I really want a job which requires the use of my brain (solving SDE/PDE, stat modeling, econ modeling, etc).Are my grad degrees now useless since I took the wrong jobs (first in IT and now in risk control)??What can I do now?cout<<"desperate"<<endl;cout<<"please help"<<endl;
 
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liam
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Joined: November 16th, 2004, 11:51 am

How to get a desk quant job if you're in the back office tech?

March 10th, 2014, 10:51 pm

I would be interested in what advice is given here - I wound up in a similar situation a few years back. Very few people listened to me when I forecast in 2006 I would eventually get kicked out of banking, which happened 2011. Only DCFC and one or two of my workmates seemed to understand back in 2006. I don't mean to say this as a sob story, but to underline how difficult it is to move from non-quant positions to quant.The general advice for quant work would be to publish in quantlib.org, this proves you're just unlucky not to be a quant and moves you up the pecking order, also keep the math and programming skills very sharp. Also you have to ask yourself if you are actually good enough - a lot of non-quant people take the default view of if your a maths guy you must be good enough, but having done the job I realised it's a naive view - pricing models I built in my MSc helped me as a quant but I came across issue after issue on a daily basis that made me realise it is a job that requires a strong skillset. It also moves on very fast, so it's not like hospitality management where having an apptitude and passion for it is a guarantor of success.I would also look at other areas in stats and modelling where you might face less instability and use more equations etc.I've come across prima donnas that bitch about their job because they are being perfectionist, but you don't strike me as one. Thing is it usually ends badly for mathematicians in banking if they don't work towards a more suitable job and even before 2006 I came across people that took up to 2 years to complete a career move out of banking.The general rule these days to career change with mathematical careers is to spend a few months skilling up in an area you feel might be good for you in terms of skillset and usefulness, then apply for jobs and/or publish something that displays your new skills.
 
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liam
Posts: 175
Joined: November 16th, 2004, 11:51 am

How to get a desk quant job if you're in the back office tech?

March 10th, 2014, 11:35 pm

I've just read through the comments below - question is have you tested the networking or internal waters at your firm? I've never actually moved internally myself, but have networked internally and if you explain your situation to another department head you'll probably find they'll listen, be discreet and maybe give better advice then on these forums. I have a feeling (unless you are getting interviews) it is important as you need to explain yourself - why not hold out for quant roles when leaving uni? might be the question on a line manager's mind when reading your CV.Also DevonFangs is right - it may say MSc or PhD on a job spec, but once you get relevant work experience it doesn't matter. Crux is you have neither, and time to do PhD was probably earlier, albeit I worked for a supervisor that did pull off a career change by going back to do a PhD.I've worked in roles which say MSc minimum but where some junior people hadn't got a degree and were fine. Quant roles are tough to crack without PhDs, but honestly people don't get it - it's not really about the PhD the crux is being in back office, so again I say network and show enthusiasm.
 
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Chieftain
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How to get a desk quant job if you're in the back office tech?

March 11th, 2014, 1:27 am

Hi psibladeI am aware of a fund looking for a junior desk support role which could lead to what you're looking for. Private message me if you're int in exploring matey.Cheers
 
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neuroguy
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Joined: February 22nd, 2011, 4:07 pm

How to get a desk quant job if you're in the back office tech?

March 11th, 2014, 6:45 am

QuoteOriginally posted by: psibladeZXAn update...I (correctly) forecasted that there would be layoffs in credit risk tech where I was (layoffs happened in January '14). So in August of '13 I moved over to a risk control role which I was supporting before.Now I am basically doing busy work. I check the top counterparties' exposure movements for their validity. I basically run a macro I wrote in VBA to tell me that a specific group of trades is causing an exposure movement because of a change in status (which comes from a modeling change, a batch issue, or a booking issue).I am bored out of my mind and have been applying to any and every (proper) quant job I can externally. I graduated from my masters (one in math and one in economics) now almost 3 years ago (May of 2011). I'm starting to feel as if my skills are atrophying since I am not using any proper quant skill (no programming, no calculus, no stats, no econ).Can anyone suggest what my options are? I really want a job which requires the use of my brain (solving SDE/PDE, stat modeling, econ modeling, etc).Are my grad degrees now useless since I took the wrong jobs (first in IT and now in risk control)??What can I do now?cout<<"desperate"<<endl;cout<<"please help"<<endl;I know of something you may or not be interested in. PM me if you want to discuss it.
 
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psibladeZX
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Joined: March 12th, 2013, 4:28 pm

How to get a desk quant job if you're in the back office tech?

March 11th, 2014, 10:09 am

Last edited by psibladeZX on March 10th, 2014, 11:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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psibladeZX
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Posts: 24
Joined: March 12th, 2013, 4:28 pm

How to get a desk quant job if you're in the back office tech?

March 11th, 2014, 7:52 pm

QuoteOriginally posted by: liamI've just read through the comments below - question is have you tested the networking or internal waters at your firm? I've never actually moved internally myself, but have networked internally and if you explain your situation to another department head you'll probably find they'll listen, be discreet and maybe give better advice then on these forums. I have a feeling (unless you are getting interviews) it is important as you need to explain yourself - why not hold out for quant roles when leaving uni? might be the question on a line manager's mind when reading your CV.Also DevonFangs is right - it may say MSc or PhD on a job spec, but once you get relevant work experience it doesn't matter. Crux is you have neither, and time to do PhD was probably earlier, albeit I worked for a supervisor that did pull off a career change by going back to do a PhD.I've worked in roles which say MSc minimum but where some junior people hadn't got a degree and were fine. Quant roles are tough to crack without PhDs, but honestly people don't get it - it's not really about the PhD the crux is being in back office, so again I say network and show enthusiasm.So I actually have two masters (one in quantitative finance and one in economics). I'm turning 31 this year, would a PhD be too late at this point? Or would a concerted effort in networking be more suitable?
 
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liam
Posts: 175
Joined: November 16th, 2004, 11:51 am

How to get a desk quant job if you're in the back office tech?

March 16th, 2014, 2:17 am

QuoteOriginally posted by: psibladeZXQuoteOriginally posted by: liamI've just read through the comments below - question is have you tested the networking or internal waters at your firm? I've never actually moved internally myself, but have networked internally and if you explain your situation to another department head you'll probably find they'll listen, be discreet and maybe give better advice then on these forums. I have a feeling (unless you are getting interviews) it is important as you need to explain yourself - why not hold out for quant roles when leaving uni? might be the question on a line manager's mind when reading your CV.Also DevonFangs is right - it may say MSc or PhD on a job spec, but once you get relevant work experience it doesn't matter. Crux is you have neither, and time to do PhD was probably earlier, albeit I worked for a supervisor that did pull off a career change by going back to do a PhD.I've worked in roles which say MSc minimum but where some junior people hadn't got a degree and were fine. Quant roles are tough to crack without PhDs, but honestly people don't get it - it's not really about the PhD the crux is being in back office, so again I say network and show enthusiasm.So I actually have two masters (one in quantitative finance and one in economics). I'm turning 31 this year, would a PhD be too late at this point? Or would a concerted effort in networking be more suitable?There really isn't an easy answer to that, but doing a PhD to become a quant is a recipe for disaster. Networking might avoid disaster as PhD-wise your options would be either part time - very tough in maths of any kind on top of any analytical roles, or full time, which takes huge risks - this is 4 years where you could instead network and gain experience.I'd chase up your IMs and sell yourself as unlucky but passionate about quant finance and good enough.
 
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riskguru
Posts: 79
Joined: August 11th, 2004, 4:24 pm

How to get a desk quant job if you're in the back office tech?

March 28th, 2014, 4:07 pm

QuoteOriginally posted by: psibladeZXAn update...I (correctly) forecasted that there would be layoffs in credit risk tech where I was (layoffs happened in January '14). So in August of '13 I moved over to a risk control role which I was supporting before.Now I am basically doing busy work. I check the top counterparties' exposure movements for their validity. I basically run a macro I wrote in VBA to tell me that a specific group of trades is causing an exposure movement because of a change in status (which comes from a modeling change, a batch issue, or a booking issue).I am bored out of my mind and have been applying to any and every (proper) quant job I can externally. I graduated from my masters (one in math and one in economics) now almost 3 years ago (May of 2011). I'm starting to feel as if my skills are atrophying since I am not using any proper quant skill (no programming, no calculus, no stats, no econ).Can anyone suggest what my options are? I really want a job which requires the use of my brain (solving SDE/PDE, stat modeling, econ modeling, etc).Are my grad degrees now useless since I took the wrong jobs (first in IT and now in risk control)??What can I do now?cout<<"desperate"<<endl;cout<<"please help"<<endl;One of the most unfortunate pieces of advice that is constantly echoed in these forums is: If you are not good enough to be a desk quant go to risk! This guidance misrepresents the skill set required to be successful in risk (either as a necessary or a sufficient condition). Unfortunately, there are also many risk groups that are run this way (typically at the larger instituions) which creates the proverbial "match made in hell" that you are experiencing. I would suggest you look at smaller places (hedge funds/family offices??) that have the right perspective on the risk management process. Once you get there, stop wasting your time looking for the next great opportunity, put your head down and work! Trust me, if one of my guys is constantly looking for a way to move to the trading desk (or to another firm), I will be very sceptical about anything he tells me as a risk person and the likihood that he will be successful is low. Good luck.
 
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neuroguy
Posts: 408
Joined: February 22nd, 2011, 4:07 pm

How to get a desk quant job if you're in the back office tech?

March 28th, 2014, 4:39 pm

QuoteOriginally posted by: riskguruQuoteOriginally posted by: psibladeZXAn update...I (correctly) forecasted that there would be layoffs in credit risk tech where I was (layoffs happened in January '14). So in August of '13 I moved over to a risk control role which I was supporting before.Now I am basically doing busy work. I check the top counterparties' exposure movements for their validity. I basically run a macro I wrote in VBA to tell me that a specific group of trades is causing an exposure movement because of a change in status (which comes from a modeling change, a batch issue, or a booking issue).I am bored out of my mind and have been applying to any and every (proper) quant job I can externally. I graduated from my masters (one in math and one in economics) now almost 3 years ago (May of 2011). I'm starting to feel as if my skills are atrophying since I am not using any proper quant skill (no programming, no calculus, no stats, no econ).Can anyone suggest what my options are? I really want a job which requires the use of my brain (solving SDE/PDE, stat modeling, econ modeling, etc).Are my grad degrees now useless since I took the wrong jobs (first in IT and now in risk control)??What can I do now?cout<<"desperate"<<endl;cout<<"please help"<<endl;One of the most unfortunate pieces of advice that is constantly echoed in these forums is: If you are not good enough to be a desk quant go to risk! This guidance misrepresents the skill set required to be successful in risk (either as a necessary or a sufficient condition). Unfortunately, there are also many risk groups that are run this way (typically at the larger instituions) which creates the proverbial "match made in hell" that you are experiencing. I would suggest you look at smaller places (hedge funds/family offices??) that have the right perspective on the risk management process. Once you get there, stop wasting your time looking for the next great opportunity, put your head down and work! Trust me, if one of my guys is constantly looking for a way to move to the trading desk (or to another firm), I will be very sceptical about anything he tells me as a risk person and the likihood that he will be successful is low. Good luck.Interesting comment. It is so true that many people are always on the look out for the next great opportunity that is going to turn them in an FO BSD at Goldmann over night. But this is like chasing waterfalls. (And of course some of those who actually do become BSDs at Goldmann subsequently realise that its not for them anyway.)Most of the very successful people I know or have read about have approached whatever they were doing with a positive attitude, a desire to learn, hunger and a willingness to help others. Some of these people also start out in situations that might not seem to be ideal 'career paths', but they extract all of the marrow they can from those situations. Crucially other people notice these qualities and that is not just bosses but the whole '360 degrees'. In this manner virtuous circles can be built.In a nutshell, it is really important to balance dependability with flexibilty. Otherwise people will naturally question your descion making and resolve.
 
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psibladeZX
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Joined: March 12th, 2013, 4:28 pm

How to get a desk quant job if you're in the back office tech?

February 20th, 2015, 4:58 pm

Going to resurrect this thread with some new questions...I ended up leaving the tier 1 bank where I was doing credit risk reporting to go to an index provider (weird, I know). This ended up being even less quantitative than anything I've done. All their "models" were in Excel. I have no idea why they even called used the word "model" to begin with. So I immediately started looking to come back to the old tier 1 bank I was at and managed to secure a spot as a model validation quant. Yay for recognizing the mistake of leaving.To be brutally honest at this point, I'm not about anything noble anymore, I'm just looking to make way more money than I am currently making (low 6 fig). If I could make 250-300k USD, I'd be happy. Obviously, front office is the way to achieve the higher paycheck quickly (or more quickly than trying to move up in model validation).The question now becomes: what is my best bet?1. Going to a desk as a junior trader (say 2nd-3rd yr analyst/1st-2nd yr associate)2. Structuring3. Desk quant for some desk4. Pricing5. Other position I haven't thought of (please suggest)I'm trying to stay inside the same company (one of the top 4 banks) so it doesn't look like I'm job hopping too much.If so, how exactly do I make the right connections to make the jump. Also, would a CFA help? I'm considering signing up for the level 1 in dec'15
Last edited by psibladeZX on February 19th, 2015, 11:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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