SERVING THE QUANTITATIVE FINANCE COMMUNITY

 
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Westminster
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Posts: 3
Joined: February 1st, 2014, 1:31 am

From Oil & Gas modelling to IT Quant ?

February 4th, 2014, 12:02 pm

Hi,I am looking for advice but couldn't find topics about a situation similar to mine, so I'll ask here:My situationMy wife works for a bank. She's not in quantitative finance, but her career is going to make us live in the same places as if she were. Therefore, for me to cope with her geographical mobility, I am considering joining the financial industry too. I would like to know what the next step would be for me to prepare and make it happen.My backgroundI am 33. I graduated 10 years ago from a French "école d'ingénieurs" (Mines Paris) with a strong background in maths (stats, algebra, proba) among other things. Since graduation, I have worked in R&D in maths & programming, first in HPC for an oil & gas major, now for a start-up in artificial intelligence. Over these years, my daily job has been research work, data analysis, modelling and prototyping. I have constantly worked in teams of multidisciplinary people from MIT, Ecole Polytechnique or their equivalent, at the interface of business (not too academic), maths and computer science. I love that environment and want to keep it that way.I have been considering moving to Finance for a bit more than 6 months now. I first tested the water with John Hull's book before going through Koralov and Sinai "Theory of Probability and Random Processes", more challenging but still OK. All that to say that I am comfortable diving into financial maths. I even enjoyed the exercises. If you have other books or "tests" more in line with that QF maths are today, please let me know.On the programming side, I like programming. I am decent in Python, Fortran, C/C++ with a background in HPC and science. I can push some code pretty far in the context of my work, but of course, I know my limitations and I have always been able to rely on dedicated talented experts to turn prototypes into optimized and industrialized software. And, to be honest, I am more than fine with that. I can spend my time and energy on the high level business side of software (data, maths, model, prototype) and let the real geeks do their magic with compiling hacks.Finally, I am pretty much industry agnostic. I was recruited by a friend in Oil & Gas before I had time to hesitate with other career paths. The same happened when I joined my current company. And the discussions with a few friends working in the industry make me comfortable trying the move into Finance. (They also shared their own pieces of advice, including getting a few more from outsiders).QuestionsNow, my questions are:- did I miss any question that I should ask myself before starting the move ?- is my profile worth anything in Finance ? (I can send you my resume if you need specifics)- how could I improve it in the next 6 months ?- what next step would you recommend to make the transition happen ?
Last edited by Westminster on February 3rd, 2014, 11:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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daveangel
Posts: 17031
Joined: October 20th, 2003, 4:05 pm

From Oil & Gas modelling to IT Quant ?

February 4th, 2014, 4:50 pm

Frankly, and I am not being arrogant, I wouldn't bother. Not because I don't think that you can do the job but I wouldn't leave oil and gas to become a quant at a bank. However, you should look at some hedge funds ?
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Cuchulainn
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From Oil & Gas modelling to IT Quant ?

February 4th, 2014, 5:20 pm

QuoteOriginally posted by: daveangelFrankly, and I am not being arrogant, I wouldn't bother. Not because I don't think that you can do the job but I wouldn't leave oil and gas to become a quant at a bank. However, you should look at some hedge funds ?Oil and gas are very good industries in the past at least. Yes, I would stick in there.
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Westminster
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Posts: 3
Joined: February 1st, 2014, 1:31 am

From Oil & Gas modelling to IT Quant ?

February 5th, 2014, 1:16 am

I appreciate your concern, which is legitimate, so I'll elaborate a bit. I am not looking for opportunities in banking for the sake of leaving O&G.My situation is that, for the last few years, I have been asked to move to places like Norway, Nigeria, Angola, Indonesia, where there's no job for my wife. For my wife, but also for myself, given the places, I have always had to say no. On the other hand, my wife is now starting to hear about NYC, Hong Kong and Singapore. And frankly, we really want to seize these opportunities. Now again, with my profile, I have no way to find a decent job in O&G and follow my wife when finally she gets the green light to move to any of these places. I have done my due diligence: it would be easier for me to work in Yangoon than in Hong Kong...Of course, I know I am far from the perfect candidate for banking and I don't expect to land a dream job on my first year. I'll probably have to take a crappy first assignment and prove myself from there. But I have been thinking about that for the past 6 months. It's how the game works and I am fine with making the compromise.
Last edited by Westminster on February 4th, 2014, 11:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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neuroguy
Posts: 408
Joined: February 22nd, 2011, 4:07 pm

From Oil & Gas modelling to IT Quant ?

February 5th, 2014, 6:36 am

I have a friend who works for Schlumberger. Great money and a good industry. But he has had to work in Angola and Siberia. In Angola there were dead bodies on the roads and he got a wierd skin based form of Tuberculosis which meant big chunks of his flesh had to be removed. So yes, Hong Kong and Singapore are preferable!Actually it sounds like you have an excellent basis for finance. I would suggest that you work on getting some face to face 'informational' interviews with people in the industry (I am assuming you are in a financial centre b/c of your wife). Infact, use your wife's contacts. Even if she is not quant, she might know people who know people. This process might clarify for you exactly what you want to do. Its probably easier to get in than you think. You just need to show that you are not a bullsh*tter and you can produce the goods.Best wishes.
 
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albertmills
Posts: 380
Joined: March 13th, 2007, 1:09 pm

From Oil & Gas modelling to IT Quant ?

February 6th, 2014, 10:53 pm

Westminster: I'm just curious what exactly did you do for oil and gas? Create computer models of reservoirs? If you were doing computer modelling, why would you have to go to all these field locations, wouldn't computer modelling jobs be in London (BP) or Houston or Amsterdam (Shell)?
 
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Westminster
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Posts: 3
Joined: February 1st, 2014, 1:31 am

From Oil & Gas modelling to IT Quant ?

February 7th, 2014, 4:31 am

Albert: I have worked at the seismic data processing stage of exploration (modelling, imaging). Reservoir modelling is later in the O&G process (development, production). Though it's true my background is mostly R&D, moving to a production subsidiary was presented as - and would have been indeed, a good opportunity to gain experience at the operational level while bring advanced analytical skills to operational problems. That's a widespread thing and many of my team mates are now or have been in operational assignments a few times in their careers.Neuroguy: Thanks ! I started my experience in O&G with a traineeship for SLB/WesternGecco in Gatwick a loooong time ago. Excellent scientists and great professionnals all over the place. That's where I caught the virus of data science.
Last edited by Westminster on February 6th, 2014, 11:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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