QuoteOriginally posted by: DGWKWhere would you advise someone fresh out of the PhD, with no background in quant finance, to start his/her career?More specifically, I am interested in moving into the more traditional quant job of derivative pricing, but I have no background in this besides having read the classic books (Baxter & Rennie, Hull, Paul Wilmott...).I have a PhD in applied math and a decent C++ programming background (at least for an entry-level position). I am currently being interviewed for various roles including: FX, credit, corporate treasury, and a statistical arbitrage hedge fund. 1) Which one of them is my best entry point? 2) Which desks (in general) would you consider to have the most "broad and transferable knowledge" in quant finance?I am afraid the answers to those questions are rather conditional.If you want to do 'traditional' quant derivative pricing, then really, you are looking at going to a bank and working for a derivatives team. Your description of the roles is a bit lacking (FX could mean anything to do with currency). But I would guess that credit might be the most relevant to derivatives pricing (depending on the derivative and depending on what you mean by credit).Stat. arb is likely to take you well out of the derivative quant area, unless said arb. is of derivatives. 1. I think it depends quite a bit on the firm and the team, rather than just the precise role. Personally I would go for stat. arb, but then I have never wanted to be a derivates pricer.2. What you consider 'broad' and transferable is completely dependent upon where you want to transfer to! Also, if you are always targeting 'transference' you might never really get into the meat of anything. Personally I am not sure that this is a great criterion, maybe for a grad scheme, but not for a PhD. Its very important to be agile, to learn, and be able to transfer. But as a PhD, you might be better off transmitting the image that infact you are not 'broad' but deep and not 'transferable' but able to plow the f*ck through specific, difficult problems, that the 'broader' people in the business can't even understand (P.iled h.igher and D.eeper right?). That is why they need a PhD in the first place. If you want to be broad and transferable, consider doing an MBA.Best of luck though, it sounds like you have some nice options.
Last edited by neuroguy
on February 14th, 2014, 11:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.