QuoteOriginally posted by: bearishThose of us who have been doing this for a while are rather tired of physicists who appear to have woken up in the morning before applying for a job thinking something along the lines of "ah, I am smart and good with math and computers; I hear I can make a lot of money in finance with these skills -- I am sure they will tell me how".I second this.And I would extend that advice to people from all disciplines. I mentioned on other threads a few people I have tried to advise - the worst case was a girl from a BA insurance background who was looking for advice and did nothing but wind me up. Every time I tried to help her she would twist it and give me useless advice on my career when she was in no position to comment. The clincher was seeing her talk like a complete spaz about 'tech' being ideal for her - she just based this on the industry's strength and it apparently being better to work for than finance firms, but nothing to do with her skills. Her CV had no programming/software skills, or even alternatively IT skills. Not even educationally. And the attention to detail was important (or her lack thereof) - one bit of advice I had for her was that in her position she would not get roles through HHs, but through her network. HHs won't deal with people that have gone of the beaten track. Yet she showed no understanding and/or memory skills of a goldfish when A) she asked me to swap names of HHs we were using (we were in different sectors!!) and B) to forward the name of HH I mentioned in my sector that was good (again he can't help her, and based on her personality and his short fuse would have gotten on the phone to shout down my throat, given that she likely would have harassed him after he kindly explained to her that since he didn't cover her sector he couldn't help). And this idea of a HH going "I can't help but know who can" is something that belongs in the pre Sep 2008 world. In la-la land, where most people outside of finance, "big data" or any mathematical disciplines live, you can say trite like 'well she has a job so there', but in the real world, where I live, given that I see from her LinkedIn (which is full of false references as it is), she has since gone through a cycle of getting a job, getting kicked out of it after 6-9 months and starting over.It's bad enough when family, friends and partner think they can condescendingly tell you about how valued a maths degree is, when they don't have a clue, without having people like her in your hair, so the personal thing is valuable. Indeed when I helped someone do an internal move onto my team when I was last at a bank in 2010, it was mainly because I liked him. I met him on an internal training course where he asked for help, he seemed to be fairly quick, understood that he would have to be demoted to move onto our team. He was in a job within the bank that required attention to detail, which was useful for us and as far as he tells me, is still progressing and since back to the level he was at. His academics and experience weren't great per se, but I just got the feeling that he would be useful and he got into a role that didn't need academics per se and got him to restart at something he is much more enthused about. Contrast that to people I meet, especially at Toastmasters, that have the PhD or MSc, but never see the bigger picture. They talk about this hilarious plan to get into banking and 'leave after 2-5 years when I am rich', but that rarely see the link between shrinking IBs and their prospects. I keep thinking with many of them "you probably know STL and stochastics more than I can dream of, how are you this dumb?'I think the OP will have to work on really getting the full picture. For instance how many times did I explain to some dope that finance is specialised and not like tech where you will get a diverse skill set and move around, that I was leaving the sector for that reason, only later on for the clown to chinstroke and then go 'sounds like you want to be in finance then'? Or where I am describing how ineffective a manager is at getting talent when some dope automatically assumes I am talking about HR, when I have explicitly said the person in question is my boss or another hiring manager. It's irritating and I refuse to help maths or physics PhDs that can't follow fairly simple conversation threads. It's not just that they are being irritating but I just can't see if someone makes a 'genius' statements how they are going to help a firm make decisions in finance where the right business decision can often be counter-intuitive. The reality is that being a 'letter box' that cranks out a few numbers, which is all such a dimwit would be useful for, isn't a viable career choice.One bit of advice I was given when interviewing was to get across an understanding of WHY it is a stressful job. It's not so much the people you work with (at least it wasn't for me), but more that even in middle office roles my employability always rode on markets and my firm's strategy remaining in favour my products and not being side-tracked from where I wanted to be. It's not like some software engineers that I know that get put on a diverse amount of projects and never get pigeonholed.Get that understanding across - e.g. I was once asked in an interview about a market downturn in 2005 'what do you think of all that?'. I was so close to saying 'interesting', as I had it drummed into me to show enthusiasm, but manged to catch myself and say 'for anyone long on the markets it must be stressful, but long term I am not worried as they are on the up'. A huge part of the hiring process will involve talking about this and how you feel about the hiring process - managers like (or at least my impression is that they like) to talk to graduates that get to a certain degree the logic of finance hiring. i.e. that it is very specialist and that employability is more linked to your particular corner of the market. I have never interviewed candidates, that may happen in the future, but I am pretty certain if do and get the impression from physicists or mathematicians that they think it is a case of 'get your foot in the door and it is easy from then on' I won't hire them. The reality is that if you 'get your foot in the door' it can be easier, but in my experience it is only easy if you appreciate the attention to detail required for finance (saying that is 'true of all jobs' is a semantic argument and BS - attention to detail in finance is much more than I have experienced elsewhere) and don't act like you have 'made it'.
Last edited by liam
on April 10th, 2016, 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.