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This page is intended for those who are looking for jobs in quantitative finance. With the Thalesians expanding rapidly, we also hope to be hiring in the coming year.

Contents

Interview Questions

If you are an employer, please see my collection of Interview Questions.

If you are seeking employment, please read on.

General

Before you start looking for a job, make sure that you know what you are looking for. Mark Joshi's article is a good starting point; it provides some useful information on quantitative finance jobs.

Also, take a look at my reading list. At the very least, read Hull.

Jobs and Recruitment

The employees that join financial services firms straight from university are known as graduates. Very often the employer will provide some form of graduate training for their graduate employees, which may last anything from several months to several years. Graduate training programmes may be more or less structured. It will usually involve a formal induction to the firm, various lectures and seminars, and other corporate events. The employees will sometimes be given the opportunity to work for several different teams (this is known as rotation), in order to develop a general understanding of the business and choose a specific area (e.g. foreign exchange or equity derivatives). This is also a good opportunity to get to know more people — or network. Many people say that networking is important. However, it is also very important that you deliver (results).

Not everyone joins as a graduate. You may have worked in a different industry (e.g. engineering) or had an academic career. Or you may have worked for a different financial services firm. In this case you join as experienced or lateral hire. In general you will not have the advantage of the highly structured training and induction processes associated with the graduate programmes, but you may still benefit from in-house training and networking events. If you are joining as a lateral, chances are you were approached by a professional recruiter or headhunter. Or you may have been approached by the firm directly. Or you approached the firm yourself.

If you join immediately after a bachelor's degree, you usually become an analyst. If you have a PhD or advanced master's degree (e.g. an MBA), you become an associate. These are what are known as corporate titles. There are more of these. In order of increasing seniority, the titles are analyst, associate, vice president (VP), executive director (ED), and managing director (MD). In Europe, vice president (VP) is also known as director in most firms.

There are variations from firm to firm. There are junior and senior analysts and associates. Sometimes these titles are informal, sometimes they are formally recognised by the firm's HR. There may be assistant vice presidents (AVP). The executive directors are often called senior vice presidents (SVP). In each case it takes both merit, effort, and time to progress from one position to the next. Sometimes there is a formal requirement to spend a certain amount of time in a particular position. In certain firms this is formalised in the corporate titles and someone may be referred to as a "second year analyst".

These positions or titles are not to be confused with your role at the bank. Sometimes this may also be called position, just to add to the confusion. You may be a quantitative analyst, strategist, or developer, for instance. Or you may be managing others. The corporate titles are not limited to the capital markets (equities and fixed income) divisions. People working in investment banking divisions, corporate finance, operations and technology will also be called analysts, associates, vice presidents and so on.

Many banks offer three kinds of graduate programmes. One for bachelors and masters (analyst level), one for quantitative PhDs (associate level) and one for MBAs (also associate level). Sometimes there is a single associate level programme for both PhDs and MBAs.

In addition to the analyst and associate level programmes, which are usually full-time, there are short term and part-time employment opportunities for current students called internships. These are usually scheduled during the summer vacations for undergraduates, but I am aware of similar programmes for PhDs. Such programmes offer a good opportunity to get an early exposure to the industry and develop the valuable business skills. Usually successful interns have a significant advantage when they apply for full-time positions.

Recruitment Programmes

Here is a list of some graduate training programmes. I shall classify them into "analyst" and "associate" level programmes (the names of the actual programmes will vary). The former are designed for bachelor's and master's degrees. The latter are oriented towards advanced master's (e.g. MBA) and PhD degrees. However, there may be an overlap.

Internships

Analyst Level Programmes

Associate Level Programmes

  • Credit Suisse. Select "Europe Associate registration" or "Europe Quantitative registration".
  • Goldman Sachs. Select "New Associate" (straight after your postgraduate degree) or "Experienced Hire" (moving from another bank).
  • JPMorgan. Select under "Quantitative PhDs" and "MBAs", whichever is appropriate.
  • Merrill Lynch. Click on "Apply Now" and select "Associate" or "PhD".
  • Morgan Stanley. Click on "PhD Full-time Programme" and "Associate".

Interviews

A useful collection of interview questions with answers:

If your job involves programming, chances are there will be programming questions. Be sure to read the "Effective..." books (C++ or Java, depending on the language of choice) mentioned in my reading list.

Websites

  • eFinancialCareers - a comprehensive resource on finance jobs and recruitment.
  • Wilmott is a comprehensive quantitative finance resource. There are job postings and notably forums where people discuss these jobs.

  • This page was last modified on 26 April 2015, at 22:08.
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