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Quantitative Analyst

  1. Feb 10, 2013 #1
    I'm interested in becoming a Quantitative analyst, more so library quant (my course has introduced me to finite difference/monte carlo/Java thus far) as opposed to risk etc. My dilemma is that I want to apply for internships but I'm not sure what to apply for, all the undergrad internships seem to be focused in very specific areas of finance such as investment banking, risk, human resources, treasury etc. none of these seem to fit with the description of a quant, very heavy programming/math background. My other option is to start my PHD in Physics and then apply for some Quant post-grad internships offered at places like J.P. Morgan. Either way I would like to get a taste of banking before that as I am currently 2nd year undergrad.

    I guess my main question is, out of the types of internships going for undergrads what would suit me best?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 10, 2013 #2
    Re: Quant Analyst

    Why dont you do a masters in financial engineering instead of trying to do a physics phD if you have no intent of doing physics work?
  4. Feb 10, 2013 #3
    Re: Quant Analyst

    Because an MFE is not a great way to get hired as a quant; certainly not the kind of work the OP is talking about.
  5. Feb 10, 2013 #4
    Re: Quant Analyst

    Point is that getting a physics PhD because you solely want to do finance doesnt seem like the most straightforward and smart way to get into finance.
  6. Feb 11, 2013 #5
    Fine that I understand but what I really want to know is what the most useful internship for me to get into finance is, quant or not I want to be in a math/programming heavy section and quant is the only one I can see fitting that, as for doing a physics phd solely to become a quant I don't really mind, I enjoy physics a lot, I just don't particularly enjoy the sound of the post doc lifestyle.

    By all means if I do an internship and get accepted onto a graduate training program ill take it without considering a phd. All I want to know is what internship fits my role as a physics student best.
  7. Feb 11, 2013 #6
    Re: Quant Analyst

    They didn't say just any job in finance. The OP was specific.
  8. Feb 11, 2013 #7
    Re: Quant Analyst

    It really isn't tremendously important which internships you get. Just do well at them and ensure you get plenty of good programming experience in grad school. Obviously your last intership would best be at a company you were going to be hired at, but you can't always control that.

    Quant work isn't a very stable field. If you read quantnet or wilmott or look at two-fish's posts here you'll see that the game has changed a lot. Focus on having the right skills and keep track of changes in the industry as your education progresses. Be aware that the need for the kind of work you're looking at may be greater or lesser by the time you graduate. Which is another reason not to get an MFE; with physics you at least have other options, weak as they might be.
  9. Feb 11, 2013 #8
    Re: Quant Analyst

    Twofish often said that the non-PhDs in his group usually had an MS in CS, applied math, or a related field, and a few years' worth of experience on top of that. From what I remember, it need not be finance experience.

    As Locrian said, read Wilmott and see what they have to say. I spend a lot of time here and on 'academic guidance', and the only current regular posters who are closest to the finance industry are Locrian (actuary), ParticleGrl (data mining), and meanrev (his own finance start-up). That's just *three* persons. On Wilmott, you'll find people who currently work in the industry. Maybe a few who were in a similar spot to you a few years ago. Or know people who were/are.


    To the best of my knowledge...
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2013
  10. Feb 11, 2013 #9
    Re: Quant Analyst

    Also, consider talking to a couple of quant recruiters. I dont' know that they'll spend much time with you, but they have tremendous knowledge and may be able to give you a few tips.
  11. Feb 11, 2013 #10
    Re: Quant Analyst

    Exactly ,there are more practical/direct routes than spending 5-7 years in a physics phD program
  12. Feb 11, 2013 #11
    Re: Quant Analyst

    I think you're misunderstanding what twofish was saying jesse73. More importantly, an MS in CS is a long distance from an MFE.
  13. Feb 11, 2013 #12
    Re: Quant Analyst

    But hey, as long as you're not suggesting people who want to be quants get MFE's, I guess it's all good.
  14. Feb 11, 2013 #13
    Re: Quant Analyst

    Im not. You are significantly more stuck on focusing on the MFE than I was. I was simply suggesting that there are more direct routes than a PhD in Physics as the MS in CS suggestion illustrated.
  15. Feb 12, 2013 #14
    The trend in quantitative finance now is in big data.

    There are many opportunities to do what (I think) you want as a sophomore/junior in physics/math/CS, but the trade-off is that the recruitment is notoriously competitive and the work is buy-side-oriented. Just reading off my head, these guys all recruit at colleges and are very particular about quant modeling:

    - D.E. Shaw
    - Jane Street Capital
    - Wolverine Trading
    - Peak6 Investments
    - Tower Research Capital
    - Weiss Asset Management
    - GMO LLC
    - DRW Trading Group
    - Allston Trading
    - Jump Trading
    - Knight Capital Group
    - Optiver
    - GETCO
    - Susquehanna International Group
    - Weiss Asset Management
  16. Feb 12, 2013 #15
    You should check out www.quantnet.com. It is a forums based website dedicated to this type of field.
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