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When to begin applying for jobs

  1. Feb 3, 2012 #1
    Hi all,

    I am a long time reader and first time poster. Basically I am graduate student who is finishing up a ph.d in experimental condensed matter. I have no desire to move forward in academia and I have been looking into other options. The most attractive option to me at the moment is finance, mostly because I think its interesting and also because I enjoy programing,modeling, and analyzing data (which is why I became an experimentalist). Most of my graduate school programing has been done in a program called Igor but I am also proficient in MatLab and know basic c++, i.e I know what classes are how to use them, I know what inheritance and polymorphism is but I have never done any extensive software programming in C++. I have read all the previous post on this subject, but none of them address the question of when to actually begin applying for the job. I will complete my ph.d sometime this fall, I know that other industries typically hire as much as 10 months before graduation but I imagine its less in the financial world since there is so much instability at the moment. Also, if anyone has any comments on what I could do during my spare time to be better prepared for a financial career I'd love to hear them. I have a friend who is also interested in a financial job after graduate school and we have been auditing a class in markov chains (last semester) and are auditing a class on time series this semester. Although the time series class seems like a waste because I basically do time series except I do 2-d spatial correlations and removing spatial periodicity but the techniques are easily applicable to time series. Although it has been interesting learning about ARMA's and GARCH models. Anyhow, I appreciate any advice.

  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 4, 2012 #2
    There are two routes. One is campus hiring, and that involves making sure that you get an interview for Superday. The other involves going through head hunters. It wouldn't hurt right now so go to the major websites (www.dice.com www.efinancialcareers.com www.phds.org) and get in touch with the headhunters.

    1) your top priority is to get your dissertation out.

    2) if you have time, get Hull or Wilmott and read through them. Just remember that 80% of what is in those books is either wrong or irrelevant, but it will let you learn the vocabulary.

    One resume tip is to say something like "my research involves researching spatial correlations which are related to GARCH and ARMA time series models used in algorithmic trading."

    The reason for that is that the initial gatekeeper has no technical knowledge, and is just doing a keyword match, so if you can get GARCH, ARMA, and time series in there, you get your resume passed to something that can actually figure out what you did is relevant.
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