Should I go quant?

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Should I go quant?

Postby Christoffer » Wed Feb 08, 2012 5:16 pm

I recently finished my PhD in particle physics (created and implemented models) and I am now about to move from Sweden to Melbourne. I do not want to continue in physics research, mainly because I want to decide where to live myself. One of the big options I'm considering is to move into economy, but I am not convinced it is what I want to do. One of the main concerns I have is that it may be "boring", that is not as challenging from an academic viewpoint. I have always enjoyed when you run into unsolved problems that you are the first in the world to solve. I think you understand what I mean. :) So let me ask:

1) How intellectually challenging (in the above meaning) is a quant job compared to a PhD or postdoc in physics?
and sorry for asking this, but:
2) If I don't want to, or can't manage to get a quant position, what kind of job will a physics PhD be able to find in Melbourne?

Thanks for replies, and I found your advice for wannabe quants very helpful! :)
Christoffer
 
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Re: Should I go quant?

Postby mj » Thu Feb 09, 2012 2:13 am

quant jobs can be very intellectually challenging but often are not.

Melbourne does not have many quant jobs; they are mostly in Sydney. It's a bad market at the moment.

Australia tends to be very relevant qualification focussed. So an awful lot of employers will think you are strange if you want to do anything other than physics with a physics PhD! (this does not apply to quant.)

There are various universities in Melbourne of course...
mj
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Re: Should I go quant?

Postby Christoffer » Fri Oct 26, 2012 7:53 am

Thanks for the reply Mark!

I am now in Melbourne, and I have finally sorted out all the paper work to get a visa I can work on. I have decided to have a go at quantitative finance. The more people I talked to actually working in the business, the more happy and satisfied stories I heard, outweighing the horror scenarios I have read about in more public spaces.

You say that Melbournes does not have many quant jobs, which I interpret as there still being some, although few. My first question now is what is the best way to approach my potential employers. Should I start sending emails directly to the companies? Better to go through recruitment agencies? Is it better to send an email to set up a meeting, or should I just call?

I have spent quite some time googling for companies (your name pops up frequently as soon as I include "quant" and "finance" in the search actually) and browsing through search engines like seek, but I still get the feeling that there are smaller companies around that I'm not aware of, and that may not advertise positions through the big mainstream channels. It is too much to ask you to list all possible companies that may employ me, but maybe you could give some hint on how to find them. Is it a matter of networking only? Talk to people, and contacts of contacts, etc?

Last question: would you recommend me any courses that I can follow, that would increase my chances?

I get the impression that you are a far too busy man for this, but if you happen to have some time to waste, I would be happy to buy you lunch or something, and we could talk more.

Thanks for your time.
Best wishes
/Christoffer
Christoffer
 
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Re: Should I go quant?

Postby mj » Fri Oct 26, 2012 9:16 am

i know of one or two places.

Can you e-mail me a cv?
mj
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Re: Should I go quant?

Postby Christoffer » Fri Oct 26, 2012 12:18 pm

Sounds great!
I'll fix up my cv a bit first though. I have been told it is too long to use outside academia. Give me the weekend.
thanks.
Christoffer
 
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