PhD in EE applying for first quant job

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PhD in EE applying for first quant job

Postby HelenA » Fri Jan 20, 2012 1:17 am

I am writing to seek your advice on getting my first quant job. I have a PhD in Electrical Engineering, majoring in machine learning & pattern recognition. I did 2-years post doc on signal processing. I do a lot of programming in my job/research, both MATLAB and C++. At the time when I graduated (Dec 2009) I tried to apply for quant jobs, but I was not well prepared at that time and could not make through the interviews. I have done a lot of self learning in the past 2 years, read both of your books and Wilmott's 3 volumes and a few others. Recently I am starting to apply for junior quant positions again. I sent out many resumes to investment banks in the past few months, only got a couple of phone interviews. Even though I thought I did well (answered ~80% of the questions), none of them seem to be moving forward. The place I am located (Honolulu) is rather isolated, I could not find any quant person in my area who could give me advice. Would you mind giving me some suggestions which would increase my chance of landing in an offer?

Thank you very much for your time.
HelenA
 
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Re: PhD in EE applying for first quant job

Postby HelenA » Fri Jan 20, 2012 1:23 am

Hi Mark, I also want to ask. I saw CFA as a plus in some quant job descriptions. Do you think it is going to help if I start working towards the CFA exams?
HelenA
 
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Re: PhD in EE applying for first quant job

Postby mj » Wed Jan 25, 2012 1:19 am

Well it's a tough job market...

There is an MFE program at the university of Hawaii, I think, so it may be worth trying to make contact with people there. Possibly try to get some research going or see if they want some casual teaching help.

Quants tend to look down at the CFA but it can be useful in terms of demonstrating that you have made the transition to finance and are serious.

If you have friends in a less isolated place who would tolerate you living with them for a bit, then I'd advise doing so and trying to apply on the spot. it is much harder to get a job long distance.

I'd also practise actually implementing models and make sure that your cv says that have done so.
mj
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Re: PhD in EE applying for first quant job

Postby HelenA » Wed Jan 25, 2012 7:08 pm

That's very useful advice, thank you!

Yes Univ. of Hawaii do have a MFE program, but last time when I spoke with them, they were more interested in convincing me joining the program other than giving any useful information. I think it is not worth it for me to get an MFE as I already do well in math and programming, even the finance part I have put a lot of studies in the past 2 years.
HelenA
 
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