AuthorTopic: Trading Position
@2005-06-23 16:55:15
Hello Everyone.

My background is Computer/Electrical Engineering from university of toronto. After my 3rd year of underfrad studies I went to Holland to "play" stocks in my cousin's brkerage house. It was pretty intersting. Mostly in arbitage division. My work involed taking advantage of arbitage on stock price differences in different cities using a phone. I really liked the "job". So after my return and and completion of my engineering degree i decided to quit my engineering career and start new with trading. Thats when i decided to do CFA level 1. I did my CFA level 1 in dec 03 and passed it. This got me a few interviews at canadian banks and fx dealers but mostly supporting their IT systems.

I evebtually found a position as prop trader at swift trade. work environment wasnt very god. But i learnt a lot about trading on nasdaq. It was a very restrictive environment with strict limits on how to trade. I did OK at the job and took CFA level 2 in june 04 and failed it with grace(i.e by a small margin). There i learnt that market maker(i.e bug banks and brokerage houses) have a control on price level and they can manipulate the price in their advantage because they have more capital. AND I WANT THAT JOB.

IN order to get my foot inside a real canadian financial institution i applied to top MBA programs in Canada i.e Rotman and Ivey. I got accpeted into both and I have decided to go for Rotman.

Is this right track for me to get that job? Is there anything else i can do to improve my chances. I know the summer internship will be very important. How helpful will be my CFA level I, when applying for summer interships for my MBA, What else can i do during the summer to get the "JOB" upon graduation.

i dont have the GPA or the experience to get into top 8 US schools. And i will be happy to work in toronto.

Basically do i have a future? All detailed commentry is appriciated.
@2005-06-24 06:32:23
If you have to choose one school in Canada, then you made the right choice by going to Rotman. With your experience & Rotman's MBA degree, I am sure there will be some chances for you in Canada after completing your MBA program. However, if you plan to work in any other country besides Canada, then you will need to re-consider going to Rotman. IMO, the rest of the world give more credits to say top 25 U.S. programs than Rotman. So the conclusion is that it depends on whether if you are sure to stay in Canada or going away. Canada is a nice place to live in but when it comes to career opportunities in finance then it has very little to offer. I guess for you it also depends on the tradeoff between quality of life and career advancements. Cheers.
@2005-06-25 09:27:44
I had a lot of friends that went to Rotman. They said the engineering types got amazing summer internships. In terms of staying in Canada, Rotman is the place to be. If you want to work in the US, Rotman doesn't really open the doors. Granted a few of the top guys do get NY jobs, it's not that common. I'd recommend you go on their website and look at the top firms that hire from Rotman. I know a few grads about 3 years back that are now in trading - not sure what their backgrounds are.

Hmmm, the CFA isn't really going to help you land in trading. The most it may show is some interest in financial markets and your desire to change careers. The key thing it remember is everyone things they want to be a trader. You need to look at what sets you apart from them. What aspects of being a trader are you better at then someone else. Your engineering background does help - usually shows a creative, idea generating ability and you really want to plug that in an interview. You really need to go into an interview with some profitable strategies - granted if you actually have good stuff, don't show them that yet, just get them interested and hint that there is way more. What they want to know if that you know how to make money and that you are post the point of just textbook theory.

CFA Discussion Topic: Trading Position

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Thanks again for your wonderful site ... it definitely made the difference.
Craig Baugh

Craig Baugh