I was a professional poker player for many years, so I was no stranger to the experience of making timely decisions with imperfect information. SIG is a natural fit for people who think about the world the way I do, where there is uncertainty about everything, and almost everything can be considered some kind of probability distribution.
I wrote a book (The Mathematics of Poker) with another quant from SIG, Bill Chen. Even before that, I had collaborated with some other SIG people on various projects.
The best thing about working here has been the firm’s commitment to investing in me long-term. After only a year at SIG, I was given the opportunity to learn more about an aspect of SIG’s business that was new to me and enabled me to significantly change the course of my professional development.
I was given an ongoing project in high-performance trading, with the opportunity to take ownership of the existing process, and work on improving it eventually converting the existing process into a test bed for future ideas. I was given a lot of leeway to develop the ideas I had in whatever directions seemed promising.
Quants on the desk talk to each other all the time; ask questions, pose problems. We complement each other’s backgrounds as well; not everyone is going to be an expert in every field of mathematics. Sometimes one becomes the de facto expert on a topic because it just happened to come up as a good model a couple of times for you, and now you know more than anyone else. There’s a lot of tapping into those shared resources.
The environment here is dynamic, team-oriented, and we are constantly moving people around in order to maximize their value to the firm. The firm is serious about getting the most out of your talents. Not too many places would take a person who is in a spot which is a good fit, and say “spend the next year learning to do something completely new, because we think that there might be a better fit available later.” Also, no need to worry about not having financial services experience. SIG can teach you whatever you need to know about the markets.
I enjoy working in the financial markets – as a longtime gambler and games player, there is really no bigger stage for some of my skills than this.
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