Alma Mater: MIT
Hometown: San Jose, CA
Definitely SIG's education program. As a college student, I was still figuring out my career, and SIG offered a strong emphasis on both educating its employees and trying to find the best fit for them. The people and culture were also a big aspect of my decision; during my final interview, the people I met with created a very open and honest dialogue with me that made me feel like the work experience at SIG would be extremely worthwhile.
When I first started, I was pleasantly surprised by how far everyone was willing to go to help me; the people at SIG have never felt stuffy or closed off. Everyone I work with and interact with encourages a dialogue that helps me learn. There is no beating around the bush - people believe firmly in honest and helpful discussions. SIG's focus on education and mentorship throughout your career makes me feel as though they are truly invested in not only my future at SIG, but also my future in general.
I generally get in around 8 a.m. before the market open. I catch up on any important news that may have come out overnight and talk to experienced traders about what they're going to focus on in the morning. Because my desk work has been mostly project-based, I try to make sure that any tools I've built are in good working condition, especially before the open. I'll also read emails sent out by our Research team on important financial events to be aware of and read traders' recaps on interesting trades that might have happened the previous day. Throughout the day, I work on my projects while shadowing more senior traders. Having the opportunity to create tools for the traders allows me to contribute my own ideas based on the discussions I have with the traders while shadowing them. I also listen in on broker calls since this a good way to learn the vernacular used in the trading world.
After the markets have closed, my day can vary. As a new trader, we participate in mock trading two times a week. The mock instructors are traders who work full time in education, as well as traders who work on the desk day-to-day. We also have a strategic gaming class once a week. We play a range of poker games: Seven Card Stud, Limit Hold'em, Pot Limit Omaha, as well as various strategic board games. Regardless of the activity, we'll write up our analyses afterward, as this can often help generate a good learning discussion.
I witness a lot of collaboration on the desk - sometimes there are larger-scale trades that one person is in charge of, but before coming to a decision, almost everyone in the group is involved in the discussion.
I am a burgeoning foodie, and I think the food scene in Philly is amazing and so much fun. Also, it doesn't hurt that SIG gets 20% off gift cards to many Philadelphia restaurants. My friends and I also go to beer gardens in the summer which, as we were told when we first started, is a classic "Philly" thing to do. But overall, I'd characterize Philly as a great big city with a small town vibe.
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