Degrees: Master’s in Finance, HEC, Paris
Occupation: Equity derivative sales at Goldman Sachs
What do you do in your job?
We broke to clients our ideas for trading equity derivatives and execute their trades for them. There are lots of ways you can be a broker in a bank, even though the classic Wall Street idea is of them simply buying and selling stocks. For instance, the way we do it involves selling derivatives of stocks. This involves a lot of strategic thinking with clients, because you’re working with more complicated ideas.
What was your motivation in applying?
I liked the idea of studying something completely different after my previous study and professional experience in the movie industry. So when I went to France to live for a while, I decided to study financial markets. It was a different way of thinking, and I enjoyed it. I liked the idea of working in derivatives because it’s such a hot topic in banks. Goldman Sachs appealed because it has such a fantastic reputation, and it seemed to be a socially conscious company. You got the feeling that they take good care of their people, and I’ve found this to be true.
What did the application process involve?
I had to fill out an online application; next there was a first round with an exam and one interview; and then a second round with three interviews. After this, I was chosen to intern for 10 weeks over the summer. I participated in both structured and unstructured activities. For the unstructured activities, the onus was on interns to create a programme for themselves. I was chosen as an intern whom the markets division wanted to hire for the next year. After my internship, I received an offer, which I accepted.
What do you enjoy about your job?
I’ve been in the job only seven months, but probably what I still enjoy most is the level of intelligence of the people I work with, and also the energy of the trading floor.
Most challenging part of your job?
The amount of information that I need to absorb and process, as well as learning to execute the trades. There is a plethora of technical and intellectual considerations that you must understand thoroughly in order to execute trades competently.
Advice to readers considering a career in your field?
Try to figure out if you like the job, not only through getting experience in markets – via an internship if possible – but also by being involved, and keeping a portfolio of stocks or bonds or commodities. If you do find that you enjoy markets, then learn as much as you can about them, by reading newspapers, books, talking to people in the industry, and so on. My experience is that understanding what is actually going on in markets, and what your place in them can be, is far from obvious. So every piece of information that you can bring together helps. I am still figuring it out, piece by piece, every day.