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Careers outside Academia - USC Computer Science Masters and Ph.D. Students
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Careers outside Academia - USC Computer Science Masters and Ph.D. Students


Talk given at USC CS Colloquium to grad students ( The topic was - Prospective Careers outside Academia.

Talk given at USC CS Colloquium to grad students ( The topic was - Prospective Careers outside Academia.

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  • 1. First steps to a Successful Career Ashwin Rao USC, Los Angeles, Nov 2013
  • 2. My background •  B.Tech. Computer Science. IIT-Bombay. •  Ph.D. Algorithmic Algebra. USC, Los Angeles. •  VP. Quant Strategist. Goldman Sachs, NY. •  Managing Director. Morgan Stanley. •  Founder. (A Tech Startup)
  • 3. Life after ‘SC •  USC tag follows you J •  Learning curve actually gets steeper •  Acquire versatility in skills and personality •  Associate with people different than you
  • 4. What are suitable jobs for me ? •  You can figure it out objectively •  Glamour, Money and the Mom Syndrome •  Introspect on your Skills and your Interests •  Think Career, not Jobs
  • 5. Prepare Well, but Chill Out •  Research the various jobs thoroughly •  Advice from peers and alumni? •  Personal Life versus Professional Life •  Never compare yourself with others! •  Easy to correct bad jobs or wrong decisions
  • 6. Should I go to Grad School? •  Titles like M.B.A., Ph.D. - what is their value? •  What do the best employers care about ? •  Ph.D. è If you want to be in academia/research •  M.B.A. è If you want to hit the Reset button •  Masters versus Ph.D.
  • 7. Quant Finance Jobs •  Derivatives Trader •  Trading Desk Quant Strategist •  Derivatives Modeler, Statistical Modeler •  Algorithmic Trading Quant •  Analytics Developer
  • 8. Current Wall Street Scenario •  Regulations have reshaped the industry •  Compensation levels down but still high •  Engineers are thriving in quant finance •  Markets turning increasingly electronic •  More emphasis on vanilla trading businesses
  • 9. Tech Jobs •  Boom in Tech, particularly in Silicon Valley •  Compensation levels are growing fast •  Big Data is the new buzz •  Google, Facebook, Apple, Amazon •  Are Tech jobs boring?
  • 10. Silicon Valley versus Wall Street •  Do you enjoy Continuous Math? •  Depth versus Breadth •  Office environment and Colleagues •  Compensation •  Location
  • 11. Some important topics •  Statistical Learning •  Functional Programming •  Domain Specific Languages •  Quantitative Modeling •  Architectures for Big Data
  • 12. Startups •  Appetite for Volatility •  <Market, Product, Team> •  Funding •  Advisors •  Passion
  • 13. Resume •  One-pager with precise education/work details •  Links to LinkedIn, Github, Stackoverflow … •  Reflection of your communication skills/style •  Less drama, more objectivity •  State your international exposure, if any
  • 14. Interviews •  Represent your abilities clearly and accurately •  Typically, a large and diverse set of interviewers •  Flood of puzzles/programming/math problems •  Tough Qs in your claimed areas of expertise •  Evaluation of your communication and attitude
  • 15. ZLemma • evaluates your profile in great detail •  Zlemma Quotient (ZQ) – your suitability for a job •  ZQ is a score out of 100 for a specific job •  Apply for high-ZQ jobs of interest to you •  Jobs ranging from Silicon Valley to Wall Street
  • 16. Addendum •  Tune in to: •  Write to: for advice •  Our app is your friend: