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Recruiting: How to Get into Proprietary Trading

Most traders at top firms have a background that looks something like this:

There are exceptions, and English Literature majors and students from non-target schools get in as well – it’s just more difficult and requires more networking.

To be an “ideal candidate,” you need to show that you’re hungry to succeed in trading.

Drive and raw ability tend to trump credentials and GPA (up to a certain point).

As an undergrad, focus on the following points to break in:

  1. Build a track record – Get internship experience, trade your own account, and learn the mental math, probability, and programming that they’ll test you on in interviews. C/C++ and Python are the most useful languages, but specific languages matter less than the concepts.
  2. Network – Especially if you’re at a non-target school, find prop trading firms on LinkedIn, look up professionals there, and email them to introduce yourself and ask about their careers. All the normal networking and informational interview advice applies.

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