Category Archives: Job Search

Summer Jobs -  According to CNN, there will be more summer jobs available and they will also pay better. This is great news for high school an young college students looking to make good money and get great work experience. Ten percent of hiring managers said they will be hiring more seasonal staff than last summer, up from 6% in 2010. Hiring managers said they plan to pay out $10.90 an hour, on average, a 7% increase over last summer’s $10.20. However, this also means that there is going to be a lot of competition. Also, managers want to get all their hiring done by April so that once the summer begins their employees can hit the ground running. The most important factors that employers are looking at are abilities, work schedules, and positive attitudes. I know some of us are applying for internships and looking for jobs and I thought this would be helpful.


New Responsibilities    Well, the markets haven’t been doing well with the war in Libya heating up and a disastrous situation in Japan. However, my own life just went on an upswing!

I just got elected as President of the Quantitative Finance Student Association for our school which has been a great honor. I think there’s a lot of room for improvement, and hopefully I will be able to implement some of the ideas I have planned.

Also, I just secured an internship for the summer! It came as somewhat of a surprise to me but I’m elated. I’ll be interning at a BB firm in Hong Kong doing equity research. I think the role fits me very well as I’ve done a lot of similar work in the past, but I’m going to have to get up to speed on SQL. Just ordered the book online so hopefully it will arrive soon. I guess my only other concern is getting used to the jetlag before work kicks off - can’t get caught snoozing on the job!

So since this all happened within such a short time frame, all of a sudden I’ve got a lot more responsibility than I have before. I think it’s good in the sense that it’s keeping me motivated to do work and hopefully I won’t fizzle out. Back to the grind.


Job Rejection Letters: What, I’m Too Overqualified?! — Despite what any employment/unemployment data have been showing us lately, the job market is still terrible.  If you are among the 13.7M unemployed in the U.S., or just looking for a new role, you dread that rejection e-mail implying someone else was a better fit than you.  In other words, someone is better than you.  Or are they?

While the traditional thought process is that a particular candidate was not hired because he/she was weak in certain areas, the reality is that the “sorry, you are too overqualified” response is arguably just as common.  For those that truly want the jobs they apply and interview for, this latter response is one of the most frustrating reasons to hear.  Employers frequently pass up the overqualified because “[t]he assumption is that the person will be bored and not motivated, so they will underperform or leave”, according to a study conducted by Portland State professor of management Berrin Erdogan.  However, Erdogan’s paper resolves that these risks are merely perceptions rather than realities.

There was an interesting piece in the Harvard Business Review last week addressing this issue and why employers should not be so quick to sidestep overqualified candidates.  Strong education credentials, one of the first criteria that may push one’s resume to the “no” pile, do not translate to overqualified.  There are probably good reasons for why that applicant is pursuing that particular role (e.g., career industry move, location change, greater work/life balance).  Also, it is important to recognize future potential for an overqualified candidate at a particular firm.  The “extra” skills that such a candidate can bring on board can definitely be put to use, if not now, in the longer term.  The key message in the article is that the focus should be put on the future of the overqualified candidate and his/her future prospects at the firm.  Staying away from considering such individuals to me suggests that the leadership at the hiring firm lacks vision for the company.  As a senior adviser at Egon Zehnder International and author of Great People Decisions, Claudio Fernandez-Araoz, put it, “When making hiring decisions, visionary leaders don’t just focus on the current needs, but on the future.”

Job Hunt - Back to Normal - It’s amazing how one single goal, short or long term, can so thoroughly impact what you think about, what you joke about, and how you interact with others. This is especially apparent if everyone around you has the same goal and is equally dedicated. By now it must be obvious, but I am of course talking about the often talked-about job search. Getting that foot in the door and that first internship, especially for someone who has never worked in the field, can mean everything. If everyone you know has the same goal, that search for a job is all you think about. For the past two months I think 50-70% of my conversations had something to do with searching for a job, jokes were often related to funny interview situations, and studying consisted of going over interview questions rather than actual homework questions. Goals are often prefaced with “Once I have a job, I will…” and then followed by work out, eat healthier, etc. Now, that burden is lifted and I am free to think about other things and actually follow through on working out, eating healthier, etc. It’s an incredibly liberating feeling, and I look forward to the time when everyone has landed their summer internship. At that time, the group goal goes from ‘getting a job’ to more individual endeavors, and we’ll see a return to normalcy.

Job Search — I’ve been interviewing for jobs since last November and after countless trips to NYC from Ithaca, I finally just landed an offer that I want. I didn’t quite know what career path I wanted to choose, but after interviewing with 12 different companies, I got a fairly good idea on what I would pursue. The career path I choose is a position in quantitative trading. Even though I was just looking for a summer internship, it was as competitive a full-time position. Lets hope I like this job over the summer.