Women in Quant Finance Event: November 2020
G-Research is committed to growing the range of voices and perspectives within our industry. As part of this commitment, we launched the Women in Quant Finance event series, with the inaugural two day workshop taking place in November 2020.
This remote event brought together female STEM PhD students from across Europe for an in-depth, hands-on insight into quantitative finance. The programme featured a range of talks and collaborative skills courses, along with the opportunity to speak directly with some of G-Research’s quantitative researchers to get a better sense of what it is like to work in the industry and the chance to build up a network of their peers. Following the event, all of the attendees were also given the opportunity to have a first-round interview for an internship or full time position at G-Research.
A theoretical and practical introduction to quantitative finance
Quantitative finance can be notoriously secretive and closed-off to outsiders, which makes penetrating its many layers difficult for anyone who lacks a professional network in this area.
Our first goal was to provide attendees with greater background and context on the industry and some insight into how it functions. Having sent all the participants books from our suggested reading list for new researchers, we started the event with an expert overview led by two of our senior researchers. This covered everything from the history of stock exchanges through to the theories that underpin algorithmic trading.
Following this introductory talk, the 32 attendees jumped into an interactive case study/competition, where they were able to flex some of the logical, mathematical, and technical skills associated with quantitative research. This provided a clear sense of the type of work we focus on every day at G-Research, marrying some of the ideas discussed in the earlier session with what this means in practice.
Deep dive Q&A: career paths and academia versus industry
The attendees were also given the opportunity to put questions to a panel of our researchers in an extended Q&A session.
Discussions covered a wide variety of topics. G-Research staff shared an overview of how they managed the transition from academia to the workplace, and how doing a PhD helped them to pick up skills and (perhaps most importantly) the mindset to tackle long-term research problems effectively.
Workplace stress was also discussed and many parallels were found: quant research was described as not having as much short-term stress as some other roles. Just like in academia, challenges and pressure often stem from exploring multiple ideas in depth over time, with varying degrees of success. Other positive common ground between academia and quant research was also covered; researchers have the freedom to explore new ideas and disciplines extensively and build up new skills over time.
Finally, the event also included a chance for attendees to network and get to know their peers. This was conducted in a ‘speed networking’ style so that our attendees had the chance to chat to each other and different members of staff across our research team, in order to gain from their varied backgrounds and perspectives.
Next event: March 2021
We wish all the attendees the best of luck as they complete their PhDs and will follow their careers with great interest, whatever direction they choose to take.
We will be running the next event in the series on the 27th and 28th of March 2021 (include hyperlink), this time focusing on STEM PhD students currently studying in the United States and Canada. If you would like to apply to attend, please check out all the information on this page.