On the anniversary of his first 12 months with IMC, we asked John to tell us a little more about his experience as a Graduate Trader and give future graduates some advice. Read about his journey from completing a Science and Engineering degree at Monash University to working on the trading floor.
I grew up in Melbourne and studied at Monash University where I completed two degrees, a Bachelor of Engineering and a Bachelor of Science in 2017. When it came to my final year, I applied to the Graduate program at IMC and was successful. After that, things moved pretty quickly. I have been working as a Graduate Trader since February 2018.
A day in the life of a graduate trader
I need to be focused at work, so I usually start my day with some exercise. I either run to the office or join one of the exercise classes that IMC put on in the mornings. After that, I’ll grab a shower at the office and some breakfast from the kitchen.
As a Graduate Trader, I need to do most of my work when the markets are open. This means that we spend the morning having team meetings or working on other projects. Once the markets are open, my focus is on managing the day-to-day operation of a trading strategy. I’ll also work on other projects to improve our set-up, I really like completing analysis to determine how best to improve our existing strategy.
At IMC, there is a lot of freedom to explore what you’re interested in and develop the best solution.
After the markets close, I’ll analyse the performance of the day while eating a tasty dinner that’s prepared for us every night in the IMC kitchen.
Transitioning from uni to graduate trader
Moving from university to your first job can be daunting. If you want to be a Graduate Trader, I think there are some things you can do to make this transition easier. It’s useful to develop skills in programming and data analysis. University studies in areas such as computer science, mathematics, and engineering are typically valued highly as these skills can be extended and good opportunities to apply them to practical problems.
It’s extremely important to develop your abilities to work in teams and ensure you’re able to communicate your ideas effectively.
Many companies, including IMC, offer paid vacation work and internships. I think that these opportunities are invaluable. During vacation work or an internship, you gain experience while getting to know companies, different work environments, and the industry you’re passionate about.
For me, I’ve learnt that I enjoy working in technically challenging and fast-paced roles. I’d like using analytical and decision-making skills in environments where I can quickly see the outcomes of my actions.
A word to the wise
If I had to give three bits of advice to university students wondering what their next move is, this would be it.
If there is a course or area of study you’re interested in, pursue it! University is a great opportunity, you’ll be exposed to different ideas and concepts and it’s rewarding to move towards the areas you are interested in.
Completing vacation work during the holidays is worth it. It enables you to work out what field you are interested in and gives you a greater appreciation for how your course work can be applied to your future career.
Lastly, it’s always worth taking a chance to try something new. You never know where it will lead until you give it a crack.
Find out about our graduate career opportunities in Sydney and around the world.