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What to do if you’re under 20 and want to work for Google or a hedge fund when you’re older

Symbol of the International Maths Olympiad

Symbol of the International Maths Olympiad

You’re a young person at that difficult stage of life otherwise known as adolescence and you figure that you want to work in a quant hedge fund. What can you do about it?

Try entering yourself for an ‘Olympiad.’

According to this recent post on Quantnet, a forum for people interested in Quantitative careers, winning a medal at a national maths Olympiad will help your cause. However, winning a medal at the International Maths Olympiad, will assure your attractiveness to hedge fund recruiters. This being the case, the top quantitative hedge fund managers of the future can probably be found on this list. 

Dominic Connor, a quant headhunter of longstanding in the City of London, said he’s entered both his teenage sons in the UK’s national maths Olympiad and that one son has also entered the British Informatics Olympiad.  Both are excellent ways for young people to raise their profiles for banking and technology employers, says Connor.

“The big firms will scan the lists of Olympiad winners and invite them in for open days or for sessions at Oxford and Cambridge,” Connor adds. “Unfortunately, only children educated at private schools tend to be aware that the Olympiad systems even exist.”

The 2014 International Maths Olympiad is being held in South Africa in July, but will only be open to winning national teams. The 2014 British Informatics Olympiad is being held in July 2014.

Former winners of national Olympiads in both maths and informatics are to be found working everywhere from Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley to Google. However, Hugo Sugden, managing director at Quant recruitment firm GQR, says a national Olympiad win won’t get you a job in a bank or hedge fund on its own: “It’s desirable, but ranks behind academics and work experience,” he claims.  

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