Career Advise

All- I have recently been offered a position on the Statistical Arbitrage desk as a Trading Assistant in one of the bigger hedge funds. I currently work in a similar capacity in a bulge bracket IB. Even though the compensation that they are offering in almost 30% jump from my current level, I am more excited to work on the buy side due to the exposure and the unspoken opportunity to move up within the firm. The firm invests employing the following startegies: - Statistical Arbitrage - Convertible Arbitrage - Relative value - Event driven A little bit about myself, I have an undergrad in EE, Masters in Finance and am currently a Level III candidate. I have been trying to break into research, Portfolio management kind of roles but interviews have been really hard to come by. I was initially thinking that I should wait out for a better role after I am done with Level III next year but with this offer sounds like an interesting opportunity to get my foot into the door. My question was whether it would be a good idea to actually take up the offer or should I keep applying for the field I am trying to break into (research/Portfolio management). Also, would passing Level III enhance my chances to break into the field considering I have absolutely no experience in the area. Any feedback would be appreciated. Thanks.

Here are my thoughts: Its a tough call because you don’t want to pass up a great opportunity but at the same time you don’t want to be labeled as a career “trading assistant”. If you do accept the job, you should be prepared to stay in that role for at least a year or two. When they hire you, they would probably expect you to stay in the role before promoting you - otherwise they would just hire you into the trader role. Do you feel like you could land a junior trader job without taking another similar position? Is there any opportunity to move up at your current BB bank? Why would the buy side shop give you any better chance at promotion than your current place? That all seems like obvious advice, but those are the things I would consider if I were in your shoes.

Thanks drs - very valid points.