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IMC Trading

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  • 500 - 1,000 employees

John Baker

I manage the day-to-day operation of a trading strategy and look to analyse the performance of the strategy and seek to expand and develop it into the future.

How did you get to your current job position? For how long have you had it?

I applied to IMC in my final year and was successful in going through the graduate recruitment process. I have been working at IMC as a graduate trader since February 2018.

How did you choose your specialisation?

I wanted to work in a technically challenging role where I could apply my skills towards solving problems with a quick turnaround. I was interested in the analysis challenges that employees at IMC deal with on a daily basis.

What does your employer do?

IMC is a market-making firm that leverages technology to trade a range of financial products on a range of stock exchanges.    

What are your areas of responsibility?

I manage the day-to-day operation of a trading strategy and look to analyse the performance of the strategy and seek to expand and develop it into the future.

Can you describe a typical workday? What was the last thing you worked on?

I’ll often run into work or take part in an exercise group that IMC organises most mornings. After having a shower I’ll grab some breakfast from the kitchen and get about setting up for the day. In the morning before the exchanges open we might have team meetings or time to work on projects. During trading hours, the focus is on managing the operation of the trading strategy as well as working on various projects to improve our set-up. After the close, I’ll typically analyse the performance of the day, grab some tasty dinner from the kitchen and then head home.

Could someone with a different background do your job?

Yes, anyone with experience in areas such as computer science, mathematics and engineering would have skills that could tackle the practical problems faced in our industry.

What would your career be if you weren’t doing what you’re doing now?

I enjoy working in technically challenging and fast-paced roles so I’d likely be in another industry where I could use analytical and decision-making skills and quickly see the outcomes of my actions.

Suppose a student was considering your career. What would you advise them to study? Are there any soft skills it would be beneficial for them to develop? Should they pursue any sort of work experience?

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 they can teach or extend these skills and provide good opportunities to apply them to practical problems. 

It’s extremely important to develop your ability to work with teams and ensure you are able to communicate your ideas effectively. 

Many companies, including IMC, offer paid vacation work/internships. In general, it’s really valuable to complete this work to get to know companies and get an understanding of the work environment and industry that you have a passion for.

What sort of person succeeds in your career?

If you are motivated to solve challenging problems and have the capacity to learn and adapt to changing conditions you’ll succeed in a career at IMC. 

What do you love most about your job? Which tasks do you enjoy?

There is a lot of freedom to explore what you are interested in and develop the best solution available. I enjoy completing analysis to determine how best to improve our existing strategy for the future.

Which three pieces of advice would you give to a current student?

  • Completing vacation work during university holidays is extremely valuable as it enables you to work out which field you are interested in working in and gives you a greater appreciation for how your course work can be applied to your future career.
  • If there is a course or area of study you come across that you are particularly interested in, it is worth pursuing it via personal study. University is a good opportunity to be exposed to a range of ideas and concepts and it’s valuable to further pursue the areas you are interested in. 
  • It’s always worth taking a chance to try something new. You never know where it will lead until you give it a crack.