Liam O'Gara

Senior Market Strategist, Delta Index Ltd

Degree subject BSc Management Science and Information Systems Studies (2000)

Job title Senior Market Strategist

Employer Delta Index Ltd

I've always been interested in trading and the financial markets and this area formed the background to my degree. My course combined financial and computing fields, allowing me to gain a broad knowledge base that has really helped me with my career so far.

After university I got a job as a research analyst for a hedge fund. Once I had built up my knowledge I started to develop new trading systems and began to trade on behalf of internal and external clients. In my first role I worked in trading global currencies. Calls at 2.00 am weren't uncommon as the markets rarely sleep. Once I moved to managing a European equity fund, my hours were more standard because the market closes at 4.30 pm. The best part of working with a hedge fund was the responsibility I was given to set the direction of the fund; you really have a chance to prove yourself. It's a rollercoaster of highs and lows though, as you're very dependent on what's happening in the market.

While I was in this position I was approached to move to my current company, where I've been a senior market strategist for almost a year. My previous job was focused on the financial markets but my experience there was the perfect backdrop to my current role, which is more business based and offers more variety. The position I'm in now is more client-facing than my previous roles and encompasses a wide variety of areas such as business strategy, marketing and sales. I analyse the financial markets, write market commentary and reports, and communicate trading ideas to clients. I like the range of tasks I do, especially as I also work closely with our clients in a consultancy role, adding value to their trading decisions. Another aspect of my job is product development and I frequently work with other departments in cross-functional teams to pool our skills.

Advice for graduates

It can be tough to succeed in a fast-paced environment such as financial markets, but if you have a genuine interest in and passion for the sector it's much easier and you will be well rewarded.