Kevin Colgan

Assistant Trader, Susquehanna International Group

Job Assistant Trader
Employer Susquehanna International Group, Dublin
Education BSc Financial and Actuarial Maths, Dublin City University (2008)

During my final year I went to an open day at Susquehanna and was really impressed by the atmosphere there. Afterwards I sent my CV to their HR department. Following an initial telephone screening I was invited for a face-to-face interview with one of the traders.

As an Assistant Trader on the graduate programme I am exposed to various different trading areas. I’m nearly a year in and so far I've worked on the commodity desk, in equities and have gained experience as an option trader. Currently I'm working on the exchange traded fund (ETF) desk.

On a typical day I'll come in at 7.15 am and update our pricing tools in response to overnight moves. As a desk we calculate the fair value in hundreds of different ETFs and show a 'two way' market to investors – that is a price they can buy at and a price they can sell at. Most of our markets are open at 8.00 am so I'm at my busiest in the morning. After that I'll start running my own trading strategy, which involves looking after a small group of ETFs: pricing up the products, looking at flow and managing positions. Initially Assistant Traders occupy a primarily supportive role, but now that I’m more comfortable making trading decisions I’ve got a lot more responsibility.

Job-hunting tips

The trading floor's a fast-paced environment. A lot of the work I do requires thinking on your feet. A talented poker player will usually make a good trader, so if you'd like to get into trading, brush up on your poker skills and gaming strategy. Remember too that interviewers are more interested in strategic thinking and in how you approach problems than your knowledge base.