Belvedere Trading is hiring! Check CareerCat to apply for the following positions: Trader Trainee (resume drop deadline: Oct. 8), Software Support Analyst, Jr. Software Engineer (SQL), Jr. Software Engineer, Business Analyst and Automation Engineer (resume drop deadlines: Oct. 14).
Describe your role with Belvedere. How long have you worked with Belvedere Trading?
I have worked at Belvedere for almost two and a half years. Currently, I am a derivatives trader at the CBOE (Chicago Board Options Exchange), trading options and futures on the Russell 2000 and Nasdaq 100 indexes. I am a mentor for our new hires, which involves one-on-one periodic meetings to track their progress and address their concerns. I am also an instructor in our new hire theory education program, which is the backbone of their initial training. Recently, I became a part of the recruiting team and will be conducting some information sessions and interviews this fall.
What is your work and education background?
I graduated from Northwestern in 2011, with a degree in Engineering Sciences and Applied Mathematics from McCormick. I had a summer internship before my senior year at Simplex Investments, a small proprietary trading firm, where I was exposed to the trading industry. In the fall of my senior year, I interviewed almost solely with proprietary trading firms and thankfully found Belvedere.
What’s a typical workday like for you?
I get to the Belvedere office around 7:45 AM and have a brief meeting with the other trader in my group and our clerk about what goals we have for the trading day. Then I walk to the CBOE trading floor, where I am an open outcry market maker. This means I make markets, or provide a bid and an offer, on options and option spreads out loud. I trade mostly open outcry, but can also trade electronically from the trading floor. After the market closes, I go back to the Belvedere office to have a brief end of day wrap-up meeting. Then I attend mentor meetings, teach classes, or proctor quizzes/tests. I usually leave the Belvedere office between 5:00 and 5:30 PM.
What does your workspace look like?
I have a full desktop computer, with 2 monitors, a keyboard, and a mouse. The Russell 2000/Nasdaq 1000 pit has roughly 10-12 market makers, 8 brokers, and 8-10 clerks. The picture shows another pit on the CBOE trading floor that looks and functions very similarly to mine.
What’s the best thing about working for Belvedere?
The rewards for success. The expectations at Belvedere are very high, and it can be extremely stressful while you are training and learning new concepts. But after you prove your proficiency in certain skills, the managing partners push you to higher job roles with more responsibilities and advanced learning opportunities.
What professional advice do you have for job-seeking graduating students, or for students who are early in their college careers?
Do your research about companies you think you’d like to work for. Sometimes the job description and online information about a company do not accurately represent the work environment or employees. Make sure you prioritize the culture of the company and your work environment ahead of salary. You will spend too many hours at your office to sacrifice quality of work environment for higher pay.
What makes a candidate stand out to Belvedere recruiters?
The best candidates have passion for the trading industry, commitment to continuous learning, and strong communication skills. We find many candidates who are very technically qualified, so we differentiate those candidates based on their “fit” to Belvedere.
What gadget, office tool or program can’t you live without?
Lyft, a ride-sharing program that is exploding in Chicago right now. I use it all the time instead of cabs, because you can request a ride at any time, and a driver comes to your location. It’s a great transportation choice for my morning work commute if I’m running late and can’t take the train or walk, and it’s cheaper than using cabs.
What’s the best advice you’ve received?
1. Be confident, but not arrogant. If you “do your homework” and master job skills, you should confidently prove your hard work.
2. You should know the information you use for your job well enough that you could teach it to someone who knows nothing about it.
My name is Jaime Swartz, I am 24 years old, and I am originally from Des Moines, IA. I have always had a strong interest in math and developed an interest in finance at Northwestern. I have played volleyball since I was 12 years old, and I currently play and coach competitively.
About Employer Spotlight
Employer Spotlight offers participating on-campus recruiters the chance to share their career tips and experiences with Northwestern students. Employer partners interested in guest blogging are welcome to contact Kelli Conkey for more information.