Industries of Work
My father was a civil engineer for the highway department of the State of Connecticut. I remember in high school I wanted to major in business. But in my catholic high school, they frowned on business for me, as they said it would be too easy and not challenging enough. Also my dad wanted me to follow in his footsteps with Engineering.
Another factor during my high school graduation was the dot com bubble of the late 90’s and early 2000s. Anyone graduating with computer science or computer engineering was getting ridiculously high salary, and of course one’s parents push their children to go where the money is.
BUT, I did choose my engineering school that was more business focused, and positioned right next to New york City. I attended Stevens Institute of Technology, at first majoring in computer engineering. I could see the Manhattan, New york city skyline from my dorm, and I was set on the fact that I would work on wall street in the financial industry.
Here is some of the positions I have held:
CAD engineer – I did some CAD when I was still in high school for a local machine shop. Mostly tooling drawings for the die cast pieces they had. And it was converting old school print blueprints to digital. Worked mostly with MasterCAM and Lathe software.
Purchasing Assistant – still at the machine shop, I moved from CAD to purchasing department. here I was exposed to a world of RFQing companies that we were past due in paying. I remember calling these suppliers to buy materials, and they would say “why don’t you damn pay first before you keep calling to buy more!”. The machine shop soon went out of business into liquidation.
Database programmer – My first university internship was at kozmo.com, which was awesome because I wore shorts and t-shirt to work right in downtown Manhattan off of wall street. I did PL-SQL database trigger programming. I was surrounded by high tech Indian and Chinese workers, and that was when I realized it wasn’t my field to be in. I met a “technology manager”, which was a laid back Italian guy. he would go to the technology department, check on progress, and report it to the business side. I remember sitting with him, summer 2000, asking him how to get into what he was doing.
Quality Control engineer – Sophomore year university was at AT&T in Staten Island, NY. I worked in the QC department of the engineering group. What I was doing was making statistical reports on quality averages of the various sections in the department. I was looked at like a pest, because I had to audit engineers reports and work. I had to report to the director of the department, and he was impressed with my excel skills. I had automated a lot of the position with macros, and the woman who had been doing it for years wasn’t happy with me, as I almost replaced her job in a single macro click.
IT Project Trainee – Junior year, I landed a job with Deutsche Bank. It was in their Jersey City, NJ back office department. I was in a group that had gotten sold to State Street Bank, and was in the process of downsizing. That in itself was an experience.
Stock Loan Management Trainee – my first position out of college, with Deutsche Bank. This was a support team for “stock loan” or also called “equity finance”, which is the business of lending stock shares to other broker / dealers that would short them or use them as collateral for leveraging their trading books and portfolios. Lots of excel and mainframe “green screen” systems that made me realize how archaic the back office is on Wall Street.
Purchase & Sales Stock Exchange – in this management training rotation position, I was involved with checking the stock trades on the NYSE and NASDAQ for the Deutsche Bank trading desks. Lots of trade flow processes, discussing with couterparties (the other side of a trade, meaning the buyer or seller), and telling the stock floor they screwed up a stock trade and had to “rebook it”. Lots of mouth in this department, but I grew some thicker skin for sure.
Fixed Income Trading Assistant – my final rotation, here I was again supporting the trading desks, but for the “fixed income”, or bond desks. From Corporate bonds (more secure, less coupons interest payments), to high yield (riskier, but higher interest rate), down to junk bonds (distressed or bankrupt companies debt) – I learned about all kinds of bonds, and settlement. I was also exposed to international trade, dealing with Brazil and UK, sometimes the occasional Asia trade, but that was rather rare.
Distressed Debt Trading Assistant – here I finally made it to the actual trading floor. Still not a trader, but I supported a desk directly, face to face. I then took my NASD broker dealer license tests, called the Series 7 and Series 63 tests. These are mandatory to be able to execute trades on the trading desks, or even to pass prices (called relay) from a broker dealer to the trader for execution. I loved the energy on the trading floor. Normal work day was from 7am to about 6 or 7pm. sometimes earlier, sometimes later. But we are adrenaline junkies. And on the distressed debt, we had the real action watching companies file for chapter 11 bankruptcy. we would be nicknamed “vultures” because it was common to “circle” a company in hard times, betting on its failure, and profiting the day it collapsed. I worked with Enron issues, Worldcom, GM, auto suppliers, Ford, all kinds of airline companies. The morning meetings were great too, we would talk about different businesses, study their financials. I learned how “investors” or traders thought about a business, and soaked up as much knowledge as I could.
mobile phone development
to be continued……