What was the recruitment process like?
First-round was an online maths aptitude test, involving mental arithmetic and problem-solving. This was followed by a round of in-person interviews and a further maths assessment. The final round was an assessment day involving interviews with senior traders and activities like trading games. There was also plenty of time in which we got to look around the office and talk about Maven and the graduate scheme. We also got taken out for lunch, which was a nice perk and an opportunity to chat to the traders in a more casual setting, which helped to get a feeling of the culture of the firm.
What interested you most about this programme?
The graduate scheme was a diverse and comprehensive introduction to all of the different aspects of trading. At the start of the programme, we followed a packed schedule including theory lessons, regular mock trading exercises, shadowing on the trading floor, coding projects, and a wide range of sessions of things like the markets we trade, different styles of trading, important soft skills, and more. All of this was led by senior traders with many years of industry-leading experience and insight which they were keen to share with us. Within 3 months of starting, we were each responsible for trading our own junior book, using tools we had built and, most importantly, taking a real risk. There is no substitute for this kind of experience and we all progressed quickly thanks to this opportunity. After developing confidence in the junior environment, we began to rotate with the different trading desks to gain a broader understanding of different markets and styles of trading, as well as the realities of trading as part of a team.
What are your main responsibilities from day-to-day?
I work with a team trading on the US markets, developing tools for the desk, prototyping trading systems, and completing research projects to help make our trading as efficient as possible. I write and maintain a lot of Python code, which often involves interacting with various systems and databases, both internal and external to Maven. Learning how to efficiently consume and process data from these different sources has been an important development point for me. Once we have a good idea of what we want from a tool, we can pass it over to developers to make it more robust and efficient, but being able to iterate new ideas quickly is vital to keeping up with an ever-changing, competitive market.
What three pieces of advice would you give to a graduate joining Maven?
What do you enjoy most about your role?
Solving problems from multiple perspectives. For example, if I were building a tool to help us capitalise on a new type of trading opportunity, I need to make sure I precisely understand the desired trading logic in order to be able to program it. This includes exhaustively thinking of edge cases and potential risks of the logic. I then need to consider where and how to most efficiently source the various data that fuel the strategy. Further, it's important to make the system easy to control for any trader on the desk and to have thorough monitoring and logging of the decision making. Weighing up all of these factors whilst also building something robust and efficient can be very challenging, but it is incredibly satisfying when everything comes together.
If you could change one thing about your role what would it be?
I would like to continue to take on more trading responsibility and contribute to the direct decision making of a trading book, however, I understand this opportunity will come as I develop more experience.
How has working remotely changed your day to day and what are some of the challenges you’ve faced?
As a trader, it is crucial to be able to communicate quickly and clearly with other people on your desk. There is a huge amount of information to process at any given time, so it's often easiest to walk over to a coworkers desk to be able to point out and discuss things that arise during trading. This can be challenging over remote communication, and I have been focusing on extremely clear verbal communication to make up for this.
What have you enjoyed about working remotely?
Getting to cook and sleep more due to having no commute.
How do you maintain a work-life balance?
It can be tricky as I work US hours (~12-10) and as a result am unable to do as much on weekday evenings. However, I make sure I do something active (running or yoga) and productive (e.g. reading, music) each morning during the week, and then make plenty of plans for the weekend.
How would you describe Maven in 3 words?
Agile, ambitious, meritocratic.
What surprised you most about Maven?
The respect and autonomy that everybody is given. Good work and good ideas stand on their own merit, regardless of your seniority. People are encouraged to always push the envelope, looking for potential value to be added or ways to improve the status quo.