I came from a family that valued decision making. I was taught to carefully weigh decisions, seek answers, and take calculated risks. I was encouraged to forge my own path, rather than take the obvious one set before me.
I practiced this mindset early on exploring different majors in college - starting with computer science but later switching to economics. When I graduated, I still was not sure what I wanted to do with my life. I had the option of a "clear path" in a management development program with a defined five year plan. I didn't know anything about trading except that it seemed exciting, and that I would be one of very few women in the field. After weighing the potential for what a career in trading could be like, I decided to take the risk, and I started at SIG.
Starting on the trading floor was definitely outside of my comfort zone. I joined the firm for the same reason people do today. I was looking for an environment that was constantly changing, a place where I wasn't doing the same job day-to-day, and where I was being challenged, all with a quantitative focus. Growing up in a family where every decision was considered so carefully, I was ultimately glad to find a firm that also values decision making.
I went through SIG's Quantitative Trader program and eventually started trading. It was a new challenge for me, but I knew that a good mentor could help me become more comfortable with uncertainty when trading the firm's capital. I very quickly found some mentors that really took a genuine interest in my development, who pushed me just enough outside my comfort zone that I grew, but not enough that I failed.
After facing countless new challenges while trading, I was asked to join SIG's Education department. I was ready for a change, but uncertain of my ability to do it. At the time, one of SIG's founders said to me, we know you can do it, you have to know you can do it. I had some education experience, but now I had to teach a whole program - start to finish. It was intimidating to me, but I stepped outside my comfort zone and into uncertainty again, and have now been in SIG's Education department for 16 years.
In my current role, I'm now able to match our new traders to learning opportunities and mentors that I know will push them to grow, too. While the core of the program is focused on decision making and always will be, we've had to adapt and evolve our program every year. It's fulfilling to keep up with current trading and stay on top of how things are developing in the markets, satisfying my trading curiosity and keeping me on my toes.
"The way I see it, you take risks in life all the time. Just like I learned growing up, we teach our employees to choose the outcomes that have positive expectancy. For me, I never wanted to look back and ask, "what if?" If I had taken the traditional path, I never would have ended up in this role and found my passion. Of all the things I really truly enjoy, none were the certain path, and every one of them required me to step outside my comfort zone into the unknown. My advice is: you don't have enough information to know where you'll be in five years, so make the best decision you can, and get comfortable with the uncertainty.
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Copyright © 2023 SIG Susquehanna. All rights reserved.