Evan is a 22 year old graduate working as a trader for Nomura. He graduated in 2010 from UTS with a Bachelor of Business.

Where are you working now and what does it involve?
Nomura, working as a Graduate Trader in Fixed Income. I'm basically a junior trader - buying and selling fixed income securities as basic as bonds, while some more complex such as credit default swaps, from/to our clients (institutional and retail investors). As a junior I also prepare risk management reports and pricing sheets for our desk.

What was the most useful aspect of your degree which led you to this job?
Only a few subjects at university were relevant to my daily job. However, I found that subjects were practical, allowed me to challenge financial concepts and involves projects that based on programs such as Excel. The content in my degree only touched the surface of the knowledge I am now required to have, but certainly prepared me for my CFA studies which I am undergoing.

What was the most useful aspect of your university that led you to this job?
I was lucky enough to be on UTS’ Accounting Co-Op program, which allowed me opportunities at several blue-chips, just to learn the basics of accounting. I think recognised internships are very important in securing graduate roles nowadays as the entry-level market becomes more competitive. You don’t have to wait until your penultimate year; there are many programs tailored to first year students offered by Big 4 Accounting firms. You can also apply to part time opportunities at boutiques.

What is the most rewarding and most challenging part of your job?
Best part about the role – taking measured risks and reaping the financial results. It is kind of like playing poker, but different in many senses too. Taking responsibility for your mistakes is the biggest challenge, especially if it involves a large sum of money.

What career plans do you have beyond this job?
Plan to stay in financial markets, but looking at opportunities abroad – particularly Asia. Have thought about the idea of moving to buy-side, fast money or hedge-fund type employers.

What advice would you give to new university students hoping to find a similar job to the one you have?

Not everyone fits the trading role, but it’s worth a try. A degree in finance is broad in the sense that it doesn’t narrow your skillsets to a specific role, unlike other degrees such as law or medicine. So it’s important to go beyond the finance textbook to understand what traders actually do, keep up to date with markets/economy by lots of reading, and finding internship experiences where you can shadow a trader on the floor.