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  • 100 - 500 employees

Michael Scott

IMC invests really heavily in training its people and gives them a lot of responsibility and the power to take ownership over areas that interest them.

What did you study? When did you graduate?

I studied Engineering and Arts with majors in robotics and philosophy and graduated in 2015.

Where did you grow up?

I've lived in Sydney forever and all my education has been here too. I've done lots of odd jobs up until now, including systems testing, water pipe management, landscaping, and designing display systems.

How did you get to your current job position?

I heard about IMC at a career fair on campus and applied from there to join as a graduate. I've been in this role since joining in 2017.

How did you choose your specialisation?

When I first applied I didn't really know where I was heading and was looking at a few different fields in particular in bio-engineering, management consulting, and trading. Trading was the most interesting to me as it brought together a lot of areas that fascinated me, like automation, data analysis and statistics with a fast-paced and constantly evolving backdrop. Trading looked like a great way to get the responsibility to make big decisions and have an impact.

What was your interview process like?

The interview process was relatively quick and introduced me to lots of people around the company. It was also my first exposure to trading, and the kinds of problems that IMC tries to solve, so it was all very novel. The questions were mostly aimed at getting to know us, and to find our approaches to problem-solving and the ability to bring new perspectives to problems.

What does your employer do?

IMC is a leading market maker globally, trading on different exchanges all over the world, with a focus on automation and performance.

What are your areas of responsibility? 

Traders at IMC have a lot of different responsibilities depending on what interests them most. My main responsibilities involve coming up with new ideas and implementing improvements to our trading logic to make sure that we're trying to get the best trades, and our execution to make sure that we get them. I'm also responsible for making sure that our trading systems are healthy and to constantly improve the setup.

Can you describe a typical workday?

Every day is extremely different in trading, but I'll typically start the day with a bit of analysis to try and find new and interesting ways to cut data and improve our trading. I'll then spend some time making sure that our systems are in a good state to trade and then when the market opens I'll be focused on ensuring that everything is going as expected and looking for short term improvements to our trading. When things get a bit quieter I'll usually do more long term analysis or look into developing new features.

What are the career prospects with your job?

Trading at IMC is a great way to learn how to manage and work within very complex systems. As a trader, you're also exposed to very complicated data sets and will get a lot of experience manipulating data and trying to pull insights out of the noise. There are lots of opportunities to move around the world and to trade different products in our Chicago and Amsterdam offices as well as Sydney.

Could someone with a different background do your job? 

Generally, traders at IMC come from STEM backgrounds as there is a big focus on automation. The key thing for a trader is a willingness to learn and adapt quickly though, so anyone with those skills could do it.

What would your career be if you weren’t doing what you’re doing now?  

I would probably be working in engineering, but hard to imagine anything else now!

What do you love the most about your job?

The best bit about trading at IMC is the freedom that you're given. IMC invests really heavily in training its people and gives them a lot of responsibility and the power to take ownership over areas that interest them. Every day there's potential to add a lot of value with a new insight or new approach to trading and I always have the freedom to chase ideas that I believe in. It's also extremely fulfilling turning an idea into implementation, and everything is so fast-paced that we can be trading in production with something brand new in a matter of days.

What’s the biggest limitation of your job?

Trading can definitely be stressful, and you have to be able to think and react quickly in these situations as there is often a lot on the line. The stressful moments are also the most exciting though!

Which three pieces of advice would you give to a current university student? 

  1. Try to find the three areas that you are most interested in and try to look for jobs that can give you exposure to all of them
  2. Stay open to as many options as possible when thinking about your future career and talk to as many people as you can - there are a whole world of jobs that you might never have imagined
  3. If at all possible, travel as much as you can right now! There will never be a better time to go exploring