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Recruitment BlogAPAC Graduate FAQs
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Working at Optiver

APAC Graduate FAQs

January 20, 2022

General

When do applications open?

Expressions of interest are now open for Optiver’s 2022-23 Internship and 2023 Graduate Programs. Your degree could lead you to a role in our Tech, Trading or Research teams. Take a look at the opportunities below and apply today. Applications will close as soon as the positions are filled.

What roles can I apply for?
How long is your Internship program?

10 weeks over Summer. We’ll confirm the start date with you closer to the time.

12 weeks over Summer. We’ll confirm the start date with you closer to the time.

When does your Graduate program start?

We have two Graduate intakes – one in August 2022 for mid-year finishers and another in February 2023.

Do you hire international students?

International students studying at an Australian University can apply to all of our Intern and Graduate roles.

I don’t know anything about finance, is that a problem?

In short – no! Whilst it’s important to let us know why you’re looking to start your career at Optiver, no prior knowledge of finance is necessary. We can point you in the right direction for some pre-reading, but we’ll teach you all you need to know when you get here.    

I’m not in my penultimate year of study yet, can I still apply?

Even if you are in your pre-penultimate year – we would love to see you apply! Students in their penultimate year are typically better equipped to undertake our assessments and have a broadened set of experiences to talk to in interviews, so don’t be disheartened if you are unsuccessful. You are welcome to reapply the following year.

I’ve already graduated, can I still apply?

Yes! Our applications are open to final year students and graduates with up to three years’ work experience.

Discover more about our teams

Trading

What markets do you Trade in Sydney?

The Sydney office is one of the primary players within Asian markets, trading a range of products on all relevant markets. Sydney is the APAC head office with operations in Singapore, Taipei and Hong Kong.

Do Traders work long hours?

Traders work when the markets in Asia are open. This may mean a slightly later start in the morning (10-11am) with a slightly later finish (6-7pm). The work days are intense but they wind down at a humane hour, leaving time for your interests outside of work.

What’s involved in the internship?

Your career at Optiver will begin with a period of intensive trader training. The goal is for every new hire to receive the best possible training so they’re able to hit the ground running – or the floor trading – as soon as possible. You will learn about Options theory, work on various projects and trade on simulated markets.

Of course, your education at Optiver won’t end with your training. Between formal mentoring and feedback, the informal peer-to-peer learning that’s a natural byproduct of our highly collaborative culture and outside professional development opportunities, your hunger for knowledge will never go unsatisfied.

How do I know if I am a better fit for Options, Delta 1 or Wholesale trading?

1. Options Market Maker
You love puzzles, predictions and problem solving. You’re always hungry to learn. You’re driven to understand the why, and you’re also comfortable making decisions under uncertainty. You have a real passion for quantitative problems and a flair for numbers.

2. Delta 1 Trader
You have a love for statistical analysis and deriving insights from big data sets. You enjoy micro analysis and applying those insights to the bigger picture.  You possess a competitive spirit that drives you to never settle for ‘good enough’.

3. Wholesale Trader
Building rapport comes naturally to you. You enjoy developing strong relationships and you don’t take yourself too seriously. You have amazing communication skills and remain focused under pressure. You’re passionate about quantitative problems and have a flair for numbers. And you have an inherent drive to work in a fast paced, sometimes uncertain environment.

What is the recruitment process?

Application > Online numerical assessment > Quantitative Challenge > Behavioural Phone Interview > Final Interview

Can you move between departments?

In short – yes. We want you to be happy in your role. We have had Traders move to the Risk and Research space. We also encourage you to travel to different Optiver locations, if it is something you are interested in.

Tech

What programming languages can I complete the Software HackerRank assessment in? 

You can complete the Software HackerRank assessment in C++, C# or Java.

What programming languages can I complete the Hardware HackerRank assessment in? 

The Hardware HackerRank assessment must be completed in VHDL. Experience using Verilog will adequately equip you complete the assessment and we will take this into consideration when reviewing your submission.

What’s involved in the internship?

To set you up for success, the internship begins with our bootcamp which brings you up to speed on trading concepts and our development process. From there you’ll be working on live business problems, knowledge sharing with your peers and partaking in some healthy competition. Along the way you’ll be supported by your teammates, business mentor and our Head/s of IT Education.

What types of projects could I be working on?

We don’t create “special intern projects”. Instead, Interns work on live problems that have a direct business impact. The most recent Interns worked on everything from predicting and trading intra-day auctions in the Japan market, to visualisation of signals and combining them using Machine Learning.

How do Developers work with Traders?

The success of our core business depends on the systems we build in house. By being internally collaborative we can be externally competitive. Developers will work shoulder to shoulder with Traders from gathering requirements through seeing their code deployed. 

Do you use machine learning?

Yes – we approach it like all technology: we use it where it helps with our trading, not for its own sake. That means we are heavily focused on applying machine learning.  We are not researching fundamentally new machine learning approaches, we focus on how best to apply existing and emerging ML techniques to our trading and research.

We are a fantastic place to apply ML as we have:
– Great access to data
– Excellent domain knowledge – we are not blindly throwing data at a black box, we gave great internal expertise on trading
– A fast feedback loop that drives rapid improvement, we see very quickly whether we are improving or not. 

How likely am I to use Machine Learning techniques if I join the Intern/Grad program?

It’ll depend on the team you join us in. We like our internships to give a broad overview of what being a Software Dev at Optiver is like. Each year we look at the proposed intern projects and pick those that do that the best – some may contain ML, others won’t. We do aim to match interns to their primary interests (as much as business demand allows), so do flag your strong interest in ML through the interview process.

What sort of problems do you use ML to solve? 

Given the heavily quantitative nature of Trading, there are several areas well suited to ML*including in our Research teams. It acts as a core part of some of our trading, not just a secondary tool or plaything.

Do you think more teams will apply it in the future?

Yes, we do see further growth potential across new financial products/markets.

Why do you code in C++ over something like golang? 

Deterministic performance in our code is extremely important to us, small amounts of variance in our code can have considerable impact on our ability to get the best trades. With C++ you have full control of your runtime, e.g. memory management, whereas other languages like Java and golang you are more at the mercy of their runtime (e.g. garbage collection).

What is the recruitment process?

The Software / FPGA application process will include: Application review > Online testing > Mix of technical and behavioural interviews.

Research

What kind of work could I get involved in as a Researcher?

Research teams work closely with Traders, utilising our large historical and live datasets to improve our trading strategies and performance. Options Pricing Researchers are responsible for our core pricing models. Performance Researchers process and discover hidden patterns, and optimise trading success. Quantitative Researchers use statistical analysis techniques and derive insights, applying those to the bigger picture.

As a Researcher, will I get my own projects?

Yes, Researchers typically work end-to-end on projects with Traders and Developers. You’ll develop hypotheses about how to improve our competitive success and test them experimentally under real-world conditions and constraints.

What will the training involve?

Researchers will go through the same initial training as Traders. You’ll then be immersed in to your specific Research department with a mentor, to learn the systems, processes and projects.

How do I know what type of Research is for me?

If you love data driven problem solving, chances are Research could be for you. With different Research roles, the job descriptions will help to provide more detail. The Recruiters can discuss your interests through the process. The training program will give you exposure to different areas of Research.

What is the recruitment process?

Online numerical assessment > Quantitative challenge > Behavioural phone interview > Technical assessment > Final interview

Risk

What does the risk team do?

Our Risk team develop and deliver the risk management activities of the entire firm, in a fast-paced and dynamic trading environment. They help us improve our current risk framework and keep us at the forefront of an ever-changing trading environment.  They create and improve risk monitoring tools as well as analysing risk and market data to solve practical problems.

What background do I need to come from?

You can come from any degree background, but will have a keen interest in the financial markets, with strong analytical and problem-solving skills, coupled with a natural curiosity.

What does the internship / grad training look like?

Our Risk interns / Analysts will undertake the same training as our Traders and Researchers.

How closely do they work with the traders?

Our risk team sit on the trading floor and work very closely with our traders, on a daily basis.

What is the recruitment process?

Application > Online numerical assessment > Quantitative challenge > Behavioural phone interview > First round interview > Final interview

How can I connect with Optiver?

There will be many virtual and in person opportunities to connect with us throughout the year. Be sure to follow us on social media to stay in the loop as they are announced.

You can also check out our Events page to learn more about our upcoming events.

Stay connected with us