Yifei Citadel Securities

Yifei

Options Trader

Yifei graduated with a Bachelor in Quantitative Finance from the National University of Singapore (NUS).

Explore internship opportunities to find out your true passion and motivation. That will help you make sure you find the best fit as a full-time role when the time is right.

My company and my job

Citadel Securities is a global market maker that provides liquidity and drives price discovery in markets around the world. Our unique set of capabilities and tools are designed to drive down the cost of transactions, and helping to meet the liquidity needs of asset managers, banks, broker-dealers, hedge funds, government agencies and public pension programmes. We strive to provide efficient execution and services of the highest calibre, helping make markets more competitive, transparent and accessible for all.

My team specialises in market making equity option products on exchanges across a number of Asian countries. We provide liquidity in the options market by providing bid and offer orders for market participants to trade on.

How I got my job

I had two rounds of phone interviews and one on-site interview before a final interview with senior management. Because I was based outside of Hong Kong back when I was interviewing, I completed the interview process via phone and video conference calls.

The selection process focused primarily on quantitative analysis, numerical reasoning and programming skills. These attributes and skills are very relevant to my current role. My interviewers were all experts in their respective fields. The interview was very open and collaborative and was concentrated more on getting to know me as a person versus being the type of interview that deliberately creates pressure or puts the interviewee on the spot. If I encountered any difficulty during the interview, they were happy to clarify to make sure the interview questions were clear.

As an interviewee, I was also expected to apply my knowledge to different contexts and scenarios. I come from a solid academic background, which I believe helped me prepare and communicate my knowledge around financial concepts effectively.

The highs and lows

The job of a trader is exciting because there is a constant and instantaneous feedback loop from the markets, which helps me improve on a daily basis. This constant call for change is a strong motivator for me to succeed. In addition, I’m surrounded by talented and bright colleagues, and learn from them every day, which has been very rewarding.

At the same time, the role of a trader is a challenging job and requires the ability to both multitask and handle pressure well.

My happiest moment at work

At Citadel Securities, we work in a dynamic environment that encourages us to learn and grow exponentially by taking on new responsibilities and deepening our knowledge and expertise. An experience where I felt I excelled was when our team expanded into a new business in a completely new territory.

At the time, no one on the team had experience in this area, so I took the opportunity to spearhead the project. I established new standard operational procedures and worked with various departments, including operations, compliance, technology and research. As a result, we ensured a smooth operation and flow, and kickstarted this successful new business.

Training and support

Citadel Securities offers a number of training programmes to support ongoing learning. Traders can look to diversify their experience and skill set working across multiple strategies, products and asset classes. I participated in Citadel Securities’ 110 trader development programme, a comprehensive and extensive summer training programme in Chicago, Illinois, United States of America.

The programme included academic and technical coursework, enhancement of product knowledge and sessions focused on the business. It was an incredibly enriching experience to gain access and exposure to a wide range of world class trading strategies. As part of this programme, there were organised training sessions conducted by senior traders, which provided a great learning opportunity around option trading theories. The team was very approachable and collaborative, and were happy to share their expertise and answer any and all questions. This structured training programme helped me build a solid foundation for trading options.

Work-life balance

I usually come into office at around 7:30AM and leave the office around 6PM or 6:30PM. As company encourages employees to have the passion to invest in interests both inside and outside of the office, I enjoy a good work-life balance as my team is respectful of personal time. Working long hours is not encouraged. My team’s culture is also flexible and I am able to take time off and plan my holidays without any issues.

Some advice

Explore internship opportunities to find out your true passion and motivation. That will help you make sure you find the best fit as a full-time role when the time is right.