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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 05-04-2015, 09:56 PM
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Default Market Analyst

Hi, I will soon graduate from nus (econs major) and I am doing a 3 year course. I have previously graduated from poly and I am applying for a market analyst job in an oil firm.

As I have met most of the requirements posted for the position, the HR personnel called me within 10 minutes upon my submission and I was engaged in a surprise phone interview. After a good 15 minute conversation I was invited down for a face-to-face interview sometime during the coming week.

Now my questions are:
1) Fellow forumers who are in the similar field, can you break down what kind of job will this be?

I understand that it will most likely be the average mundane job, but I suppose it will give me a good head start to gain better foundation over the oil industry?

2) What will it's prospects be?

As of now I hope to first establish a good understanding of this industry before considering further progression (perhaps trader/ broker). I honestly think this job will lead me nowhere, but all in all, what are you take about this position?

3) What starting salary should I be asking? I quoted 3.2 to 3.4k (market rate)

When I was asked through the phone interview, I was surprised the interviewer seemed agreeable even though I quoted this amount without any proper research done. But for fellow readers, what are your opinions?

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Old 06-04-2015, 12:27 AM
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good head start or not depends on which area you are trying to head to.

Where did you get your market rate? NUS graduation survey?

Market analyst are not known to be a well paying position.. don't be surprise if they offer you 3k or less.

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Old 06-04-2015, 01:14 AM
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Yup, that's the place. But chances are it's inflated so I'm not expecting much, not in the current market condition.

As expected, I'm not looking forward to a high paying first job but leaning more towards picking up this industry and repaying my student loan for now. Perhaps let me get through the interview first, then we play by ear

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Old 06-04-2015, 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted by bookwormm View Post
Hi, I will soon graduate from nus (econs major) and I am doing a 3 year course. I have previously graduated from poly and I am applying for a market analyst job in an oil firm.

As I have met most of the requirements posted for the position, the HR personnel called me within 10 minutes upon my submission and I was engaged in a surprise phone interview. After a good 15 minute conversation I was invited down for a face-to-face interview sometime during the coming week.

Now my questions are:
1) Fellow forumers who are in the similar field, can you break down what kind of job will this be?

I understand that it will most likely be the average mundane job, but I suppose it will give me a good head start to gain better foundation over the oil industry?

2) What will it's prospects be?

As of now I hope to first establish a good understanding of this industry before considering further progression (perhaps trader/ broker). I honestly think this job will lead me nowhere, but all in all, what are you take about this position?

3) What starting salary should I be asking? I quoted 3.2 to 3.4k (market rate)

When I was asked through the phone interview, I was surprised the interviewer seemed agreeable even though I quoted this amount without any proper research done. But for fellow readers, what are your opinions?
Depends on what oil firm it is really. If it's the 3 big oil then prospects are very good as these co are big and not short of budget to grow & develop ppl. If its others then take note that the whole industry is now under crisis and best to be cautious.

If your aspiration is trader/broker, then this job doesn't help as energy trading is a very closed niche community, even more than other forms like commodities or currency. To get into energy trading is more about luck and picking a right mentor then anything else if you ask me.

TBH looking at the hap hazard impromptu way the interview and meeting is being conducted, I suspect the company is pretty disorganised and the job probably admin operational, i.e. they just want somebody to get in & do the work asap. No harm going down to learn more though...

3-3.5k is the normal asking pay for the 3 local uni degree with honours, so your expectations are quite reasonable and most companies should be ok.
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Old 06-04-2015, 12:51 PM
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Depends on what oil firm it is really. If it's the 3 big oil then prospects are very good as these co are big and not short of budget to grow & develop ppl. If its others then take note that the whole industry is now under crisis and best to be cautious.

If your aspiration is trader/broker, then this job doesn't help as energy trading is a very closed niche community, even more than other forms like commodities or currency. To get into energy trading is more about luck and picking a right mentor then anything else if you ask me.

TBH looking at the hap hazard impromptu way the interview and meeting is being conducted, I suspect the company is pretty disorganised and the job probably admin operational, i.e. they just want somebody to get in & do the work asap. No harm going down to learn more though...

3-3.5k is the normal asking pay for the 3 local uni degree with honours, so your expectations are quite reasonable and most companies should be ok.
It is within the top 50 of fortune global 500 list. I suppose it's not that bad? I guess I'll have to get a better understanding when I head for the interview. Yes, the crisis is troubling.

Thanks for the tips, I honestly have no idea about gaining entry to that niche sector. I have previously tried energy related IB firm but unfortunately failed to move past the final round. I know it's difficult, but can be done *positive*. On that front, what advice will you offer to a fresh grad like myself in order to get into energy trading?

I feel that I am seeking a job that allows me to learn about the industry, never mind about high starting salary as long as I am able to feed myself and repay my student loans, I am more keen to learn than dreaming of earning more than I am worth now. I guess if it entails me doing mindless duties than I should be better off hunting for another job.

Perhaps the reason why the prompt response is because I have met most of the requirements they stated on the posting? I have picked up some knowledge on SQL and VBA back in poly, which most of my fellow course mates probably would not know at this stage.

On your last point, I am from local uni but I am not taking hons. Will that expectation still be reasonable?
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Old 06-04-2015, 01:24 PM
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That's my post, didn't notice I was logged out
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Old 06-04-2015, 05:45 PM
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It is within the top 50 of fortune global 500 list. I suppose it's not that bad? I guess I'll have to get a better understanding when I head for the interview. Yes, the crisis is troubling.

Thanks for the tips, I honestly have no idea about gaining entry to that niche sector. I have previously tried energy related IB firm but unfortunately failed to move past the final round. I know it's difficult, but can be done *positive*. On that front, what advice will you offer to a fresh grad like myself in order to get into energy trading?

I feel that I am seeking a job that allows me to learn about the industry, never mind about high starting salary as long as I am able to feed myself and repay my student loans, I am more keen to learn than dreaming of earning more than I am worth now. I guess if it entails me doing mindless duties than I should be better off hunting for another job.

Perhaps the reason why the prompt response is because I have met most of the requirements they stated on the posting? I have picked up some knowledge on SQL and VBA back in poly, which most of my fellow course mates probably would not know at this stage.

On your last point, I am from local uni but I am not taking hons. Will that expectation still be reasonable?
Unfortunately thatís not good enough. There is a big difference between the 3 giants (Exxon, Shell, Chevron) compared to the rest of the crowd like Schlumberger, BP, Connoco, Hess, Baker Hughes, BG, Total etc. which are quite big on their own. The 3 big giants are industry gold standards - they have the capability to maintain training & development budgets, pay out big bonuses and increments no matter whatís the situation, the rest as far as my industry peers tell me is more or less cutting cost like nobody business now.

As for your explanation that they are doing things last minute and ad-hoc because they value your VBA or SQL knowledge, I will have to respectfully disagree. IMO people with such basic common computing language are dime in a dozen in Singapore, it is unlikely that they will be so impressed with this kind of skills to conduct the whole interview process in this rushed manner.

Nevertheless, just down and take a look but be weary of pitfalls (3k+ for grads is nothing in this industry, so shouldn't be a prob). Rule of thumb is if during the interview all they care is when you can start and how much you want with very lax assessment criteria, then this is likely not a job that you can develop and gain meaningful experience. Good jobs are usually hard fought, if it comes so easily that it is more like they selling you rather than the other way round, usually is red flag unless you are really that good.
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Old 06-04-2015, 11:25 PM
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Unfortunately that’s not good enough. There is a big difference between the 3 giants (Exxon, Shell, Chevron) compared to the rest of the crowd like Schlumberger, BP, Connoco, Hess, Baker Hughes, BG, Total etc. which are quite big on their own. The 3 big giants are industry gold standards - they have the capability to maintain training & development budgets, pay out big bonuses and increments no matter what’s the situation, the rest as far as my industry peers tell me is more or less cutting cost like nobody business now.

As for your explanation that they are doing things last minute and ad-hoc because they value your VBA or SQL knowledge, I will have to respectfully disagree. IMO people with such basic common computing language are dime in a dozen in Singapore, it is unlikely that they will be so impressed with this kind of skills to conduct the whole interview process in this rushed manner.

Nevertheless, just down and take a look but be weary of pitfalls (3k+ for grads is nothing in this industry, so shouldn't be a prob). Rule of thumb is if during the interview all they care is when you can start and how much you want with very lax assessment criteria, then this is likely not a job that you can develop and gain meaningful experience. Good jobs are usually hard fought, if it comes so easily that it is more like they selling you rather than the other way round, usually is red flag unless you are really that good.
Thank you for filling me in on the industrial standards which I clearly am not aware of (even though I am still in awe after stepping into their office)! Regardless, I have to agree that those qualities are basic indeed and based on that I deserve no special treatment over my peers.

During the interview earlier, topics covered was nothing formal and it even went slightly personal at times. I am guessing perhaps I did not fare well enough in order for the interviewer to move on to those topics; since the interviewer commented, towards the end, that my cv looks better than the stack but my lack in confidence was questioned. I supposed that was derived by the question I was asked, "if I were to offer you a position in trading, will you take it up?" Naturally, as much as I would love to, I feel that my foundations are not ready for me to take on such a role since I understand the importance and risk of it. Perhaps I might have over-mentioned how I prefer to be prepared in order to minimize risk that made the interviewer feel that way?

Nevertheless, none of the expected scenario came up and I was told, without me asking, that the processing time will take around 1 month and I will receive a phone call then. Nothing about salary or starting date was prompted. It feels as if I have shot myself in the foot from some of the things I have mentioned during the session but nonetheless I must move on, time to send out more applications that is. Good experience/ reminder despite probably missing a good opportunity.

Last edited by bookwormm; 06-04-2015 at 11:27 PM.
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Old 07-04-2015, 01:59 AM
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Thank you for filling me in on the industrial standards which I clearly am not aware of (even though I am still in awe after stepping into their office)! Regardless, I have to agree that those qualities are basic indeed and based on that I deserve no special treatment over my peers.

During the interview earlier, topics covered was nothing formal and it even went slightly personal at times. I am guessing perhaps I did not fare well enough in order for the interviewer to move on to those topics; since the interviewer commented, towards the end, that my cv looks better than the stack but my lack in confidence was questioned. I supposed that was derived by the question I was asked, "if I were to offer you a position in trading, will you take it up?" Naturally, as much as I would love to, I feel that my foundations are not ready for me to take on such a role since I understand the importance and risk of it. Perhaps I might have over-mentioned how I prefer to be prepared in order to minimize risk that made the interviewer feel that way?

Nevertheless, none of the expected scenario came up and I was told, without me asking, that the processing time will take around 1 month and I will receive a phone call then. Nothing about salary or starting date was prompted. It feels as if I have shot myself in the foot from some of the things I have mentioned during the session but nonetheless I must move on, time to send out more applications that is. Good experience/ reminder despite probably missing a good opportunity.
this is a trap. there are looking to spend effort to groom a market analyst, not a trader. nor someone who wants to make the jump to a trader later on. too many analysts left for trading jobs and its pissing every manager off.
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Old 07-04-2015, 02:43 AM
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this is a trap. there are looking to spend effort to groom a market analyst, not a trader. nor someone who wants to make the jump to a trader later on. too many analysts left for trading jobs and its pissing every manager off.
There is the possibility of that being a trap and your words coming true. I feel that the interviewer is extremely skilled and well-thought when handling interviewees like myself, but I am leaving this problem till later while I send more applications and more importantly, if I do get the phone call at all in a month's time.

But in your opinion, how can a fresh graduate break into the energy trading side? If not for confidentiality, I would love to share my background to facilitate my request.
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