Our people share their experiences
Our people share their experiences
Read Przemysław's story
I have spent almost two years at OSTC and I do not regret a single second. I especially remember one day during an MPC statement. The market became so active that I saw opportunities everywhere. I felt like every decision I made was great, every trade I did was successful and I got into a good flow. I wanted this day to never end. I was so busy I almost forgot to blink. Those are the days when all preparation and experience pays off.
Of course it is not always like that. Trading is stressful and can be frustrating too. My way of coping is to do sport for relaxation. I go running and also go to work by bike every day. It is really important to me that I do this, and helps me to recharge my batteries.
Read Thomas's story
My love of trading is about finding an edge and developing a strategy in Sterling and Euribor and seeing consistent results. It’s great to see how my ideas play out and be able to predict where the market is going. Back in October 2015, I predicted it would be a very warm winter which would lead to a steep fall in Natural Gas prices and spreads at the end of the year. On January 4th 2016, NASA confirmed it as the warmest winter since records began and Natural Gas prices and spreads fell throughout the winter.
Read Shen-Hui's story
I still remember how I felt the day after the job interview for the role of junior trader. I was so excited that I couldn’t fall asleep. I was so anxious about the uncertainty that I even spent whole night wondering what I would do if I wasn’t successful.
Fortunately, I was admitted and became one of the new traders in OSTC Hangzhou. The office has a really warm atmosphere, with very nice people. I am so appreciative of this opportunity, and I want to learn more to become one of the best traders in OSTC. There is still a long way to go though! I love this job and sometimes think I was just born to be a trader.
Read Car-Wai's story
Originally from Carmarthenshire, Car-Wai knew that on completion of his Accounting & Finance degree at Cardiff University he wanted to remain in the South Wales area after his studies. However Car-Wai’s application to OSTC wasn’t exactly plain sailing. He first applied in 2009 but his application was rejected. Undeterred he demonstrated one of the key attributes of a trader, resilience, and successfully reapplied in 2010, taking on-board his previous feedback.
Car-Wai built up good results in the energy markets over the first 3 years, cementing his product mix around these crude oil and distillate markets, particularly on the ICE exchange. In 2013 Car-Wai launched his Limited Liability Partnership with OSTC allowing him further control over his earning potential.
“I have a fair few nicknames in the office, mainly based on my style of trading. I don’t tend to carry positions for long periods of time, preferring to get in and out as many times as I can for a price; this is traditionally referred to as scalping. This strategy really suits me and I feel offers the best consistency in results.”
A good trader’s skills lie not only in analysing risk, but also choosing the right amounts to place on each trade. Car-Wai’s other great passion is sports betting, an interest that has certainly provided a transferrable skill set to support his trading. Before joining OSTC he worked as a cashier at Ladbrokes. His holidays tend to revolve around Cheltenham festival, international tournaments and rugby & football fixtures.
“Trading isn’t gambling. There is more structure, research, rules & regulations together with hard graft that goes into it; much more than just placing a football bet. I’m so pleased that I’ve found a career that has provided me with the opportunity to enjoy things such as Alvarez vs Khan in Vegas, watching Wales at the Euros and season tickets for my favourite teams, Swans and the Saracens.”
Car-Wai has a reputation for being lucky in the office but the reality is he is an example of the famous Thomas Jefferson quote “I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.”
“When I’m winning seat upgrades at the O2 ATP Tennis finals, that’s luck, but at work it’s taken me a long time and hard work to get to the standard I’m at. It doesn’t happen as quickly as you might assume, you have to be persistent. When you start to see the results it’s definitely worth it.”
Read Amarkant's story
I started my career with OSTC India in May 2013, joining the Mumbai office after graduating from IIT, Kharagpur with an Engineering Degree. I was keen to remain in Mumbai after completing my education as Mumbai offers great opportunities to grow and learn in the financial industry plus providing a great life after work. Upon completion of my course, I applied for the Graduate Trader Programme and after rigorous rounds of interviews got selected as one of the recruits for the new batch to start training in May 2013. Since starting, I have had an ever expanding product mix and range of strategies which lead to my performance improving day by day. Having had an entrepreneurial mindset from the start, I wish to partner with OSTC on joint venture initiatives in the years to come.
Read Jacek P's story
For as long as I can remember I always wanted a job in the financial markets industry. It was during my studies when I first visited the OSTC offices and took part in an Open Day organized by company’s Poznan branch.
When I saw how the live futures markets looked and how they behaved I was even more confident that I wanted to be a part of the OSTC team.
I did not have a lot of experience in trading but the training I received during my first weeks as a professional futures trader was more than enough. The rest, however, was up to me. I always remind myself that self-discipline and a trading plan is what you need; these are the two key factors that can help you to achieve success.
Read Sophie's story
Sophie joined OSTC Wales in September 2013 as a Junior Trader after attending a careers fair in her final year of studying a maths degree at the University of South Wales. Trading was an industry that Sophie knew very little about but was intrigued by the potential earnings and the prospect of working with numbers in a challenging environment.
Originating from South Devon, Sophie was keen to avoid relocating to the city of London but wanted to explore her new found interest for financial markets in an environment that had a similar essence to home. At present Sophie is one of a handful of female traders in the office. In an industry that is associated with a dominant male culture times are changing but the large majority of OSTC applications still come from men.
“I knew this industry was male dominated but that was not a factor for me. The OSTC office culture, location and scope of the role are what I enjoy most. The earning potential and autonomy would be difficult to find anywhere else.”
“Trading is the most mentally challenging thing I have done in my life; learning to deal with the stress it creates is definitely part of the role. Since starting my time here I am constantly trying to improve the way I deal with the stress and it’s gradually improving!”
Work life balance is important to Sophie and she feels that OSTC provides a strong workplace culture that encourages a healthy social calendar outside of the office.
“It’s a really unique trading floor in Swansea. We are a young office with the majority of our Traders being 30 or younger so there’s always lots of chatting and we have a good time at a range of social events, from office drinks once a month and meals out to events we organise ourselves such as Poker Nights and Horse Racing.”
Sophie believes that adaptability and confidence are key to becoming a successful trader however she explains at the start of her career it was highly important to be self-motivated in times where there were limited rewards.
“I put in a lot of hours at the start and didn’t expect to make money for at least the first year; I just wanted to learn and understand the markets whilst taking minimal risks so as to not damage my confidence. The first couple of years were really tough and after trading a variety of markets, starting with Short-Term Interest Rates (STIRS) and soft commodities such as Sugar, Coffee and Cocoa, I finally found my stride in the Energy markets. Mostly Brent Crude Oil and Gasoil. Now, 3 and a half years on, I continually set myself targets, they can vary from small daily goals up to a yearly target.”
Trading results have excelled for Sophie and so far 2017 has been no different in terms of her progression. Last summer she spent time in Hangzhou assisting with the development of Junior Traders in our new China office.
“It really struck me how global this industry is. My only experience of trading until recently was from our Swansea floor. It really helped me appreciate that the numbers I see on the screen everyday reflect market participants from all over the world. My access to the market is equal to that of a trader in London, Chicago or New York. Electronic markets have made this career available to people like me.”
Outside of work Sophie enjoys exercising as much as she can and is also an exceptional pianist and cook. Playing the piano provides Sophie with a much needed break away from the trading screens and also allows her to unwind after a tough day.
Read Suresh's story
I was very interested in trading from my college days. I read a lot about it, understood what it is and how it works and found it very challenging.
OSTC is a place that gives both opportunity and time for a trader to learn and develop. This was very important for someone like me who hadn’t traded before.
The hardest thing about trading is that there are days you lose money no matter what you do. Staying focused and confident after taking the losses is really hard. Discipline is the most important trait one must master to be successful, along with risk taking ability.
Read Demi's story
I started at OSTC back in April 2016 as a Receptionist in the Swansea office. I found the role very interesting as everyday was different, from assisting the Office Managers, to being involved with the traders, it was a very fast paced role.
I heard that OSTC FX (now trading as Godi Financial) were looking for a Settlements and Risk Administrator and thought the role sounded challenging and would give me an opportunity to learn new skills. Following a chat with my then Line Manager, I was encouraged to apply and since January 2017 have been a permanent member of the OSTC FX team.
OSTC/Godi Financial is a great place to work as the atmosphere is young and vibrant. The company’s values and vison show the commitment and career opportunities they are willing to make to their staff.
Read Kritika's story
OSTC came to my college and offered lucrative career prospects in capital markets – something every finance graduate dreams of. Before joining, all I knew of trading was the famous stock market crashes, everything we had been taught was theoretical in academia.
In reality, it’s hard when you come up with loses, however when you have to come back with the same enthusiasm to trade the next day. Every day is different you make peace with it. The confidence in yourself and dedication towards markets are the only things that count; passion, discipline and commitment are what you need.
Read Chen's story
Being a trader is my dream career, and now I’m chasing my dream step by step. This dream started from my bachelor period, during which time, I found the financial markets so fascinating. It is like a puzzle to me, which can never be fully solved. People express themselves in it, and get rewarded or punished if they are right or wrong. People experience a lot in it, joy and pain, glory and failure. The field is competitive, but it’s also intellectual. It involves money, but it’s pure. Whatever lays before me, I think a trader’s life will be anything but empty and ordinary.
I gradually evolved from an investor, an algorithm trader to a OSTC trader. These styles are quite different, but I don’t think they contradict each other. I think the essence of profits are the same: find a pattern, a value or an anomaly, then seize the opportunity.
Read Mateusz's story
When I started my adventure with financial markets I never thought I would call myself a trader. I started with putting my money into investment funds, then moved to stocks and finally ended up trading futures contracts on my own. I wanted to learn more about financial markets even though it was not part of my studies. After some time I was spending more time trading than attending classes at university.
After that there was no coming back. I knew being a trader would be my way of living. I call it a way of living on purpose – you can’t say that trading is a regular career like a your 9 to 5 job. It is more a way of living, a challenge, a battle of minds and numbers.
OSTC as an employer gives you a chance not only to watch the markets from the front row but to actually become part of financial world. They provide you with the best analytical tools, access to market data and news. But most important thing is the unique atmosphere on the trading floor and the people that create it.
All of this has made me think that after almost five years of successes, failures, hard work and experience, I can finally call myself a Trader.
Read Filip's story
Since I was a kid I have been excited about the financial markets. Blinking numbers and charts in the movies about capital markets always captured my imagination. I wanted to become a stockbroker at the beginning because I confused this profession with a trader’s job.
In order to get my dream job I started my lectures at the University of Economics in Poznan choosing finance and accountancy faculty. Although I have broadened my knowledge about financial markets, I felt something was missing and the subject of study I chose did not fully cover what I had wanted to learn about. Therefore I started visiting library looking for literature about, for example, technical analysis or tried to find interesting, non obligatory lectures in the field I was interested in rather than to participate in boring classes. During one of such lectures conducted by OSTC managers I learnt about the company and opportunity they offer. I realized immediately that I want to work for them. I felt that my dream job is now so close.
After some time I found out that OSTC opened Trading Laboratory at my university. I applied and started attending lectures conducted by OSTC managers. It was great opportunity for me to meet people who professionally deal with capital markets. It was also time when I found all the necessary information about the way OSTC traders trade.
After graduating I took part in a recruitment process and finally I got a job in Poznan office of OSTC. I have had a rather difficult start. I had to acquire a lot of new knowledge and learn the trading strategy that OSTC uses. Of course I had moments of weakness when I was thinking I did not know what and how to trade. However, the more time I spent in the office, the more I understood and finally I found my own way of trading.
Long conversations with senior traders who showed me what to look for in the markets and what to pay attention to were very helpful. The support from my managers who believed in my true potential was crucial to my development as a full-time futures trader.
To sum up, a trader’s job is not easy one. It is stressful and very demanding. This is a job only for market enthusiasts.
Read Lukasz's story
The most exciting time in trading, in my opinion, is the first month of trading real money. At this time you have not yet trained yourself to be objective so it’s emotional and exciting. You will have moments of extreme happiness and pride as you make a profit, but also moments of anger and despair as you take a loss.
I will never forget the excitement of making my first ever trade. This is the most exciting time for an average or less experienced trader however, for the truly successful and experienced trader the most exciting thing is when the market becomes extremely volatile during economic turmoil. For the seasoned trader who knows how to hedge and can tell a good risk from a bad one, times like these are like open season on the unsuspecting economy. These times offer tremendous opportunity if you know what to spot. It is for these emotions and events that I became a trader in the first place, and once you get a taste there is no going back.
Read Zhi's story
It is a great honour to be a trader at OSTC. Trading has been my dream job since I was in college.
During the simulated trading process over the last two months, my trading strategies and ideas have been improving remarkably every single day. However, it’s important to remember that the pressure traders confront may cause severe consequences if one does not work in a disciplined way.
Profits and losses can make a trader stronger mentally, it’s a very absorbing process. That is why some people say that trading is about human nature and personality. The market is fast-changing, so you’ve got to always keep learning and be respectful of the markets, and not do anything stupid!
Read Roman's story
For as long as I can remember, the financial markets have always appealed to me. It was my passion from my early years of the university. At first it was a hobby but then it pulled me in more and more.
When I joined the OSTC I felt like I was finally where I should be. OSTC gave me chance to prove myself as a trader. I had to acquire a lot of new knowledge and learn OSTC’s trading strategy. I had moments of weakness when I was thinking I did not know what to do and how to trade. However, the more time I spent working hard in the office, the more I understood.
If you asked me what the hardest thing is, I think it’s taking control of your emotions during trading and remaining disciplined. When the markets are extremely active during some days, you have to control yourself because this is an opportunity to both earn and lose and without the right amount of discipline you will not succeed.
I joined OSTC almost two years ago and I am proud to be a part of that team.
Read Malcolm's story
Malcolm is our Head of European Fixed Income Desk. His role currently involves setting up the Relative Value Fixed Income desk at our trading floor in Swansea. Malcolm is on hand to train and mentor our new traders, a role he shares with Office Manager, Joel. They trade the market side by side so they are on top of all the market moves and can provide in-depth analysis on which strategies to deploy, allowing critical growth and development for our Junior Traders.
What is your top tip for aspiring trader?
Traders should have the confidence to ask questions. At 18 when I joined Bank of China I would pick the brains of everyone I could. It’s not a sign of weakness, you will be surprised and the person you ask will enjoy it, you will learn much and it will pay off in the long run in your trading career. Don’t give up when you lose, losing money in trading is unfortunately part and parcel of the job, you have to be able to recognise this should not dent your confidence. Instead, analyse the trade and processes that made you lose. Ultimately, I keep telling the traders I work with to enjoy trading.
In your opinion, what does it take to be a successful trader?
A trader needs to be dedicated, enthusiastic, driven, passionate, humble and be able to remain calm and collected under pressure. I’m not a firm believer in a trader having to be a Quantum Physicist to become a successful trader, however you do need to be able work with numbers and patterns and do that quickly, that’s more important for me. It is likely trading will stretch you emotionally and physically to your limits. Successful traders that I have met seem to have been able to show examples in their life where they have managed to pull themselves off the ropes when all the chips are down and come back stronger.
Read Mateusz's story
Before I joined the company I was already trying to take my first steps in the financial markets. I did research and found out that the best and most professional firm in Poland is OSTC so almost a year before I officially sent my CV, I already knew that I wanted to work here. In that year I moved to Warsaw and now 5 years later I am still very happy I made that decision.
The best thing about working at OSTC is the atmosphere. You have support not only from managers but especially from your colleagues. Life is much better when you like your job and you come to work with a smile on your face.
It’s important to treat life as a trader as a marathon and not a sprint. You need to be prepared to lose many times and come back fighting. With the passing of time, you will become more accepting that sometimes you will fail.
I try not to talk to my friends about my work, if I start I can talk about it all day. Outside of the office I try to be active by playing football and riding my bike.
Read Andrzej's story
Before I joined OSTC I was trading on my own account on the Warsaw Stock Exchange. It was the natural thing to give myself a chance and apply to OSTC. I also wanted to develop myself and OSTC provides accessibility to almost every market and every product in the World. They also have the best traders and there is a chance to learn something from them, I have almost unlimited possibilities with great people who create a unique atmosphere.
During my first year I had ups and downs and after several months I was really close to quitting but you need to be resilient. Fortunately, December was pretty good month for me and I made up for some losses. To be a good trader you need to be flexible, as well as disciplined and patient.
Having a hobby is essential in this job, it enables you to forget about any bad trades you made. I like to relax by playing basketball and running.
Read Shahnawaz's story
Joining OSTC was an opportunity to get the job of my dreams as I always wanted to be a trader. OSTC gave me the opportunity and it was too good to let go.
Before joining, I was on the trading game provided by the OSTC running across worldwide universities. I participated in the game, leading to me meeting the company’s manager which led to me being offered the job. I had a fairly good idea of what trading is and what it involved however my trading has evolved hugely since then.
There have been plenty of highlights along the way however seeing Brent going from $120 to below $50 in a year period and treasuries reaching the new highs since joining have been the biggest highlights.
The hardest thing I have experienced is when you try to trade events based on data or results and the markets respond the reverse way turning a winning trade into a losing one. For example, on the day that President Trump was elected, it was predicted this would be bad for the economy however on the day the markets recovered and made new highs.
To be a good trader you need confidence, self-awareness, to be accepting of mistakes, to be able to move on quickly and most importantly, discipline. Some of the people I admire the most are the senior traders in our office because they are the ones I have learnt the most from.
Read Dmitrijs's story
I joined OSTC after meeting Sam Baker (Brighton MD) in my second year of university who was running the Trading Game in the Investment and Trading society. After performing well in the game, Sam offered me a role at OSTC Brighton which I accepted after graduating.
My specific goal after attending university was to become a trader, so I always knew what the job was about and what skills one needs to possess in order to succeed.
All the ups and down I have had to go through have definitely made me more resilient and helped me become a better trader. However it can be tough when you have prolonged consecutive months of unsuccessful trading. It builds up and you can begin to doubt your own ability to be successful at this game.
To be a good trader to need to have the ability to adapt, admit that you are not always right, be strong mentally and be dedicated. This job is not for everyone but it helps that I have a very cool boss in Sam Baker.
Read Bartek's story
My first experience with financial markets was at university at the OSTC Trading lab. The chance to trade on live markets from the very beginning created a bigger interest than any other university course I had done. After a month of attending Trading Seminars, I decided to send my CV to OSTC. And I was successful!
After the training period, the time came to invest on the real markets. The beginning wasn’t easy. Events such as the potential exit of Greece from the Eurozone effected the market volatility it was very challenging for the new group of traders I was part of. Although there were ups and downs, I consider my first year to be successful. I’ve learnt the strong and weak sides of my character that I need to work on but my effort was rewarded as I achieved the award for “Best Rookie” for being the best debutant on the market at OSTC.
The work at OSTC definitely isn’t easy. It is stressful and there are the long hours in front of computer screens. Nonetheless, it is one of those jobs that doesn’t have financial restrictions. If you are really ambitious and determined to achieve success, this is the job for you.
Read Jakub's story
Working on the financial markets has always been something that interested and excited me. I am glad that I have the opportunity to work in this field.
When I came to the Junior Trader interview, the only knowledge I had about trading was from movies that I saw. I had no experience in this field compared to other members from my group. Since joining, there have been many highlights and the markets never fail to surprise you.
I found it especially hard starting out as I had no previous experience in trading. At the beginning I had some problems with the theory however everything comes with time and practice but you do need patience, self-control and to be OK with making mistakes in this job.
Everyone asks me how I got such a cool job. Many of my friends would like to switch places with me, I think! However, a trader’s work is hard because of the fact that in every minute you have to be focus on what are you doing. The smallest mistake can cost a lot. That is why to relax is very important. For me the best way to rest, is spending time with my girlfriend, watching a good movie and playing football, which is my first love.