I applied to the MMS program so I could get a leg up on competition for jobs. MMS students compete with undergraduates for positions. In addition, some companies specifically recruit MMS students for better-than-entry-level jobs. Now that we’re 40% done with the MMS program, I can give an early assessment of the job situation.

I went to Syracuse University for my undergraduate studies. Aspiring to work on Wall Street, I worked a middle-to-back-office position at JP Morgan Chase in New York City. My goal was to leverage that into a front-office sales and trading position, but that didn’t work out. I was hoping Duke could help make that a reality.

Unfortunately, the sales and trading market is going through a period of severe uncertainty because of the European debt crisis and poor earnings by banks. I did interview for an equity sales and trading position at Macquarie Bank, the largest Australian financial services firm. That did not work out, though.

Nevertheless, I have received 7 interview offers already. It has been challenging to balance these interviews with school. A lot of my time is spent researching firms and positions. I came into the program wanting to do fixed income sales, but I have come to realize that may not be a realistic option at this point. I have largely received invitations to interview because I have been applying to more positions, beyond sales and trading.

My recommendation is for everyone to do the same – broaden your net. The economy is very unstable right now, so submitting only a few applications won’t cut it. The competition is too stiff.

I will keep you updated on my job hunt!