BTU #24 – Vic Perez: Submarines to a Wall Street Trader

“People always said that I was going to take a giant pay cut when I got out of the military and I thought, ‘Nah – there’s no way, I’m going to go into Wall Street… there’s no pay cut.’ There is a pay cut! I started off and had no experience in finance so I took an analyst role. And I took a significant pay cut. And I was paying for my own health care and my own taxes… it all adds up.”
 – Vic Perez

Vic Perez graduated from the Naval Academy with a BS in Economics with Merit. He served in the Navy for 6 years – first as an officer onboard nuclear submarines as part of the crew of the USS Cheyenne, and after that as an instructor at Notre Dame. While at Notre Dame, Victor somehow found the time to earn his MBA from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business with an emphasis on Finance. Not only did he do that while teaching at Notre Dame…he did it in just two years instead of the traditional 3. Vic now works in the Financial Services Industry with Wells Fargo as part of their new Veteran Internship Program. His current role is as a Credit Derivative Swap Trading Analyst

In this conversation, we cover a lot of topics, including:

  • What it’s like serving in the Reserves while also working in the world of Finance
  • How Vic worked at Notre Dame on active duty while also attending the Chicago Booth School of Business
  • Common paths people take to get into Wall Street
  • Typical career progressions in the world or trading
  • Trading vs Investment Banking
  • And much, much more…

iTurnes Beyond the UniformStitcher Beyond the Uniform

QUESTION OF THE DAY: How can I make these episodes more valuable to active duty military personnel considering transitioning to the civilian world? Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…

Selected Links from the Episode

Show Notes

  • 1:30 – Vic’s Background
  • 2:33 – How Vic decided to leave the military
  • 3:39 – How Vic chose to join the Reserves, and what that experience has been like
  • 5:10 – The most surprising aspect of Vic’s transition to civilian life
  • 6:58 – Vic’s experience at the Chicago Booth School of Business
  • 9:50 – Advice on applying to Chicago Booth School of Business (or business school in general)
  • 10:57 – day-to-day life of working at Notre Dame and attending the Chicago Booth School of Business
  • 13:21 – what Vic liked most and least about his experience at the Chicago Booth School of Business
  • 14:53 – common paths people take to get into Wall Street
  • 17:52 – An overview of a Trader
  • 23:18 – Signs that you may love life as a Trader… and signs you may hate it
  • 29:04 – Typical career progressions in the world or trading
  • 31:08 – Trading vs Investment Banking
  • 36:40 – The team environment of the Trading role
  • 38:12 – An overview of the Wells Fargo Veterans Internship Program
  • 41:03 – Where Vic felt ahead of his peers based on his military experience, and in what areas he felt behind
  • 41:58 – Advice to those on Active Duty on how to best prepare for their transition
  • 42:55 – Final words of advice