Life after Vectum - An alumni interview with Frank Borggreve April 7th, 2017
Could you introduce yourself?
My name is Frank Borggreve, I am 28 years old and I am originally from Hulsberg (15 km from Maastricht). I studied econometrics from 2007 till 2011, doing both my bachelor and master study in Maastricht.
What was Vectum like during your time here in Maastricht? Were you actively involved in the association?
The econometrics class I started with in 2007 was a tight group. We went to pretty much every Vectum event together which was always loads of fun. Even though I never joined the board I was involved in some committees here and there. A few of the initiatives that I helped start up were the indoor soccer team (FC Vectum), the FocTum party (with Focus) and the cantus at our Members’ Weekend. I don’t know if this stuff still exists nowadays, but I sure hope so!
How did your professional life develop after you left Maastricht University?
After I left Maastricht University I decided to start my career in Amsterdam as a trader at All Options. All Options is a medium-size market making firm in Amsterdam (around 45 employees). We are active on all the big exchanges on the European market with our main focus on option trading. After starting as a trainee trader in January 2012 I gradually developed as a trader and after a bit more than 3 years I reached the senior level. At this point I decided that I wanted to focus completely on designing trading algorithms so I switched to become the company’s trading architect. In this function I was responsible for the design of new trading strategies implemented in our trading system.
Where are you currently working? What are you exactly doing in your job?
At the moment I am still working at All Options, however again in a slightly different function. As of January this year I have taken up the role of Head of Development. As Head of Development I am responsible for our trading system in general and for the software development and business intelligence teams in particular. Next to that I form, together with the Head of Trading, the management team at All Options. As the management team we are responsible for the overall performance of the company. This implies making strategical decisions for both short and long term.
What do you especially like about your job?
First of all trading itself is a fascinating business. The financial market is a very demanding but at the same time also a very rewarding industry to be in. You either eat or you get eaten. Because of this you constantly need to be on top of your game, both personally and as a company. Next to that All Options has young team with a pretty flat hierarchy; it rewards performance instead of seniority. As a result of that you can grow rapidly if you are willing to work and consistently perform. A perfect place for a young and aspiring professional.
To what extent do you use your academic background in your daily work?
In my current role I do not use my academic background on a daily basis anymore. It did however give me the foundation that allowed me to perform in the various functions I had beforehand. My econometric background helped in my early years as a trader, whilst the problem-solving skills that I picked up with my OR master, aided me in my architect role. Also being able to program a bit does not hurt in my current function.
Have you experienced any impacting moments here in Maastricht or even within Vectum which shaped or helped your further career?
Where to start? I have had a lot of great experiences with Vectum: the parties, the events, the Members’ Weekends… I have seen and done things (some I am more proud of than others) that made a lasting impression on me. Most of these ordeals involved being silly and drinking too much alcohol. As much fun as they were, these moments did not directly impact my career. At least not yet, since so far none of my embarrassing Vectum pictures ever made it to Amsterdam. Let’s try and keep it that way.
Is there something you miss about Maastricht?
Apart from the Alla? Well, I do miss my friends and fellow students in general. We had some amazing times together. Even though Amsterdam is great and life here is treating me well I also miss the carefreeness of studying in Maastricht. Every day you could do whatever you felt like and enjoy your time without having any real responsibilities. Getting shitfaced on a Tuesday night and missing all classes the next day? Why not, nobody cares as long as you pass your exams. Good times.
Do you have any advice for our fellow students?
Enjoy your student life! Do not concern yourself too much about internships or your professional career in general. The time to be serious can (and will!) come after you graduate and start working somewhere. Econometricians are much sought after on the job market, so finding a good job should not be a problem. Revel in the student life whilst it lasts and don’t worry!
Thank you for taking the time!