A trading trainee is a junior employee of a financial firm who is poised to continue a career that will build up to a more senior role in trading and other financial activities. These professionals typically work with and learn from senior traders, since companies dealing in financial trading often implement an apprentice-based system. Junior traders or trainees will learn the specific financial culture of a firm, as well as more technical aspects of money management, as they work to support a financial office and assist senior staff.
One thing that trading trainees learn is how to value risk. These junior members often learn through hands-on practice, either through actual management of large sums of money, or in following the activities of senior traders. Some junior traders are actually given a significant amount of responsibility for handling actual trades, and a lot of leeway for making mistakes, while others are more carefully monitored and assigned to follow the deals of more experienced employees of the firm.
In some companies, a trading trainee will take care of certain lower-level tasks or, in another sense, general business tasks for the financial office, in order to help them learn how the business works from day to day. For example, these tasks might include assessing all of the existing positions of a financial office and proposed trades in order to figure out what kinds of trading and financial strategies are common within a firm. Junior members might also be assigned to meet with outside brokers to talk about specific the risks or benefits that they might involve. A trading trainee might also be sent to specific training programs in the course of his or her job if the firm feels that these courses will support a more focused knowledge of the firm’s activities.
In general, a trading trainee will learn a specific financial culture. In some financial offices, these junior staffers are urged to take aggressive risks. In other offices, and other financial cultures, senior members counsel trainees and others to avoid excessive risk and practice specific kinds of fiscal discipline. Understanding the difference between various financial cultures and philosophies is a major part of what helps any trader, especially a trading trainee, to operate within the general context of the global financial market, and not just in the context of his or her employer’s offices. As financial experts have proven again and again, this kind of global mentality will help anyone in the financial world to reasonably assess global risk, thereby and avoid many of the kinds of financial crises that tend to negatively affect offices periodically.