Quantitative Researcher Jing Zhou shares her educational journey, passion for discovery and experience as a working mother.
We’re excited to kick off a new series called People & Pathways. Each story will highlight a different WorldQuant employee and ask about their background, career path and experience at the firm. For the first profile, we spoke with Jing Zhou, a quantitative researcher in WorldQuant’s Old Greenwich office.
Where did you grow up?
Jing Zhou: My hometown is Nantong, China, a small port city on the northern bank of the Yangtze River. I attended the local school and went on to get a dual degree in physics and finance at the University of Science and Technology of China.
What did you do next?
In 2010, I came to the U.S. to get a PhD in physics at the University of Chicago. It was my first time in a different country. I loved trying new foods, sightseeing and experiencing a totally unfamiliar culture.
During my PhD, I did research at SNOLAB — a deep underground research laboratory located in the Creighton Mine in Ontario, Canada. I used to take an elevator 6,000 feet underground to conduct experiments in the mine and try to detect dark matter. I was excited because it was about the discovery of new things.
How did you get to WorldQuant?
I completed my PhD in 2015 and briefly interned at a Chinese company. Shortly after, I was hired to WorldQuant’s Old Greenwich office as a quantitative researcher.
At the firm, I can explore all kinds of data and pursue projects I am interested in. The techniques used here as a quantitative researcher are very similar to those I learned in my PhD program.
What does a typical day look like?
I am currently working from home, so I start my morning before the U.S. market opens at 9:30. I have a close relationship with my manager, and throughout the day we exchange ideas.
As the mother of a nine-month-old baby girl, I sometimes take short breaks to play with her. This helps me refresh my mind and allows me to be more efficient in all aspects of my life.
How do you stay involved in the WorldQuant community?
I am a member of the firm’s Working Parents Group and Multicultural Group. The Working Parents Group held a virtual Halloween party, where I got to introduce my daughter and husband to my colleagues. I also took part in our multicultural holiday event, during which my colleagues shared recipes, customs and garments that were meaningful for them. It was really interesting to meet new people and get a deeper understanding of who they are.
What do you like to do outside of work?
In my backyard, I have two vegetable gardens that grow pumpkins, tomatoes, peppers and more — depending on the season.
I also enjoy discussing physics with my husband. He just completed his PhD in the subject as well. We talk about new techniques in the physics field. Sometimes this can inspire me.