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Episode 99 – How To Go From JMO To Derivative Trader

Welcome back to the podcast! On this episode I interview Brent Whiteman. Brent is a former Air Force officer who transitioned to Corporate America as a Derivative Trader in 2015. He holds a BS in Management from the United States Air Force Academy, and, upon commissioning, Brent was afforded the opportunity to attend Harvard where he earned an MPP in Business and Government Policy. Brent launched his career at Chatham Financial, a consulting firm focused on risk advisory relating to debt and asset protection.

Brent was a Contracting officer during in the Air Force. He’d never really dealt with derivatives trading and risk hedging in the areas of real estate, foreign exchanges and commodities. To get up to speed Brent initially spent a lot of time learning and asking questions of his team members who had the willingness to help him increase his knowledge. He devoted himself to putting in the work. He attributes much of his success to ensuring that he made his boss’ job easier. The trick? “[Take] care of some of their mental shelf space in order to make their job easier.” Lastly, Brent mentioned he’s eager to work and eager to learn, focusing on high quality and excellence every day.

We also dig into Brent’s day-to-day as a Derivative Trader. While he said no two days are alike, he spends much of his time advising Private Equity and Private Real Estate clients on how to hedge against financial risk. He works with all levels of clients from asset managers all the way up to the Chief Financial Officer.

Brent also discusses navigating his career while taking geographic preferences into account. Brent started his career in Philadelphia and now lives and works in Denver. He shares some great insight and perspective on the topic.

Lastly he recommends Tools of Titans by Tim Ferris to anyone interested in learning more about how some of the most successful people in the world find and achieve success in life. He also gives some great advice to soon-to-transition officers: BE CONFIDENT! Don’t focus on what might happen 6 months from now. Instead, focus on successfully launching your career knowing that you can and likely will pivot down the road.

To learn more about turning your JMO leadership skills into a successful transition and business success with Cameron-Brooks, visit our website and check out PCS to Corporate America. You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter.