“Anything is possible,” says Seun Arowolaju, a self-taught technologist-turned-trader, who has been with PEAK6 since 2018. When Seun sets his mind on something, there’s no stopping him—whether he’s mentoring youth, serving as a volunteer minister at his church, or sharing lessons he learned as a former University of Illinois football player.
I’m a part of cohort of 15 traders who are in a two-year educational program to become full-time traders. When I first joined PEAK6, it was as a trading support engineer. I transitioned into a product manager role, and decided to move into the trading associate program when I realized this amazing opportunity to learn was open to me.
Why tech? And why trading?
I taught myself Python and learned to program after being at a startup, Mesh++, where I saw the value of engineering skills. That was one of the best decisions I’ve made, since it gave me the opportunity to come to PEAK6. My college degree was actually in sports management from the University of Illinois, where I played football.
I was born in the small city of Akure, Nigeria. My family moved to the North side of Chicago when I was four. Our first home in Chicago was an apartment above a church, where we paid rent by cleaning the church.
Proud PEAK6 moment
When I was a product manager on the data team, we put together and released a dependency-based job scheduler that solved a fundamental scheduling problem our team was facing. If they want code to run at a certain time, the scheduler allows them to schedule it based on dependencies. That way, you don’t have to wait for something to finish before you start your next process. It was a huge efficiency booster for the coders and traders.
I am a minister at my church, the Bible Church of Reconciliation in Harvey, Illinois. I started taking on youth ministry about a year and a half ago, and I also deliver a sermon once a month. My parents founded the church 21 years ago, and my mother is the senior pastor. I’ve been following in my parents’ footsteps.
Recently, I was appointed to the associate board of the Gray Matter Experience. The organization’s mission is to teach entrepreneurship to minority high-school age youth in Chicago. Entrepreneurship gives you so many important skills you can’t learn in a classroom. If students can learn this at a young age, they can keep that entrepreneurial mindset and DNA and be able to solve useful problems and contribute to society.
I believe emotional intelligence is one of the characteristics that has allowed me to flow and transition successfully between different places, jobs and teams. Whether it’s understanding the user of the product I’m building, cultivating mental toughness in the field, or understanding and controlling emotions as I trade, my emotional intelligence helps me in various capacities.
Best part of my job
The best part is being able to have an opinion about a company, sector or market; express that in the form of a trade; and receive feedback on the performance of that theory. Feedback and the idea generating process is interesting. This is where I feel you can grow and figure out how you match up against an opponent. It’s so competitive. It can be positive sum: There are winners and losers. My goal is not to be right all the time but to make as many positive and high-probability trades as possible so that the end result is winning.
Want to join a team that embraces the power of possibility? We’re hiring.