I'm a student from a top CS program, and will get a master degree in 2009 (but in fact this is a PhD program, the master is just a mid-way degree). My research is on machine learning and statistical data analysis. I'm considering the possibility of finding a quantitative finance job in 2009 based on my statistics and computer science background. But my 2008 summer intern will go to Yahoo!. I mean ... I already accepted this internship several months ago, so I cannot change it (and apply other finance internship). In other word, in 2009 I will try to find quant jobs without intern experience in finance. Is this possible? What I can do to increase the chance? I plan to enhance my knowledge and skills on C++/econometrics/time series analysis/Matlab, using my spare time from now to next Spring. Is this the right direction?