Jump to content

Wall St. and how to get in.


Recommended Posts

I'm an undergrad student at a 'non-target' school and I'd like the opportunity to intern come summer at a hedge fund. The problem is, most funds don't advertise, and the ones that do are big ones that hire mostly from Ivy League. When I saw memes about how a person is a legend if they make it to Wall St without rich parents or Ivy league I didn't think much of it. Now I know! So question to you guys here, I need some advice, how do I go about entering these funds as an intern, or do you guys recommend starting elsewhere?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I never managed to get internships. But I was placed @ Bridgewater Associates via a recruiting firm (I think it was Greenstreet) after I moved to NYC without a job. 

 

Only thing I had going for me at the time was the first level of the CFA under my belt. My small school in Mississippi was definitely not target and had no other connections with the firm. 

 

So - work with recruiting firms who will be working with hedge funds open to non target candidates and make sure you can best the ivy league guys that will be there too 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, TwoCitiesCapital said:

I never managed to get internships. But I was placed @ Bridgewater Associates via a recruiting firm (I think it was Greenstreet) after I moved to NYC without a job. 

 

Only thing I had going for me at the time was the first level of the CFA under my belt. My small school in Mississippi was definitely not target and had no other connections with the firm. 

 

So - work with recruiting firms who will be working with hedge funds open to non target candidates and make sure you can best the ivy league guys that will be there too 

That's the thing, CFA is sought after, although I am preparing to write CFA level I, I am a junior year so I can't take the test till next year. I am looking for internships this summer. I heard getting in is the hardest part, once you're in, you can easily jump ships.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

25 minutes ago, whatstheofficerproblem said:

That's the thing, CFA is sought after, although I am preparing to write CFA level I, I am a junior year so I can't take the test till next year. I am looking for internships this summer. I heard getting in is the hardest part, once you're in, you can easily jump ships.

 

If you don't have your CFA or MBA, you may be better off applying at smaller firms outside of Wall Street...there are large, quality firms in other major cities.  Write letters to the head of small firms you admire.  Tell them you'll work for nothing!  Yes, you are going to eat ramen for a while and probably give up all material possessions, but that may be the sacrifice you need to make to make an impression and get a leg in. 

 

I've seen lots of people work their way up from small firms, apply at larger firms and start as junior analysts, and then rise to senior levels of management.  Nothing happens overnight...you will have to put the work in unless you have a well-regarded family member who can network a position for you.  Cheers!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's definitely possible to break in with a "non-target" background, but it is tough.

 

Without connections, you have to prove that you are hungry, passionate about investing, and have a good head on your shoulders. From what I have seen over the years, the best combination of activities that has led to success for people from "non-targets" trying to break into buy-side equity research are:

 

a. Start a blog, maintain an active Twitter account, write regularly on here- it doesn't matter exactly the medium, but if you are able to write/communicate well, share your investment ideas/why you bought the stock, and prove to have a reasonably good track record/think well, it's actually not unusual for people to contact you. In this business, one talented person can add a huge amount of value to an investment firm, so you have to prove that you are talented/passionate- just submitting your resume in the firm's website won't work.

b. Meet people in the firms/industry where you want to be. Try to connect with people on LinkedIn, Twitter, or wherever and see if you can buy them coffee/lunch and learn more about their industry, etc. (Don't ask for a job on the initial conversation!) Most people will blow you off and that's fine- you can message an unlimited number of people so your hit rate doesn't have to be high. But after you meet someone, get their contact info and then as you gradually put together more write-ups/blog posts, etc. send a follow-up email to them every few months with your most recent pitch/why you recommended it, etc. so they get to know how you think.

 

Over time your network will expand, your skills will improve, and people at the various shops you know will think of you as hungry/passionate/good communicator when they are thinking about someone they could hire.

 

YMMV, but this is frankly what worked for me and I have one of the most "non-target" backgrounds you could imagine. Among the most elite firms this may or may not work to get that initial job, but this can help you get your foot in the door at a lot of different places and that's the hardest part. 

 

I realize you were asking about internships and this may or may not help with that in the near term because the above takes time. But honestly if you can prove you are a good investor to a PM or investment firm in need of talent, where you did your internship honestly doesn't matter that much in my experience- you can spin almost any type of internship as a learning experience that helped you become a better student of business. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Easiest starter path I’ve seen work for folks not with an in is to do a summer at a small brokerage house, get your 7/66, learns the sales game, and then move up. At the least if you’re licensed and got an OK resume it’s a shoe in at the big shops like Merrill or MS. Once that’s done you have access to the universe and then it’s just about relationship building. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...