I understand that this topic has probably been covered multiple times and I have already read quite a few related posts, but one simple thread on this forum is worth 10 hours of information networking. Besides, my situation is special, right? I graduated in 2007 and I am looking to work for a hedge fund located in either Southern California, where I currently live, or preferably in New York. The transition is proving very difficult, as expected. Any advice or even blatant criticism is appreciated.

BS in Bus Admin - Finance from a top 25 undergrad business program but not an ivy. Unfortunately, it took me a few years to realize my true passion so I have a "spotty" employment record. Since graduating I have worked in business valuation/investment banking, real estate valuation, and currently in management consulting. I also interned for Smith Barney in PWM right out of college. To be fair, my current consulting gig was not something I ever saw as long term and I made it clear to my employer that I would be continuing to search for a job related to portfolio management. With the exception of Smith Barney, all firms are considered boutique, but honestly a large part of me prefers to work in a boutique environment.

In my spare time I have tried to stay proactive by managing my personal account for the last 5 years, taking the CFA level I (June 2011), taking portfolio management courses at UCLA extension, reading just about everything I can get my hands on, and just started studying for the Series 66.

I have been focusing on networking, which has proven pretty successful but large firms seem to immediately set me aside because of my experience. Which is fine, because it's compelling to me to work for a fund that has <$500 AUM. My skills are pretty well rounded and I think I would be an asset at both raising capital and fund management. If I were to work at a large fund I feel I would be forced to focus only on one skill.

Anyways, if anyone is still with me I guess I am asking if anyone has any advice. Do I even have a shot? I'm assuming probably not at a large fund, unless I get my MBA which I would prefer to wait a few more years, or impress the shit out of a PM. But, what about the smaller funds with <$500 and even <$100 AUM?

The WSO Advantage - Hedge Funds

Financial Modeling Training

IB Templates, M&A, LBO, Valuation. Learn More.

Wall St. Interview Secrets Revealed

30,000+ sold & REAL questions. Learn More.

Resume Help from HF Pros

Land More Interviews. Learn More.

Find Your HF Mentor

Realistic HF Mock Interviews. Learn More.

Comments (8)


If I were a hiring decision maker I'd want you to get (and keep) a job ~2 years and gain some real finance experience before I considered you. I'm sure you are well-rounded but given the churn I have to imagine you haven't been at any job long enough to really master a skill-set that would be appealing to a buyside employer.

CFA exams and extension classes are great, but you've had 3 jobs and an internship in 4 years, only one of which was part of something that is typically a feeder into hedge funds (Taking RE as its own thing). Have you been considering/applying to banking/ER jobs?

There have been many great comebacks throughout history. Jesus was dead but then came back as an all-powerful God-Zombie.


Yes, I am definitely open to ER and S&T positions but I am finding the same problem when interviewing for those positions. Unfortunately it's a catch 22, I am looking at a variety of positions to gain solid financial experience but hiring managers also want that financial experience. All four positions are on my resume because I thought the PWM internship provided the best experience and I have extremely strong referrals/connections. Should I take the internship off my resume so I only show 3 positions, because every hiring manager has the same response as you did. I looked at it an internship is not expected to last more than 6 months. If I added another year of experience I would have a total of 6 positions, due to 2 more internships.

I'm started opening up to more back office type roles just to get my foot in the door. From there I don't think I would have a problem at all, just a slower start. I just want to feel like I'm moving toward my goal. My other option is to stay at my current position for another year or 1.5 years, get management experience then go into an MBA program, but I feel that a lot of time is wasted with this option.


I am in the same situation, but graduated last year and am a Credit Risk Analyst (same situation referring to no applicable experience). I took CFA level II in June 2011 and am finding it impossible to get an interview. Right now, I am trying to get into ER on the sell-side and make my way into the buy-side thereafter. I am finding it easier to obtain interviews (consideration for employment and informational) with Analysts on the sell-side. It is even easier when you have a background in the sector you are interviewing for. Maybe try considering the sell-side first; it is also a place where you work with buy-side clients which provides a good networking opportunity with PMs. Hope this helps.


Can anyone recommend any sell-side firms in New York? S&T?


From my searches (all done via Indeed.com), there are several ER departments recruiting right now, including:

* Credit Suisse
* Raymond James
* Macquerie
* Brown Brothers Harriman

Most are looking for people with 1-2 years experience, but if you have some relevant sector experience in an internship, or perhaps professional expertise in some fashion, you could try and angle for the research associate positions they are currently recruiting for now.


Thank you everyone for your responses. I changed my resume around to only list my three most recent jobs, and then I created a separate section for the 4 internships I had during college. Hopefully this will look better to recruiters.

BT - I appreciate the quick search. I actually saw 1 or 2 investment banking/research analyst positions focusing on RE, which might be my best chance because I have over 2 years in RE, researching and developing spreadsheets for valuation purposes. Other than that, there was probably a total of 6-8 positions I could apply for.

My goal is New York but it will be the hard because my alumni network, which is amazing in socal, is nothing out there. Since I don't have factset or bloomberg terminals for my personal use, I created spreadsheets. Do you think showing sample spreadsheets would be beneficial in an interview or bring a recent research report?


You would not be an asset in helping funds to raise assets - sorry to be so blunt, but other than helping to bind together the pitch books you wouldnt be involved.


To unlock this content for free, please login / register below.

Connecting helps us build a vibrant community. We'll never share your info without your permission. Sign up with email or if you are already a member, login here Bonus: Also get 6 free financial modeling lessons for free ($200+ value) when you register!

What's Your Opinion? Comment below:

Login or register to get credit (collect bananas).
All anonymous comments are unpublished until reviewed. No links or promotional material will be allowed. Most comments are published within 24 hours.
WallStreet Prep Master Financial Modeling