Harvard PhD -> Hedge Funds?

Current PhD student (biology/chemistry/medical sciences, not physics/math) at Harvard doing engineering-oriented research and went to a top target school for undergraduate (graduated with a 3.7-3.8 in engineering). Sick of the academia grind and want out. Anyone know if it's possible for PhDs to dropout and join a reputable HF? Will my background preclude me from recruiting or do HFs just care about your potential/reasoning/skills (obviously abilities will correlate with experience in industry, but wondering if there is an intrinsic bias)? The Point72 Academy website makes it sound like you come in, get trained, then given the option to stay if you perform well. Is that an accurate assessment? Any advice/insight appreciated.

Comments (9)

Most Helpful
Jun 16, 2022 - 5:39pm
dickthesellsider, what's your opinion? Comment below:

If you can prove you can add value, why not. Carl Icahn dropped out of med school, he did better than just fine. 

Your angle is very likely joining a healthcare / biotech fund, but you need to prove you can add value on the science side. The modeling you can pick up in no time or get a junior person to do that. It's not Excel / PowerPoint that gets you paid the big bucks. 

Jun 16, 2022 - 5:50pm
grapefundcapital, what's your opinion? Comment below:

In all fairness, Icahn graduated in the 50s, so I wouldn't say that's any indication you can break into HF from a PhD. Our firm was however looking for life sciences investors a while back, we hired a PhD graduate from Brown, but that's VC, I know much less about hedge funds.

  • Intern in HF - EquityHedge
Jun 16, 2022 - 7:15pm

Really depends on type of hedge fund/strategy you want to join. With you background in engineering you could try looking at quant trading/prop trading firms. Alternatively worth looking at internships/Ph.D programmes that some banks run to get a sellside stint first. Main HFs that hire non MBAs out of schools tend to be multi-managers like Citadely/Point72/DE Shaw and Millenium

Have an offer for the Point72 2023 academy summer internship if you have any questions.

Jun 17, 2022 - 3:03pm
bugs_life, what's your opinion? Comment below:

How strict is P72 Academy with the graduation date requirements for their programs? Can anyone apply and get an interview or are they really just looking for fresh grads?

  • Intern in HF - EquityHedge
Jun 17, 2022 - 3:12pm

Pretty strict from what I can tell but there is some leniency, know a guy who was in their final year of university who applied for 2023 summer (grad date is supposed to be 2024 i think?) and got to the interview stage but no offer. If you're still in college then maybe u have a shot. I don't think you can if you've graduated though...

EDIT: nvm it specifically says 2023 fall grads can apply to the 2023 summer so no dice.

Jun 16, 2022 - 9:33pm
theghostofthestreet, what's your opinion? Comment below:

If you are a legit academic (publication history is legit), then stick it out and become an opinion leader and have a professor job and be an advisor on the side. Way better lifestyle. If you enter those programs you just get sucked into the same corp stream as everyone else and you essentially just get used for being conscientious and having a higher IQ than the other chimps. If you aren't a legit academic and just did a PhD and hate research and essentially wasted your time then I'd say it's a serious option and I'd push for entry into big 3 consulting -> PE

  • Consultant in Consulting
Jun 17, 2022 - 5:51pm

Nihil tempora deserunt nihil. Iusto asperiores quaerat repellat fuga voluptas. Qui optio ut maxime ea rem minima quisquam.

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