Citadel vs Google offer advice

Hi Everyone,

I got an offer from Citadel FTAP and Google (for Software Developer position)
Citadel's base salary is much higher than google and the live expense in Chicago is much less than Bay Area so Citadel really attracts me. But Citadel seems to have very competitive environment and I'm a little bit worried. My thoughts:
1. Work-life balance will be much better in Google.
2. Software developers are cost-center in hedge funds. After 5 to 10 years, is it possible that my salary is upper bounded if I work in Citadel.
3. I'm not sure how much bonus I can get in the hedge fund. Is it possible to get a big bonus?
4. Is it possible to transit to Quant role after working as a software engineer for several years.
5. Is it possible to go to other companies if I don't fit in the culture? How reputable is their software engineer jobs?

Overall I'm looking for a very challenging and lucrative job that can maximize my profit. Thanks!

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Comments (9)

May 28, 2018 - 8:38pm

It's not just one role at citadel. I hear nearly everyone leaves after 2 years. Well known-revolving door to put on your resume. Seems to work ok for them. I think they literally fire desks heads every 2-4 years just because that is what they do.

Best Response
Nov 15, 2016 - 2:20am
  1. Google is an awesome place to work overall (work/life, environment, future opportunities). There is also something to be said for being a front-office employee, which software developers are at Google (not so at Citadel I assume). You will probably get more opportunities and be treated better as the money center at Goog than as part of the back office at Citadel
  2. Yes it probably will be, but the same is true at Google. Its very hard to get past the $500K/ yr all in level at a place like GOOG - i'm less sure about where you'd stall out as a software engineer at Citadel, but I'd assume its comparable
  3. Generic answer is YES. Need someone better versed to say exactly how big. Per 2, if you're not in a risk taking role I think you're somewhat bounded (won't get the multi million dollar bonuses that draw ppl to hedge funds).
  4. Certainly, but you could also do this from Google. Either way the onus would be on you to demonstrate the necessary skills. It would be easier to transition from Citadel because of the possibility of internal transfer (i.e. just much easier to get your resume in front of someone if already at Citadel) and finance experience on your resume (easier to get an interview). Either way you could probably get interviews though - whether you could get through them depends on you putting in the work
  5. No idea how reputable Citadel is in particular, but I know the culture of software engineering recruiting is flexible enough that people will give you interviews (they're just looking for the smartest person). I would consider the transition to a full on quant role (if you decided to take that path) much more of a challenge than getting a software development job at another reputable hedge fund or startup/ big silicon valley type firm. Once again depends on you having a strong skill set

I would say you're pretty set either way. Contingent on clearer answers as to your comp potential at Citadel, I'd probably lean Google b/c of the front-office/ back-office difference.

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Nov 16, 2016 - 9:07am

Sense confusion. You're worried about competition but you want a very challenging environment.

By the sounds of your post, money is driving your decision making and in the end you'll hate it very quickly. Pick what you prefer to do, be confident that the money will come regardless. All else fails, you try 1 & it sux and you call your recruiter and see if you can lateral.

Nov 16, 2016 - 9:40am

Oh I should make it clear. I do want to have a challenging job. What I'm worried about I what I read on Glassdoor, their culture does not sound very good.

And thanks for your advice. I feel that the job in hedgefund may be interesting, but I'm not so sure about this. On the other hand, I'm pretty sure that I will be interested in Google's job.

May 27, 2018 - 9:46am

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