D.E. Shaw Equity Research Analyst Internship

Sophomore finance major, top 10% of class, non-HY target for the firm (Columbia/Bing/Stern) currently summer interning with an asset manager in NYC. Targeting bb IBD as an undergrad exit. I was linked through OCR to an internship offer open to sophomores at D.E. Shaw: the "Equity Research Analyst" gig. Brief job description:

"The D. E. Shaw group seeks research analysts to join its Long/Short equity group during the summer of 2015 to support the firm's fundamental investing activities. Analysts will be placed in one of the firm's four core industry groups: Consumer/Retail; Financial Institutions; Healthcare; and Technology, Media and Telecommunications. Responsibilities will include researching, analyzing, and performing due diligence on potential investments. A strong passion for investing, as well as a demonstrated aptitude for substantial financial analysis, is essential. The ideal candidate will have a strong record of academic achievement as well as excellent communication skills. Successful applicants will have ideally spent a summer at an investment bank, alternative asset manager, or long-only manager."

I certainly get that working at a respectable hedge fund sophomore year is better than nothing, but I'm wondering-given the absence of financial modeling from the job description-how useful the position will be in terms of next year's recruiting.

One other question: I'm not 100% set on IBD and wouldn't mind considering S&T internships as well. DES offers them and explicitly allows multiple applications on its careers site; however, I've heard from multiple sources that applying for both means your app goes in the trash. I'm wondering if I could get some clarity on that?

Help much appreciated.

Comments (11)

Funniest
Aug 16, 2014

Wow using DE Shaw to leverage a banking job seems kind of like running Haliburton to get a job at a gas station, but okay. I would jump at this opportunity if you are at all interested in a career as an investor.

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Aug 16, 2014

Too late for DE Shaw. You touched finance this summer. Now they won't be interested in talking to you until you've generated 10 figures. :D

Seriously, it's easier to get a job at DE Shaw as a top 10% math major at Columbia with absolutely no finance experience than it is to get a job there as valedictorian from Harvard with a summer internship at Blackstone. I don't know why that is- it's just how DE Shaw recruits.

AQR, GSAM, JPAM, Bridgewater, Kepos, Citadel, 2Sig, SIG, PIMCO, sure. And to be fair Bridgewater is killing it while DE Shaw hasn't been doing quite as well.

If it were me, I'd look at Two Sigma if you want a career in the quant space, or AQR if you simply want branding. Bridgewater might also be good for an internship.

Let us know how it goes. Not saying it won't happen; just saying that DE Shaw has a schizoid recruiting process.

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Aug 16, 2014
IlliniProgrammer:

Too late for DE Shaw. You touched finance this summer. Now they won't be interested in talking to you until you've generated 10 figures. :D

Seriously, it's easier to get a job at DE Shaw as a top 10% math major at Columbia with absolutely no finance experience than it is to get a job there as valedictorian from Harvard with a summer internship at Blackstone. I don't know why that is- it's just how DE Shaw recruits.

AQR, GSAM, JPAM, Bridgewater, Kepos, Citadel, 2Sig, SIG, PIMCO, sure. And to be fair Bridgewater is killing it while DE Shaw hasn't been doing quite as well.

If it were me, I'd look at Two Sigma if you want a career in the quant space, or AQR if you simply want branding. Bridgewater might also be good for an internship.

Let us know how it goes. Not saying it's impossible; just saying that DE Shaw has a weird recruiting process.

LOL. You obviously didn't read the post.

Aug 17, 2014
Simple As...:

LOL. You obviously didn't read the post.

No I did. Requiring a prior finance internship is DE Shaw's headfake to filter out everyone with a finance background for their real job offers. :D They know the word is out that they hate prior finance experience.

Seriously, I've never heard of someone with any sort of prior finance experience who did not have a wikipedia entry getting hired at DE Shaw. But there's always a time for firsts. And I'm more familiar with their stat arb groups, HFT, and quant trading than other parts of the firm, so I could be wrong.

But seriously, if I had offers from 2Sig and AQR, I'm still not sure I'd take DE Shaw. The only thing that keeps them competitive, really, is the work culture. They are the only fund where quants can go down to Brighton Beach and get an hour or two of surfing in before work starts at 10:30 Eastern, or take off at 1:30 PM on a Friday. Where I work we're kind of expected to get in by ~9:30, and we're extremely grateful for the 1.5 hours we get that S&T people didn't.

They do have a really laid back culture. It's an amazing second or third job (as the informed folks on this forum are well aware of and seem to be optimizing for), but a Bridgewater or GSAM might offer more job security, more opportunities to learn and push oneself, and create a better pace to start a career. And a firm like Blander or TMG might really be the best choice for a smart, hardworking person who isn't concerned about prestige or marketability.

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Aug 16, 2014

He's not asking about the quant positions at DE Shaw. He's asking about the fundamental L/S internship they have listed.

And I think that DE Shaw L/S to banking is backwards thinking. If you're lucky enough to get this opportunity, take advantage of it and plan to stay for the long run.

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Aug 17, 2014

Thanks for the comments. One other question, kind of something I brought up before: DE has a two year rotational program (presumably equity analysis and S&T are two of the sectors you spend some time in) as well as the straight up Equity Analyst SA gig. Would it behoove me to apply for both, or is applying to both a way to get my app not looked at?

Also, any comments on whether I should include (good) current/former employer recs?

Aug 17, 2014
bank bank bank:

Thanks for the comments. One other question, kind of something I brought up before: DE has a two year rotational program (presumably equity analysis and S&T are two of the sectors you spend some time in) as well as the straight up Equity Analyst SA gig. Would it behoove me to apply for both, or is applying to both a way to get my app not looked at?

Also, any comments on whether I should include (good) current/former employer recs?

For a non-quant role, I would start networking and trying to get this info from someone inside the firm.

The general mentality here is that you spent a summer meeting their stated requirements, you liked the people you worked with last summer but it was sort of a random freshman year summer gig, and you are perfectly happy to drink DE Shaw's kool-aid. (Trust me, every buyside fund has a few cult-like aspects to it. DE Shaw probably less than others, funnily enough.)

All else being equal, I'd figure out what your strengths are in the candidate pool and try to leverage that. For an undergrad FO role at a Bridgewater, AQR, SIG, Citadel, or DE Shaw, the competition will be very broad and very intense.

Just be aware of DE Shaw's culture. This is not your typical L/S fundamental fund. DE Shaw was founded by a Columbia professor and is still largely a geeky fund with a geeky culture to it and a gigantic quant arm. There will probably be a couple candidates who are stronger overall than you, but if you can go in knowing your strengths, how those strengths might help their team, and most importantly how you'd fit in their culture, you can pull this off as a top 10% at a school like Columbia, NYU, UVA, or Berkeley.

As you'll discover if you get the job, these people aren't superhuman and there's stuff a smart, diligent person who isn't necessarily that far out on the tail can really bring to the table at these funds.

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Aug 17, 2014

Bridgewater is a totally different beast from all the funds you mentioned. It's hard to get the investment associate role out of undergrad, but much of getting an offer from there will hinge upon your group debate performance and fit rather than raw brainpower. Bridgewater does not ask a single quant or finance question during your interviews. They want to see how well you can logically think about a problem, articulate your arguments, consider counter-arguments, and think like a Bridgewater employee.

SIG is a prop trading firm doing mostly derivatives, so their interview will be math/stat/probability/brain teasers focused.

AQR is a hedge fund that has diversified into the Asset Management space broadly and offers tons of mutual funds and other customized portfolios for investors. Aside from the quant roles, they also offer roles in client strategy, business development, asset allocation, etc. At the undergrad level they recruit at Harvard, MIT, Penn, Princeton, Columbia, UChicago, and Northwestern. Asness is a Penn (M&T) undergrad and Chicago Booth Phd alum while David Kabilier, the head of client strategies, is a Kellogg alum. At the MBA level they recruit at HBS and Booth, but I think they might have stopped MBA recruiting this year, although I'm not entirely sure about this.

Citadel mainly hires undergrads and STEM masters students through FTAP (financial technology analyst program). They stopped their insanely selective ITAP (investment trading analyst program) a few years back. The FTAP guys do mostly software development and coding and rotate through various groups before being assigned to one. Citadel also has the global equities group, which is its fundamental long-short desk, which hires mainly banking and PE analysts. It's a very good group.

In terms of pure selectivity, D.E. Shaw is the most selective amongst the firms that Illini mentioned. IMO, only Rentech and Two Sigma are harder to get into. But yeah, Shaw only hires a handful of front-office traders and researchers at the undergrad level. It is fairly common for 3.9+ gpa STEM whiz kids from Harvard/MIT/Stanford/Princeton to get dinged. The brainpower there is pretty ridiculous.

Aug 17, 2014

I mentioned 2Sig and I know several people who've gotten into 2Sig. I don't know anyone who has taken a job at DE Shaw. I know one guy who was offered but wanted to pursue a Math PhD- DE Shaw only lets you in if you don't really want to work in finance. My take is that 2Sig is a little less selective than DE Shaw, but that's only because it's been killing it and can afford to hire people.

MBAvsMFin knows what he's talking about on what the funds do (maybe better than I do), and is largely on point on the candidates they target. I have one or two other minor nitpicks with his posts, but the one rule of posting online is that you don't reveal too much about your background, and for me to correct him would require me to reveal too much.

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Aug 17, 2014

IlliniProgrammer doesn't know what he's talking about -- I wouldn't rely on him. Most of his advice here is way off base, and mostly irrelevant to the topics being asked.

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Aug 18, 2014
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