D.E. Shaw - Generalist Intern with Zero Finance Background - HELP

g2emise's picture
Rank: Chimp | 5

So, two weeks ago I was panicking over searching for and landing an internship - my background is almost strictly in polisci/philosophy/law, and Big Law type firms rarely, if ever, hire undergrads. I ended up widening my search, writing a bunch of different cover letters / resume versions, and sending them off to a ton of different companies for positions that were outside my area of experience. One of these companies was D.E. Shaw, and I was contacted for a telephone screen/interview scheduled for Monday.

Bear in mind that I have literally zero finance experience.

I applied to the generalist internship because it seemed geared toward non-quantitive majors and mentioned risk management - but my interest is in compliance and operational/legal risk management, not necessary financial risk like when it comes to holding positions and all. While I indicated this in my cover letter and the posting indicated no financial experience was required or expected, I'm concerned that I'm out of my depth and set myself up to fail.

There was some indication from other posts re: D.E. Shaw internships that the telephone conversation is about resume and background, i.e. geared toward the applicant, not the position. Other posts have mentioned technical questions in the telephone conversation. This is my biggest concern - I have no idea what a finance technical question even looks like, not to mention the elements that go into asset management/trading/etc.

I have some really solid legal internship experience at a big-fish-small-pond public interest law firm where I've done some really substantive work (e.g. case win rate when I'm involved is 20% higher than avg. firm win rate, developed a system to allow for faster case review and issue spotting, wrote a few federal appeals). I can spin this to fit some elements of compliance because I'm familiar with federal civil procedure and have good intuition for the law.

But - how do I prep for something at a hedge fund like D.E. Shaw with no finance / quantitive background?

Comments (2)

Dec 17, 2017

It said no experience is required. Don't stress. Do your best.

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

Dec 17, 2017

No pain no game.