D.E. Shaw vs Citadel Decision Advice

Hey everyone,

I'm fairly new to the forum and the field of finance as a whole, but I'm faced with a tough decision between two internship offers, so I figured I'd ask some more knowledgeable people for input.

I'm a junior studying computer engineering at a pretty good school (no Ivies or MIT but we do pretty well), and I've been working at a top tech firm as a software developer for two summers now. For my third internship I decided to pursue a role at a finance firm, just to see if the industry is a good fit for me, and I would love to eventually go into quantitative analysis and trading. I think what attracts me the most is the quantitative aspect of working directly on the trading platform, ideally developing the trading strategies or at least in some way directly impacting the trading system, with results that are immediately quantifiable and visible.

At this point I've narrowed down my options to two companies, D.E. Shaw and Citadel, but I'm pretty lost about how to decide between the two of them. I think the two main distinctions are the role and the company culture. My D.E. Shaw offer is for a general software engineering position, and there's no way of knowing what I'll actually work on during the summer. Citadel is offering me a role as a quantitative trading systems developer, which seems more closely aligned with the trade-facing role I hope to eventually reach. However, I've also heard that Citadel is more intense and uptight, and it seems like Shaw would be a much better fit culturally given my background at a pure tech firm. Also, I'm not sure what the conversion process would look like, but I obviously want to pick a place where I could work full-time after graduation.

I would appreciate any kind of advice on picking between these two offers - perhaps there are some aspects I haven't considered, or maybe I should be prioritizing them differently. Really any type of input would be extremely helpful. Thanks!

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