Hedge Fund Operations Role Good Place to Start After Undergrad?

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I just graduated from a non target university (undergrad class of 2019), and have an opportunity to begin my career in an operations role at a credit and real estate focused HF in NYC. I know operations isn't the greatest role and I do not want to make a career in it. However, I understand that HF's are much harder to break into after undergrad and no professional experience than most other types of firms. While I am not exactly sure what role I want to make a career out of, I would like to be on the Investment side of a firm rather than operations. I think that because HF's are much smaller I will work with and be exposed to all the aspects of the firm, and it would be a tremendous learning experience for me. I plan on taking my CFA level I in December, and hopefully could leverage that along with networking and extra effort to move laterally into the front office eventually either internally or somewhere else.

I'm not sure how realistic this is, so that is why I am posting. Basically I want to know if this is a good spot to begin my career.

Last summer I interned in the back office (controllers) of a mid sized investment bank, and I did well in networking with senior employees in other areas of the bank (fo). However it was really difficult to make real traction due to how big the firm was and how separated all areas of the firm were from each other.

Any guidance would be greatly appreciated!

Comments (10)

 
Jun 8, 2019 - 3:47pm

Do you have any other jobs lined up? If so, what are they? If you don't, this may be a good job. You make money, sit near decision makers and you will learn a lot (systems, financing etc). With some self study, investment ideas and internal networking you could certainly make the jump. A lot of people have (typically from more trading oriented shops).

However, it depends on the firm. If you sit on another floor and never interact with front office, it will make it an uphill battle.

Good Luck

I used to do Asia-Pacific PE (kind of like FoF). Now I do something else but happy to try and answer questions on that stuff.
 
Jun 9, 2019 - 11:32am

Thank you for a great response.

While I don’t have anything definitively lined up now, I have been meeting at some asset management firms to meet the guys on the investments side through connections. Basically showing face so that if a good role pops up they would feel comfortable ab bringing me in to interview. Nothing really to rely on though.

I know that this ops role will have me exposed to all of the products they deal with, working closely with the traders and analysts to support them (Full ops team is small). Ab a year in they told me Is the time to expect to get assigned to a specific fund by your self . I would be on the same floor so developing relationships with these guys is realistic.

The interviewers gave me a great impression that ppl have made the change before, and that they are looking for someone to put in a few years doing grunt work and go from there (using the role as a stepping stone internally or externally).

Ik it may seem as though I have had my question answered, I am still not sure how realistic this is. Maybe I am brainwashed by everyone on here that basically preaches “FO or bust”.

 
Most Helpful
Jun 9, 2019 - 2:47pm

devul:

Thank you for a great response.

While I don’t have anything definitively lined up now, I have been meeting at some asset management firms to meet the guys on the investments side through connections. Basically showing face so that if a good role pops up they would feel comfortable ab bringing me in to interview. Nothing really to rely on though.

I know that this ops role will have me exposed to all of the products they deal with, working closely with the traders and analysts to support them (Full ops team is small). Ab a year in they told me Is the time to expect to get assigned to a specific fund by your self . I would be on the same floor so developing relationships with these guys is realistic.

The interviewers gave me a great impression that ppl have made the change before, and that they are looking for someone to put in a few years doing grunt work and go from there (using the role as a stepping stone internally or externally).

Ik it may seem as though I have had my question answered, I am still not sure how realistic this is. Maybe I am brainwashed by everyone on here that basically preaches “FO or bust”.

in response to bolded: Perhaps. Best to turn a deaf ear to much of what is said on this forum.

Unless I am missing something here, the job sounds promising. If there is a deadline and you have nothing else, it may be well worth taking it. You can keep meeting others in AM and networking elsewhere (while getting paid to learn and network internally), and if you land that gig, just resign from this job (be nice, friendly, thankful for the opportunity and go on good terms) and join the AM or whatever.

Good Luck

I used to do Asia-Pacific PE (kind of like FoF). Now I do something else but happy to try and answer questions on that stuff.
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