I must have sacrificed myself to save my country in a past life


Because I am so goddamn lucky.

I'm currently an exchange student in Hong Kong. After dinner, a few friends and I decided on a whim to get drunk and go to a horse racing stadium. Horse racing is a big fucking deal in Hong Kong— tons of people go there on Wednesday and Sunday nights to drink, gamble, and hang out— and we were curious to see what it was like. We had no idea what to expect.

We get off the MTR about a mile away from the stadium and of course google maps is bugging out. My friends are on their phones trying to figure out where the fuck we are, but I'm a resourceful (and impatient) guy so I just stop the first guy to pass me and I ask him where the stadium is. This dude in his mid thirties, looks a bit nerdy, and is dressed like he's about to go on a casual date or something.

"Yeah, I'm actually going there now. You can just follow me."
"Awesome, thanks. Are you going to bet on any horses? You look like you know what you're doing. Do you have any tips?"

Anyways, we shoot the shit for a while, talking about horses, the area, being an exchange student, etc. Eventually, I ask him what he does.

"I'm a hedge fund manager."

Holy fucking SHIT. No way. Is this a movie? What are the odds of this happening? I tell him that I'm really into algorithmic trading, investing, research, etc. He tells me about his funds strategy, his career, and gives me some advice. I can't believe it. I'm freaking out internally the entire time. His fund is $3b+.

We get to the stadium, and he tells me that my entrance is a few hundred meters down. He tells me that he would have taken me up to his box to meet his hedge fund and trading buddies, but since I'm not dressed nicely enough they wouldn't let me in. He decides to walk me and my friends all the way down to the entrance for plebs. I seriously can't believe how nice this guy was.

Anyways, he drops me his phone number, I thank him, and we part ways. Wow.

When/what should I message him? Should I try to see if he'll let me intern at his fund, or is that a bit presumptuous? Should I just stick to asking him for advice? Perhaps he could become a mentor of sorts?

Does anyone know what to do in this situation? I've never really networked before and I literally have no clue. I have his number, but how do I leverage it?


Comments (11)

Sep 21, 2016 - 5:06pm


This is a good story, and also shows the importance of dressing well and conducting yourself appropriately at all times. You don't know it, but you're always on interview and you never know who you might meet.

So are you saying that we should properly conduct ourselves and always be dressed well at all times, where ever we go? You're saying as if the OP had some futuristic instinct that he was going to bump into a "hedge fund manager". He went out to drink, gamble, and hangout with his friends. Your last statement is totally off.

Sep 22, 2016 - 8:59am

Yea obviously this doesn't mean wearing a suit and tie everywhere, but you can upgrade from cargo shorts/tees to chinos/shirts like m3shuggah said. If you don't care about making an impression on people then do whatever you want, but if you care about these chance encounters you might as well give yourself the best chance possible. You never know who you might meet whether it be a girl or this HF manager.

Sep 25, 2016 - 3:00pm

Categorize your time for this task - time until you want to talk to him next, one week's time, three weeks time, and then 3 months time, and longer. Figure out what you know, and what you don't, but want to know by the end of that time frame. For topics with some general consensus about, but may be more fact-based (technical questions, market info a bit less so), do your research way beforehand to tackle the things you don't know. Technical questions are in general questions you can find the answers to online. Ask questions that may change from person to person - firm / industry culture, personal experiences, (market info a little less so, but he may have a different take). Get a flavor of their life story.

Since he gave you his phone number, call in the morning and say who you are - how you met - when would be a good time to meet up over coffee and ask some questions. Then follow through. Be polished. At the end, digest the info. Thank him in person and via email now that you should have it. Review any questions you still want to ask, any new questions. From here, ask him for any friends you might be able to speak to, to learn about other areas / topics. Stay in touch with him. Good luck!

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