Jane Street vs Optiver Internship (Summer 2021)

Title says it all. They both seem like great firms. Optiver sounds more committed to having their internship in person despite COVID and the internship also looks very pragmatic - I think I would learn a lot from it. But Jane Street seems like it has a less toxic culture and is more prestigious with better pay. I'm interested in the potential implications for full time conversion as well. Does anyone have knowledge or advice?

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Comments (28)

Dec 8, 2020 - 5:47pm

Both firms are great. Optiver has some of the best systems on the street. They had a record year and people are going to get paid a lot there this year.

Jane Street is much more prestigious and likely has better WLB. You'll probably find a higher percentage of geniuses there but also a higher percentage of oddballs.

I would take Jane Street if I were you

  • Intern in HF - EquityHedge
Dec 10, 2020 - 7:56pm

I believe Jane Street has a higher return rate.  Nevertheless, you should recruit full time as well in order to negotiate your first year pay.

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  • Works at Citadel Investment Group
Dec 14, 2020 - 11:55am

Optiver will pay you more. They are way more transparent with pay. By way more I mean WAY more. At least this year. 

Jane Street will make you feel like you were paid more but they pay dramatically less than Optiver will in a good year. But you'll probably have a more enjoyable experience here. You'll also get a more well rounded skill set. 

  • Trader in PropTrad
Dec 14, 2020 - 9:54pm

What makes you say this? Do you know traders (with a few years of experience) at both? If so, how much are they making this year (and on a normal year)?

  • Works at Citadel Investment Group
Dec 27, 2020 - 6:13pm

I say this because I know people at both and I know how they got paid this year lol. 

An equivalent exceptional trader who made $1M at JS this year would have made multiples of that at Optiver. Jane Street does an excellent job gaslighting their employees about pay though, so most of their employees don't realize this. 

  • Analyst 1 in S&T - Other
Dec 28, 2020 - 10:59am

AFAIK, Optiver is the only top firm with very clear payout structure (marbles), but this comes from a lack of understanding of the industry, and not actual knowledge. I'm joining the industry this year, so I know the first year pay for the top firms, but anything 3-5+ years out is incredibly unreliable.  

How would you rank the pay of traders at the top firms 3-5 years out? What are average (decent, but not great) traders making, and what are exceptional traders making? 

Some firms I'm curious about are Five Rings/Akuna/Optiver/CitSec/SIG/JS/IMC. Which stand out on the the upper and lower ends? 

I appreciate the info.

  • Junior Trader in PropTrad
Dec 28, 2020 - 3:14pm

Also very curious about this-the industry as a whole is quite opaque and information on 1) pay after 3-5 yoe and 2) retention is rather sparse. I do think, however, that Optiver is the only firm of those listed with such a transparent payout structure for bonuses. Also notable is that Optiver and Jane Street do firm-wide profit splits in some way so your desk performance is hedged by overall firm performance, whereas Citadel Securities at least is pretty siloed afaik.

My very rough perspective from hearsay is that outliers on the upper end would be Five Rings/Optiver/Jane St/CitSec and outliers on the lower end would be Akuna or perhaps SIG (2 years to start trading so pay ramps relatively slowly). Might be off the mark.

Sep 10, 2021 - 9:36pm

Any tips on Jane Street recruiting? I would view that as a dream company, but I'm not an IMO gold medalist (or anywhere close to that level) so have always been scared of applying

Sep 11, 2021 - 4:27pm

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