Junior Year Summer: I-Banking Intern or Top Hedge Fund Intern

dedderss's picture
Rank: Baboon | 105

I am a rising junior and am unsure of which is the better option for me. I am currently interning this summer at a mid-market PE firm with ~8Bn AUM just to give you a sense of my experience and have a great opportunity for next summer. I connected with an alumni at a top fund in the US for a junior year summer internship (in terms of prestige its on the level of Bridgewater, Millennium, Viking Global Advisors, Canyon, etc.). I am excited because I know that it is rare to be presented an opportunity like this but at the same time I don't want to miss out on the junior year summer investment banking analyst position at some of the bulge bracket banks. I am aware that the banks give majority of their full-time offers to students who have gone through their summer internship programs and I don't want to have a tough time getting a job if I don't get a return offer from the hedge fund (which is very highly unlikely as they almost never hire out of undergrad.) Does anyone have any advice? I would really benefit from someone older in finance who has more perspective...

Comments (18)

Jul 13, 2017

You should first get an offer for either one before asking WSO

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Jul 13, 2017

I already have the offer as we met in person and he said that they would be happy to have me but to reach out over the summer and stay in touch. I feel like can't really keep them waiting too long though because it is a top fund and I also won't know if i get an offer from the investment banks until a couple months down the line.

Jul 13, 2017

Gotcha. Do you know when the deadline on the offer is?

Jul 13, 2017

Lifeguard

Jul 13, 2017

To be quite honest, I'd rather do that then work in asset mgmt, but thats just me.

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Jul 13, 2017

Sick comeback dude! Enjoy your junior year of college. See you on the other side.

Btw - AM is known for equal pay and less hours. Doesn't take a calc major to weigh those pros and cons.

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Jul 16, 2017

drop the douchey attitude while you are still young

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Jul 13, 2017

Have you asked the HF the likelihood of getting a return offer? To me, a firm that has no intention of bringing on interns full time are more likely to give interns uninteresting work meaning that you won't build as valuable skills. That may not be entirely accurate but it's my perception.

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Jul 13, 2017

I did ask him about that and his words were something along the lines of: "Our usual hires people who have gone through some years at a top bank so that they have a good level of experience." It seemed like I would be working with a team and getting some real learning experience. He also said that I would "get out exactly what I put into it". He did frame it in a way that sounded like it would be a great learning experience.

Best Response
Jul 24, 2017

Really tough call honestly. The key question for whether you should try HF: will they at lest implicitly guarantee you a good recommendation? If they're not really looking to offer a FT offer but will gladly get on the phone afterwards to tell everyone you were a rockstar and they just don't hire out of undergrad, then i'd take it. The recommendation should be good enough to get a shot at all the major banks, etc.

If you can't get implicit guarantee I lean BB - just way too risky to bet your post college employment and I'm sure the HF guy would understand your logic.

Also, depending on how well you know HF guy I would maybe just call him and lay out what you're thinking. Remember that everyone is just another guy. When you're in school these ppl look like aloof Gods to you but as someone who is likely around the same age/ position as this alum I'd be very cool if someone wanted to go through this with me and would make sure to tell them the truth as well as I understood it.

Jul 24, 2017

I don't think that it will hurt you at all. Banking to PE is a "traditional" route. By traditional I just mean allot of people do it. It does not mean it is the only option. You can go straight into PE as an undergrad but you will be a junior.

"The only thing I know is that I know nothing, and i am no quite sure that i know that." Socrates

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Jul 24, 2017

Thanks for the reply!
And how would a buyside internship play out if I wanted to go into IB first and then PE?

Jul 24, 2017

I think both options are a waste of your potential. You should go to the mountains in Tibet and train with the monks. Concentrate every fibre of your being into mastering the skill of peace, serenity, and opening that third eye. Trust me, the exit opps are worth it.

Jul 24, 2017
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