No FT S&T, unpaid Hedge-Fund contract good enough?

Hello Everyone, I am new to this forum. I am a senior, graduating in June, with a summer analyst experience in S&T at a BB for 2008, and a ton of international experiences to date. While I am looking for paid full-time positions in different industries, like health care, manufacturing, etc, do you think working for free at a hedge-fund in CT with $2B-$5B AUM is a better idea? After a year of this experience, and building my resume, do you think I can go back and work at a BB as an Analyst?

Thanks, and any comments are welcome. I have very little experience in the finance world, except summers spent at a couple firms, and appreciate your advice.

Hedge Fund Interview Course

  • 814 questions across 165 hedge funds. Crowdsourced from over 500,000 members.
  • 11 Detailed Sample Pitches and 10+ hours of video.
  • Trusted by over 1,000 aspiring hedge fund professionals just like you.

Comments (5)

Feb 3, 2009 - 9:49am

That is a decent sized HF, if you do your work well there and focus on impressing them I'd expect you'd have an easier time getting a FT paid gig once you are a known quantity to them than you will applying to firms that will not know anything about how hard you can work/how intelligent you are beyond the line on your resume.

I'd plan to make the HF work, it's always possible to change that strategy later.

Feb 5, 2009 - 2:16am

Thank you both for your replies. If I do end up getting a position on the buy-side as a trade assistant (or whatever position are available for college grads), I would definitely place that over a BB analyst program. But that all depends on my experience first. I am also now looking at a very respectable PE firm in NY, with over $25bn of AUM as of end of 2008, where I have an alumni connection. A partner has promised that if I work for six months, and prove my worth, as drexelalum11 suggested, they would be willing to take me on as an analyst, even though they regularly require a couple years of IB experience. Even if this doesn't materialize, I will be in NY and feel it's a better launching pad than CT.

In this market, does working for free at a HF in CT sound better than for free at a PE firm in NY? Any ideas, comments, strategies would be greatly appreciated. Thanks all for your time.

Feb 5, 2009 - 12:10pm

NY is the better option if location is your only consideration, but consider that HFs are increasingly like PE funds, so that distinction is not in itself as meaningful as it could be. It depends on how their strategies mesh with your skill sets, what you think long term comp might be like at the funds, how you mesh with their culture, and how prestigious a stint at the two would be. At the end of the day, they sound like rather similar opportunities, so I'd go with the opportunity you think you'd excel at and be happier at, as liking what you're doing and who you're working with tends to make it easier to excel. Also, if they're taking you on for free, I'd make sure to be clear on what you'll be doing; they may not choose to entrust you with much or waste their time teaching you, in which case the value of the experience is significantly decreased.

Start Discussion

Total Avg Compensation

April 2021 Hedge Fund

  • Vice President (18) $520
  • Director/MD (10) $359
  • NA (4) $325
  • Portfolio Manager (7) $297
  • Manager (4) $282
  • 3rd+ Year Associate (18) $269
  • 2nd Year Associate (26) $251
  • Engineer/Quant (49) $233
  • 1st Year Associate (63) $188
  • Analysts (181) $168
  • Intern/Summer Associate (15) $125
  • Junior Trader (5) $102
  • Intern/Summer Analyst (203) $82