Q&A: 1st year buy-side analyst

Hi all,

WSO was a big help for me and I wanted to set up a Q&A to try and give back a little, hopefully help some folks out. Really didn't know much about IB or finance careers in general before finding WSO and think it can be a valuable source of information for those interested in finance.

Background: Went to a non-target for undergrad, had a few internships and got my MSF once I graduated. After the MSF I worked at a smaller boutique IB in a major city as a generalist for few years and left work at a HF, still in my first year.

Happy to go into detail to the extent anyone has interest and will do my best to answer any questions about MSFs (broadly but really only know my experience), recruiting, work, experience at IB vs buy-side etc.

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Comments (10)

Most Helpful
May 14, 2020 - 9:49am

Thanks for doing this. Want to hear:
  • How you landed the job?
  • If you networked hard, could you talk about most effective networking methods?
  • What's the firm's philosophy and time horizon?


happy to, thanks for the questions

  • Found the opportunity online through a little bit of luck and research, timing was definitely on my side. I kept a running list of places that had strategies that aligned with my philosophy would frequently check for openings or opportunities to initiate a conversation
  • I wouldn't say hard, no. I think the most important part of networking that gets overlooked sometimes is the relationships you have with those you're working with currently. In my opinion, you can make as many connections as you want externally but the biggest difference maker (in my experience) is if you have a colleague that knows you / your work well enough to back you
  • Trying to keep it broad but deep value and catalyst-driven. Timing really depending on the thesis going into the position and can vary quite a bit
  • Intern in PE - LBOs
May 11, 2020 - 4:46pm

How has the training been at the HF? Did you benefit from the MSF in the role, or was the IB background enough?

Also, would be great to get information on the fund itself (size, geography, focus)

May 14, 2020 - 10:06am
Intern in PE - LBOs:

How has the training been at the HF? Did you benefit from the MSF in the role, or was the IB background enough?

Also, would be great to get information on the fund itself (size, geography, focus)

Training has been great but can't really speak to how it compares at other funds. From my experience it takes a lot to "restructure" how you think about things (definitely something I still work on) and the team I'm with is helpful in bringing that around. Most of the "training" is more of a qualitative thing rather than technical, which wasn't really a something that I needed a ton of work on. I think probably speaks to your other question as I felt prepared enough from my background to kind of hit the ground running and just apply the modeling/financial analysis to a new way of thinking. Hope that makes sense.

I'm benefiting from both, without question, but they helped in different ways. The MSF was great for fundamental financial analysis/modeling, while the IB role helped shape that in a "real-world" setting. Wouldn't have had the IB opportunity without the MSF so I'd say they were both essential for me.

Want to try and keep it broad for anonymity sake but its US based / focused and I touched on some of the other specifics above

May 11, 2020 - 4:53pm

What have been the biggest surprises so far in your first year at a HF? What pre conceived notions about investing did you have that proved incorrect or inaccurate?

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  • Analyst 3+ in HF - EquityHedge
May 11, 2020 - 10:17pm

Congrats! Want to echo above poster's question on networking. What avenues did you pursue.

Also, how did you do due dilligence on the fund to determine whether it was any good?

Are you in a sector specific fund?

  • Prospect in 
May 11, 2020 - 11:35pm

Thanks so much for doing this! I have a few questions.
1:How do you like HF compared to your banking experience?
2: What potential exits are you considering from the HF world?
3: Why HF over PE?

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