10 tips for new Wall Street interns from hedge fund giant Citadel

Ken griffinCourtesy of CitadelKen Griffin, Citadel founder and CEO

Summer is here, and that means a flock of eager students are about to start an internship on Wall Street.

Most have been though the usual drill: networking with alumni, impressing recruiters at info sessions and career fairs, and trying to nail tricky interview questions.

Wherever you’re coming from, it’s time to get organised and know how to stand out from the rest of the extremely competitive pack.

Hedge fund giant Citadel, which frequently posts “stumpers” on its careers Twitter and apparently has a strong #UglySweater game, recently published a checklist for new interns:

1. List your goals

Write down what you want to get out of the internship before your first meeting with your manager.

2. Identify milestones

Develop goals with your manager for projects to tackle and skills to master.

3. Document your experience

Keep a journal detailing these throughout your internship: questions, advice, what you love, what you don’t, what you learned.

4. Build a ‘career board of directors’

Seek out people who believe in you and are willing to meet regularly to answer questions and provide advice.

5. Know it is OK to ask

Know that your mentors were once new to the workplace. It’s OK to ask them big picture questions.

6. Create a feedback loop

Regularly ask your manager these questions: How can I chip in more? What am I doing right? What can I improve?

7. Show you’re a team player

Ask people not just about their roles, but about the teams they’re a part of. You’ll discover what teams you gravitate towards.

8. Connect the dots

Shadow a quantitative researcher, software engineer, equities analyst, or trader.

9. Learn about idea generation

Ask portfolio managers about how they generate fresh ideas for strategies.

10. Show gratitude

Write thank you notes to those who mentored you throughout the internship. Keep in touch with them through LinkedIn.

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