Speakers at an Alternative Investments Club career night, held recently at Lincoln Center, offered students guidance in securing employment and becoming successful in hedge funds and other alternatives-focused firms.
Professionals gave advice about entering the industry via a small firm or startup, through the service-provider channel, and through the sales and trading channel. Those first steps could help a candidate be considered for a position at a large asset-management firm.
A panel featuring Juliana Biolsi from Balyasny Asset Management, Chris Catania from Point72, Karina Fin from MKP Capital and Thomas M. Wynne from Citigroup illustrated how firms recruit new talent. The panelists shared pointers for breaking into a hedge fund:
- Match with a company’s culture
- Be the best in your class
- Show a proven track record of success
- Be an enthusiastic learner
- Be an overachiever
- Develop your critical-thinking skills
- Aim for at least a 3.5 GPA
Presenter James Constabile of Merrill Lynch discussed why alternative investments are important and how their value and practices are shaped by current events.
“Headlines truly influence our investments,” he said. “The hardest thing is to set expectations with regard to market performance.”
A second panel—featuring Bill Bassin from Wells Fargo, John Budzyna from KPMG, and Brian Murphy from Citco—focused on salaries and how to gain a competitive edge. Prospective employees should talk to their friends, find out what kind of offers they have received, and be prepared to negotiate when an offer is made, the panelists advised.
Andrew Friedman , BS ’17, found the session particularly interesting.
“The most valuable thing tonight was being able to hear a wide variety of professionals speak about their different experiences with the industry and how they got into their specific fields,” Friedman said. “It helped me see what potential opportunities lie ahead of me.”