Buy Side vs Sell Side quant trading internship?

QuantQuestion

Active Member
I think most people would say to take a buy side trading internship over a sell-side trading internship, but what might be the cases where that flips? Are there good reasons to be a sell side trader instead of a buy side (prop) trader?
 

Onegin

Well-Known Member
C++
Some of the prop trading shops over hire because they know they are going to fire a bunch of interns and incoming analysts. Kind of an asshat way to do business I think - shifts the risk of hiring almost entirely onto the candidate. Might as well go sell insurance or work in multi-level marketing.
 

QuantQuestion

Active Member
Some of the prop trading shops over hire because they know they are going to fire a bunch of interns and incoming analysts. Kind of an asshat way to do business I think - shifts the risk of hiring almost entirely onto the candidate. Might as well go sell insurance or work in multi-level marketing.
is there a good way of figuring out which shops these are? Or is just searching glassdoor the best bet
 
is there a good way of figuring out which shops these are? Or is just searching glassdoor the best bet
Most of the good shops you have heard of don't do anything like that. I'm at a Jump/Virtu/IMC and we fired 2% of traders in the last two years (some people jumped to another shops or simply cashed out). These shops are a lot more stringent on who they hire, but once you are hired you are here to stay (assuming you don't have work ethics problems). The reason is the cost of getting the best candidates are too high; so if we hire 30 people and keep 10, we would need to pay 50k+ sign on bonus to all 30 people, which doesn't make sense cost-wise.
 
Back to your original question. If you are convinced that you want to be a trader on buy-side, meaning no hedge fund, no AM, no banks, then go for a prop trading internship. All of the interns at Citadel this summer got automatic invite to IMC superday, so even if you don't get a return you will land in a same level/better shop.

The cons of a prop trading internship is that very few people outside of this industry would want to hire you full time. Banks don't hire outside of their internship class; AM s have no idea what prop trading is, and unless you are at a top level shop, no hedge fund will even interview you.
The benefit of starting with a BB trading internship is that even if you don't have/ don't accept the return offer, all the props +AMs+hedge funds+some BBs would still want to hire you.
 

Onegin

Well-Known Member
C++
is there a good way of figuring out which shops these are? Or is just searching glassdoor the best bet
Check w/ your classmates maybe? I was surprised to learn a bunch of firms had fairly well known reputations - positive and negative. And keep in mind, the negative is a positive if you thrive in a highly competitive environment. Conversely, the positive touchy feely "partners in growth" model would chafe at a very confident person.
 

binomial-torrent

Well-Known Member
what kinds of interview questions they ask is also a signal. do they make you do 5 second mental math and play gotcha with you, or do they ask you in-depth stats questions and ask you to go over your past projects?
 
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