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US Company Is Paying Rs 15 Lakh Monthly Stipend To Interns With These ‘Exceptional’ Skills

This US Company Is Paying Rs 15 Lakh Monthly Stipend To Interns With These ‘Exceptional’ Skills

In a five-star hotel room in Hong Kong, 14 university students sit as highly sought-after interns hand-picked from 69,000 applicants by billionaire CEO Ken Griffin’s lieutenants at American financial giant Citadel and Citadel Securities LLC, as the company looks to groom the next generation of math and computer whizzes that have helped it become one of the market trading giants.

Interns To Be Paid Rs 15 Lakh Stipend Per Month

Over three days, the students will play the role of hedge fund traders, negotiating with counterparts, writing code, and devising automated strategies based on simulations with news feeds and macro data. It’s all part of a roughly 11-week program to prepare them for the often secretive world of trading and market-making, earning about $120 an hour along the way, or $19,200 a month (approx Rs 15.8 lakh).

“There’s only a finite pool of truly exceptional students,” said Kristina Martinez, Citadel’s managing director in charge of human resources in Asia-Pacific, as per Bloomberg. “Because of the complexity of what we do and the fact that companies that intersect with us will be looking at the same people, we need to get in early.”

CEO Griffin, 54, the world’s 34th-richest person, knows a thing or two about student potential. He got his finance career started at Harvard University, trading convertible bonds from his dorm, and asking janitors to set up a satellite dish on the roof so he could get live prices. He now has a net worth of about $37 billion.

What Exceptional Skills Are Required

Math and coding are increasingly desired skill sets for staff at banks and investment firms around the world, but it’s particularly so at Griffin’s firms where quantitative researchers and engineers devise trading strategies and deploy algorithms to automate the process. Almost without exception, the interns come from the most prestigious universities in their regions, some boasting math Olympiad Gold prizes or math doctorates from Stanford University in California. MBAs rarely make the cut.

Over the nearly three-month program, the students are evaluated on skills that go well beyond algebra. These exceptional skills include their level of curiosity and ability to take feedback and ask the right questions. They’re judged on how well they collaborate with teammates, and how fast they adapt and pivot when new information is presented. It’s an intricate balance: they have to compete with each other and be a team player at the same time.

What Interns Do During Internship

During the summer program, the interns are each assigned a big project, as they work alongside the two firms’ army of staff who collectively generated $35.5 billion in revenue last year. A few select interns receive offers to come back within weeks after the program to take full-time jobs, while others rejoin part-time as early as their sophomore years.

“It was so different, none of my previous internships offered an off-site like this,” said Taylor, who asked to be identified only by her first name due to privacy concerns. “The projects that they asked us to work on were put to use in real applications, super challenging and exciting.”

The students were split into groups, with each assigned a Citadel staffer to provide guidance but not answers. Over the next few hours, they were expected to create algorithms to hedge their risk and identify arbitrage opportunities, part of the training to help them understand the market-making process, the report mentioned.

What they don’t know is that their behaviour and interaction with each other are also part of the test. “Unlike job interviews, the intern program is packed with real-time problem-solving, social, learning and highly interactive activities,” said Martinez. “There are no surprises by the end of the process.”

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