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UBS Internship or Hedge Fund

kpeterson2011kpeterson2011 Registered User Posts: 101 Junior Member
edited January 2012 in Investment Banking
Last year as a high school senior I interned and later worked at a hedge/private equity fund that managed about $300 million and traded commodities. This summer I have the oppertunity to go back there or intern at UBS bank in Manhattan. I plan on interning at Tudor Investments the following year. Each internship has its pros and cons.

know a VP
more people to network with
spend time in the city
learn about a larger bank
diversify my portfolio
higher costs
getting lost in a large workplace

Hedge Fund:
i know everyone
only 15 employees
great people
the industry i want to work in
10 minute commute
no diversification
don't get to spend time in the city
don't get to wear my suits (the boss is a seasoned tiger cub and does things a little differently)

I don't know which one I want to do. To be clear I am grateful to have 2 opportunities open to me.

What do you guys think is a better path keeping in mind that I am dead set on interning at Tudor the following year. (HR says it is possible for a rising sophomore to get into the program). Ideally I will be able to do Tudor for 2 years then get a job knowing the right people after my 4 year degree. That's the plan, which internship should I choose to achieve it?

Post edited by kpeterson2011 on

Replies to: UBS Internship or Hedge Fund

  • lookingtofuturelookingtofuture Registered User Posts: 43 Junior Member
    By the sounds of it, you're looking at a back/mid office at UBS? If so, definitely the hedge fund.

    On the chance that you're looking at a front office role - the only thing worth considering in your situation - meaning investment banking, S&T, or asset management, then you should probably start reading some financial news. UBS's investment banking operations are probably going to be dead in the water pretty soon and they've openly stated that they're looking to significantly retrench in that area, the area you want.

    You have the opportunity to intern at a hedge fund, one that you're comfortable with already, and are dead set on interning at Tudor, another hedge fund. The choice is pretty obvious.
  • angryelfangryelf - Posts: 506 Member
    I disagree with lookingtofuture.

    If I were making the decision, there would be 3 major factors that come to mind:
    1. Will I be doing relevant work?
    2. What networking opportunities will there be?
    3. How will this look on the resume?

    At the hedge fund, the odds of doing relevant work or really anything at all as a freshman don't seem to be in your favor, particularly for someone who doesn't appear to know the difference between private equity and a hedge fund (note that they are used interchangeably in the OP's post). It will be obvious that you got the position from knowing someone and is not a particularly recognizable name. There will also be very little in the way of networking opportunities.

    UBS depends in part on what division:
    If it's Personal Wealth Management (the most likely of scenarios), it becomes a question of how close (proximity wise) you are to those in investment banking or trading. Yes personal wealth management is front office, but no, it's not particularly desirable in a any way. If you're in the same building as either of them, this will be a great chance to network and the obvious choice. Even in the unlikely event that UBS goes under, those you will meet will likely still bounce back and be in the industry somewhere else.
    The work will not be relevant (generally mostly cold calling) but it will look a lot better on your resume.

    If it is back office, you should definitely choose UBS. The odds of doing relevant work are much higher than any other internship. You will get the big name on your resume and will have a chance to network with those in more desirable divisions. Particularly if you're going to go into trading, knowing the reconciliation procedures and inner workings you are exposed to in back office is also a huge plus. You will also gain product exposure and the opportunity to learn more about whatever desk you happen to support. This truly is a great position to be for someone who is a freshman or a sophomore.

    IMO, there's basically no chance of the UBS offer being for investment banking or trading as a freshman. Getting the position as a sophomore is nearly impossible unless you are a minority or have serious connections (it will take a lot more than just knowing one VP).
  • kpeterson2011kpeterson2011 Registered User Posts: 101 Junior Member
    from what I stated in my first post your are exactly right. That being said please allow me to clear up some things I should have mentioned.

    It is a private equity fund/hedge fund combination because over a third of the money managed is invested in large long term farming operations in foreign countries. The Hedge Fund part is in reference to the daily trading that goes on. As far as the type of work: Last summer I had tasks such as developing financial models for different crop on a locally owned farm. In addition, I gathered daily commodity news for a couple of analysts. Some days I would go to the farm to take GPS coordinates to help plan future crops as well as draw a rough map of the property. While I wasn't working with the traders, I certainly wasn't just a coffee/copy boy.

    I should have made this more clear so for that I apologize. This being said, have your views changed? I appreciate the insight on UBS. thanks.

    And as a side note: I had no connections with the fund prior to my internship and later employment. I interviewed with different partners for roughly 3 hours against 3 other applicants.
  • angryelfangryelf - Posts: 506 Member
    Were you asking me or looking to the future?
    If you were asking me, your previous experience certainly sounds more interesting than I expected.
    To be honest, I basically pictured your experience as someone spending 80% of their day surfing the web/reading the WSJ and occasionally being asked to look something up for a trader, set up a new launchpad for someone/other equally random tasks. Maybe I've simply been jaded by my own particularly negative early internship experiences at smaller firms.
    I'd be curious to know a bit more about the financial models you developed.
    Also, which division is your offer in at UBS?

    You're obviously going to have a more interesting/unique experience at the hedge fund, but at your age, you really can't go wrong with either one.
    I'm nearly positive you would enjoy the hedge fund experience more, but realistically, it's only for a summer and I'm not sure this really should be a factor.
    To be honest though, I really have absolutely no idea which one would ultimately be more beneficial towards your career.

    Also, on a somewhat unrelated note, do you have any sort of guarantee that you'll get the sophomore internship at Tudor or know what sort of position you'd be doing there? Not that you in any way seem unqualified, but I'd imagine that any sort of position that would ultimately lead to a trading or research position there would be extremely competitive, particularly if you do not know a ton of people there. I'll confess that I do not have a lot of knowledge about them, but it seems like the vast majority of people working at the major funds start on the sell side rather than going to hedge funds straight out of school.
  • kpeterson2011kpeterson2011 Registered User Posts: 101 Junior Member
    The "financial models" were basically one acres estimates on costs i.e. taxes, irrigation, seedlings, fertilizer, pesticides etc. vs revenue to get rough figures on profitability. Then, using USDA data to make predictions on future price estimations on a yearly basis.

    No it is not a guarantee with Tudor. The only guarantee I have is with a relative who works there. She makes sure that my paperwork gets on the right desk. In addition, I now have the contact information for an HR representative. The qualifications actually aren't too strict though I can't speak as to who applies. The internships are on the non-revenue side of the company. I have also found that seemingly everyone tells me I won't be able to get into a Hedge fund job with out 2 years of investment banking torture. This is why I am dedicated to making connections now. I want to avoid investment banking if I can.

    Still waiting to here back about what I would be doing at UBS
  • SSK 91SSK 91 Registered User Posts: 323 Member
    From my limited experience I have learnt that prestige/big names are everything in this industry. If the hedge fund is well known then go for it, otherwise go to UBS
This discussion has been closed.