Citadel Interns Learn How to Schmooze and Craft Shorter Emails – NBC US NEWS

  • Hedge fund Citadel selected 300 candidates from a pool of 69,000 applicants for its summer internship.
  • These interns are flown out to luxury hotels and make over $19,000 a month.
  • They are assessed on everything, from their facial expressions to the length of their emails, per Bloomberg.

Hedge fund Citadel and trading firm Citadel Securities run a highly-coveted summer internship program that runs for 11 weeks. It is an understatement to say it’s tough to get in.

In 2023, only 300 candidates were picked from a pool of 69,000 applicants. The internship was scheduled to start in June.

As part of the summer program — where interns are paid $120 an hour, or roughly $19,200 a month — they are treated to luxury stays and eats and face some unconventional training and testing, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday.

Beyond trading simulations and working with company staff on projects, interns are assessed on skills one might not typically associate with the work of a trader.

For one, they are evaluated on how they communicate with their seniors during company meals, per Bloomberg. 

For another, they go through exercises like learning to use appropriate facial expressions while communicating and effectively projecting their voice.

They also learn to turn overly-long 163-word emails intended for their seniors into ones shorter than 60 words.

And it’s not all about work.

During Citadel’s summer programs, interns lodge at upscale hotels like Hong Kong’s Fullerton Ocean Park Hotel, a Citadel spokesperson told Insider on Tuesday. They even dine at elite restaurants.

Despite these luxuries, they may be too preoccupied with work to indulge fully. One current intern told Bloomberg they preferred lighter lunches to stay sharp for trading simulations.

These students mostly come from prestigious universities, and Bloomberg listed Stanford math doctorates and math Olympiad prizes as some of the achievements under these interns’ belts.

But good numeracy is just the baseline, Kristina Martinez, Citadel’s APAC managing director for human resources, told the outlet. Someone who’s academically competent but “has not done something above and beyond and not really demonstrated excitement around something” is unlikely to thrive, she said.

One reason Citadel’s pulling out all the stops to woo these students may be because they’re competing for applicants from the same talent pool that tech giants Amazon and Meta are drawing on. Amazon interns drew an average monthly salary of $7,809 in 2023, while Meta’s interns take home an average of $8,160, according to data from Glassdoor.

And it’s obvious why the internship draws prospective traders. 

Ken Griffin, the majority owner of Citadel and Citadel Securities, is worth $37 billion, according to Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index. Citadel posted its strongest results to date in 2022 when it made about $28 billion in revenue, while market maker Citadel Securities raked in $7.5 billion in revenue.

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