Aug 30, 2023 - Economy & Business

Citadel's extreme math camp

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

International business class flights, five-star hotels and $19,000 monthly salaries — not exactly what most students expect for a summer internship.

Driving the news: Citadel happily supplies these luxuries as part of its version of math boot camp, however — the cost of doing business to secure the top talent to keep driving the hedge fund and market maker, Bloomberg reports.

Zoom in: Students spend about 11 weeks role-playing as hedge fund traders who write code and design automated strategies based on simulations.

  • They have to compete with one another for job offers while also collaborating on projects — and even meals are tests of networking skills.

What they're saying: "There's only a finite pool of truly exceptional students," Kristina Martinez, Citadel's managing director of HR in Asia-Pacific, tells 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."

The intrigue: Interns selected by senior leaders at Citadel and Citadel Securities represent fewer than 1% of 69,000 applicants.

  • They have won math Olympiad prizes and have math doctorates from Stanford and MBAs rarely make the cut.

Of note: Citadel Securities' current CEO Peng Zhao was hand-picked by founder Ken Griffin for his math abilities which got him into college at age 14.

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