Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Choosing a placement desk in sales & trading

Congratulations to those readers who've sent us the good news on summer offers!

The next question for them is often: "How should I rank my preferences for certain desks? Which desks are best for landing the full time position?"

There is no right answer here. There is also an element of science behind choosing the desks that will set you up for a full time offer. (Note: some of these points apply to placement in investment banking and other finance positions as well)

Questions to ask alums and other contacts you have at the firm:
  1. Has the trading desk hosted interns in past summers? If so, how many interns landed offers?
  2. Are there desk-specific projects that interns typically complete on those select desks?
  3. Is the culture of the desk that interns can easily approach the senior MDs and VPs, or do they tend to work with the other analysts and associates?
  4. For those people who end up leaving their full time jobs at the desk, where do they go - to other hedge funds that specialize in that product, or do they place at particular firms that do not have product specialization?

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