Reneging on Bridgewater Associates for Citadel (Internship)?

Dec 9, 2019 10 Comments

Earlier this I committed to an "technology associate" (software engineering) internship at the hedge fund Bridgewater Associates in Connecticut (TC: $2400/week + $5000 signing bonus, housing, rental car, 10 weeks) for summer 2020, where I am hoping to be working on trading/investment software.

I was still in the process of interviewing with Citadel, and the Bridgewater recruiter gave me a 48 hour exploding offer, so I just went ahead and accepted (and turned down my Uber offer) as the interviews were very hard, the TC was very high, and I am interested in both trading and trading tech.

I still went through with the Citadel interview as they had already paid for flights/hotel and ended up getting an offer as a trading intern (a combination of finance analysis, trading, and coding position) on the commodities desk in Chicago (TC: $2800/week, housing, flights, 11 weeks).

Now I am considering reneging on the Bridgewater offer and was wondering if this would be advisable or not. Here's the pro/cons list I made.

Pros:
- Get to work at Citadel, who I would consider for full time (but for quant trading/research positions, not exactly the internship I got placed in which is more analyst on the commodities desk, but it would probably increase my chances at a full time offer in those areas)
- Get to diversify my skillset, as all my background is in CS/software engineering and I can learn about trading/finance fundamentals rather than just taking another coding role (but I think this is true for Bridgewater too, even though that's a pure software role)
- Chicago > Connecticut
- Don't have to experience the super weird, potentially toxic, "radical transparency" culture at Bridgewater

Cons:
- Have to renege on offer, figure out how to return signing bonus
- Lose out on building out my software eng experience, since I am also likely to forego finance altogether and just do pure tech at FAANG full time if I decide I don't like it - though I have 2 previous software eng. internships (1 FAANG, 1 startup) and a Stanford CS undergrad so I doubt it matters much
- Don't get to work on the actual tech behind trading, and rather more on the analysis of data sets to make trading decisions (Although I don't know what my intern project would be at Bridgewater yet, so...)
- Get to see my family a bit less; Bridgewater is 2 hours from my home in NJ and they give me a car for the summer so I can potentially drive down to NJ (or NYC) on the weekends.
- Might get blacklisted from Bridgewater? Not sure I'd want to work there full time though

Both are desirable hedge funds with stressful, high workloads and similar high compensation. I'm 19 and I don't have too much experience with offers/reneging. I have to decide in the next few days; some advice would be really appreciated!

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TOP 10 Comments
  • Uber rTjq20
    Bridgewater is more selective. The company is really one of a kind. Citadel is hire and fire at a machine-gun level. They are known as the "revolving door of Chicago".
    Dec 9, 2019 0
  • Goldman Sachs fake engineer
    Uh... Bridgewater is great, don't renege. You can just intern at Citadel next summer.
    Dec 9, 2019 1
    • Tesla 🐉⛈
      Agreed, you have plenty of time OP. You can go to Citadel next summer.
      Dec 9, 2019
  • Yelp JMP2
    I don't have anything meaningful to add but just wanted to say that you did a really impressive job man. All the best for your future!
    Dec 9, 2019 1
  • Microsoft eito36
    really a question of software or no software. all the others are just icing on the cake. are you a sophomore or junior? sophomore = one more internship opportunity before FT, so maybe you want to explore.
    Dec 9, 2019 1
    • OP
      Sophomore. The Citadel role also has plenty of coding from what I'm told, but it's more gaining insights/analysis from data rather than developing a product (one of the main reasons they say they are interested in me is for strong CS background).
      Dec 9, 2019
  • Dec 9, 2019 0
  • Intuit / Data
    Shdhxbxj

    Intuit Data

    PRE
    Capital One, Deloitte
    Shdhxbxjmore
    $400/week - you won’t notice a difference. Chicago >>> Conn. (especially in the summer). Bridge water has a better long term resume halo. Play the long game, Go Team Brisgewater
    5d 0
  • Akamai Technologies pkaboo2967
    Bridgewater's culture is interesting. It will teach you to be someone who really understands people and problems. You can read about it in Ray dalio manifesto.
    Dec 9, 2019 0

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