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This is what happens when you win a Citadel datathon

If you want a quick route from university into a hedge fund or electronic trading firm, it helps to enter competitions. We've already noted the benefits of distinguishing yourself in Olympiads, but many of the top firms also run competitions of their own.

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These competitions include the likes of the Open Data Championship and Terminal Competition run by Citadel. Both may get you a job at the hedge fund. Or they may get you a job somewhere else instead. 

Last year, 31-year-old Soeren Kunzel, Citadel Securities' head of FX, told Business Insider that he and his three-man team received a $100k check and an internship offer after winnig Citadel's datathon in 2017. Before that point, Kunzel had been a datascience nerd, but also a competitive gymnast. 

Similarly, Hasan Altaf, a Citadel Securities software engineer told us in April that he joined Citadel Securities as a software engineer after entering the Terminal gaming competition and participating in a, "defense-style game involved programming skills and strategy." Like Kunzel, Altaf got an internship after distinguishing himself in the competition. 

However, it's been pointed out to us that not everyone who distinguishes themselves in Citadel's tournaments goes on to join either Citadel or Citadel Securities. Some of the winners take their credentials elsewhere. 

For example, Forrest Bicker, who won the Citadel Open Data Championship in 2022, has just begun an internship at DE Shaw, while his team members Milo Knell and Alan Wu have just begun internships at Jane Street. 

The winners of Citadel's 2023 global datathon also appear to be busy with other endeavors.  Ansh Bhargava is joining Capula. So too is Nikhil Vicas. Alan Chen is interning at DRW. Only Michael Kuoch, an MIT computer science graduate, is joining Citadel after completing a quant internship there last year.

Similarly, as far as we can determine, none of the winners of the 2021 global datathon are at Citadel or Citadel Securities now. One, David Buch, is at Two Sigma. Another, Dmitry Silantyev, is at JPMorgan. A third, Julian LaNeve, is at data management tool Astronomer. A fourth, Jennifer Kampe, is flying beneath the radar.

It's not clear how many winners of Citadel's competitions do actually end up at Citadel or Citadel Securities. The two firms declined to comment for this article. However, it also seems that getting a job proximate to Ken Griffin isn't the point of Citadel's competitions: they're intended to give entrants an opportunity to demonstrate their data science skills, irrespective of who employs them later on.

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AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor

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