Business Development Internship &
Rotational Development Program (RDP)
The Business Development internship and the Rotational Development program are closely related—business development interns may have the opportunity to return full-time in the RDP. The official job descriptions are available here, but to give you an idea of what the program entails, consider the following example:
We want to trade equities listed on a stock exchange in a country we’ve never traded in before. Before any trades can be executed, we’ll need answers to a few questions:
- Who’s allowed to trade equities in this country, and what are the trading rules on this exchange?
- How will we connect to the exchange? How will we record trades in our databases and official books?
- What fees or taxes will we have to pay?
- Once we’ve entered into a trade, how do we ensure that money and shares change hands? Who is able to hold our positions in these equities? How do we finance those positions?
- Which regulatory bodies need to be notified when we do a trade?
The answers to each of these questions will be found by working closely with various groups within Jane Street. You are likely to discover lots of complexity: our regulatory reporting obligations might differ depending on the legal entity we conduct the trading with; different brokers might charge different fees for trade execution. Perhaps the two clearing firms who are offering to hold our positions in this trading offer better margin rates contingent on us moving some other trading over as well.
Where do you start? What do you say when someone asks you whether we’ll be ready to trade in a month?
Internship and RDP graduates learn how to push projects like these along.
Of course, it takes a long time to get to the point where you can confidently manage such a project. We’ve found that training people to do this requires a balance between breadth and depth of knowledge. To that end, in the RDP and internship we expose you to a broad range of groups, but ultimately we emphasize the importance of deep involvement and expertise in a single group.
After a year of rotations, you’ll have a good understanding of how Jane Street’s Infrastructure group fits together, and you’ll be placed on a team (like Compliance, Operations, or Finance) where you can develop a deep expertise. Over time, your projects in that group will transition from small pieces of larger initiatives to group-specific process improvements, and eventually to projects that have implications for many groups across the firm.
If the role sounds exciting to you, apply here. We’re excited to have you join our team. If you have more questions, check out the Rotational Development Program page, or reach out to email@example.com.
Our process includes phone interview, followed by an on-site interview.
The phone interview is focused on problem-solving. Expect us to ask questions like these (though we don’t use specific questions anymore):
- How many pennies are there in Manhattan?
- What’s the angle between the hour hand and minute hand on an analog clock at 9:30 AM?
We expect you to try a number of methods to get to the solution, and to use other methods to sanity check your answers. We’re interested in hearing your thought process, and we won’t penalize you for making mistakes so long as you strive to catch and correct them.
After the phone interview, we’ll get back to you within approximately one week. If it went well, we’ll invite you onsite to one of our London or New York offices.
Onsite, the questions are a little more complex and also more representative of the actual work we do. For instance (again, no need to memorize these as we don’t use them anymore):
- A U.S. regulation states that participants in a secondary offering can’t short sell in advance of that offering. What’s the purpose of this rule?
- Our lending counterparties will lend us money based on the amount and type of collateral we pledge to them. Given some set of constraints, how much money can we borrow?
We don’t expect you to immediately understand all parts of the question. We’ll start the interview with brief introductions to the relevant concepts and give you time to ask as many clarifying questions as you need. We encourage you to also ask questions along the way so that you have all the information you need to answer the question, and so that we understand how you’re approaching the problem.
What we look for
Successful candidates are curious, organized, and open-minded; they approach the interview questions thoughtfully and collaboratively. Most will be comfortable working with numbers or code. Maybe most importantly, the candidates that we ultimately hire are humble, pleasant to work with, and open to feedback.
A few other concrete tips:
- Approach the problem methodically. We’re interested in your ability to structure your thought process. How are you deciding what’s important to think about? What might you be leaving out? It’s often helpful if you periodically summarize which issues you’ve addressed so far and what remains to be discussed.
- Communicate clearly. As you walk us through your thought process, try to clarify: are you thinking aloud, or are you saying something you know to be true? When you say “should,” do you mean it in the legal sense? Where possible, use concrete examples: they’re often the best way to demonstrate how everything fits together from your perspective.
- Correct your mistakes. Candidates rarely get things perfectly right the first time through our interview questions; it’s important to us that you’re able to articulate that you’ve found a better alternative and why it’s better.
- Ask why. As you work through an interview question, you might be wondering what we’re trying to optimize for. Accuracy? Efficiency? Safety? Why does each part matter? When in doubt, ask. We’ll ask the same of you–we can learn a lot from hearing your thoughts on how a process should work, where information should flow, or why a rule exists.
- Know what you don’t know. State your assumptions and what effect those have on the solutions you’re proposing. We appreciate it when candidates say, “I’m not sure, but my guess is…” Another tip: avoid technical jargon, especially when you don’t completely understand what it means.
What we don’t look for
- Prior knowledge of finance. All the information you’ll need for our interviews is contained within the materials we send you. Even then, it’s fine–in fact encouraged–to ask questions about terminology or concepts you don’t understand.
- Speedy mental math. We want candidates who are comfortable with quantitative work, but we don’t spend a lot of time multiplying or adding large numbers in our heads. As we often say in our interviews, a correct answer is better than a fast one.