For students

If you are actively working to become a better investor, we would love to see your work – and to help you improve it.

For companies

You can use our specialised programs to find and assess the precise kinds of talent you are looking for.

What we do

Since our launch in September 2011, Upgrade Capital has worked with bulge bracket banks, hedge funds, and trading firms to design and run a wide variety of research and trading competitions to surface outstanding young investors and traders on the basis of their work rather than their pedigrees.

For Fall 2017, we are focusing on students rather than on firms. Instead of signing up for multiple programs, simply register here and we will determine how we can best help you.

If you would make a strong candidate for one of the firms we work with, we are happy to highlight you to them right away. If you are not quite there yet, we are able to advise you on how you can strengthen your candidacy. And if you are still figuring out what you want, we will help you determine which career path is the best fit for you.

Further background

We would attribute our resilience to a focus on identifying and testing for the specific skills needed by each our industry partners. We don’t presume to have a single screen that works for everyone; instead, we work with each firm to define a bespoke set of criteria.

Over the years we have developed and run programs for firms including:

In the 2016/2017 academic year we were running seven programs in parallel and began to see students struggle to figure out which one or two were most appropriate for them. While the same programs remain available going into Fall 2017, we are now taking it upon ourselves to recommend opportunities based on information shared by each student when they register.

Talent discovery

Most employers want your background to reflect a deep personal interest in the field you are looking to join. For trading, it’s often enough just to show that you were actively managing a portfolio for a meaningful length of time. Details of our seventh annual trading competition will be announced in mid September.

Beyond trading, we have identified three areas where the industry has a persistent appetite for graduate hires – and consistently struggles to find suitable candidates:

We have previously also helped students gain exposure to macro research and private deal sourcing, but ultimately found the number and quality of graduate opportunities in those fields to be limited.

Talent development

What sets apart the students our industry partners want to meet is that they have invested a lot of time and energy developing very specific skills. It is actually quite rare for students to have done that work when we first meet them. In many cases, they are still just trying to figure out what they want to do.

And that’s fine. By showing you what outstanding work looks like in different areas, our goal is to help you decide what you would enjoy best – and figure out what you should be doing to turn that into a career.

Once we’ve connected with an outstanding student, there are a few ways we can help:

Proprietary materials
Over the years have accumulated a variety of resources which can help you develop your skills. These include a value investing primer specifically developed for students by a fund we’re close to, multiple sample datasets for data scientists to play around, and relationships with analytics platforms like Ayasdi.

Work samples
You see what your immediate peers are doing – but does that constitute outstanding work on a national level, or should you aim higher? Through programs like the Ben Graham Fellowship, we have accumulated dozens of examples of truly exceptional work.

Mentor network
There comes a point when you can’t progress any further without guidance from people in the industry. Fortunately many of the most promising students we found in years past are now working on the buy-side, and they tend to be very open to supporting the next generation of top talent.

Student leadership
If you decide to support your peers by taking a leadership role in a student group, you may be interested in some of the highlights from our Leaders’ Summits – annual conferences held to allow the heads of student groups to share their experiences working to development emerging talent. The biggest Summit drew representation from 78 student groups across 47 universities.

And of course, when someone we have found gets to a level where they truly are exceptional, we are more than happy to highlight them to firms looking to make graduate hires.