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Impact & Insights

Impact & Insights

ATLAS Fellows Opens Applications for Second Year

Dmitry Balyasny is recruiting interns out of high school. Here’s how the $13 billion firm is trying to diversify the financial industry by scouting young talent.

Originally posted in Business Insider by Alyson Velati


•  Balyasny is hosting a four-year career development program called ATLAS Fellows.

•  High school students across Wyoming, New York City, and Chicago will get to intern at Balyasny.

•  The program offers up to $20,000 a year in financial assistance for college.


A typical day in the life of a high school senior includes college test prep, filling out college applications, and worrying about getting a prom date — not so much an internship at a hedge fund.

Dmitry Balyasny, however, has an opportunity for those high achievers that want to get a feel for the finance industry before they even start college.

His $12 billion hedge fund Balyasny Asset Management is sponsoring a four-year career development program called ATLAS Fellows, which has spots for 25 high school seniors that are interested in a career in finance.

The program offers up to $20,000 a year in financial assistance for college for up to four years. Fellows get paid internships at large financial institutions after high school graduation and through the summer between their junior and senior years of college.

Every incoming fellow is guaranteed a first-year internship at Balyasny upon graduating from high school.

"This base of an idea has been something that Dmitry has thought about for quite some time," Phoebe Anderson, executive director of ATLAS, told Insider. "He has always been very involved in education philanthropy. I think that is a cause that he feels really passionate about. And at the same time, I believe he also feels really passionate about bringing talent into finance, particularly diverse talent."

The program enlists students from a variety of charter schools and public schools across Chicago, where Balyasny is headquartered, New York City, where it also has an office, and Teton County, Wyoming, which the firm's employees have a personal connection with. ATLAS partners with local nonprofits that source talent for the program.

"A lot of professions, not limited to but including finance recruit students out of college. At that point, we've already missed out on a huge source of talent simply because there are some students who cannot gain access to college, oftentimes because of the cost," said Anderson.

What to expect from the program

Last year's inaugural class of 17 fellows got to work alongside Balyasny employees conducting market research for analysts and portfolio managers. Some worked in the client relations group and worked on and presented pitch decks to investors.

The program also starts with a week-long boot camp where fellows are taught Microsoft Outlook, Excel, and basic coding skills.

Fellows also get a chance to hear from Dmitry himself and Ashish Goyal, a macro portfolio manager at Balyasny about his experience navigating the finance world as a blind person. Anderson declined to name the institutions participating in the internship scheme.

In order to get noticed by ATLAS and Balyasny, applicants need to show a hard work ethic.

"What we're looking for is when a student is presented with an obstacle — how do they solve it and how do they push through that?" said Anderson.

From taking it upon themselves to analyze the Harvard Business Review's Entrepreneur's Handbook to launching investment groups, they also want fellows that show intellectual curiosity.

"We continue to see this characteristic among our fellows once they join ATLAS: two of our fellows informally created an investment group to share knowledge and teach beginning concepts to the rest of the group," said Anderson.

Last year, 28 students applied for the program, with 10 fellows from Chicago, five from New York, and two from Jackson, Wyoming making it through. The majority identify as first-generation college students and come from diverse backgrounds: 22% are Asian Pacific Islander, 17% are Black, 44% are Latinx, and 61% identify as female. 

The program was incubated with support from Balyasny Asset Management, but hopes to spin out as its own nonprofit, said Anderson. The program leaders have filed an application for nonprofit status. ATLAS will continue working closely with Balyasny for its career development program.

The program will be accepting applications until March 11, 2022.


Originally posted in Business Insider, read the article here:

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