Civic Leadership Summer Externship Expands in its Sophomore Year

Summer Externship Expands in its Sophomore Year

July 18, 2023

In partnership with Thrive Scholars, our Summer Externship is a rigorous program that builds skills in finance and tech. Participating students learn and collaborate with our colleagues and leadership.

After last summer’s successful launch, Citadel and Citadel Securities’ Externship program has expanded significantly, with a longer program that includes more participants and an enhanced technical and financial curriculum.

The Externship provides technical skill-building opportunities to exceptional college students from communities that have historically been underrepresented in the tech and finance sectors. The program is designed to build students’ technical skills and financial acumen and develop their interest in future careers within those industries.

“The Summer Externship engages students at a critical time in their academic journey to position them for even greater opportunities in the future,” said Gerald Beeson, Citadel’s Chief Operating Officer. “We’re excited to offer these high-achieving students the ability to grow their skills and add new experiences that will broaden their personal and professional horizons. We hope many of these scholars will pursue careers that will help shape the future of our industry.”

Externship participants, who are rising college sophomores and juniors at leading universities across the United States, recently gathered in New York City for the rigorous skills-based program, which included the following enhancements this summer:
Increased class size:

  • Thirty Thrive Scholars, up from 20 last year, plus an additional four MAA (Mathematical Association of America) students.
  • Expanded curriculum, in-person programming: More rigorous technical and financial curriculum; increased educational programming from two weeks to three.
  • Curriculum: More rigorous technical and financial curriculum.
  • New virtual programming: A nine-week, virtual program focused on further developing technical skills and preparing for future technical interviews post-externship.
  • Intensive Interview preparation: One-week, in-person Technical Interview Prep, culminating in mock interviews with Citadel and Citadel Securities engineers.

These enhancements build upon the successful foundation established last summer, which included a technical curriculum focused on programming, design and web development; sessions on the finance industry and Citadel and Citadel Securities hosted by senior leadership; interactive trading simulations; resume guidance and interview preparation; engaging social and cultural activities around New York City with Citadel and Citadel Securities colleagues; and continued mentorship during and after the program from Citadel and Citadel Securities team members.

Importance of Internships

The Summer Externship is part of our long-term commitment to providing learning and career development opportunities for students who have been historically underrepresented in finance.

Research shows that participation in internships is a strong predictor of early-career success. However, many students struggle to find meaningful internships during the first two years of college. The Summer Externship is designed to engage students after their freshman year—a critical time in students’ academic and career trajectories—to provide both the skills training and the professional experience that can open doors for future internship opportunities.

Externship participants are paired with a mentor for the duration of the summer program, in addition to the year-long mentorship they receive from a member of the Citadel or Citadel Securities team. The mentorship experience will provide students with meaningful exposure to the firms’ culture and colleagues, highlighting how the commitment to continuous learning and growth is central to their success.

The program has had a positive impact on the firm as well. “The opportunity to work with Thrive was incredibly rewarding,” said Thrive Mentor—and Citadel Securities team member—Pete Becker. “It was interesting to see how these students, with little finance experience, were able to attack a real-world problem and come up with interesting solutions. I look forward to supporting my mentee as she navigates her new life at college, chooses a major, and eventually internships and a career path.”

Partnership with Thrive Scholars

The Summer Externship expands on Citadel and Citadel Securities’ partnership with Thrive Scholars, whose effective, data-driven model invests in students before and during college and supports them as they transition from college to career. Citadel and Citadel Securities sponsor Thrive’s intensive academic and career development program for 120 Citadel Thrive Scholars, beginning in the eleventh grade. In addition, Citadel and Citadel Securities’ support includes sponsorship of Thrive’s Summer Academy for rising college freshmen, providing 200+ hours of college-level academic instruction at the University of Chicago for more than 200 students. The firms also partnered to launch Thrive’s new Finance Career Pathway for students interested in pursuing careers in finance.

This partnership reflects Citadel and Citadel Securities’ significant commitment to creating opportunity through greater access to education and the finance industry. Other recent initiatives include Data Science for All, The Greenwood Project, Break Through Tech AI, the Last Mile Education Fund, and Matriculate.