There are many hedge fund-related organizations to join and they represent great networking opportunities – even as a student. The Hedge Fund Association, or HFA, is one such group to join if you’re looking for hedge fund networking opportunities. The HFA is a non-profit, international trade and lobbying group “devoted to advancing transparency, development and trust in alternative investments.” The HFA is decidedly nonpartisan, which separates it from a few similar hedge fund associations.
In order to join HFA, one must be in one of the following membership groups:
- hedge fund managers
- fund of funds managers
- hedge fund professionals
- service providers
Student membership has some good benefits, including:
- discounts to hedge fund conferences and other important networking events
- discounts to various financial publications
- access to other HFA members
- access to white papers and other exciting hedge fund research
- 40% discount on Wiley Global Finance’s new book by Paul Darbyshire and David Hampton, Hedge Fund Modeling and Analysis using Excel and VBA
Arguably, the most important of these benefits is the conference and event discount. Conferences and other events are valuable sources of knowledge and should be attended by students for the networking opportunities. The most difficult part of attending events for many students is affording the generally high conference fees.
For example, the cost of Financial Research Associates, LLC’s two-day Hedge Fund Investment & Operations Boot Camp is $1,695, not including travel costs, a hotel room, and meals. As an HFA member, you can receive a 15% discount off the conference fee.
Networking Advice for Students
Once you make arrangements to attend a conference or other networking event, make the most of it. Dress appropriately: wear properly-fitting business attire. Introduce yourself to everyone, from people you want to work for to vendors and people you bump into grabbing coffee. Let them know you’re a student interested in breaking into the hedge fund world. If you wind up in a decent conversation, ask for contact information and if you may contact them in the future. Send them a short email after the conference reminding them of who you are and thanking them for their contact information. Add them on LinkedIn. You never know who might be helpful to you in your future job search!
To join the HFA, students must be enrolled in a course relevant to hedge funds or the hedge fund industry. Annual membership for one student is just $100.