2021 Endowment Management Investment Fellowship
Are you interested in investing? Have you always wanted to learn more about investing in stocks, bonds, hedge funds, real estate, and venture capital? Did you know you can invest while supporting great causes, like a foundation’s philanthropic programs or a university operating budget? In 2018, several prominent foundations and universities came together to create a prestigious Endowment Management Investment Fellowship for a select group of bright students entering their Junior and Senior years in college. Our goal was to teach these undergraduates fundamental investment concepts, introduce them to careers in endowment management, and potentially recruit them into careers or help place them in other finance- and investment-related positions after they graduate. Building on our success in 2018, 2019, and 2020, we will offer the program once again in 2021.
What is Endowment Management?
Nonprofit organizations, whether universities or foundations, usually support their ongoing programs by spending the returns from a large investment pool called an endowment. The goal of the endowment is to grow its principal value with inflation, while contributing a certain amount of payout to the operating expenses of the institution each year. The endowment is invested globally across a broad variety of asset classes, including stocks, bonds, real estate, private equity, venture capital, and hedge funds. These asset classes combine to create investment portfolios with a return and risk profile that is tailored to fit the needs of the institution. Most institutions spend only about 5% of assets a year as payout, enabling them to have a strategic long-term investment horizon. As such, these institutions are preferred partners to the best investment managers in the world.
What is the Endowment Management Investment Fellowship (EMIF)?
The EMIF will select several students each year entering their Junior and Senior years in college. These students will come together at the beginning of the summer for a multi-day seminar to learn investment concepts and gain exposure to senior investment professionals who will talk about their experiences managing endowments. Students will read a selection of books and case-studies on investing. Then, each student will be assigned to an investment team at a major university or foundation for an eight-week fellowship. Mentors will guide students through the program, helping them select one major project for the summer (for example, a study on investment opportunities in the timber industry, a white paper on investment opportunities in Vietnam, or an analysis of the appropriate liquidity budget for a portfolio). Mentors will work toward ensuring that students have a well-rounded experience, have the opportunity to work across asset classes and with various team members, and help students think about career goals. At the end of the summer, the students will come together as a group to discuss their experiences and learning.
What kinds of institutions will be participating?
Prominent university endowments and philanthropic foundations with successful investment programs and assets of $500 million or more plan to participate. In 2020, fellowships were offered with investment teams at the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, The James Irvine Foundation, The UCSF Foundation Investment Company, and the Berkeley Endowment Management Company, for example.
Will the participating institutions offer different experiences?
The participating institutions have plenty in common with respect to their investment approach and the program is designed to create a common experience. That said, each institution has a unique investment style, and as such, experiences will vary by institution. Requests for placement in particular geographies or with particular institutions will be considered, but are not guaranteed.
Who can apply?
Students currently in their Sophomore or Junior years in college may apply. Experience with investing is not necessary, but an interest in investing, as well as strong quantitative skills, are required. We welcome students of all ethnicities, genders, and backgrounds to apply.
Is the Fellowship paid?
Yes. Fellows will be offered compensation at competitive rates, and travel to and from the seminar and fellowship as well as books and learning materials will be provided. Housing assistance may be available for those with demonstrated need.
Will there be a longer-term career opportunity?
Most of the institutions participating in the summer fellowship are looking to find longer-term employment matches through the program. It is quite possible that strong performance during the fellowship could lead to a full-time job offer being extended after graduation. However, this is subject to the hiring needs of the various institutions in any given year. In any event, the experience will offer a solid foundation for a future role in investment management.
How do I apply?
Please apply through Yale Career Link and include a cover letter, resume, and unofficial transcript as soon as possible, but no later than January 15, 2021. Selected candidates will be interviewed by phone. Early application is encouraged as candidates will be vetted and offers will be extended on a rolling basis.
The dates for the 2021 seminar and fellowship are:
· Seminar: June 16 – 18, location TBD
· Fellowship: June 21 – August 13, with participating host institutions