Our Technology Associate Program
The TA Program is for students who want to launch their technology careers. We provide a two-year program that exposes students to a range of jobs and responsibilities and prepares them for the rest of their Bridgewater and tech careers. For those who haven't graduated yet, we provide an internship experience that offers a 10-week taste of the program.
We'll help you find your click. There are several domains of focus for Technology Associates and interns at Bridgewater. Depending on your preferences, skills, and fit with a team, you'll work in one of four main areas: Software Engineering, Product Management, Reliability Engineering, or Systems Engineering.
We'll make sure you don't get lost in the shuffle. Every TA is paired with a mentor when they start, and there are plenty of opportunities for additional guidance.
There is no set path. You'll have the opportunity to rotate through departments and positions in your first year, experiencing new challenges, team dynamics, and problem sets. You'll receive informal training through your department and manager, as well as formal training in our Tech Boot Camp led by senior technologists.
When you're here, your work matters. We won't feed you bugs to solve. You'll be on the front lines of real business problems from Day 1 — determining, building, and delivering real solutions.
It's not all work. Between TA events like ski trips to Vermont (skiing optional), our Game of Drones competition, off-site hackathons, and our $100 Build-a-Boat Sailing Challenge, there's plenty of play.
Design and engineer the software that runs our company. Implement full-stack solutions that advance our core goal of understanding how the world works.
Design, build, and improve the platforms that are the bedrock of our software.
Shape business needs and opportunities into technology products. Envision what the technology should be, construct the roadmap, and enable our users.
Extract knowledge and insights from big data sets. Develop analytics to make meaning from our data.
Evaluate and assure the quality of our software and systems. Be responsible for ensuring what we ship is rock-solid.
Design, engineer, and run our physical and virtual infrastructure. Be responsible for platforms that manage petabytes of data and run petaflops of operations.
Meet the Team — Class of 2015
- Why is technology important at Bridgewater?
- What is the TA Program?
- What types of projects do interns work on?
- Work life balance?
- I'd like to live in New York, is that possible?
- What majors are relevant for the TA program?
- What is the interview process like?
- What groups or departments do TAs work in?
- How do I know where I’ll work/be placed?
Why is technology important at Bridgewater?
Bridgewater’s heavy focus on technology is rooted in our philosophy of systemization. We believe the world operates like a machine: there are cause-and-effect relationships that drive outcomes. We seek to discover, understand, and express those relationships. That’s how we’ve built a 40-year track record of better understanding how markets work. As we look forward in the evolution of our company, we want to apply that same philosophy to everything we do — not only to markets, but to any domain we face, including management and recruiting.
Technology is essential to systemizing our decision-making. In fact, about one-third of our employees are technologists. Technologists build the systems that help explore, develop, and execute fundamental understanding — gathering and cataloging data, expressing and sharing relationships and logic, and running simulations to predict and decide what decisions we make. This requires the innovation and development of platforms, tools, and applications as well as rock-solid operations.
What is the TA Program?
The TA Program is for students who want to launch their technology careers. We provide a two-year program that exposes you to a range of jobs and responsibilities and prepares you for the rest of your Bridgewater and tech career. For those who haven’t graduated yet, we provide an internship experience that offers a 10-week taste of the program. We strive to create an environment in which you can succeed, and there is no set path:Career
We’ll help you find your click. There are several domains of focus for TAs and interns at Bridgewater. Depending on your preferences, skills, and fit with a team, you’ll work in one of four main areas: Software Engineering, Product Management, Reliability Engineering, or Systems Engineering, with some TA roles falling on a spectrum between two of those. Job function can vary depending on each TA’s strengths, weaknesses, and aspirations.Impact
When you’re here, your work matters. We won’t feed you bugs to solve. You’ll be on the front lines of real business problems from Day 1 — determining, building, and delivering real solutions.Mentorship
We’ll make sure you don’t get lost in the shuffle. You will be paired with an experienced TA who guides your development and offers advice. Because they have been there and done that, we’ve found that mentors are indispensable in helping new TAs acclimate to Bridgewater, the local community, and post-college life.Training
The majority of your training will be provided by your manager and team members. However, all new hires also undergo a Tech Boot Camp starting on their first day. Taught by Senior Technologists, classes range from Software Engineering and Product Management to Supportability, Enterprise Architecture, and Security. Throughout sessions, you’ll build prototypes of applications as you learn.
You’ll also have the opportunity to rotate through departments and positions in your second year, experiencing new challenges, team dynamics, and problem sets. This gives you the chance to learn more about yourself and the types of technologies you’re interested in.Community
It’s not all work. Between TA events like our Game of Drones competition, off-site hackathons, our $100 Build-a-Boat Sailing Challenge, and ski trips to Vermont (skiing optional), there’s plenty of play. You’ll also participate in events with the broader Technology community such as Tech Talks, which cover everything from current projects and problems we’re solving to discussions with our CIOs about our business to presentations from interesting external speakers.
What types of projects do interns work on?
Our goal is to make sure intern projects are meaningful, and that they represent the work you would do as a full-time employee. We also want the projects to be achievable, so we select scopes that are accomplishable over the course of a summer. You’ll be given a business problem and the latitude needed to determine the appropriate solution while working with other technologists and users. We pair you closely with a manager, a mentor, and teammates who will help guide you through the project and the technology. You are expected to implement a solution, roll it out, and showcase your work at the end of the summer. In the past, intern projects have included:
- Building an advanced analytical platform in Scala to transform how our investment researchers visualize and test complex economic ideas
- Creating mobile and web apps that let the world’s most sophisticated investors test their trading strategies against ours
- Designing a large-scale data storage system to handle difficult time-series problems
- Engineering new methods for efficiently trading massive pools of capital
- Applying machine learning, neuro-linguistic programming, and artificial intelligence to further our understanding of how organizations are managed and how the global economy works
I hear the hours at financial firms are brutal. What are the hours like at Bridgewater? Is there a work/life balance?
We value meaningful work and meaningful relationships, and we want our employees to have work/life balance. Hours can vary depending on how you like to work, your team, and/or your project — for example, an engineering team might work more hours than usual leading up to a big release — but our company average is generally between 50 and 55 hours per week. Most importantly, we want you to do work that matters — not put in a lot of hours for the sake of face time. That goes against our culture and doesn’t make sense. We want you to care more about making excellent work. That being said, you can balance work and life in a variety of ways. If you balk at a work week over 40 hours, then Bridgewater probably doesn’t have the work/life balance you’re looking for.
I'd like to live in New York, is that possible?
It is! Many Bridgewater employees live in the city. We facilitate the commute by offering buses that run from Manhattan to Bridgewater’s various offices and back. The buses are comfortable, and in the evening, they’re stocked with snacks and beverages for you to enjoy as you unwind. We also provide shuttles to and from local Metro North stations if you prefer to take the train. Some people even keep cars in the city and drive to the office.
What majors are relevant for the TA program?
TAs come from a variety of majors including Computer Science (the most common), Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Applied Math, Physics, Statistics, Operations Research, and a handful of other relevant engineering degrees. That said, we’re mainly looking for individuals who are passionate about using technology to solve problems, so you can come from any background. As a general rule, the less formal training you have from school, the more experience we’ll want to see from internships and side projects.
What is the interview process like?
At Bridgewater, our values are incredibly important to us, and thus they are a focus of our interview process. We weigh your values with more significance than your abilities or your skillset. We believe that if we have a values match, we will be working toward the same goals and will work together in the same ways, regardless of what particular problems, projects, or assignments we encounter.
Bridgewater’s key values are a drive for excellence, truth at all costs, a high sense of ownership, and strong character (the willingness to do the good but difficult things). Of course, we’re also interested in your fit as a technologist, so our interview process must also determine what your strengths and weaknesses are. We look for your strengths and weaknesses in abilities (e.g., analytical thinking, conceptual thinking, creativity, common sense, etc.) and in your training/skills (e.g., computer science, engineering, product management, design, etc.).
In order to build a rich picture of you, we do a variety of interviews and testing. We’re looking for corroborating information through a variety of sources (for example, your resume, coding test, and software engineering interview all tell us about your software engineering ability, and your personality test and culture interviews tell us about your values).
Different people shine in different ways, and we’re looking to create a compelling and complete picture of the ways in which you shine. When we find inconsistent information, that prompts us to probe deeper—we may ask you for more information (your GitHub repository, a reference from a project or work you did, another interview, etc.).
Finally, we look for the match. If we believe you have values that are consistent with what Bridgewater values and see a strong set of abilities and skills for a role at Bridgewater, we’ll offer you a job! If not, we hope the experience provides you with a unique experience and opportunity to learn about yourself.
What groups or departments do TAs work in?
As a TA, you can work in many groups and departments across Bridgewater, including our front office: Research, Account Management, Trading, and Client Service. You may also work on groups such as our Dots team — which focuses on engineering systematic approaches to management — or our Cloud Engineering team.
How do I know where I’ll work/be placed?
We take the placement process very seriously and provide transparency along the way. Generally, when we extend offers to full-time and intern candidates, the offer is to join the TA Program rather than a specific group or department. Before we begin the placement process, we invite you to come back in to meet with various engineering teams and get a better sense not only of the projects that each team is working on, but also the types of people you would be working with. Placements are based on:
- Your group/department preferences, which you specify in a survey after your acceptance to the program
- The preferences of the groups/departments, which we obtain after your class is finalized
- The placements available at your start date
After this information is gathered, the TA Program hosts a meeting with representatives from each Tech Team. We collectively work toward the optimal placement based on the facts above. While not everyone gets their first choice, most people get their first or second choice. If there’s a radical divergence, we’ll always check in with you to discuss and provide the logic and reasoning behind that decision.
Let Us Get to Know You
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