Caio Carnauba, a Computer Science and Math double major at Grinnell College, was recently hired to be a Summer ’21 intern at Jane Street Capital! But how did he reach his achievement?
This wasn’t Caio’s first rodeo. He had applied to Jane Street Capital a year earlier, without success, and after having an internship opportunity in his home country of Brazil canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he felt the futility of gearing up for another round of applications. “Actually, I wasn’t even thinking about applying to Jane Street. I had applied my second year, but I didn’t get it. And this year I was thinking it’s just MIT and Harvard that’s the recruiting base, and so it’s not even worth me applying.” However, this time around things would be different. He was now a member of the ColorStack community, having joined in August of 2020. Through ColorStack, Caio discovered and then participated in Jane Street’s “Focus” and “In Focus” programs, which provide students who identify as members of historically underrepresented communities with opportunities to learn more about Jane Street and the tools necessary to thrive there. These programs encouraged him to apply again to Jane Street’s internship program, “Because I was accepted to ‘Focus’ I thought I might as well apply to Jane Street as well.”
“Once you get the first interview, you get a couple of rejections, you start learning how to actually interview properly,” Caio says of the application season. Unfortunately, the Jane Street phone interview was the first of the year, and his interview skills were rusty without the experience of recent interviews to keep him sharp. “My first phone round with James Street I bombed it, completely bombed it, and no saving that interview whatsoever,” he admits. He thought his application journey was over. However, because of his involvement with “Focus” and “In Focus,” Jane Street provided him with another opportunity: they invited him to participate in a round of mock interviewers, and then for a second round of interviews for his application. He joined the #jane_street_interview channel on the ColorStack Family Slack, where he was able to connect with other students from around the country going through the same process. “We were pumping each other up over there. We were all like, ‘Yeah, you guys can do it!’ And that was really nice. We were sort of sharing a couple tips, a couple of the questions that we saw so that we could help each other out.” There, he was able to learn from fellow students and give back advice from what he learned during interviews and through the “Focus” and “In Focus” programs. Armed with the skills and preparation he received from ColorStack and the #jane_street_interview channel, Caio aced his interviews, receiving a formal offer soon after.
From his experience interviewing, the biggest piece of advice that Caio says he learned is to ask questions during the technical interview. “It’s better for you to talk out what you’re thinking than for you to just stay in your own bubble. They sometimes also give you hints based on what you say, so I really recommend that if anyone can have a go at interviewing, be it with ColorStack members that also are willing to interview you or be it with friends that are willing to whiteboard, then you should definitely take it.”