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Bridgewater Launches Rising Fellows Program to Help Expand Investment Industry Diversity

Today, Bridgewater Associates announced the launch of a new Rising Fellows program to expand access to the financial services industry for students in their first year of university and help build a more diverse pool of future investment talent.

Bridgewater’s Rising Fellows program will be a three-week virtual program and will focus on recruiting students from backgrounds that are underrepresented within the industry and from a wide range of universities, including HBCUs, as well as through diversity recruiting partners such as Out for Undergrad (O4U), BLK Capital Management, and Prep for Prep. The program is designed around several core principles to give students well-rounded exposure and experience, including:

  • Providing an early introduction to the finance industry
  • Building skills to help understand investing and the mechanics of the global economy
  • Offering practical application of lessons learned via projects guided by Bridgewater’s investment professionals

“As we continue to explore ways to make our industry more diverse and accessible, the Rising Fellows Program will help launch new relationships and start encouraging future stars as early as their first year of college,” said Alan Bowser, Co-Head of Americas Region and Chief Diversity Officer at Bridgewater. “By leveraging our unique network of clients in tandem with DEI-focused organizations and universities, we believe Rising Fellows will be a driving force in helping us accomplish that objective.”

In addition to forming relationships with Bridgewater, Rising Fellows will earn a stipend for their time in the program and have the chance to create connections with Bridgewater’s clients, many of whom share the goal of increasing diversity in the investment industry. Graduates will be considered for future opportunities at Bridgewater, while their resumes and projects will also be packaged and shared with Bridgewater clients and alumni for access to a wider range of potential roles.

“Diversity of thought, background and identity are incredibly important to the work we do, however, as an industry we often look to solve the DEI issue in the post-grad talent pool as opposed to educating students about our industry when they are just charting their college paths,” said Robyn Shepherd, Head of Corporate Engagement at Bridgewater Associates. “Through our Rising Fellows program, we are looking to change this by not only committing to giving participants robust exposure to the industry early in their college careers but also maintaining engagement with these emerging professionals after they complete the program.”

The first Rising Fellows program will include approximately 30 students and run from Monday, February 14th to Friday, March 4th. Activities planned include:

  • Week 1: Providing students with an overview of the finance industry and the role Bridgewater plays within it, as well as focusing on skills such as presenting and public speaking
  • Week 2: Exploring economic theory and trends, with a focus on how they are reflected in current market cycles and how they impact investment strategies—students will also receive training in project management, research and writing
  • Week 3: Focusing on final projects, whereby students will apply their learnings from the program to an investment-related module to be reviewed by Bridgewater executives

Upon completion of the program, Fellows will continue to have a series of touchpoints with Bridgewater designed to maintain their relationship with the firm and provide support as they continue their education and embark on their careers. This will include invitations to a variety of existing Bridgewater events and speaker series. In addition, Bridgewater will host bespoke sessions led by executives to give advice on various subjects, such as building experience in the investment industry and other career-related topics. Students will also be eligible to participate in Bridgewater’s Immersion program (the goal of which is to provide an even deeper window into our business) in their sophomore year and interview for the internship program in their junior year.

Learn more here:

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