Next cohort (Fall'24) start date: September 28, 2024

TJ Hegedus

A TrendUp Now 2022 summer cohort graduate, currently working as an Analyst in the buy-side at an $80B fund after securing the position upon completion of the program.

What sparked your interest in finance, and how did you become aware of TrendUp?

My journey into the world of finance began in my college years, where I found a deep fascination with my business courses, far surpassing my interest in aerospace studies. This passion extended beyond the classroom, as I actively engaged in investing through my personal brokerage account. 

The pivotal moment came during an exchange program at my university, where my investment teacher introduced me to TrendUp. Under his guidance, I embarked on the journey of completing L1 and L2 of TrendUp’s courses, which I later continued by myself. This experience not only solidified my interest in finance but also equipped me with the skills and knowledge to navigate the financial markets confidently.

As a part of the SRP Program you secured a position at one of our partner funds while still in college, how did that propel you into the finance industry?

The SRP Program was a critical stepping stone for me, first landing me an internship at a prestigious $500 million Wealth Management Office. The certification I earned through the program was highly valued by my employer, setting me apart in a competitive field. Coming from a non-target school, this distinction was invaluable, leveling the playing field with peers from more recognized institutions. The hands-on experience and the practical knowledge I gained, coupled with the program’s certification, significantly accelerated my entry and growth in the finance industry. It was more than just an academic exercise; it was a real-world introduction to the professional finance world.

Many of our students highlight the personalized feedback and one-on-one reviews as crucial elements of their learning experience. How did these aspects of the program specifically contribute to your growth and preparation for a career in finance?

The one-on-one reviews that took place after every single level and personalized feedback were game-changers for me. These sessions provided an opportunity for in-depth learning and personal growth that went beyond the standard curriculum. The feedback was always constructive, tailored to my specific strengths and areas for improvement, which helped me develop a much clearer understanding of my career path and how to excel in it.

They offered a level of support and clarity you don’t often see in education. This tailored guidance helped sharpen my strengths and address my weaknesses, making me more confident and prepared for my career in finance. 

Was it difficult to combine the TrendUp Program while being a university student?

Balancing the TrendUp Program with my university studies was certainly challenging, but absolutely manageable. It required a commitment of around 10 hours a week, more or less 1 or 2 hours per day. I was doing 16 hours of credit so toward the higher end of the whole credit world and I was able to get all my work done and still do a good job at the Program. This did mean making some sacrifices, particularly socially, as my time became more focused on academics and the program. However, the trade-off was well worth it. The skills and experiences I gained from the TrendUp Program not only complimented my university education but also provided a significant boost to my career prospects. It’s a balance of priorities, and for me, the investment in my future was a clear choice.

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