DrPeterVenkman presents: An interesting interview with Frieds. Questions came from myself and other WSO contributing authors. This interview will be a little different because being the social guy that he is, Frieds wished to videochat through Skype.
Frieds is one of the top WSO users and contributing authors: http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/karma/top
He has worked in Asset Management. I will let you find out more about the man after the click:
The first thing you need to know about Frieds is that he's a very social, chatty and funny guy. He was one of the WSO users I had a great time meeting at WSO Conference. Frieds is a regular attendee of NYC area WSO Meetups/Happy Hours. If you have never read a WSO Happy Hour recap by Frieds you are truly missing out. They are quite hilarious. I suggest you read a recent one here:
Frieds grew up in wealthy suburban area in northern New Jersey. It was a “corridor of serious wealth"; you either lived there because of the easy access into Manhattan, you wanted your children to attend some of the best public schools in both the State of New Jersey and United States, or you wanted to live in one of the more prestigious, old money areas in New Jersey. He was surrounded by people who worked finance, law, medicine and other traditional high end white collar industries while growing up. He went to high school with a number of people whose parents were bankers and traders at the MD, Partner and C-Level executives at various Bulge Bracket Banks, Hedge Fund PMs and partners at Private Equity shops. It appears that going into a white collar career path seemed like a normal step for Frieds.
Frieds attended Penn State, "a non-target," in the early 2000's where he obtained a degree in finance. He really has high things to say about the academic level of Penn State. Not surprisingly, Frieds was involved in Greek Life while at Penn State. He served as Treasurer and President of his fraternity. The experience being a leader at his fraternity helped him "manage people, manage budgets and manage risk and learn the ins and outs of how a business is ran." As someone who has leadership experience in a Greek organization I can tell you that being Treasurer of a fraternity is a damn tough job. It's definitely a good experience to learn from.
Frieds knew that attending a "non-target" he would have to do some serious networking. This networking paid off when he was able to land solid in his freshmen and sophomore summers and allowed to move across the firm into for his junior summer. Frieds stressed that "networking doesn't end when you get a job," its even more important to network when you are at the job. He was able to network with his bosses which eventually helped him land a full-time offer. (More on this later.)
Frieds Advice to Non-Targets:
1. Always try and network. Networking is the “spice of life.” You need to be social. This is important no matter whether you are trying to get a job, in a job, or studying at university. This also doesn't mean that you hand out resumes every chance you get, but make sure you leave with the person being able to remember you for something - positive or negative - so you can jog their memory if you see them or speak to them again.
2. Hard work pays off. You may not get noticed as much, but you need to prove yourself. Someone will notice. Having your foot in the door doesn’t mean you have accomplished anything.
3. You have to know what is right for you. Don’t be influenced by peer pressure or what everyone else is doing. Analyze what is best for you and your career. “If your sole goal is to make money you need to re-evaluate your goals.” It sounds cliche but money=/=happiness. If you have a solid job in finance you will be financially healthy, but is sacrificing your happiness for a little bit extra money worth it? Its up to you.
4. Thoughts on moving on to buyside, etc.: If you’re not happy where you are in banking you may not be happy on buy-side. One of the things Frieds mentioned was being happy working with the people you work with. If you move to a different job but you don't have the same atmosphere you may not be as happy.
5 . From your education and career the main goal should be to find ways to make yourself happy. Hating your life or career path is not great for the soul or your liver. Without having something to help you keep balance, your job can turn into an everlasting purgatory, so stop and smell the roses. Also, having a hobby that you are passionate about helps with keeping you happy despite all the negativity around you.
6. A little bit of humility goes a long way. Be confident, but humble to present yourself right. “Sometimes you are the statue, sometimes you are the bird. Always remember your role”
7. Interviewing is crazy. Deal with it. Sometimes you go to an interview, get shit on and get the job. Sometimes you go to an interview, do great, and don't get the job. Don't stress it. Don't overthink it. Just accept what you can control and don't worry about what you can't.
Now that you're on the other side of things, what do you look for in a new hire?
When he looks for a new hire, the candidate must be a free-thinker, independent, and be able to back up their ideas whether they are right are wrong, as it makes learning from screw-ups a lot easier to do. It's necessary to be quick on your feet and learn on the fly. Asset Management is a very detail oriented field so they need to be strong in that area and organized.
More from Frieds in Part Two including: What Asset Management is really like, his thoughts on the MBA, his future, and his thoughts on current financial and political events.