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I received a lot of PMs over the past month asking me for advice/resume help/etc with people seeing that I had had a lot of success landing interviews at many places. I will preface this by saying that I am not in the industry, and like many of you am just trying to break in. I was able to land a top notch job for this summer, despite that fact that I don't go to one of the main targets (I'm a non target for most firms), I don't have above a 3.7, and I have virtually no finance background (1 pretty solid soph internship).

There are things I did wrong in the recruiting process, but for the most part I think I approached it the right way, and I wanted to share some of what I think made me successful with you others who are in or soon to be in a similar position. I'm going to post some stats/firms, not to gloat but merely to show that someone without amazing stats can compete with the best of them.

1st rounds: Baird, Sandler, KBW, Simmons, Blair, Lincoln, Jefferies, RBS, UBS, Gleacher, Centerview, Greenhill, Morgan Stanley, Goldman (New York, Chicago, and San Fran offices), JP Morgan, Blackstone M&A, Lazard MM, Oppenheimer, Nomura

Of the above, I received a super day with 14/21 (including the 3 Goldman offices).

The Resume: Having a strong and polished resume is one of the main things that WSO and other sources emphasize, and this is really a no-brainer. Not worth even going into further detail here. Have a 3.5 or above (unless you go to a school where everyone has a 3.95), do an internship sophomore summer (I always push federal reserve, wealth management is fine, anything else is good too). Then have things on your resume that aren't finance. Most of my interviews were spent talking about my interests, hobbies, items on resume unrelated to the job directly. I have been sent a couple of resumes from people on here where interests involves tutoring in math and investing/being on the investment club- (not to throw anyone under the bus)- finance clubs and that show interest in the industry, but you need to seem like an interesting person- you like to travel, play a sport, play an instrument- I think of the top 75% of a resume (academics and experience) as the qualifications, and the bottom 25% as a way to show why someone would enjoy working with you.

Technicals: I'm from a non-finance background, but I learned most of the basic technicals this fall. End of the day, there are a few questions that get asked and that you should know. There is no excuse not to know them besides laziness, because they are not complicated concepts.

3 ways to value a company
DCF- know it inside and out- discount rate, free cash flows, etc.
Accounting- there are about 5-7 questions asked about occurrences and how they affect the 3 statements, know them.

On occasion I was asked more detailed options/LBO questions, but this happened 1 or 2 times. The technical questions (besides at a few shops or with a few stiffs who went to Michigan/Wharton and think they are the end all be all of the interview) don't matter much at all. If you don't know a question don't panic, try to solve it, or say you haven't learned it and ask them to help you through it. The stuff isn't rocket science, and if you don't know something it is likely a matter of you haven't been exposed to it but could learn it in a minute if you were taught it. But if you don't get an offer/super day, it probably is not the technicals that did you in- unless it is a purely technical interview, these questions are a fraction of the total assessment.

Networking: Networking sucks. You go into an info session, you think of some questions to ask people from the firm (you already know the answer to all of your own questions), you try to get a business card, and you follow up by email. It sucks, but everyone knows it sucks, so play the game and just do it. Here are some things networking wise that really helped me out:

1. The line between persistent/enthusiastic and annoying: This is everyones biggest fear, and it is for me as well. Networking is all a fine line between showing someone you are interested in the position and industry, talking to them and building a relationship, and generally getting them to like you without thinking you are annoying. There is no special way to do this- you know if you're being annoying.

2. Building a relationship: Something that was particularly effective for me was building a long term relationship with alumni or other people at firms. I reached out to a number of them during my sophomore year (towards the end of the firms' recruiting), and was unsuccessful in getting interviews at their firms. However, I contacted them again many months later (same email chain), and picked up interviews this year for every firm. The reason- if an alum gets 20 emails from students in October wanting to discuss the position, and he knows that one of them emailed (and in my case spoke with) him back the previous February, who will he be more inclined to help out? These people don't want to feel used, so the more you can convince them that you don't just want a referral the better. This is not to say you should be reaching out to contacts 2 years in advance (see the fine line between persistence and annoying), but try not to reach out to them in December or January when your intentions are obvious.

3. The phone call. There is no reason to not set up phone calls with alums and people at firms- most are willing to chat on the phone for 20-30 mins. In an email don't ask for a job but ask to learn about their experience with the firm. And when you talk to them do the same- people, particularly older people, like talking about themselves and looking back on their own pasts- questions like "how has the firm changed, what made you interested in xxx sector or in investment banking, what has made you successful in your role," are great. Don't try to impress someone with knowledge of the markets, the industry, or the expertise you picked up working 8 weeks at a PWM shop. They spend their entire work week talking about this stuff, and the last thing they want to do is talk more about it with a 19 year old with an ignorant opinion on it (you older guys can feel free to disagree with that). At the end of the phone call asking for advice on internships, advice on interviews, advice on recruiting in general is a great way to wrap up. And guess what, not every one of these phone calls will lead to an interview or referral or anything- but a good number will.

4. Getting interviews: I've come to the conclusion over the past few months that if you have solid experience and a solid GPA at a good (not necessarily target) school, there is no reason to not get an interview most everywhere. I approached the recruiting process with this attitude, and save for a few places where I was referred to HR by very senior contacts and didn't get interviews, I was successful. If there is any alumni base at a firm then follow the networking steps above. If there are not then here are a few things that worked for me. Also this stuff has been said before in other threads as well.

1. Cold calling- I called a few firms and just asked to speak with who was in charge of recruiting. HR plays a bigger role than you would think, and at many of the smaller firms there is no real HR but rather an associate who handles recruiting- if you can get in touch with this person you are golden- Greenhill and Lincoln are examples of 2 shops where the intern program is run by an actual banker. I landed a few interviews just by calling the main offices, getting in touch with these people, having a conversation (as described earlier), and them simply offering me an interview.

2. Look for people with connections- if you go to Yale email someone at the firm from Harvard. Michigan? Email someone from Wisconsin. If you grew up in LA email someone who went to school at USC. If you played football in college find someone else who was on their college football team. Even high schools- you would be shocked at the strength of networks like Deerfield, Exeter, Andover- I didn't go to any of these places, but things like that can be huge.

5. The interviews: Once you get to an interview it is all on you- doesn't really matter what experience you have, what your GPA is, or anything (I'm sure it is different at different places). If they choose to interview you they usually have decided you are qualified. So now you need to be personable, you need to present yourself well, and you need to be likable. The last 1 is far and away the most important, and there is not a way to teach that. Practice makes perfect- I had the opportunity to do a bunch of mock interviews, and the more comfortable you are with your story the better. Practice walking through a DCF, talking about your summer job experience, explaining what stories you have been following in the markets.

Try not to sound rehearsed- tell your stories and thoughts as if you are having them at the time, not as if you are reading them from a script. Cliche as it is, the best interviews are like a conversation- they aren't reading from a list of questions, but rather asking you something and then delving deeper into that because you have hooked them. Like I said before, if you get that interview they know you are qualified (particularly for a super day)- at this point it is about them thinking you can do the work and liking you.

You need to be fluid, smooth, and confident. Confidence is king- look like you want to do the job and will be able to do the job, and you'll do great. At the same time, there is a fine line between confidence and cockiness, and you have to know it- you aren't entitled to anything, compared to even the worst analyst at the worst firm (might be an exaggeration) you know nothing, and you should come in trying to get the message across that you want to work hard and you are hungry to learn as much as possible. I know in a few super days it was intimidating for me to be up against kids from stronger finance backgrounds with nicer suits, rolex watches, and all that jazz, don't let it change your game plan.

Anyways, that is all I got- hope it useful to some of you, and best of luck to everyone still in the process. It is truly an unnecessarily miserable time.

11

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Comments (56)

  • TakeItToTheBank26's picture

    Wow, great post. I'm going through the process now, and can definitely attest to the vast majority of what you said. Appreciate the advice and insight.

    "Money is a scoreboard where you can rank how you're doing against other people."
    -Mark Cuban

  • MinneBanker's picture

    Great info, SB for this post and for the NYC thread (very helpful for other SA's)

  • MinneBanker's picture

    Also you probably don't know but what is your conversion rate for your 14 superdays?

  • In reply to MinneBanker
    Black Jack's picture

    MinneBanker:
    Also you probably don't know but what is your conversion rate for your 14 superdays?

    This won't be a satisfying answer, but I have no idea. I only attended 3 super days, and of those, 2 of them I was set to hear back next week (but have since informed them and withdrawn myself from the process). I had scheduling conflicts and was unable to attend 4, and the rest were all scheduled for either this next week or the week after (RBS the 15th for example).

  • Charles-perry's picture

    'if you have solid experience and a solid GPA at a good (not necessarily target) school, there is no reason to not get an interview most everywhere' - I am the exception to this rule. At a target, solid GPA, solid experience yet I landed only 1 first round interview.

    Probably applies to the USA only?

  • ricky212's picture

    Black Jack:

    4. Getting interviews: I've come to the conclusion over the past few months that if you have solid experience and a solid GPA at a good (not necessarily target) school, there is no reason to not get an interview most everywhere. I approached the recruiting process with this attitude, and save for a few places where I was referred to HR by very senior contacts and didn't get interviews, I was successful. If there is any alumni base at a firm then follow the networking steps above. If there are not then here are a few things that worked for me. Also this stuff has been said before in other threads as well.

    Great advice, but I have to disagree with the part above. I obviously can't know what is about you or your resume that got you so many interviews but as a junior (non-target) with a high GPA and better work experience then probably 80% of candidates I was only able to land 2 BB interviews, and both were due to contacts.

    One of them, I am going to a super day and the other I still haven't even had first rounds with.

    But regardless, congratulations! It seems to me that you really earned it.

    Because when you're in a room full of smart people, smart suddenly doesn't matter--interesting is what matters.

  • In reply to ricky212
    Black Jack's picture

    ricky212:
    Black Jack:

    4. Getting interviews: I've come to the conclusion over the past few months that if you have solid experience and a solid GPA at a good (not necessarily target) school, there is no reason to not get an interview most everywhere. I approached the recruiting process with this attitude, and save for a few places where I was referred to HR by very senior contacts and didn't get interviews, I was successful. If there is any alumni base at a firm then follow the networking steps above. If there are not then here are a few things that worked for me. Also this stuff has been said before in other threads as well.

    Great advice, but I have to disagree with the part above. I obviously can't know what is about you or your resume that got you so many interviews but as a junior (non-target) with a high GPA and better work experience then probably 80% of candidates I was only able to land 2 BB interviews, and both were due to contacts.

    One of them, I am going to a super day and the other I still haven't even had first rounds with.

    But regardless, congratulations! It seems to me that you really earned it.

    My point wasn't that if you have a high GPA and good experience and apply you WILL get an interview everywhere. The point was that if you do, there is no reason for you not to- you still need to network all the same and work your tail off, but those sorts of stats aren't going to get you dinged if you do the right things and get your resume in front of the right people. If you network properly and make the right connections, a 3.5 with a solid internship from a good school is enough (for the majority of places). If you think you have these stats and aren't having success, you probably aren't networking the right way.

  • orangebull's picture

    How crucial was being in touch with people early on? You mentioned that you reached out to people in your sophomore year for SA recruiting. Did all of those contacts yield good results for this year's process?

  • In reply to orangebull
    Black Jack's picture

    orangebull:
    How crucial was being in touch with people early on? You mentioned that you reached out to people in your sophomore year for SA recruiting. Did all of those contacts yield good results for this year's process?

    As I mentioned a little bit, reaching out to them my sophomore year was very important. I reached out to a bunch while looking for sophomore internships, and after speaking them/learning they only hired juniors, they encouraged me to reach back out again in the fall. When I did this, it looked particularly well. I didn't approach it with the intention of establishing a long term contact, but if you are being polite and not annoying I don't think that is a horrible idea either.

    More importantly if you can't do that is to reach out to them before the process for recruiting begins to establish some sort of relationship in the early fall or before other people start doing the same. You can reach out to hundreds of people and get all sorts of 'referrals' (and I did this as well to some degree), but if they don't give a shit about your application status or you in general, it doesn't really matter. When the contacts begin to feel like they have a stake in how you are doing, then you are golden and it will go a long way.

  • FernandoTorres9's picture

    You did not get a BX M&A (NYC) offer with that profile. Maybe you got a first round with heavy networking, but doubt you got past it with your resume. Calling BS.

    BX M&A is almost entirely Harvard / Wharton, with like 1 kid from UVA, 1 from Illinois, and a few from other ivies. All of them know their shit incredibly well, and have sky high GPAs (none that i know of with sub 3.7. most are 3.8+.). And many of them had bulge bracket ibd sophomore internships.

    Maybe i'm misreading your definition of "top notch," but nothing else on that list is "top notch" - except for 2 groups at GS and 1 at MS. And no group-specific offers have gone out yet from those places yet as far as i'm aware.

  • In reply to FernandoTorres9
    TakeItToTheBank26's picture

    FernandoTorres9:
    You did not get a BX M&A (NYC) offer with that profile. Maybe you got a first round with heavy networking, but doubt you got past it with your resume. Calling BS.

    BX M&A is almost entirely Harvard / Wharton, with like 1 kid from UVA, 1 from Illinois, and a few from other ivies. All of them know their shit incredibly well, and have sky high GPAs (none that i know of with sub 3.7. most are 3.8+.). And many of them had bulge bracket ibd sophomore internships.

    Maybe i'm misreading your definition of "top notch," but nothing else on that list is "top notch" - except for 2 groups at GS and 1 at MS. And no group-specific offers have gone out yet from those places yet as far as i'm aware.

    I mean I don't think someones going to spend the time to write a long ass post just to make stuff up. There's always exceptions to the perceived "necessary" GPA/BB Experience

    "Money is a scoreboard where you can rank how you're doing against other people."
    -Mark Cuban

  • In reply to FernandoTorres9
    Black Jack's picture

    FernandoTorres9:
    You did not get a BX M&A (NYC) offer with that profile. Maybe you got a first round with heavy networking, but doubt you got past it with your resume. Calling BS.

    BX M&A is almost entirely Harvard / Wharton, with like 1 kid from UVA, 1 from Illinois, and a few from other ivies. All of them know their shit incredibly well, and have sky high GPAs (none that i know of with sub 3.7. most are 3.8+.). And many of them had bulge bracket ibd sophomore internships.

    Maybe i'm misreading your definition of "top notch," but nothing else on that list is "top notch" - except for 2 groups at GS and 1 at MS. And no group-specific offers have gone out yet from those places yet as far as i'm aware.

    Well aren't you a little prick. I'm going to address this as a real post, though honestly would not be surprised if you are a troll.

    If you think that the only firms on the list that are 'top notch" are 1 group at MS and 2 at GS you really are out of your mind- MS, GS SF, GS NY, (I'll leave off GS Chicago since I'm sure that wouldn't quite cut it for you), BX, JPM, Centerview, and Greenhill are absolutely elite firms that 100% of the people on this site would be happy to get an offer with- many of the others are great firms as well.

    Just because "the people you know at Blackstone had above 3.7s and all worked at BBs during their sophomore year" does not mean that is always the case. I'll expose myself a bit more and say that BX was one of the firms I attended a super day with (I have since withdrawn my application before hearing back from them). You act as though you are a master on this stuff and know every single analyst at BX, where they came from, what GPA they had, and where they previously interned- I can tell you for a fact that you are wrong. Get your head out of your ass.

  • In reply to Black Jack
    mr.b's picture

    Black Jack:
    FernandoTorres9:
    You did not get a BX M&A (NYC) offer with that profile. Maybe you got a first round with heavy networking, but doubt you got past it with your resume. Calling BS.

    BX M&A is almost entirely Harvard / Wharton, with like 1 kid from UVA, 1 from Illinois, and a few from other ivies. All of them know their shit incredibly well, and have sky high GPAs (none that i know of with sub 3.7. most are 3.8+.). And many of them had bulge bracket ibd sophomore internships.

    Maybe i'm misreading your definition of "top notch," but nothing else on that list is "top notch" - except for 2 groups at GS and 1 at MS. And no group-specific offers have gone out yet from those places yet as far as i'm aware.

    Well aren't you a little prick. I'm going to address this as a real post, though honestly would not be surprised if you are a troll.

    If you think that the only firms on the list that are 'top notch" are 1 group at MS and 2 at GS you really are out of your mind- MS, GS SF, GS NY, (I'll leave off GS Chicago since I'm sure that wouldn't quite cut it for you), BX, JPM, Centerview, and Greenhill are absolutely elite firms that 100% of the people on this site would be happy to get an offer with- many of the others are great firms as well.

    Just because "the people you know at Blackstone had above 3.7s and all worked at BBs during their sophomore year" does not mean that is always the case. I'll expose myself a bit more and say that BX was one of the firms I attended a super day with (I have since withdrawn my application before hearing back from them). You act as though you are a master on this stuff and know every single analyst at BX, where they came from, what GPA they had, and where they previously interned- I can tell you for a fact that you are wrong. Get your head out of your ass.

    i'm not trying to be a dick here, i'm genuinely curious (and was a little surprised you replied to the above post the way you did). i'm just wondering how as a non-target, meaning i'm assuming that the vast majority of your first round interviews were not held on campus, you were able to even attend 21 first rounds when most banks recruit at the same time.

  • In reply to mr.b
    Black Jack's picture

    mr.b:
    Black Jack:
    FernandoTorres9:
    You did not get a BX M&A (NYC) offer with that profile. Maybe you got a first round with heavy networking, but doubt you got past it with your resume. Calling BS.

    BX M&A is almost entirely Harvard / Wharton, with like 1 kid from UVA, 1 from Illinois, and a few from other ivies. All of them know their shit incredibly well, and have sky high GPAs (none that i know of with sub 3.7. most are 3.8+.). And many of them had bulge bracket ibd sophomore internships.

    Maybe i'm misreading your definition of "top notch," but nothing else on that list is "top notch" - except for 2 groups at GS and 1 at MS. And no group-specific offers have gone out yet from those places yet as far as i'm aware.

    Well aren't you a little prick. I'm going to address this as a real post, though honestly would not be surprised if you are a troll.

    If you think that the only firms on the list that are 'top notch" are 1 group at MS and 2 at GS you really are out of your mind- MS, GS SF, GS NY, (I'll leave off GS Chicago since I'm sure that wouldn't quite cut it for you), BX, JPM, Centerview, and Greenhill are absolutely elite firms that 100% of the people on this site would be happy to get an offer with- many of the others are great firms as well.

    Just because "the people you know at Blackstone had above 3.7s and all worked at BBs during their sophomore year" does not mean that is always the case. I'll expose myself a bit more and say that BX was one of the firms I attended a super day with (I have since withdrawn my application before hearing back from them). You act as though you are a master on this stuff and know every single analyst at BX, where they came from, what GPA they had, and where they previously interned- I can tell you for a fact that you are wrong. Get your head out of your ass.

    i'm not trying to be a dick here, i'm genuinely curious (and was a little surprised you replied to the above post the way you did). i'm just wondering how as a non-target, meaning i'm assuming that the vast majority of your first round interviews were not held on campus, you were able to even attend 21 first rounds when most banks recruit at the same time.

    I thought it was a dick move for someone to come in here, call me a liar, and tell to a bunch of kids trying to get a job that "nobody who isn't from Harvard/Wharton with a 3.8+ can get a BX interview" and that "only GS TMT/FIG and MS M&A are top notch positions." If you think my hostile response was unwarranted though, you're entitled to your opinion.

    As far as your questions go- the first round interviews were all phone interviews, so firms were flexible, and I was able to build them around my own schedule. For super days, as I mentioned earlier in this I only ended up attending 3 and was forced to cancel a number because of scheduling conflicts (other interviews the same day type of thing).

  • In reply to Black Jack
    mr.b's picture

    Black Jack:
    mr.b:
    Black Jack:
    FernandoTorres9:
    You did not get a BX M&A (NYC) offer with that profile. Maybe you got a first round with heavy networking, but doubt you got past it with your resume. Calling BS.

    BX M&A is almost entirely Harvard / Wharton, with like 1 kid from UVA, 1 from Illinois, and a few from other ivies. All of them know their shit incredibly well, and have sky high GPAs (none that i know of with sub 3.7. most are 3.8+.). And many of them had bulge bracket ibd sophomore internships.

    Maybe i'm misreading your definition of "top notch," but nothing else on that list is "top notch" - except for 2 groups at GS and 1 at MS. And no group-specific offers have gone out yet from those places yet as far as i'm aware.

    Well aren't you a little prick. I'm going to address this as a real post, though honestly would not be surprised if you are a troll.

    If you think that the only firms on the list that are 'top notch" are 1 group at MS and 2 at GS you really are out of your mind- MS, GS SF, GS NY, (I'll leave off GS Chicago since I'm sure that wouldn't quite cut it for you), BX, JPM, Centerview, and Greenhill are absolutely elite firms that 100% of the people on this site would be happy to get an offer with- many of the others are great firms as well.

    Just because "the people you know at Blackstone had above 3.7s and all worked at BBs during their sophomore year" does not mean that is always the case. I'll expose myself a bit more and say that BX was one of the firms I attended a super day with (I have since withdrawn my application before hearing back from them). You act as though you are a master on this stuff and know every single analyst at BX, where they came from, what GPA they had, and where they previously interned- I can tell you for a fact that you are wrong. Get your head out of your ass.

    i'm not trying to be a dick here, i'm genuinely curious (and was a little surprised you replied to the above post the way you did). i'm just wondering how as a non-target, meaning i'm assuming that the vast majority of your first round interviews were not held on campus, you were able to even attend 21 first rounds when most banks recruit at the same time.

    I thought it was a dick move for someone to come in here, call me a liar, and tell to a bunch of kids trying to get a job that "nobody who isn't from Harvard/Wharton with a 3.8+ can get a BX interview" and that "only GS TMT/FIG and MS M&A are top notch positions." If you think my hostile response was unwarranted though, you're entitled to your opinion.

    As far as your questions go- the first round interviews were all phone interviews, so firms were flexible, and I was able to build them around my own schedule. For super days, as I mentioned earlier in this I only ended up attending 3 and was forced to cancel a number because of scheduling conflicts (other interviews the same day type of thing).

    i don't necessarily think it was unwarranted, again was just surprised by it. i'm honestly not trying to be antagonistic, i can just somewhat understand where that poster is coming from. i really do appreciate you contributing this post, i think it's definitely useful for a lot of users out there, but i do disagree with a couple of your statements and a couple things you said just seem kinda off (like if you only went to 3 superdays, why would you withdraw your app from bx m&a before hearing back - why not just wait the usual max of a week to hear back from all 3?)

    it's definitely impressive that you were able to network so effectively as to land all of those first rounds at a ton of great banks with a seemingly mediocre resume from a non-target - in general i don't think people can expect to hit that well though. i thought you're statement about getting first rounds was kind of ridiculous actually (I just went through FT recruiting for IBD and did pretty well). the amount of kids applying with 3.5+ gpas and at least 1 solid internship is pretty much the entire applicant pool (not to mention many firms going through ocr have a gpa cutoff of 3.5)

    anyways its late, didn't really mean to get into any of this, i do appreciate the post, just thought there was a couple of things in there that could lead the other dude to question something that you were asserting (the whole get a great gpa, have a solid internship, network your ass off, nail technicals, and be likable thing just doesn't always pan out, especially in this recruiting environment and when talking about it working out at 21 banks)

  • In reply to mr.b
    Black Jack's picture

    You're being polite about your questions, so I'm happy to respond politely as well- and I think you raise good points. I accepted the other offer before hearing back from BX because I knew I didn't want to work there (gasps across WSO- he didn't want to work at BX????)- yes, it is BX, it has 'the best exit opps' etc etc etc - I'm 20 years old, that isn't really on my radar (particularly when comparing places where they are very similar). BX wasn't the right fit for me, and coming from a non-finance background, the SA program there (8-10 kids and 2 days of training), was not in my best interest compared to a larger bank with a week of standardized training, many more kids, and lower expectations at the start (knowing that it is a learning process). BX starts you off running, which is great for some people but wasn't right for me. I also didn't love the culture- people were friendly enough, but I was honestly turned off by people there trying to sell me the firm by talking about how well the analysts placed (more gasps)- I think BX M&A (at the senior level) has a certain feeling of inferiority that weirded me out.

    To your second paragraph, I may have overstated the 'mediocracy' of my resume- my school is a top 10 school (just not a target for most banks), and my experience was pretty good as a college junior. However, the point about networking I stand by 100%- if you send an application in with a 3.5 and an average internship you will get rejected most of the time. If you network properly there are very few people who will care about the difference between a student with a 3.5 (mix of B+s and A-'s) and one with a 3.7 (a few more A-s here and there) if the former has a good referral who vouches for him/her.

    As you said, lots of times it won't work out- tons of this stuff is unquantifiable luck, or 'clicking' with the right person at the right firm who decides to really go out of his way for you.

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  • mr.b's picture

    cool man, didn't mean to derail this thread. congrats and i'm just glad i'm not going through recruiting again for a long time!

  • hot1590's picture

    of people you networked with, what percentage of them were alumni? Would you say they were the ones who pushed you the most?

  • In reply to hot1590
    Black Jack's picture

    hot1590:
    of people you networked with, what percentage of them were alumni? Would you say they were the ones who pushed you the most?

    I would say 60% or so were alumni- on average they pushed the most, though there were definite exceptions. There were some who didn't push much at all/didn't respond to emails or anything like that. On the other hand there were other people I reached out to (who had similar backgrounds) who responded and helped me out a ton. The alumni connections are definitely the easiest and most obvious, but there are definite exceptions to that.

  • Charles-perry's picture

    My alumni are jealous of me/what I have achieved in the space of time they were at uni (some admitted it! haha).... therefore they don't really like to help me. What should I do?

  • zeroblued's picture

    Blackjack, what did you do exactly for your sophomore year? And idk why, but for me non-alumni respond more than alumni for networking. The problem I find with networking, is many times I find myself doing a networking call or they respond, but it doesn't convert to an interview. i mean they like me and stuff, and say I'll push you to hr...which gives the next problem:

    Even though I have a referral, a lot of HR's act like a cockblock and decide to not include me in the recruiting process, or delay substantially so the referral can't do anything.

  • In reply to zeroblued
    Black Jack's picture

    zeroblued:
    Blackjack, what did you do exactly for your sophomore year? And idk why, but for me non-alumni respond more than alumni for networking. The problem I find with networking, is many times I find myself doing a networking call or they respond, but it doesn't convert to an interview. i mean they like me and stuff, and say I'll push you to hr...which gives the next problem:

    Even though I have a referral, a lot of HR's act like a cockblock and decide to not include me in the recruiting process, or delay substantially so the referral can't do anything.

    Can't offer much advice on your problem other than to follow up with the contacts who gave you the referral so that they are more in tune with your process/can make sure you get an interview.

    Want to maintain some level of anonymity, but I spent the sophomore summer at a pretty unheard of place that was small but not tiny but also relevant to the positions I applied for this year (so think an IB, PE, HF) that sort of thing

  • abacab's picture

    Had a classmate who did an awesome job networking and landed on almost all the on campus interview lists. He was average, not great grades and resume was average as well. When interviews came, everyone obviously asked who else you are talking with. Top BBs felt like he wasn't good enough compared to the other options they had and lower tiers felt like anyone who is talking with GS/MS/JPM won't be coming to RBC/WF, thus no point wasting an offer. Some banks would ask where we rank, and telling CS they are your top choice while you are talking with JPM doesn't really fly. Ended up somewhere after a lot of heart burn.

    Just something to keep in mind when considering stretching too thin with interviews across a very wide range, especially if you can't back it up with very stellar background. Keep in mind that first round interview is like

  • In reply to abacab
    Black Jack's picture

    abacab:
    Had a classmate who did an awesome job networking and landed on almost all the on campus interview lists. He was average, not great grades and resume was average as well. When interviews came, everyone obviously asked who else you are talking with. Top BBs felt like he wasn't good enough compared to the other options they had and lower tiers felt like anyone who is talking with GS/MS/JPM won't be coming to RBC/WF, thus no point wasting an offer. Some banks would ask where we rank, and telling CS they are your top choice while you are talking with JPM doesn't really fly. Ended up somewhere after a lot of heart burn.

    Just something to keep in mind when considering stretching too thin with interviews across a very wide range, especially if you can't back it up with very stellar background. Keep in mind that first round interview is like

    This is a good post, and interestingly enough I didn't get super days at many of the 'lower tier' places on the list (Lincoln, Sandler, Simmons). There was 1 firm that turned me down for a super day because after asking where else I was applying they felt I was not realistically going to work for them if they made me an offer. On the other hand, during my 2nd round interview with Jefferies I was asked where else I was in the process, and when I responded GS, MS (I added a few other lesser firms to neutralize that) I figured there was no way they would let me continue- I was invited 2 days later to their super day. Some places have larger inferiority complexes than others. Wherever you apply make sure to have very clear reasons of why that firm- there are pretty easy reasons to think of for every firm. I was worried about casting too wide of a net, and when I made a post about that on here I was criticized for asking if I should not apply to 'so many places.' In your example though, I don't think a firm like CS feels that much inferior to JP (nor do I think it is that much inferior to JP) where they would not consider you- in my experience naming firms that are slightly better really helps you- when you name places dramatically better (for example talking to Lincoln and saying you have super days with BX, MS, GS) then you start to run into problems.

  • A Fellow Linguist's picture

    Black Jack,

    Fantastic post. You've definitely earned everything that you've gotten, and more. Best of luck to you this summer and beyond!

  • In reply to Black Jack
    abacab's picture

    Black Jack:
    In your example though, I don't think a firm like CS feels that much inferior to JP (nor do I think it is that much inferior to JP) where they would not consider you- in my experience naming firms that are slightly better really helps you- when you name places dramatically better (for example talking to Lincoln and saying you have super days with BX, MS, GS) then you start to run into problems.

    It's not like a huge inferiority complex, but CS knows that someone with a JP offer won't be coming there. And in most cases, they are going for yield and would rather go for a sure thing. Nothing worse than extending an offer than getting hung out to dry for 3 weeks while someone else you could pick up went somewhere else. Big names do help, just don't get too many if you think you are not going to get any. It also becomes difficult for the candidate. If CS asks you would you take the offer, you will hesitate to commit because you still have GS/MS left, and lose the more sure thing waiting out for the dream job. It's a pretty funny game.
  • In reply to abacab
    Black Jack's picture

    abacab:
    Black Jack:
    In your example though, I don't think a firm like CS feels that much inferior to JP (nor do I think it is that much inferior to JP) where they would not consider you- in my experience naming firms that are slightly better really helps you- when you name places dramatically better (for example talking to Lincoln and saying you have super days with BX, MS, GS) then you start to run into problems.

    It's not like a huge inferiority complex, but CS knows that someone with a JP offer won't be coming there. And in most cases, they are going for yield and would rather go for a sure thing. Nothing worse than extending an offer than getting hung out to dry for 3 weeks while someone else you could pick up went somewhere else. Big names do help, just don't get too many if you think you are not going to get any. It also becomes difficult for the candidate. If CS asks you would you take the offer, you will hesitate to commit because you still have GS/MS left, and lose the more sure thing waiting out for the dream job. It's a pretty funny game.

    You have to be smart about it- if CS knows you are in the process with JP they will know you are a competitive candidate and want you all the more. I would tell every place that they are your top choice and have good reasons for that. If I'm interviewing with Lincoln I will tell them I am also interviewing with Baird and Blair (similar midwest MM banks) and leave out GS/MS places like that.

  • A2Allegiance's picture

    OP can you talk a little bit about how to handle multiple offers, and asking for a deadline without sounding like a dick or unenthused?

  • BTbanker's picture

    When you say non target, you must be talking about NYU CAS or uMich LSA?

  • In reply to A2Allegiance
    Black Jack's picture

    A2Allegiance:
    OP can you talk a little bit about how to handle multiple offers, and asking for a deadline without sounding like a dick or unenthused?

    I didn't run into this problem this year, so I can't offer any first hand advice. Last year I had a few offers that I was weighing, but fortunately none wanted quick turn around in terms of signing/committing. If you do need extra time I would just say you need more time to think about it/talk to parents about your options/something like that. Most places are willing to give you an extension- I would also ask for it a day or few days before the offer expires and not a few hours. It might also help to reach out to your contacts at the firm (assuming you have some) and tell them you need an extension- excited about the opportunity but just have a lot to figure out etc. It is inevitably an awkward topic, but be polite about it and for the most part people will be receptive.

  • yeahright's picture

    Have to agree with prep school networks. My prep school network is better than my non-target university's network. It helped me way more during networking senior year.

    Frank Sinatra - "Alcohol may be man's worst enemy, but the bible says love your enemy."

  • streetwannabe's picture

    Congrats BlackJack. This post really does make me feel depressed though haha.

    Not sure if it was already asked (too lazy to read all above posts), but where/how did you apply to all of the firms which you received superdays for? OCR?

    I feel that I have the adequate skills, maybe marginally lesser stats than you appear to have and a decently good story; but have never been able to share it as I'm on 0 interviews so far. I feel that the bane of my employability is my school quite honestly and feel that it has really killed my chances (despite being near NYC).

    Thanks for any advice and don't mind my bitchy self pity.

    "History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme."

  • In reply to streetwannabe
    SirTradesaLot's picture

    streetwannabe:
    Not sure if it was already asked (too lazy to read all above posts)

    I have great news for you. I know you probably won't read this, but I think I may have found the source of your problem.

    adapt or die:
    What would P.T. Barnum say about you?

    MY BLOG

  • In reply to SirTradesaLot
    streetwannabe's picture

    SirTradesaLot:
    streetwannabe:
    Not sure if it was already asked (too lazy to read all above posts)

    I have great news for you. I think I may have found the source of your problem.

    Some serious inductive reasoning gone awry. I am too lazy (maybe I should've said tired; had classes and work today and prepped for calc quiz) to read the above 40 posts, so that is why I don't have any interviews?

    I'm sorry, but that was a very arrogant thing to say. Maybe I don't deserve any interviews, but laziness is fortunately not one of them.

    "History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme."

  • In reply to streetwannabe
    Black Jack's picture

    streetwannabe:
    Congrats BlackJack. This post really does make me feel depressed though haha.

    Not sure if it was already asked (too lazy to read all above posts), but where/how did you apply to all of the firms which you received superdays for? OCR?

    I feel that I have the adequate skills, maybe marginally lesser stats than you appear to have and a decently good story; but have never been able to share it as I'm on 0 interviews so far. I feel that the bane of my employability is my school quite honestly and feel that it has really killed my chances (despite being near NYC).

    Thanks for any advice and don't mind my bitchy self pity.

    OCR I think I received 2 super days from. Hardly any firms recruit on my campus. I listed the ways I landed interviews earlier, but it was mainly reaching out to alumni, random contacts through Linkedin/HR, people from similar schools/backgrounds. From them being referred to HR, landing a first round interview, nailing the interview, and being invited for a super day (or in the case of a few places having multiple phone interviews before super day). It takes persistence and some creativity to find some solid contact at every firm and an "in" at every firm.

  • In reply to Black Jack
    streetwannabe's picture

    Black Jack:
    streetwannabe:
    Congrats BlackJack. This post really does make me feel depressed though haha.

    Not sure if it was already asked (too lazy to read all above posts), but where/how did you apply to all of the firms which you received superdays for? OCR?

    I feel that I have the adequate skills, maybe marginally lesser stats than you appear to have and a decently good story; but have never been able to share it as I'm on 0 interviews so far. I feel that the bane of my employability is my school quite honestly and feel that it has really killed my chances (despite being near NYC).

    Thanks for any advice and don't mind my bitchy self pity.

    OCR I think I received 2 super days from. Hardly any firms recruit on my campus. I listed the ways I landed interviews earlier, but it was mainly reaching out to alumni, random contacts through Linkedin/HR, people from similar schools/backgrounds. From them being referred to HR, landing a first round interview, nailing the interview, and being invited for a super day (or in the case of a few places having multiple phone interviews before super day). It takes persistence and some creativity to find some solid contact at every firm and an "in" at every firm.

    Thank you OP, enjoy the humanity of a candid response disregarding my admission of being lazy on this site full of hyper sensitive advocates of trying to demoralize the losers such as I. Good luck with everything.

    "History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme."

  • Black Jack's picture

    No problem. One more thing to add. I would look at every firm you are applying to and be able to tell yourself- "I have done everything possible to put myself in the best position possible to get an interview here." Many will work out and others will surprise you and not work out, but I think doing this let me feel at least pretty settled. Whether this meant reaching out to random people etc etc- usually once I had received a direct email from the head of HR (after being referred/having resume forwarded) I knew I was in a good spot. Most times I would even set up a call with them to really nail things down.

  • In reply to streetwannabe
    SirTradesaLot's picture

    streetwannabe:
    SirTradesaLot:
    streetwannabe:
    Not sure if it was already asked (too lazy to read all above posts)

    I have great news for you. I think I may have found the source of your problem.

    Some serious inductive reasoning gone awry. I am too lazy (maybe I should've said tired; had classes and work today and prepped for calc quiz) to read the above 40 posts, so that is why I don't have any interviews?

    I'm sorry, but that was a very arrogant thing to say. Maybe I don't deserve any interviews, but laziness is fortunately not one of them.


    I think your signature is actually pretty relevant. If you can't take the time to scan through these posts for some basic research on getting a job, it's likely that you have similar habits in other areas. That's not attractive to employers.

    You can say I'm arrogant and that's fine (it's actually true). But guess what? So are most of the people you interview with.

    Just something to keep in mind, it's your career, not mine. If you can make some changes to your diligence levels, maybe that would help.

    Or, maybe I'm way off base. I have no way if knowing for sure.

    adapt or die:
    What would P.T. Barnum say about you?

    MY BLOG

  • In reply to SirTradesaLot
    streetwannabe's picture

    SirTradesaLot:
    streetwannabe:
    SirTradesaLot:
    streetwannabe:
    Not sure if it was already asked (too lazy to read all above posts)

    I have great news for you. I think I may have found the source of your problem.

    Some serious inductive reasoning gone awry. I am too lazy (maybe I should've said tired; had classes and work today and prepped for calc quiz) to read the above 40 posts, so that is why I don't have any interviews?

    I'm sorry, but that was a very arrogant thing to say. Maybe I don't deserve any interviews, but laziness is fortunately not one of them.


    I think your signature is actually pretty relevant. If you can't take the time to scan through these posts for some basic research on getting a job, it's likely that you have similar habits in other areas. That's not attractive to employers.

    You can say I'm arrogant and that's fine (it's actually true). But guess what? So are most of the people you interview with.

    Just something to keep in mind, it's your career, not mine. If you can make some changes to your diligence levels, maybe that would help.

    Or, maybe I'm way off base. I have no way if knowing for sure.

    Haha, I truly appreciate that last sentence because of how true it is. I'm set on making a record on number of cold emails (since recruiting at my school is arguably one of the worst in the country I'd wager); I'm in college, take a full course load and work at a gym most days at 6am. Not going to give you my life story, but I just get pretty fucking annoyed when people have the nerve to call me lazy when I have never been handed anything in my entire life and seemingly get the short end of the stick for reasons unapparent to me.

    Internet can be a cruel device for distorting perceptions and I'm usually not bothered by it, except for this.

    Best regards

    "History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme."

  • In reply to streetwannabe
    hot1590's picture

    I know I wasn't part of this conversation to begin with, but just wanted to add that it's pretty annoying when someone asks the same question that's already been asked by another person, and the only reason that person is asking again is he/she wasn't paying attention. You clearly COULD'VE read the posts above and avoid repeating the question, but you didn't by calling it "lazy." It may not be a matter of your laziness, but I don't think your post was respectful of the OP who is sacrificing his time to answer all the questions.
    But then again, these posts alone cannot define who you are.

    streetwannabe:
    SirTradesaLot:
    streetwannabe:
    SirTradesaLot:
    streetwannabe:
    Not sure if it was already asked (too lazy to read all above posts)

    I have great news for you. I think I may have found the source of your problem.

    Some serious inductive reasoning gone awry. I am too lazy (maybe I should've said tired; had classes and work today and prepped for calc quiz) to read the above 40 posts, so that is why I don't have any interviews?

    I'm sorry, but that was a very arrogant thing to say. Maybe I don't deserve any interviews, but laziness is fortunately not one of them.


    I think your signature is actually pretty relevant. If you can't take the time to scan through these posts for some basic research on getting a job, it's likely that you have similar habits in other areas. That's not attractive to employers.

    You can say I'm arrogant and that's fine (it's actually true). But guess what? So are most of the people you interview with.

    Just something to keep in mind, it's your career, not mine. If you can make some changes to your diligence levels, maybe that would help.

    Or, maybe I'm way off base. I have no way if knowing for sure.

    Haha, I truly appreciate that last sentence because of how true it is. I'm set on making a record on number of cold emails (since recruiting at my school is arguably one of the worst in the country I'd wager); I'm in college, take a full course load and work at a gym most days at 6am. Not going to give you my life story, but I just get pretty fucking annoyed when people have the nerve to call me lazy when I have never been handed anything in my entire life and seemingly get the short end of the stick for reasons unapparent to me.

    Internet can be a cruel device for distorting perceptions and I'm usually not bothered by it, except for this.

    Best regards

  • In reply to abacab
    triplectz's picture

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  • In reply to hot1590
    streetwannabe's picture

    "History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme."

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