Over the past couple of weeks, the wso users who foundon wall street started hitting their desks. Many of you are asking yourselves how you can impress the analysts and associates you work with. Let me give you a simple answer. You can, but you're probably approaching it the wrong way.
The analysts you work with have at least one year of 80+ hour workweeks under their belt. No matter how much you read, you can't impress them with your corporate finance knowledge. Whatever you read, they probably know already. However, that doesn't mean you can't impress. Here are a couple of thingsdid in the past that made me go out of my way to make sure they go an offer:
Don't make mistakes
When I was an analyst, I only handed the most basic tasks to summer analysts. Anything remotely complex I would do myself because I was afraid I wouldn't catch a mistake an intern did or because I was concerned that it would take longer to explain than to do it myself. That left only the most mundane tasks for the summer analysts and associates I worked with. Things such as formatting charts, updating due diligence lists or putting together contact lists for memos. Tasks that would include some mistakes when I did them just because they were so boring.
Most of the time I would have to fix at least a couple of errors, but I generally didn't perceive that as negative because admittedly theses tasks just sucked. One summer though, thedidn't mess up once. Every list I gave him, he would triple check every single input and before handing it back to me, he would ask every single item he wasn't exactly sure on. I was so thoroughly impressed by this SA's ability to not make mistakes that by the end of the summer I went out of my way to make sure the guy was made an offer.
Ask thoughtful questions
During the summer I would generally do a decent amount of small talk with all the interns because it was a nice change of pace to talk to new people who had things to talk about other than their jobs. One of the summer analysts always had a list of questions on his desk. Once we ended the small talk he would pull up his list and ask me whether it would be ok to spend some time to go over the questions he had.
He thoroughly impressed me. Every single question he asked proved that he took the time to read through all of the materials and tried to come up with the solution himself. If he failed, he wrote the question down. As a result all of his questions were very thoughtful and proved that he cared and was very interested in what our group did. I never once worked with this guy, but at the end of the summer I made sure the guy got an offer.
Read the news
A lot of analysts as they progress through their program stop reading the news. Don't make that mistake as an intern. You don't know when you could get stuck in an elevator with one of the senior bankers. Knowing what's going on will allow you to ask a thoughtful question and drive the point home that you have an interest in what you do. If you're not sure what's relevant in the daily news, check out my Twitter account where I post the most relevant news items every morning