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I started to do some kinda networking these days and went to few events. And at one event I met a guy who is a MD at one of top HFs and we talked for a while. I thought it went well. Anyway, he gave me his card and I sent him an email, thanking for his advice in general etc.

He wrote me back saying "we can get together for dinner." I may be overreacting here but is it normal to invite a female grad student for dinner and "discuss career opportunities"...?

I wouldn't hesitate to go for a quick coffee talk or whatever but dinner sounds just way too weird.......

I don't want to give this 50-ish guy an impression that I will go for this pseudo date or whatever this is just to get a job at his firm or any other place....

Problem is, I think he has some amazing talents and did achieve impressive stuff and would like to keep in touch with him.

And I think he won't like it if I say NO to his invite. I asked him if it is okay to visit the office since I am very busy with thesis these days blah blah, but it doenst seem like he is gonna change his mind...

He might be a super foodie and just loves talking about commodities trading over french cuisine at a sexy restaurant rather than coffee at his midtown office. I might not be the only one who is invited. Maybe he does invite everyone he met at the networking events for dinner....

Is there any nice way to keep in touch with him and not go to dinner? Or should I just go?

Comments (78)

  • D M's picture

    Are you cute? If not, you probably don't have anything to worry about.

    "You stop being an asshole when it sucks to be you." -IlliniProgrammer
    "Your grammar made me wish I'd been aborted." -happypantsmcgee

  • Asatar's picture

    Say you'll go but make sure you choose the place. Nothing fancy or intimate, just a place where any two people would go and eat.

  • justinfo's picture

    I just cannot imagine him suggesting dinner being anything not creepy.I am sorry, but it sucks getting hit on in a professional environment and IMHO its best to not encourage it.

    you will meet other non-creepy highly qualified individuals who actually help just because. You dont have to put yourself in any sort of compromising situation. Good luck!

  • Bearearns's picture

    Not sure if trolling or not....which it doesnt seem so, but what is the worst that happens. He thinks its pseudo date, your uncomfortable and you leave. All you got to say is I think you got the wrong impression...... And you can perfectly convey that you are looking more on professional than personal level in your acceptance of the dinner by mentioning something in terms of career, career advice, industry...etc

    The best is you network yourself to a job

  • In reply to justinfo
    D M's picture

    justinfo:

    I just cannot imagine him suggesting dinner being anything not creepy.

    It obviously couldn't possibly be that he was impressed by you or needed to meet his diversity quota for women. Or, like you said, he could be a foodie wanting to get out of the office. Or he just might not have time during the day.

    All seriousness, do whatever. Worst case scenario you have to turn him down. All that will do is not get you a job at his firm, but would you really want to work there anyways if he was gunning for your vajay?

    "You stop being an asshole when it sucks to be you." -IlliniProgrammer
    "Your grammar made me wish I'd been aborted." -happypantsmcgee

  • rpc's picture
  • BatMasterson's picture

    BYOB (Bring Your Own Beer)

    "I like money (as do most females) but love is...great :)"-student
    "Perhaps you've failed to take into account my hidden assets"-007
    Storm: Orig Mix

  • DCDepository's picture

    You'll learn fast that women in high finance are only as valuable as their sex appeal. That's about it.

    While what I said above was tongue-in-cheek, you're going to have to learn fast that you can't go around worrying about being hit on by men in NYC, whether in the office or in the bar. It's a testosterone driven business. If you're going to be like this before even starting then just forget about this business and do something else. You have a nice built-in advantage as a woman--sex appeal. Either use it (i.e. go to meetings with top hedge fund managers even if you're paranoid!) or check out of the business because unappealing women won't climb the ladder organically. The politically correct, easily offended, unpleasant woman is going nowhere fast in our biz.

    Is it fair? Nope. But that's life. Remember the old business adage: "All else being equal, people do business with those that they know, trust, and like." This isn't a PC university anymore--this is the real world, and being PC will get your buried at the starting line. It's something they don't teach you at Harvard.

  • TeddyTheBear's picture

    Ask for lunch instead, not sure if you have a boyfriend, but you can just make something up and be like you have to see your BF at that time then gauge what his reaction is.

  • audaciou02's picture

    Can't you just drop it at dinner you have a boyfriend and that'll shut down anything?

  • Beny23's picture

    Take the opportunity and go!

  • secretariat's picture

    teddy bear's idea is solid. Dinner is definitely inappropriate for a networking meeting with a younger woman. Push for lunch and see the response. Don't go to dinner because if he does have creepy plans and you have to shoot him down at dinner the bridge will be burned for good, but if you make it clear you are off the market in advance you can still get networking help from this guy. My fiancee has had to put up with stuff like this in the legal world, and it sucks but like above posters noted part of life working in NYC in a male - dominated environment.

  • SirTradesaLot's picture

    I would go. My last interview started with drinks and dinner with a 50 something year old guy. Of course, I'm also a middle aged guy, so it's a little different. The point is that people go out to dinner for interviews, it's not that uncommon.

    My theory is that if he's a creeper, it's better to find out in the interview process than if you take a job there. Also, you said you think there might also be others at the dinner? In that case, without any question make sure you go.

    PS -- I completely disagree with DCDepository's comments. I have worked with plenty of women and it's certainly not common for women to be hired for their sex appeal. If so, the population of women in finance would look different than it does.

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

    MY BLOG

  • DoubleBlack's picture

    Need more information. Are your qualifications impressive enough / did you talk so intelligently as to legitimately get a top guy at a top fund to want to talk career ops with you (the bar is quite high, so really think about that). If the answer is yes, then I would take my chances and go. If the answer is no, I'm guessing you're fairly attractive, and the purpose of the dinner is obvious.

    Another thing to think about is, how much is a spot at top fund fresh out of grad school worth to you? I'm fairly sure there are members of this board who are dudes who would "go all the way" with this dinner for a spot lol.

  • In reply to audaciou02
    SirTradesaLot's picture

    audaciou02:

    Can't you just drop it at dinner you have a boyfriend and that'll shut down anything?

    If the guy is trying to make something more of it than just career related stuff, it's highly doubtful that saying she has a boyfriend would alter his plans.

    If you were hitting on someone at a bar and she said she had a boyfriend, would that stop you? It never would have stopped me.

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

    MY BLOG

  • magid's picture

    Go. If this is something that you're interested in doing, you have to give it a shot. For all you know he's a nice guy with a packed day who'd like to discuss career opps with a pretty girl over dinner. If he's a creepy dude, post back here and we'll figure that out next.

    Also, if he's serious about hiring you, he may want to see how you comport yourself in a dinner situation. If you're a girl and you're cute, he's going to want to put you in front of the people giving him money. You have to show that you've got the ability to speak intelligently and manners to spare.

  • Mitt Romney's picture

    Are you fucking kidding?
    You should definitely go.

    Even if it's going to turn out to be THAT kind of dinner, you really still stand to gain.

    I'm not concerned with the very poor
    -Mitt Romney

  • Going Concern's picture

    Just carry some pepper spray in your purse and you'll be fine. At minimum you get some free food.

  • In reply to DCDepository
    huanleshalemei's picture

    DCDepository:

    You'll learn fast that women in high finance are only as valuable as their sex appeal. That's about it.

    While what I said above was tongue-in-cheek, you're going to have to learn fast that you can't go around worrying about being hit on by men in NYC, whether in the office or in the bar. It's a testosterone driven business. If you're going to be like this before even starting then just forget about this business and do something else. You have a nice built-in advantage as a woman--sex appeal. Either use it (i.e. go to meetings with top hedge fund managers even if you're paranoid!) or check out of the business because unappealing women won't climb the ladder organically. The politically correct, easily offended, unpleasant woman is going nowhere fast in our biz.

    Is it fair? Nope. But that's life. Remember the old business adage: "All else being equal, people do business with those that they know, trust, and like." This isn't a PC university anymore--this is the real world, and being PC will get your buried at the starting line. It's something they don't teach you at Harvard.

    I am trying to determine my career path... Can you think of a few high finance positions where women can use their sex appeal to the maximum? Thanks :)

    The Auto Show

  • magid's picture

    HF receptionist. The one place where you can judge a book by its cover.

  • In reply to karypto
    Hooked on LEAPS's picture

    karypto:

    Bring a condom, or two, just in case!

    This is the worst piece of advice I have ever seen on this forum.

    Go raw dog and hope you get pregnant.

    Competition is a sin.

    -John D. Rockefeller

  • In reply to magid
    huanleshalemei's picture

    magid:

    HF receptionist. The one place where you can judge a book by its cover.

    No stupid receptionist please. I am a C.F.A. :)

    The Auto Show

  • In reply to DoubleBlack
    sl3539's picture

    DoubleBlack:

    Another thing to think about is, how much is a spot at top fund fresh out of grad school worth to you? I'm fairly sure there are members of this board who are dudes who would "go all the way" with this dinner for a spot lol.

    That's why I started to be tidbit skeptical about his intention. My qualifications are "okay" (engineering degree/3.4 gpa from top engineering school and 3.4-3.5(expected) from one of the most competitive quant master's programs) I wouldn't say I am not impressive enough or not intelligent enough but certainly not "qualified" for that level of position.

    But am I cute enough to be qualified for BYOB(bring-you-own-Bardot) dinner....? Maybe... Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

    So I am in the middle of the opposite ends... I think.

  • audaciou02's picture

    Do a lunch. Drop the boyfriend thing. If you're clever enough he won't be the wiser to what you're doing. Make it more of a schedule conflict rather than personal preference

  • In reply to huanleshalemei
    sl3539's picture

    huanleshalemei:

    magid:

    HF receptionist. The one place where you can judge a book by its cover.

    No stupid receptionist please. I am a C.F.A. :)


    My 2 cents as a fellow female... Being a CFA doesn't mean that you are really smarter than the receptionist. Should never look down on other girls just because you studied "longer" than them.... This is one thing I found unbearable among obnoxious finance girls.

  • In reply to sl3539
    huanleshalemei's picture

    sl3539:

    huanleshalemei:
    magid:

    HF receptionist. The one place where you can judge a book by its cover.

    No stupid receptionist please. I am a C.F.A. :)

    My 2 cents as a fellow female... Being a CFA doesn't mean that you are really smarter than the receptionist. Should never look down on other girls just because you studied "longer" than them.... This is one thing I found unbearable among obnoxious finance girls.

    Dear you are right, I do have an obnoxious and twisted mind :)

    The Auto Show

  • In reply to SirTradesaLot
    atwoodt's picture

    SirTradesaLot:

    I would go. My last interview started with drinks and dinner with a 50 something year old guy. Of course, I'm also a middle aged guy, so it's a little different. The point is that people go out to dinner for interviews, it's not that uncommon.

    My theory is that if he's a creeper, it's better to find out in the interview process than if you take a job there. Also, you said you think there might also be others at the dinner? In that case, without any question make sure you go.

    PS -- I completely disagree with DCDepository's comments. I have worked with plenty of women and it's certainly not common for women to be hired for their sex appeal. If so, the population of women in finance would look different than it does.

    100% agree with Tradesalot...Not sure what DCDepository's deal is (threatened by women much?) and where the circa 1960's mentality comes from (my former boss was female and kicked ass by the way), but just have dinner with the guy and pick his brain. Treat it like any interview, because that's likely all it is.

  • In reply to atwoodt
    sl3539's picture

    atwoodt:

    SirTradesaLot:

    I would go. My last interview started with drinks and dinner with a 50 something year old guy. Of course, I'm also a middle aged guy, so it's a little different. The point is that people go out to dinner for interviews, it's not that uncommon.

    My theory is that if he's a creeper, it's better to find out in the interview process than if you take a job there. Also, you said you think there might also be others at the dinner? In that case, without any question make sure you go.

    PS -- I completely disagree with DCDepository's comments. I have worked with plenty of women and it's certainly not common for women to be hired for their sex appeal. If so, the population of women in finance would look different than it does.

    100% agree with Tradesalot...Not sure what DCDepository's deal is (threatened by women much?) and where the circa 1960's mentality comes from (my former boss was female and kicked ass by the way), but just have dinner with the guy and pick his brain. Treat it like any interview, because that's likely all it is.

    Thanks for your advice. Just one question. I think many would go for dinner if invited. Especially if that guy is a managing director at a nice firm. But have you ever invited a fresh grad to a dinner for an interview? I just think this is quite unusual....

  • In reply to sl3539
    SirTradesaLot's picture

    sl3539:

    atwoodt:
    SirTradesaLot:

    I would go. My last interview started with drinks and dinner with a 50 something year old guy. Of course, I'm also a middle aged guy, so it's a little different. The point is that people go out to dinner for interviews, it's not that uncommon.

    My theory is that if he's a creeper, it's better to find out in the interview process than if you take a job there. Also, you said you think there might also be others at the dinner? In that case, without any question make sure you go.

    PS -- I completely disagree with DCDepository's comments. I have worked with plenty of women and it's certainly not common for women to be hired for their sex appeal. If so, the population of women in finance would look different than it does.

    100% agree with Tradesalot...Not sure what DCDepository's deal is (threatened by women much?) and where the circa 1960's mentality comes from (my former boss was female and kicked ass by the way), but just have dinner with the guy and pick his brain. Treat it like any interview, because that's likely all it is.

    Thanks for your advice. Just one question. I think many would go for dinner if invited. Especially if that guy is a managing director at a nice firm. But have you ever invited a fresh grad to a dinner for an interview? I just think this is quite unusual....

    Don't overthink it. Just do it and don't do anything stupid there.

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

    MY BLOG

  • fortes_fortuna's picture

    As a female, I say you should go, even if it's just you. I've been in your shoes (i.e. invites to dinner, musicals, etc). Just throw out hints that you're taken and suggest the place if possible. I tend to not over analyze these situations because sometimes people really are too busy to get lunch or they simply want to share their interests with a complete stranger.

    Option 1: via email, "Would dinner at 7pm work? I'm attending a reception at my boyfriend's firm yada yada."
    Option 2: Once you meet in person at the restaurant you can follow up when he asks how your day was.
    i.e. "It was great! I just attended a reception where my boyfriend was awarded yada yada"
    Option 3: Wear a ring on your ring finger. Doesn't have to be a diamond ring, but a ring that hints you're involved with someone

    This is not to say that I did any or all of these things at once. Just some things to consider trying. There are a lot of possibilities to this situation (i.e. mentor), but only one if you say no.

  • BatMasterson's picture

    My business card subtitle reads: "Even my enemies list me as their emergency contact" yet I would never ask a grad student to dinner for an interview like this guy apparently did.

    "I like money (as do most females) but love is...great :)"-student
    "Perhaps you've failed to take into account my hidden assets"-007
    Storm: Orig Mix

  • DBCooper's picture

    I guess the female perspective is a bit different...for me personally, there are one or two shops where I would slay a 50 year-old mountain troll if she got me an offer.

    Please don't quote Patrick Bateman.

  • audaciou02's picture

    Also if anything this is practice for you. If you're going to be in finance and invited to dinner don't just assume it's for sex, etc. See how it goes and remember you can't be forced to do anything you dont' want to.

  • In reply to watersign
    SirTradesaLot's picture

    watersign:

    Engineering undergrad, masters in quant finance..yadayayayda

    The real question here is, are you willing to take a cream pie?

    Trolls who are virgins always have an 'interesting' perspective on things.

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

    MY BLOG

  • kraken's picture

    bang him, get the brand name on your cv.
    You might even fall in love with him.

  • Andrés's picture

    Only bang him AFTER you see the offer.

  • In reply to atwoodt
    DCDepository's picture

    atwoodt:

    SirTradesaLot:

    I would go. My last interview started with drinks and dinner with a 50 something year old guy. Of course, I'm also a middle aged guy, so it's a little different. The point is that people go out to dinner for interviews, it's not that uncommon.

    My theory is that if he's a creeper, it's better to find out in the interview process than if you take a job there. Also, you said you think there might also be others at the dinner? In that case, without any question make sure you go.

    PS -- I completely disagree with DCDepository's comments. I have worked with plenty of women and it's certainly not common for women to be hired for their sex appeal. If so, the population of women in finance would look different than it does.

    100% agree with Tradesalot...Not sure what DCDepository's deal is (threatened by women much?) and where the circa 1960's mentality comes from (my former boss was female and kicked ass by the way), but just have dinner with the guy and pick his brain. Treat it like any interview, because that's likely all it is.

    You're an idiot. First of all, it's not my perspective--I clearly stated that it's not fair. But it's REALITY. This "1960s" worldview is prevalent in high finance. The only place in finance it's not prevalent is in the weaker forms of finance that get the weakest talent, such as the Federal Reserve, Treasury Department, Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac, HUD, home loan banks, FDIC, SEC, etc. If you want to work for these govern't and pseudo government pieces of crap organizations then sure, you'll have a ton of women and women bosses working 9-5s and pushing paper and getting 6 months of maternity leave and 30 days of vacation and bonuses not based on anything other than the arbitrary decisions of Congress or some "manager".

    If you want to work for organizations that are actually kicking ass and making money on their own merit then not being politically correct and uptight will serve an ambitious woman the best. If a man doesn't want to join an effeminate organization that forces him to take sensitivity training then he shouldn't sign up to work for Freddie Mac. If a woman doesn't want to work in a testosterone driven environment then she shouldn't sign up for Wall Street.

  • limlimlim's picture

    honestly, i think girls have a strength, which is guys are attractive to girls. Saying which, i guess most girls should learn how to use it WITHOUT compromising their values. I would suggest going for the dinner and network as much as you can. However i would advice having some back-up exit plan/things to drop during conversation i.e. I have to go my BF is waiting for me downstairs, I am engaged and planning for my wedding, you seem like an expert in wine, what reds do you recommend etc etc.
    hope this helps! have a good time!

  • fifteen's picture

    Am I the only one who thinks the whole " Can't because I have to meet my boyfriend" or " Gotta run now my boyfriend is waiting downstairs" is a bad idea? You're trying to network your way into a job on the street and the best you can do is to show them how you a)have no power in your personal relationship ( WHY would you let your boyfriend show up at dinner to pick you up without confirming when you'd be done?) and b) choose to hang out with your boyfriend over a networking/work/career related dinner? ( Which should be assumed that's how this is.)

    I'm a woman and I think you should go. Be the strong woman that you should be and impress him with your determination of making it in finance. Remember, you're a tough, you're strong, you will and deserve to get respect from this man and even if he was a creep, it's not like he can just straight up rape you at the restaurant. You hold the power to reject and put him in his place. And if you're not tough nor strong. GTFO.

    On a side note, if I was you, I'd start the conversation with how I appreciate this opportunities to discuss pursuing a career in finance and if you're really good you should look into his past achievements and focuses and try to learn a thing or two out of it.. or at least give him the impression of that at dinner.

  • GoodElevators's picture

    I recommend that you wear a really professional pantsuit. Put on some super professional glasses. Show him you mean business.

  • TDSWIM's picture

    Just go and quit over-thinking.

  • ke18sb's picture

    Go. Act normal and professional. Don't wear anything to fashion forward or revealing. Don't be flirty. Don't mention the whole boyfriend thing unless it gets creepy, otherwise its totally unprofessional and weird - especially if it was literally just a networking dinner.

    Downside is zero, unless you cross the line. Upside is huge.

  • miscer's picture

    just sleep with him and get the job. that's what i'd do.

  • CivilServant's picture

    sl3539:

    I started to do some kinda networking these days and went to few events. And at one event I met a guy who is a MD at one of top HFs and we talked for a while. I thought it went well. Anyway, he gave me his card and I sent him an email, thanking for his advice in general etc.

    He wrote me back saying "we can get together for dinner." I may be overreacting here but is it normal to invite a female grad student for dinner and "discuss career opportunities"...?

    I wouldn't hesitate to go for a quick coffee talk or whatever but dinner sounds just way too weird.......

    I don't want to give this 50-ish guy an impression that I will go for this pseudo date or whatever this is just to get a job at his firm or any other place....

    Problem is, I think he has some amazing talents and did achieve impressive stuff and would like to keep in touch with him.

    And I think he won't like it if I say NO to his invite. I asked him if it is okay to visit the office since I am very busy with thesis these days blah blah, but it doenst seem like he is gonna change his mind...

    He might be a super foodie and just loves talking about commodities trading over french cuisine at a sexy restaurant rather than coffee at his midtown office. I might not be the only one who is invited. Maybe he does invite everyone he met at the networking events for dinner....

    Is there any nice way to keep in touch with him and not go to dinner? Or should I just go?

    You have received some appalling advice in this thread (SirTrades post being the exception).

    I would definitely go. You would be amazed how meeting someone briefly at the right time can spark their interest. You will absolutely regret not going in the future if his interest is genuinely in your career.

    And look, in all seriousness, if it turns out that his only interest currently is sleeping with you, then you still have an entire dinner to convince him that your professional abilities are what should a) be of most interest; and b) the only thing on the table in the nicest way possible.

    My girlfriend is in fundraising and spends a lot of evenings wining and dining potential donors (often 50+ men) and yes there has been the odd incident where that person has been more interested in her than her organisation. However, she has always managed the situation politely and managed to grow a relationship with said person on a professional basis.

    Assuming you have the people skills to do that, you would be crazy not to go. Just my 2 cents.

  • Maximus Decimus Meridius's picture

    I haven't read all the comments because I got bored. Listen to SirTradesaLot, probably the only senior at a HF who posted here. Don't listen to all the college kids who haven't worked a day in their life, haven't been on the other side of networking and specially don't listen to all the retarded misogynists with their heads stuck in the 50s. There are plenty of women who got where they are without their looks, through hard work and talent. In fact the VP at my desk (made VP in 3.5 years BTW) is a female and trust me, she's not pretty at all.

    The invite is not as weird as you may think. All the senior traders at my desk meet with students at one of the bars near the office for beers or dinner if they are hungry. There have been a couple of girls among those, and trust me, there was nothing weird or sexual about it. I think this situation might be similar. You said he's in a Commodities fund, which means he won't be able to abandon his desk to meet with you during the day, which is why he asked you to meet at that time. People don't like being in the office, we spend our lives in the building and food/drinks seems the obvious thing to do. So yeah, he might be trying to pull smth, but he might also be genuinely trying to help. Just go, dress and act professionally, it's an interview (this means don't say "I have to go to meet by boyfriend" as if you were a 15 yr old girl), just talk like you would at any networking coffee and if he pulls something weird leave.

  • In reply to fifteen
    SirTradesaLot's picture

    fifteen:

    Am I the only one who thinks the whole " Can't because I have to meet my boyfriend" or " Gotta run now my boyfriend is waiting downstairs" is a bad idea? You're trying to network your way into a job on the street and the best you can do is to show them how you a)have no power in your personal relationship ( WHY would you let your boyfriend show up at dinner to pick you up without confirming when you'd be done?) and b) choose to hang out with your boyfriend over a networking/work/career related dinner? ( Which should be assumed that's how this is.)

    I'm a woman and I think you should go. Be the strong woman that you should be and impress him with your determination of making it in finance. Remember, you're a tough, you're strong, you will and deserve to get respect from this man and even if he was a creep, it's not like he can just straight up rape you at the restaurant. You hold the power to reject and put him in his place. And if you're not tough nor strong. GTFO.

    On a side note, if I was you, I'd start the conversation with how I appreciate this opportunities to discuss pursuing a career in finance and if you're really good you should look into his past achievements and focuses and try to learn a thing or two out of it.. or at least give him the impression of that at dinner.


    No, you're not the only one. I agree with you.

    Imagine if instead of saying:

    "I gotta go, my boyfriend is waiting downstairs"

    someone said

    "I gotta go, my parents are waiting downstairs".

    Almost everyone would agree that the latter statement is ridiculous, but in reality both statements convey that you are controlled by someone else.

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

    MY BLOG

  • Cmoss's picture

    i feel like this was a TROLL, and y'all fell for it.

    This thread is along the lines of "someone handed me the winning lottery ticket, should I claim the $300MM prize?"

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