1/27/12

In a nutshell, I recently finished my masters from a major target in the UK. I tried really hard for recruiting this year and had a few BB interviews but the markets being the way they are in London, wasn't lucky enough to land a job. Needless to say, it's been a horrible few months for me.

So I'm wondering, now what?

I do have good credentials (competitive degree, good grades, BB internship, high GMAT score, extracurriculars ). I thrive on that kind of competitive environment and do not want to settle for an average 9-5 job. What are some of the things I can do to stay in the game? There is really nothing left with the banks since it is off-season.

To prevent having a huge gap on my resume and to somewhat beef it up, I've thought about:

1) taking a post-graduate programming certificate (Java, Matlab, C#) which may boost my competitiveness in Sales and Trading and Research. The added bonus is that I may be looked at more like a recent graduate because of the additional education.
2) I'm also thinking about doing some academic financial research for a professor
3) CFA
4) Take a random back-office job (I'm afraid this will actually hurt my resume)
5) cold email funds for an unpaid internship (I know this is likely the best option, but stil need something to fill up my resume until I can land one)

Out of these options, what is the best way me to position myself for full time recruiting next year? I'm not so picky anymore about the exact job function anymore , but I know I want a challenging high-pressure high-reward job: I am looking at everything from S&T, IBD, Research, ECM/DCM, IM and Consulting (MBB).

Sorry for the lengthy post- I would really appreciate any advice !

Comments (112)

Best Response
1/28/12

I understand its tough - but I can't help being pissed off by people like you who whine about lack of "luck" and being "cheated" out of a job.

My girlfriend graduated from a master at LSE and it took her 1 year to find a job in IBD - in the meantime she worked at Starbucks while networking like hell and applying to every single place in Europe, including places like Glasgow, Liverpool and Manchester. She got eventually got a 1 year placement at a BB (a few weeks short of getting kicked out of the country because of visa status) but she didnt get an offer at the end of it. Again unemployed for 6 months. Then she got a spot at a small boutique (where I met her), later moved to a BB and 4 years on she works for the largest PE fund in Europe.

So my advice:
1. Stop whining and start behaving like a man
2. Start networking your ass off, and prepare for interviews and if you're so good as you say you are, you'll get the job you want. In the meantime, settle for something less i.e. BO or MO job, or unpaid internships in FO if you can afford it
3. Yeah its a recession but trust me it was 10x worse back in 2008, and people still managed. Stop finding excuses.
4. Tell you a secret about life - its not a box of chocolates. you can't always get want you want easily and sometimes, you will need to settle for something less glamourous or something you don't like as a first step to your dream job.

That said, good luck.

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1/27/12
1/27/12

I would recommend to do number 3 (aim to get Level II by December) and number 5. In addition, expand the funds to prop firms.

Wait and see what happens... number 1 could be an option but that starts in the fall...

1/27/12

You can come work under me.

Under my tutelage, you will grow from boys to men. From men into gladiators. And from gladiators into SWANSONS.

1/27/12

Ouch... I would have applied to some backups in MO or something just in case. Really consider it cause beggars cant be choosers

1/27/12

Not to bust your balls but given the # of areas you have been considering have you ever thought that maybe you came off as not having any idea what you want to do to recruiters? ---- Short story is a recruiter at a top MM told me after I didn't get an offer the reason I was ding'd was because they were not sure I wanted to be in banking as opposed to S&T, at the time they were correct as I had no clue what I wanted, when I stepped back and read into what each career entails, I decided IB was right for me.....there are a lot of boutiques out there looking for candidates at this time of year, have your considered sacrificing some pay just to get your foot in the door? After a year im sure if you network and have all the credentials outlined you'd be able to transfer into a larger shop.

its one way or the other: hate me or admire.

1/27/12

Use your ASSets if you have any.

Follow the shit your fellow monkeys say @shitWSOsays

Life is hard, it's even harder when you're stupid - John Wayne

1/27/12

3) definitely do this, especially if you have nothing else on your plate. Level 1 is not difficult if you studied finance in undergrad

4) there are "random back office jobs" and there are back office jobs that offer decent opportunities for someone in your position. I wouldn't rule this option out just because of a general stereotype.

if all else fails, go be a navy seal. that can't hurt your resume.

1/27/12

Id say go for the CFA probably the most relevant and will help you out the most. However, not sure how the UK views the CFA.

In reply to ron paul revolution
1/27/12
ron paul revolution:

3) definitely do this, especially if you have nothing else on your plate. Level 1 is not difficult if you studied finance in undergrad

4) there are "random back office jobs" and there are back office jobs that offer decent opportunities for someone in your position. I wouldn't rule this option out just because of a general stereotype.

if all else fails, go be a navy seal. that can't hurt your resume.

Change your name immediately.

Don't do L1 its a waste of time. Especially in this environment its what everyone is turning to in order to make themselves more marketable while not realizing that that time is better spent networking, chasing down leads, and practicing your non-regional diction

1/27/12

First thing, delete the other thread about your having an offer.
http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/leveraging-a...

Just saying. Next though, go do an internship while you keep looking. And get ready for the pain.

"...all truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident."

- Schopenhauer

1/27/12

Back Office Job = better than no job.

Plus it opens you up to networking to guys in FO.

If you're really that insecure about having it on your resume then just leave it off. At least you're getting paid and you have an opportunity to meet people.

1/27/12

damn bro, sorry to hear about your situation.

you might want to check out consulting, or some other areas of employers such as corp finance, etc.

btw, what major did you pursue at your grad school? If you did MSF, and didn't get FO in finance, that really sucks.

1/27/12

if you have good math and high gpa gre/gmat whatever, why not look at princeton and MITs msf?

1/27/12

Thanks for all the advice.

seabird, I don't intend to take that offer because I realized it's really different from what I want to do and not relevant at all. I don't understand what you are implying by saying that I should delete the post ?

In terms of MO roles, it was my mistake to not apply to any but at the time of recruitment I thought I had a great shot at FO, only finding out after I had already applied that many of the BBs weren't even hiring this year. Because they only let you do one application per year, this also shut me out of the MO applications.

I took extra care to make sure that all my applications to the different areas were tailored and read like I really wanted the role, so I dont think lack of focus was the issue... It simply boiled down to the fact a lot of BBs were hiring 0-5 analysts (not even exaggerating here) - I lost one of the jobs to an experienced hire and another one did not progress past first round after the headcount was lost for the position. I didn't apply to consulting this year, but it's just another option I have to explore now since as someone said, "beggars can't be choosers"

I'm not being choosy when it comes to boutiques or internships and would be perfectly happy with that, but have not had great luck with finding these either. I know doostang has a lot of posts but these are mostly in the US, which I don't have a work visa for.

Is 1) not really a good idea? I will have to take about 10 courses to complete the diploma/certificate from a local university, and I feel like it will actually be useful for S&T and research which I'm more interested in. Also, I'm wondering if it will almost be like delaying my graduation and giving me a better shot at the next recruiting cycle?

Thanks again for all the suggestions !

1/27/12

Raise some capital, start your own business and be your own boss.

Get you CFA or whatever you want to do to help pad your resume in the mean time...

A little entrepreneurial experience will never hurt your resume as long as you maintain your network.

In reply to ragnar danneskjöld
1/27/12
ragnar danneskjold:

Raise some capital, start your own business and be your own boss.

Get you CFA or whatever you want to do to help pad your resume in the mean time...

A little entrepreneurial experience will never hurt your resume as long as you maintain your network.

what kind of business are you talking about... just curious as to what people would do if they were to actually start their business..

In reply to Flake
1/27/12
Flake:

You can come work under me.

I know you're teasing but I would take that offer in a heartbeat lol

In reply to miss-chief
1/27/12
Lily_1988:
Flake:

You can come work under me.

I know you're teasing but I would take that offer in a heartbeat lol

You must not know flake...

Follow the shit your fellow monkeys say @shitWSOsays

Life is hard, it's even harder when you're stupid - John Wayne

In reply to miss-chief
1/27/12
Lily_1988:
Flake:

You can come work under me.

I know you're teasing but I would take that offer in a heartbeat lol

Trust us... you'd rather be unemployed with zero hope.

1/27/12

How long can you do #2 for? Might be worth doing that and applying for grad spots again next year, while diversifying into consulting this time

1/27/12

Am I missing something? She said she just finished her masters... why is everyone recommending more school? It's obviously not working out too well.

Your best bet is to talk to your finance professors first if they know anyone at boutique or MM firms. Talk to some of your friends who got offers and try to set up time to meet with them.

In reply to Revolution
1/27/12
Revolution:

time is better spent networking, chasing down leads, and practicing your non-regional diction

I just can't let this go unnoticed....

"There are three ways to make a living in this business: be first, be smarter, or cheat."

In reply to heister
1/27/12
heister:
Lily_1988:
Flake:

You can come work under me.

I know you're teasing but I would take that offer in a heartbeat lol

You must not know flake...

You're just jealous of my e-game.

Under my tutelage, you will grow from boys to men. From men into gladiators. And from gladiators into SWANSONS.

1/28/12

Haha

All joking aside, I can't afford more Masters degrees or an MBA right now-

Would a programming diploma not be useful for roles in market finance and make me a stronger candidate for next year? Most people don't seem to think it's a good idea.

In reply to Flake
1/28/12
Flake:
heister:
Lily_1988:
Flake:

You can come work under me.

I know you're teasing but I would take that offer in a heartbeat lol

You must not know flake...

You're just jealous of my e-game.

Teach me your ways!

In reply to miss-chief
1/28/12
Lily_1988:

Haha

All joking aside, I can't afford more Masters degrees or an MBA right now-

Would a programming diploma not be useful for roles in market finance and make me a stronger candidate for next year? Most people don't seem to think it's a good idea.

No unless you want to be pigeonholed into being a programmer or something. Finance is in a bloodshed right now. If that's what you really want to do, keep searching and applying and do a combination of option 3 and 5 but also look for a FT consulting or something decent (option 4).

In reply to Sandhurst
1/28/12
Sandhurst:
Revolution:

time is better spent networking, chasing down leads, and practicing your non-regional diction

I just can't let this go unnoticed....

Damn at least somebody did.

In reply to miss-chief
1/28/12
Lily_1988:

Haha

All joking aside, I can't afford more Masters degrees or an MBA right now-

Would a programming diploma not be useful for roles in market finance and make me a stronger candidate for next year? Most people don't seem to think it's a good idea.

I personally don't think that more school is a good idea. If you went to a target as you mentioned people would know that you didn't get a job. Studying on the side for the CFA might be good, but you still need something else. The thing about education is that you already have enough and your competition does as well. That is really not what will make or break you.Bottom line is work experience will be more valued at this point than further study. If you think you can find any decent work experience while you keep looking, great. Otherwise, go for the CFA plus some other activity and become a networking machine.

So I echo the advice given by other posters: focus on as few types of position as possible and network. And network properly. There are tons of resources online that teach you how to do it (plus you should reach out to friends, professors and mentors for advice on this). Even if you think you have a good handle on it, be humble and keep learning. Reaching out to people in the right way and presenting yourself properly will do more for you than more academic credentials. Reach out to everyone. Don't leave any stone unturned and follow up!

Acknowledge the official procedures and deadlines in your search, but ultimately you need to create your own opportunities. There must be some out there, you should get out there and try to find them.

Best of luck, man.

1/28/12

You don't want back office?

Great back office doesn't want you too. As a matter of fact no body wants you. Otherwise,you would have gotten an offer.

Some people would kill to just get a job but the shit head is being capricious and he can't even afford his MBA yet.

A job is better than no job

No one would remember the Good Samaritan if he'd only had good intentions; he had money as well.

1/28/12

network network network. cold e-mail AND cold call.

1/28/12

We might have found an canidate to be my assistant.

Follow the shit your fellow monkeys say @shitWSOsays

Life is hard, it's even harder when you're stupid - John Wayne

In reply to Yohoo
1/28/12
Yohoo:

You don't want back office?

Great back office doesn't want you too. As a matter of fact no body wants you. Otherwise,you would have gotten an offer.

Some people would kill to just get a job but the shit head is being capricious and he can't even afford his MBA yet.

A job is better than no job

LOL.... so crude, but kinda true.

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1/28/12

The phone is a great invention. Pick it up.

I've probably filled out hundreds to thousands of apps online and guess how many interviews that has landed me?

1.

A week or two ago I did 10 cold calls and guess how many I got?

3.

Again, pick up the phone and let these people know you're interested and persistent.

1/28/12

What rothy just said is crucial because we are dealing with a work situation that is specifically against us.
Networking is the one and only thing that you can control....the more people you know the more likely it is for you to make it. I have literally built a network within ms, gs, cs, jpm, and brock all from scratch....I absolutely had none to start with and now i have over 30 connections there that are all vp, ed, md status....built it all within 5 months.....the point of all this is that you need to make your own "luck" and "opportunity"

Beast

1/28/12
In reply to runningcitylikediddy
1/28/12
runningcitylikediddy:

keep on looking, dont give up

He will have to give up because he will never see what he is looking for. At least not in the next six months.

He wants a FO position but no FO wants him.
Now he needs to settle with a McDonald job, earn some cash instead of being a couch potato and network to get a job.

No one would remember the Good Samaritan if he'd only had good intentions; he had money as well.

1/28/12

Not trying to be an ass or anything, but you must be doing something wrong. If you go to a target school, have good grades and got interviews but didn't land a job it's your problem. You can't blame it on luck or the economic situation, because that's the same for everyone and there are plenty of people getting jobs and many of them come from worse situations than you do. So what you need to do is find out what you're doing wrong (have you asked your interviewers?) and fix it, going to school or making more applications won't help, you'll just get rejected again because of whatever you're doing wrong. Stop making excuses. BBs are only hiring 0-5 analysts? Maybe apart from the ones they already have signed after the summer internships, and the fact that you're not one of them is your fault too. And I even doubt that, otherwise I know all the new analysts and my friends are extremely lucky.

As to what to do while you fix that, I think your best bet is getting a MO/BO role (if you can) and try networking from there. Worst case scenario, you'll have to go get an MBA after a couple of years to transition to FO. Consulting would be better, but there's no way you're getting an MBB consulting gig if you can't get into banking (again, not trying to be an ass, but you seem a bit out of touch with reality)

1/28/12

Take up the offer you have on hand. Trust me, people would worry more about the gap on your resume rather than whether you worked FO/BO/MO.

I graduated three years ago and I am still unemployed. Have been supporting myself through doing various IBD placements. Took alot of networking. None of them led to an offer (for various reasons). My work permit situation didn't help either - I have to pretty much go for the large well-established firms who were in a position to sponsor me.

I can't tell you the number of sleepless nights I have worrying about my career/financial situation. I had the opportunity to work in a much less glamorous job, but I passed it on. Obviously, I wish I hadn't done that now. So, think twice about turning anything down.

I have pretty much ditched m&a, and focusing on other things now (think I have a month before I have to leave the country!). But it took awhile for me to reach that state of mind.

Good luck anyway.

rastarocket: nice ending to that story. hopefully something nice like that happens!

In reply to rastarocket
1/28/12
rastarocket:

I understand its tough - but I can't help being pissed off by people like you who whine about lack of "luck" and being "cheated" out of a job.

My girlfriend graduated from a master at LSE and it took her 1 year to find a job in IBD - in the meantime she worked at Starbucks while networking like hell and applying to every single place in Europe, including places like Glasgow, Liverpool and Manchester. She got eventually got a 1 year placement at a BB (a few weeks short of getting kicked out of the country because of visa status) but she didnt get an offer at the end of it. Again unemployed for 6 months. Then she got a spot at a small boutique (where I met her), later moved to a BB and 4 years on she works for the largest PE fund in Europe.

So my advice:
1. Stop whining and start behaving like a man
2. Start networking your ass off, and prepare for interviews and if you're so good as you say you are, you'll get the job you want. In the meantime, settle for something less i.e. BO or MO job, or unpaid internships in FO if you can afford it
3. Yeah its a recession but trust me it was 10x worse back in 2008, and people still managed. Stop finding excuses.
4. Tell you a secret about life - its not a box of chocolates. you can't always get want you want easily and sometimes, you will need to settle for something less glamourous or something you don't like as a first step to your dream job.

That said, good luck.

wow. this story is amazing...

1/28/12

most times, when somebody said "we liked you but had a better candidate", its because people are being politically correct (especially in the UK). Ask them what your weaknesses were (more diplomatic way of asking why they didn't take you) and you can try to work and focus on those points. Ask them about your strengths as well to get some well needed ego boost.

For networking, in the UK, calling people doesn't work as well as sending emails - use linkedin and get introduction from friends. Also, try to talk to hedge funds in London - there are thousands of them and some of them are doing extremely well. But DO NOT mention that you are unlucky / finding a job is hard / how many calls you made because there is big chance that they've been through much worse than you.

Lots of the jobs are not on efinancials - forget efinancials, I never ever got a job through a headhunter. They are only useful for lateral moves for experienced people or for people with spotless CVs.

I talked to a kid like you 6 months ago and he settled for a BO job at MS. I think its a neat place to start your career, at least for your first year. If your background is so good, you'll end up in FO in no time. But as I said, if you can get a unpaid internship in FO, I would definitely take that over a BO job,

In reply to rastarocket
1/28/12
rastarocket:

most times, when somebody said "we liked you but had a better candidate", its because people are being politically correct (especially in the UK). Ask them what your weaknesses were (more diplomatic way of asking why they didn't take you) and you can try to work and focus on those points. Ask them about your strengths as well to get some well needed ego boost.

For networking, in the UK, calling people doesn't work as well as sending emails - use linkedin and get introduction from friends. Also, try to talk to hedge funds in London - there are thousands of them and some of them are doing extremely well. But DO NOT mention that you are unlucky / finding a job is hard / how many calls you made because there is big chance that they've been through much worse than you.

Lots of the jobs are not on efinancials - forget efinancials, I never ever got a job through a headhunter. They are only useful for lateral moves for experienced people or for people with spotless CVs.

I talked to a kid like you 6 months ago and he settled for a BO job at MS. I think its a neat place to start your career, at least for your first year. If your background is so good, you'll end up in FO in no time. But as I said, if you can get a unpaid internship in FO, I would definitely take that over a BO job,

Thanks ratarocket! I make it a rule to always ask for feedback after interviews, and know what my strengths are and have tried to improve upon my weaknesses. In terms of the job I lost to an experienced candidate, it was not a a graduate position but an ad-hoc role (the BB is not hiring for graduate FT roles this year), so I think that was actually the reason as I was told honestly that they were taking someone with experience instead.

My concern about BO is that people here and my friends in FO always make it seem like you will be labelled "BO" forever. It's not that I think I'm too good for the job but that is what worries me - have you not found that to be true in your experience?

Your girlfriend's story is extremely encouraging! Did she encounter any problems in terms of justifying her gaps in her CV while she was working at starbucks when she was gunning for a BB job a year after her graduation?

1/28/12

well I started in BO, but moved out rapidly. Its true that is is very hard to break out from BO to FO, but it depends on the company. Also depends on your age and if you are young enough (<25) and hungry enough you will be ok, just don't stay there for more than a year.

You may want to try some other FO jobs like IBD or Corporate Banking, Structured Finance ,etc. or even some research work with smaller places, or consulting work. Not for your teacher though, but for a proper corporate or city institution. This is a much easier sell for a S&T job later on. Another friend of mine went from big 4 audit into FX trading so also have a go at big 4. Competition is fierce and the economy is bad - so you just need to go off the beaten path. But seriously, knock on the doors of the thousands of hedge funds out there, there must be a place in need of free labour somewhere.

1/28/12

have you tried places like M&G, the London Stock Exchange (excellent graduate programme for a potential move to S&T), the Ratings Agencies, and all those brokers Marex, Numis, Charles Stanley,etc. there is an entire world besides bulge brackets and banks ... and there is always the MBA option if you can't find a great job in the short term. Even go work for Bloomberg or Mergermarket and build a finance network and a great MBA story!!!

1/28/12

Have you thought of join a relevant professional society in order to attend their conferences / talks? They are useful to keep in the loop on what's going on in the industry, to meet people and learn about firms that you have never heard of etc...

In reply to rastarocket
1/28/12
rastarocket:

have you tried places like M&G, the London Stock Exchange (excellent graduate programme for a potential move to S&T), the Ratings Agencies, and all those brokers Marex, Numis, Charles Stanley,etc. there is an entire world besides bulge brackets and banks ... and there is always the MBA option if you can't find a great job in the short term. Even go work for Bloomberg or Mergermarket and build a finance network and a great MBA story!!!

Yes I've been exploring other options as well and applying whenever I have time. I am now considering IBD, IM and consulting ECM/DCM Structure Finance and whatever else since S&T recruiting has been especially bad. I'm just going to keep on sending in applications and hope that it works out! Thank you so much for all your advice. Truly appreciate it !

In reply to Relinquis
1/28/12
Relinquis:

Have you thought of join a relevant professional society in order to attend their conferences / talks? They are useful to keep in the loop on what's going on in the industry, to meet people and learn about firms that you have never heard of etc...

That sounds like a great idea.
Can you give me an example of the types of societies I can join ?(exclding CFA since that will require me to get chartered first).

1/28/12

societies dont help... just go to conferences and meet people (LSE conference, Finance Clubs conferences). Linkedin!!!!!

1/28/12

Its going to work out, just need to put the effort and when you will least expect it it will pay off. Networking is a good investment for the future too - someday, someone will be the guy who "made it all happen"

1/28/12

You should be able to join the CFA society in the UK as a "candidate" member or as an IMC member if you have done the IMC.

In real estate (my sector) there is the Investment Property Forum, but I doubt that that is useful to you. Perhaps there is an equivalent for sectors that interest you.

It might be useful to check out other conferences related to your area of interest, e.g. alternative investments, hedge funds, distressed investing, etc... These are organised by various different groups (IMN, etc...). A quick google search should show you which firms attend these. If you're not able to attend, at the very least you'll have an idea of what firms to target. Also, check out albourne.com

In reply to rastarocket
1/28/12
rastarocket:

societies dont help... just go to conferences and meet people (LSE conference, Finance Clubs conferences). Linkedin!!!!!

I didn't realise she was at the LSE. This is solid advice. Definitely reach out to your alumni, especially those who did the same degree.

1/28/12

Hey thanks for the advice everyone. I realize I may have come across the wrong way - I'm not trying to sit here and whine about the economy and taking off all the blame from myself. I'm asking for suggestions on how to keep plowing on and increase my chances for next year, and I'm explaining that in a normal year I would have a much better chance based on my credentials. I've had many friends and contacts in the industry look at my resume, and they all said I'm a strong candidate but the UK market is horrible.

And some of your criticism is a little harsh and unwarranted in my opinion:

True I didn't get converted after the internship , and I have explained the reason in another post- I worked my ass off and did get good reviews and an offer but it was later withdrawn due to the market downturn. That was really difficult but I sucked it up, got back on my feet and went back into the recruiting game. Can you blame me if I attribute that to a bit of bad luck?

I'm assuming you are mostly recruiting in the US- It 's a fact that recruiting is a lot better right now in the US than the UK. It is a matter of fact that many BB FT programs are not recruiting, and even people I know with 1+ year experience are applying for INTERNSHIPS . I have heard many recruiters and job searchers in the UK echo the sentiment that this is as bad as 2008 (if you don't believe me please check efinancialcareers articles). Very few people are getting interviews/offers even from my target school this year.

It's not just me in this situation I know, so I DONT intend to just sit here feeling sorry for myself.

As I said, I went to an interview with a BB but lost the position to an experienced hire (I don't think that's a problem with my interviewing ability as the team liked me) and another one where the final round was cancelled due to the market downturn. I'm also on hold at one BB after final round because although my other interviews were strong, I just couldn't click with one of the interviewers even though I tried- this is my own fault and I'm not blaming anyone or anything else for it lol.

Many of you are saying stop whining and start acting, but that's PRECISELY what I'm trying to do do! I'm trying to get the advice on the best things I can do to fill my time and my resume from you experienced people here.

I have started cold calling. I'm definitely not whining about having to cold call or put in the extra work or work for free and I'm not gunning for just BBs! - I am NOT being a couch potato and I'm actively trying to network while also working a contract job to support msyelf (which I dont intend to put on my resume), so please don't attack me based on false conclusions. I decided not to take the offer I had (that was akin to a backoffice job) because I thought that doing more schooling + doing research +(hopefully) doing an unpaid internship at a boutique would look better in the long run and I'm willing to live very frugally and work odd part-time jobs to support myself while I do that. Some people here and my friends in FO make the BO sound like the kiss of death when it' a full-time job, which is why I was very hesitant to take that offer.

Anyways I do appreciate all the good advice! Just felt compelled to defend myself against false accusations and misunderstandings so please don't take this the wrong way. Thank you all :) I wish all of us who are still recruiting the very best of luck!

In reply to rastarocket
1/28/12
rastarocket:

I talked to a kid like you 6 months ago and he settled for a BO job at MS. I think its a neat place to start your career, at least for your first year. If your background is so good, you'll end up in FO in no time. But as I said, if you can get a unpaid internship in FO, I would definitely take that over a BO job,

I'm not sure this is good advice. My friends who settled for BO in 08/09 found it impossible to get out. It seemed those who waited and kept trying (usually doing Masters etc) had much much better results than those with identical CVs bar the 1yr BO stint. It really is ridiculous how quickly BO pigeonholes you. The only firm that seems to give BO guys a chance in FO hiring is Citi.

Awon Eleyi Awon Eleyi Won Bad Gan:

How long can you do #2 for? Might be worth doing that and applying for grad spots again next year, while diversifying into consulting this time

OP, I posted this earlier and am surprised you (and everyone else in this thread) ignored this option completely. I actually think it's the most desirable option you have.

As for the rest of the comments, I think people are seriously underestimating how bad the hiring situation is in Europe this year. If I had to hazard a guess, I'd say FO grad hiring is down 50% at the minimum. @Rasta, I think it's useful to note that while your gf's efforts at getting a job were commendable, given that she's done an IBD + PE stint since then, it sounds like she broke in before shit really hit the fan. The role luck plays in all this is tremendous, but as they say, luck is what happens when preperation meets opportunity.

1/28/12

Thanks Awon,

I think I can do it for about half a year if need be, since I do have a contact. If I do this together with taking a course and studying for the CFA, would the gap on my CV be justifiable? (ie. Am I doing enough to justify that I'm not employed full time?) Laziness is not one of my faults contrary to what many people here seem to be suggesting, and I will do whatever I need to do to give my resume the maximum impact for next year.

Thanks for the unique perspective. One of my former classmates took a BO role and he already seems to have been pigeonholed in, and that scares me.

And thanks for your understanding about the situation in Europe. I'm not saying that I'm a complete victim of the market, but people who are putting me down here do not realize just how bad the situation is in Europe compared to the US where recruiting is actually happening. I essentially had one shot, since the other 2 interviews were lost causes due to the reasons mentioned above. Even this is relatively good compared to a lot of ppl who would usually be qualified but who could not land any FT interviews. Everyone is suffering in Europe.

In reply to miss-chief
1/28/12

Also Relinquis, I am from a school among the ranks of oxbridge/LSE but I don't really want to confirm the exact university. But either way my school's alumni network should be very strong so I will spend more of my efforts on trying to leverage that, thanks!

1/28/12

Hi Lilly,

In terms of enhancing your ed. profile, I would recommend you take IMC exam and CFA Level 1 or ACA Level 1 thereafter. Obviously MBA is overly expensive especially considering that you have just finished uni and would therefore naturally not maximize the full MBA experience.

In terms of Work Experience, unless you have a decent contact to sort you out with a well respected job, I would suggest that you consider and business ideas in order to take advantage of London Olympics 2012 (I assume you are living in London!).

You should also keep on top of networking and perhaps consider a voluntary organisation for short period.

Finally as a word of encouragement, I can assure you that there remains adequate demand for talented graduates across banking in London, however a contact would undoubtedly speed this process up for you.

Let me know your thoughts and I hope this helps.

1/29/12

Lilly, I think that the research plus the CFA should be enough for your resume, especially if the professor is from a reputable institution. Just make sure that you will have something to show for the time spent with him. People often ignore that it is not only the where you are doing something or the general description of it, but actually your achievements that will help your recruiting efforts. Of course you need to network.

Another recommendation is to stop thinking about "next year." You should be trying to recruit off-season. If you don't achieve anything then you can prepare for the next application period. In short, don't put your professional ambitions on hold for the next round of formal recruiting. I've met plenty of people in finance that got their jobs off-season because they happened to call the right person at the right time. I am not saying that this will happen to you, but you need to try.

In reply to miss-chief
1/29/12
Lily_1988:

Thanks Awon,

I think I can do it for about half a year if need be, since I do have a contact. If I do this together with taking a course and studying for the CFA, would the gap on my CV be justifiable? (ie. Am I doing enough to justify that I'm not employed full time?) Laziness is not one of my faults contrary to what many people here seem to be suggesting, and I will do whatever I need to do to give my resume the maximum impact for next year.

Thanks for the unique perspective. One of my former classmates took a BO role and he already seems to have been pigeonholed in, and that scares me.

And thanks for your understanding about the situation in Europe. I'm not saying that I'm a complete victim of the market, but people who are putting me down here do not realize just how bad the situation is in Europe compared to the US where recruiting is actually happening. I essentially had one shot, since the other 2 interviews were lost causes due to the reasons mentioned above. Even this is relatively good compared to a lot of ppl who would usually be qualified but who could not land any FT interviews. Everyone is suffering in Europe.

I don't see why there will be any major gap in your CV if you graduate this summer and work as the professor's assistant for 6 months till end of the year/jan 2013. That would be more than enough to qualify you for grad hiring in aug-dec. In the mean time, you can start preparing for consulting case studies as well as normal prep for the banking interviews. In the mean time, you can start reaching out to consulting alums.

Also, I think you should ignore the CFA + random other qualification comments. They won't help you at all.

In reply to Ash_nash
1/29/12
Ash_nash:

Lilly, I think that the research plus the CFA should be enough for your resume, especially if the professor is from a reputable institution. Just make sure that you will have something to show for the time spent with him. People often ignore that it is not only the where you are doing something or the general description of it, but actually your achievements that will help your recruiting efforts. Of course you also need to network.

Another recommendation is to stop thinking about "next year." You should be trying to recruit off-season. If you don't achieve anything then you can prepare for the next application period. In short, don't put your professional ambitions on hold for the next round of formal recruiting. I've met plenty of people in finance that got their jobs off-season because they happened to call the right person at the right time. I am not saying that this will happen to you, but you need to try.

1/29/12

No one is getting hired off-season at the moment. Banks are using a "wait and see" approach to see how things play out with Europe.

1/29/12

The UK IB market / recruiting is extremely peculiar. As London is the main European (not only EU) financial centre, there are numerous teams / functions, and it really involves lots of luck.

From the people I know, it's either a solid internship or family connections that landed them nice IB FO gigs (and yeah, undergrad interships are distributed randomly to people around). Other people have to struggle and settle for less atm. Networking is limited, I've never seen cold-calling/emailing work, people on LinkedIn either don't reply or tell BS (or I'm doing it wrong), so it's all about applications / connections introductions IMO.

A friend of mine had a solid interview with 2 MDs at a BB, and was not chosen simply because they had one or two guys from his country, and they needed another national to pigeonhole their coverage. And it's like that in London, true story. Even solid performers are sometimes ditched over specific needs of the extremely varied groups.

In reply to ShreddiesBrah
1/29/12
Awon Eleyi Awon Eleyi Won Bad Gan:

No one is getting hired off-season at the moment. Banks are using a "wait and see" approach to see how things play out with Europe.

Not Europe, but recently spoke to a number of firms in Hong Kong that are also using the wait and see apprach that you describe. They said that by March, April they will have more clarity, once they see Q1 results.

I am not saying that the OP will surely succeed at getting recruited off season, rather, I am saying that he needs to attempt it. As he networks and talks to people he will understand the job market better. By better I mean at the specific firm level, which is what he needs. And you never know when an opportunity might spring up, whatever form it might take.

I agree that the OP needs to be realistic, but he/she needs to forget about recruiting statistics and go for it!

1/29/12

Actually, I'm wondering if anyone can review my resume for me and tell me what I can do to improve my chances - I've already added in the academic research (since I've started on it a bit and know what I'd like to do) + CFA for now The middle work expeirence is my BB internship. My background prior to my master's is not related, so I deleted some of my prior experience that arent as relevant.
http://www.razume.com/documents/24130

I'd like you to be brutally honest. If you think I'm a lost cause, then I'll be realistic and consider other career paths.

Thanks again x

1/29/12

It's hard to review a resume that has 50% of its details redacted. I understand you probably want to remain anonymous as possible but what we -can- see doesn't tell us too much. Or maybe that's just me.

One thought- third work ex section.. "in a professional and compelling manner"? That sounds extremely awkward and tool-ish to me; maybe others have differing opinions but I would definitely rephrase that. "Assisted in" is a strange idiom, change that. It sounds too wishy-washy. Actually, tbh, your entire resume sounds a bit wishy-washy to me.

Currently: becoming a clinical psychologist... yep, I quit finance
Previously: M&A consulting (Big 4), M&A banking (MM), business research (HBS)

1/29/12

Thanks chic, haha I jus read that sentence and realized it was so awkward as well! I recently changed it without thinking too much and thought it was fine at the time but you're totally right.

Is my resume looking wishy-washy because 50% of it is covered or is there anything I can do specifically to make it less so? .. sorry I got a little paranoid as I have revealed quite a bit of info about myself here so I got carried away with the blacking-out haha . Looking at it now you can't really tell what I did at all...

In reply to ron paul revolution
1/29/12
ron paul revolution:

if all else fails, go be a navy seal. that can't hurt your resume.

If you're fine with working in NYC, military officer experience for a few years combined with target school education will get you into a top business school, and also make you a "diversity hire" target for banking and MBB. I hear this isn't the case in Europe though. You don't have to be a commando or aviator - there are plenty of infantry, surface warfare, and engineers too.

It also lets you work outside and play with cool hardware while learning to lead people. Pay is crap though.

In reply to waterboy
1/30/12
waterboy:
ron paul revolution:

if all else fails, go be a navy seal. that can't hurt your resume.

If you're fine with working in NYC, military officer experience for a few years combined with target school education will get you into a top business school, and also make you a "diversity hire" target for banking and MBB. I hear this isn't the case in Europe though. You don't have to be a commando or aviator - there are plenty of infantry, surface warfare, and engineers too.

It also lets you work outside and play with cool hardware while learning to lead people. Pay is crap though.

I know someone with 2.6 gpa who got into Harvard MBA. (he was my brother's classmate) He came from military background. Top b-schools really dig military experience. Then again, I don't know how many years you need to stay in military to reach leadership status, at which point you will be competitive for top b-schools. Also, for many, going to military just to get into top b-schools may be too much of a sacrifice. But if you have nothing going for you after college, I guess it's not that bad of an option.

In reply to miss-chief
1/30/12
Lily_1988:

Actually, I'm wondering if anyone can review my resume for me and tell me what I can do to improve my chances - I've already added in the academic research (since I've started on it a bit and know what I'd like to do) + CFA for now The middle work expeirence is my BB internship. My background prior to my master's is not related, so I deleted some of my prior experience that arent as relevant.
http://www.razume.com/documents/24130

I'd like you to be brutally honest. If you think I'm a lost cause, then I'll be realistic and consider other career paths.

Thanks again x

I don't need to look at your resume (which you deleted) to know that it is good enough for a number of the jobs you want. I do encourage you to polish the wording, etc.

A lot of members of this site get a bit fixated with the "if there was X job and a Harvard and a UVA graduate applied for it then the Harvard guy would get it." Don't listen to them! Not because there is no merit in that statement, but rather because it doesn't help. EVERYONE knows that prestigious schools (which you have in your background) and prestigious internships help a LOT! However, real life is not always a prestige competition were the person with the most points gets the job.

My point is that as long as you have a good resume, no one can (or should) tell you that it is not good enough for X position. I'm not gonna list examples, but a lot of people have gotten job over people that look 100X better on paper or might actually be better in actuality. Worrying about statistical chances of X resume getting Y job is not for people in your position.

Also, have you made sure that the previous "unrelated experience" did not provide you with relevant professional skills? Maybe you became a better writer, presenter or researcher. Those are useful for many, many jobs.

It seems like you have a good plan. Now you just need to follow through with it. As for the networking you might want to look into the Mergers & Inquisitions networking guide. Best of luck, man!

1/30/12

@Ash_nash and Awon- Ok it's reassuring that you both think the research experience will be sufficient to try to fill in a gap. Heeding your advice, for now what I will do is 1) do that research job 2) keep on applying 3) trying to network
4) work that contract data analysis job to support myself but dont put it on my resume (my resume only has space for 3 positions and I feel that the research one is much more market-relevant)
5) maybe CFA( one for vs one against haha)

Also, I DID hear in Sept/Oct that banks were trying to see how the Eurozone crisis resolves and how their 4Q2011 results would be before making hiring decisions and that they might unfreeze their hiring if things got better - obviously we know that Markozy still hasn't gotten a grip and this hasn't happened. Is there still a possibility that they may unfreeze FO grad headcount and do a late round of off-cycle hiring if things do actually get better after Q1 2012? (that would be awfully late for grad recruiting for sept 2012).

@Damnringo, omgosh tell me about it! I totally know what you mean about the randomness - I also feel that in Europe it's much more based on random things like what other European languages you speak and your country of origin, ESPECIALLY this year, with the grad programs essentially on hiring freeze and only ad-hoc recruiting occurring for specific desks.

The only person I know who got an FT S&T position got it because he happened to speak the 2 languages that a specific desk was looking for (this was also an ad-hoc desk-specific position at a BB that was on headcount freeze for the general grad scheme). Obviously he has other merits but I don't think he's better than the numerous other friends I know who couldn't even land interviews (in fact, many are far more qualified in terms of other skills, both technical and soft skills), so I'm not surprised something like that happened to your friend!
You really do need a bit of "luck" in Europe ESPECIALLY this year, as many of the key factors in the hiring decisions (what country you're from, European languages) aren't really within your control (you can argue that you should have learned more languages, but I mean c'mon, how could any of us have known that speaking a specific language like Finnish would be a absolute must to get that job in the ONE desk that's hiring this year?)

Yeah, I know what you mean about the networking. I've been trying to leverage some contacts, but the most I could get was a resume-review followed by something along the lines of "I think you're a strong candidate, but honestly the market is just so bad right now... I don't even know if my own job is safe. I'll try to see if anythingn comes up but honestly I don't know... ". Someone even passed on my resume to HR, but was told there was a headcount freeze. Maybe I'm not doing it right either, so I'm wondering how i'm supposed to do it! Would really like advice from people who have been successful with their networking efforts.

@Rob, Unfortunately I'm not actually living in London (I can't afford it in my current situation) but I go there quite often. I've actually thought of a voluntary organization as well, or going abroad to do some volunteering for a month or so (it's always been a dream of mine but I've always had a pretty hectic schedule and could never find a gap for it). I feel that in addition to being a life-long dream I can also give my resume more dimension that way. What are your thoughts?

Again, thanks for some of the great advice !

1/30/12

Thanks so much everyone!
Some really good advice and insight here, which I wouldn't be able to get all in one place anywhere other than the WSO.

I now have a much better idea of how to approach this situation and feel a lot calmer :)

In reply to miss-chief
1/30/12
Lily_1988:

Haha

All joking aside, I can't afford more Masters degrees or an MBA right now

in Germany, Netherlands,... university is virtually free for EU citizens.

You could e.g. apply for a Master in Economics at Mannheim?
They have an English track.
http://master.vwl.uni-mannheim.de/

Also, while the job market in Germany has seen better days, It's actually not THAT bad.
If you pick up the language in those two years you can work for Swiss banks as well.

In reply to Angelus99
1/30/12
Angelus99:

What rothy just said is crucial because we are dealing with a work situation that is specifically against us.
Networking is the one and only thing that you can control....the more people you know the more likely it is for you to make it. I have literally built a network within ms, gs, cs, jpm, and brock all from scratch....I absolutely had none to start with and now i have over 30 connections there that are all vp, ed, md status....built it all within 5 months.....the point of all this is that you need to make your own "luck" and "opportunity"

Teach me... How the hell did you do this?

1/30/12
1/30/12

I'd go with this :

5) cold email funds for an unpaid internship (I know this is likely the best option, but stil need something to fill up my resume until I can land one)

but don't just cold email. Contact alumni and go to conferences-ask to volunteer if they are too expensive. You need these people to meet you in person and like you. Is there anything about your background or coursework that is niche? Could you go to a regional conference ( MENA, ASIAN markets) or could you shape your story for a specific industry -energy, infrastructure, healthcare, etc...? Im going to PM you with more info

1/31/12

Still amazes me people aren't looking further afield like Australia. If Sydney's good enough for my ex-McKinsey, Harvard MBA mate, I'm sure most people would do ok there if you're really after prestige and big money roles..

"More Cowbell! I still need more Cowbell!"

1/31/12

Great advice, SodaBear. Expanding your reach geographic reach is a good idea.

Hong Kong could also be an option, but you need to be on the ground to network and pursue opportunities. You really can't network from Europe, except for setting up appointments for when you get there. I recently met 2 people that recruited off cycle in Hong Kong and told me that you absolutely have to be there. And since it is not guaranteed that you will get something it would be a tough decision.

Perhaps you can contact alumni from your school that are in these geographies and try to get a better reading of the situation. My sense from my connections there is that Hong Kong will be on a wait and see mode until Q1 results are out. Some jobs will require Mandarin and for others people that can speak Cantonese will be given preference, but there are positions (like trading) were you do not need either language.

1/31/12

Why did you not apply for Big 4 TAS?

Certain groups in Big 4 TAS are crying out for people now...my advice is to get in there for the following reasons:

1. In london big 4 does not have the same stigma as in US...plenty of people in good finance positions have come from Big 4
2. ACA is well respected in UK (unlike CPA in US)
3. Some of the Big 4 do some seriously interesting legit work...you will learn a lot and will likely get some things that look good on a CV

Ok so its not Goldman TMT but the upside is so much higher than BO (even MO)..you get good finance exeprience, interesting work and a well respected qualification while your netowrking.,....if you get something better in the mean time great but if not at least your not stuck in a dead end job with the clock ticking...your working towards something rather than worrying about spending too long in a bad job.

2/2/12

Anyone else lol at "consulting (MBB)"? How about looking at a slightly lower tier consulting firm?

In reply to Bernankey
2/2/12
Bernankey:

Anyone else lol at "consulting (MBB)"? How about looking at a slightly lower tier consulting firm?

This. I'd say it's too late for second-tier firms like OWFS/Accenture too. Look at boutique strategy consulting firms, they tend to be more informal with interviews too (just had one last week and another this week).

Currently: becoming a clinical psychologist... yep, I quit finance
Previously: M&A consulting (Big 4), M&A banking (MM), business research (HBS)

2/2/12

also a question re: cold calling : I seem to have been having much better luck with applying to postings on my school's career portal - Had only applied to about 10 jobs on it and had one first round( but then got screened out due to lack of work visa for the location since the company doesn't sponsor) and one offer (which I turned down because it was actually a lot less relevant than what the description on the posting claimed) . My cold calling attempts have meanwhile been dismal to be honest and are no where close to a 20% interview yield.

Is this normal? I mean it makes sense to me, because companies who post are actively looking to hire whereas when you coldemail, many places don't even want an unpaid intern whose usefulness is questionable and who may just "get in the way". If this is the case shouldn't I focus more on applying to the postings rather than cold calling?

2/2/12

Thanks for the suggestions. I should make it clear, during recruitment this year I was primarily focused on S&T and so options like Big 4 and consultancies didn't seem relevant to me at the time at all (again I was foolish enough to think that I had a good shot at FT S&T. But you have to understand this naive confidence came from the fact that friends who had similar credentials as me - same school, 1 bb internship, similar extracurricular involvement - in the previous recruiting cycles were able to secure interviews at virtually all the BBs and all land jobs ). Obviously now I've revised my expectations and am open to a lot more things.

Consulting is actually my least favorite option out of things I listed (I've interviewed with Mckinsey and made it to final round a few years ago but didn't personally love what I had learned of the work and the culture in the process) , so I'd like to put it off for now until I finish getting through some applications that interest me more (just found like 6 ER postings, and asset fund and PE internships on my school career portal this week).

In reply to ShreddiesBrah
2/2/12
Awon Eleyi:

As for the rest of the comments, I think people are seriously underestimating how bad the hiring situation is in Europe this year. If I had to hazard a guess, I'd say FO grad hiring is down 50% at the minimum. @Rasta, I think it's useful to note that while your gf's efforts at getting a job were commendable, given that she's done an IBD + PE stint since then, it sounds like she broke in before shit really hit the fan. The role luck plays in all this is tremendous, but as they say, luck is what happens when preperation meets opportunity.

This is so true. This is a US-centric forum, and most people do not know how bad the hiring situation is in London. BB have little hiring or none at all this year. I read somewhere that JPM IBD London only converted 20% of their internship class. That's quite pathetic for IBD and a firm with the "balance sheet", and its only going to be worst for markets-driven roles in S&T and Research.

For Bulge-brackets S&T, its almost impossible to get in through the grad programmes for fall 2011 recruiting in London. And the interns who got return offers (w/o getting rescinded) are just plain lucky. In banking, there are very few people that are true "talents", you just need to be lucky and be with the right team with good guys. When I say good guys, I mean guys who will actually be truthful and write your reviews based on your true performance. And not because you went to the same uni as him/her or because you are a public school kid.

Just keep trying... do the CFA Level + IMC + the programming cert (if you can afford to) + network. Ignore the people who say the CFA is useless, just think that you are at least doing something with your time. Networking with no results is equivalent to a GAP year in HR eyes when they are screening resumes come September when recruiting starts for class of 2013. If can't afford to study, apply to places like Bloomberg, Factset, M&G and Prop firms(only the ones that are salaried).

Just know that you are not alone, I actually know a guy who did 4 BB front office internships and could not convert it.... apart from the one in 2008 that got rescinded after Lehman collapse (which still counts as no return offer). I know another guy who did 3 BB fixed income trading internships and could not convert who is still struggling to get in.

Whatever you do... DO NOT take a "GAP" year and try to pass off a you went "travelling" for a year or did "volunteering" for a year. Nobody is going to buy that. Just take every opportunity to add value to your CV.

In reply to Zifferu
2/3/12
Zifferu:
Awon Eleyi:

As for the rest of the comments, I think people are seriously underestimating how bad the hiring situation is in Europe this year. If I had to hazard a guess, I'd say FO grad hiring is down 50% at the minimum. @Rasta, I think it's useful to note that while your gf's efforts at getting a job were commendable, given that she's done an IBD + PE stint since then, it sounds like she broke in before shit really hit the fan. The role luck plays in all this is tremendous, but as they say, luck is what happens when preperation meets opportunity.

This is so true. This is a US-centric forum, and most people do not know how bad the hiring situation is in London. BB have little hiring or none at all this year. I read somewhere that JPM IBD London only converted 20% of their internship class. That's quite pathetic for IBD and a firm with the "balance sheet", and its only going to be worst for markets-driven roles in S&T and Research.

For Bulge-brackets S&T, its almost impossible to get in through the grad programmes for fall 2011 recruiting in London. And the interns who got return offers (w/o getting rescinded) are just plain lucky. In banking, there are very few people that are true "talents", you just need to be lucky and be with the right team with good guys. When I say good guys, I mean guys who will actually be truthful and write your reviews based on your true performance. And not because you went to the same uni as him/her or because you are a public school kid.

Just keep trying... do the CFA Level + IMC + the programming cert (if you can afford to) + network. Ignore the people who say the CFA is useless, just think that you are at least doing something with your time. Networking with no results is equivalent to a GAP year in HR eyes when they are screening resumes come September when recruiting starts for class of 2013. If can't afford to study, apply to places like Bloomberg, Factset, M&G and Prop firms(only the ones that are salaried).

Just know that you are not alone, I actually know a guy who did 4 BB front office internships and could not convert it.... apart from the one in 2008 that got rescinded after Lehman collapse (which still counts as no return offer). I know another guy who did 3 BB fixed income trading internships and could not convert who is still struggling to get in.

Whatever you do... DO NOT take a "GAP" year and try to pass off a you went "travelling" for a year or did "volunteering" for a year. Nobody is going to buy that. Just take every opportunity to add value to your CV.

I really appreciate the support and advice from people who understand the UK job market and who have come to my defence. It's also nice to get some more confirmation that I'm not "delusional about my abilities" or a"shithead" for being in this situation (sorry but I do hold a grudge when people are rude for no reason!). I appreciate constructive criticism but some of the stuff people said were just plain rude and condescending. I'm happy you and your friends all got FO roles in the US but I you would have probably been stuck in this exact same situation had you been recruiting for S&T in London. Then maybe it would have irked you just a little when someone implies that you couldn't get ajob because you're somehow inferior and you're over exaggerating about how bad the recruitment is to cover up your inability. Why do I think I'm good enough for a FO role? because I ACTUALLY GOT a FO role, until it was taken away. Anyways sorry about the rant. A gal sure does get moody once in a while.

It's scary to hear about people with 4 BB internships who are still unable to get in, although I'm not actually that surprised considering how quiet it has been on the recruiting front. I'm gonna settle on the CFA+ programming maybe+ research while coldcalling and emailing for some internships. I'm also thinking of diversifying out to other geographical locations when applying next year if London doesn't get at least a little bit better.

In reply to miss-chief
2/3/12
Lily_1988:

It's also nice to get some more confirmation that I'm not "delusional about my abilities" or a"shithead" for being in this situation (sorry but I do hold a grudge when people are rude for no reason!). I appreciate constructive criticism but some of the stuff people said were just plain rude and condescending.

Better get used to it -- you DO want to work in banking, right? I'm not sure if people who can't handle rudeness can survive long in that kind of environment. Didn't you work in a BB over the summer? Surely you've seen analysts blow up at you for no reason (or associates to analysts, or VPs to... you get my point). I think a lot of the comments here are blunt and could be phrased more politely, but behind all the crude jokes and name-calling there's a grain of truth. Don't discount that -- these are the types of people who you'll work with and make the calls on your resume. I agree the markets are tough, but I'm not sure that passive-aggressive whining/self-justification (about how other people think -you're- whining) indicates the best personality a hiring manager would want. Just my 2c.

Currently: becoming a clinical psychologist... yep, I quit finance
Previously: M&A consulting (Big 4), M&A banking (MM), business research (HBS)

2/3/12

^ Well said.

Under my tutelage, you will grow from boys to men. From men into gladiators. And from gladiators into SWANSONS.

In reply to chicandtoughness
2/3/12
chicandtoughness:
Lily_1988:

It's also nice to get some more confirmation that I'm not "delusional about my abilities" or a"shithead" for being in this situation (sorry but I do hold a grudge when people are rude for no reason!). I appreciate constructive criticism but some of the stuff people said were just plain rude and condescending.

Better get used to it -- you DO want to work in banking, right? I'm not sure if people who can't handle rudeness can survive long in that kind of environment. Didn't you work in a BB over the summer? Surely you've seen analysts blow up at you for no reason (or associates to analysts, or VPs to... you get my point). I think a lot of the comments here are blunt and could be phrased more politely, but behind all the crude jokes and name-calling there's a grain of truth. Don't discount that -- these are the types of people who you'll work with and make the calls on your resume. I agree the markets are tough, but I'm not sure that passive-aggressive whining/self-justification (about how other people think -you're- whining) indicates the best personality a hiring manager would want. Just my 2c.

How do you know that's the persona I project when I'm recruiting? I just don't like it when people put words into my mouth, and even less when they make assumption like oh you're just whining and doing nothing when it's been the exact opposite. I've been working my butt off applying everywhere and recruiting while living out of a suitcase. I came here for advice on what to do, and some posts (like your first one) are telling me to do something instead of whining about the market . Well isn't that what I'm doing?
I'm not a whiny person by nature and I have been resilient throoughout this whole process. This took a lot of soul searching and strength on my part, so that's why it pisses me off when people get patronizing and make assumptions.

Let's not make this into a pissing match- I would not normally take offence to this to that extent but I'm just moody today hah (hormones)

And to be frank with you, pretty much everyone I met on the trading floor was nice and respectful. Maybe I was lucky, but I don't think all people in finance are or need to be jerks. If this forum were the bank I worked at, I obviously would suck it up, but it's not. Fair enough?

In reply to miss-chief
2/3/12
Lily_1988:

How do you know that's the persona I project when I'm recruiting? I just don't like it when people put words into my mouth, and even less when they make assumption like oh you're just whining and doing nothing when it's been the exact opposite. I've been working my butt off applying everywhere and recruiting while living out of a suitcase. I came here for advice on what to do, and some posts (like your first one) are telling me to do something instead of whining about the market . Well isn't that what I'm doing?
I'm not a whiny person by nature and I have been resilient throoughout this whole process. This took a lot of soul searching and strength on my part, so that's why it pisses me off when people get patronizing and make assumptions.

Let's not make this into a pissing match- I would not normally take offence to this to that extent but I'm just moody today hah (hormones)

Girl, chillax. I'm not discounting how hard you've worked and neither is anyone else. Everyone knows the markets have sucked ever since 2008; [almost] everyone knows what it feels like to cold-call 50 firms and only get 5 responses. We come onto WSO to blow off some steam, and that's okay (I made a thread myself where I also whine about not having an FT offer). What's not okay is once everyone has given you some trustworthy advice, you're still somehow trying to justify why you don't have an offer, or you discount their advice because it wasn't said in a "constructive" manner. I'm just saying that even the guys who come and crack distasteful jokes know their shit -- if they're saying you're "delusional about your abilities", maybe that's a cue that you don't sound as knowledgeable as you say you do; if they say you're a "shithead", maybe they think that unless you change your attitude overall, there's no way you're going to make it. No one is making "assumptions" about you - we're telling you what we see based on the personality you've projected to -us-. Because really, on what else are we going to give you feedback?

Also, if this is your usual personality and you purposefully create a new one during recruiting, maybe that's also a flaw that's preventing you from getting an offer. It was definitely one of my biggest flaws during OCR. I find that I tend to get more superdays when I just act like myself during a first round, as opposed to fitting myself to a mold.

Also: hormones aren't a legit excuse, EVER. Now get out there and kick some ass on your job search.

Currently: becoming a clinical psychologist... yep, I quit finance
Previously: M&A consulting (Big 4), M&A banking (MM), business research (HBS)

In reply to chicandtoughness
2/3/12
chicandtoughness:
Lily_1988:

How do you know that's the persona I project when I'm recruiting? I just don't like it when people put words into my mouth, and even less when they make assumption like oh you're just whining and doing nothing when it's been the exact opposite. I've been working my butt off applying everywhere and recruiting while living out of a suitcase. I came here for advice on what to do, and some posts (like your first one) are telling me to do something instead of whining about the market . Well isn't that what I'm doing?
I'm not a whiny person by nature and I have been resilient throoughout this whole process. This took a lot of soul searching and strength on my part, so that's why it pisses me off when people get patronizing and make assumptions.

Let's not make this into a pissing match- I would not normally take offence to this to that extent but I'm just moody today hah (hormones)

Girl, chillax. I'm not discounting how hard you've worked and neither is anyone else. Everyone knows the markets have sucked ever since 2008; [almost] everyone knows what it feels like to cold-call 50 firms and only get 5 responses. We come onto WSO to blow off some steam, and that's okay (I made a thread myself where I also whine about not having an FT offer). What's not okay is once everyone has given you some trustworthy advice, you're still somehow trying to justify why you don't have an offer, or you discount their advice because it wasn't said in a "constructive" manner. I'm just saying that even the guys who come and crack distasteful jokes know their shit -- if they're saying you're "delusional about your abilities", maybe that's a cue that you don't sound as knowledgeable as you say you do; if they say you're a "shithead", maybe they think that unless you change your attitude overall, there's no way you're going to make it. No one is making "assumptions" about you - we're telling you what we see based on the personality you've projected to -us-. Because really, on what else are we going to give you feedback?

Also, if this is your usual personality and you purposefully create a new one during recruiting, maybe that's also a flaw that's preventing you from getting an offer. It was definitely one of my biggest flaws during OCR. I find that I tend to get more superdays when I just act like myself during a first round, as opposed to fitting myself to a mold.

Also: hormones aren't a legit excuse, EVER. Now get out there and kick some ass on your job search.

Right, because I haven't thanked people over and over again for the good advice when it was actually given. I do appreciate the insight that many people here have offered. How have I discounted any advice? Please look back and you'll see that I've tried to personally work all the advice into my plan of action and have tried to thank everyone who has given me good advice. Many people have also PM'd me regarding the lack of understanding here about the real situation in the UK, so me not getting a job may or may not be because of a personality flaw that people here perceive me to have. (for the record, I'm totally normal thank you)

Look I'm not trying to get catty here with you, but I do want to defend myself where it's due.

Anyways I need to chill out haha

In reply to miss-chief
2/3/12
Lily_1988][quote=chicandtoughness:
Lily_1988:

How do you know that's the persona I project when I'm recruiting? I just don't like it when people put words into my mouth, and even less when they make assumption like oh you're just whining and doing nothing when it's been the exact opposite. I've been working my butt off applying everywhere and recruiting while living out of a suitcase. I came here for advice on what to do, and some posts (like your first one) are telling me to do something instead of whining about the market . Well isn't that what I'm doing?
I'm not a whiny person by nature and I have been resilient throoughout this whole process. This took a lot of soul searching and strength on my part, so that's why it pisses me off when people get patronizing and make assumptions.

Let's not make this into a pissing match- I would not normally take offence to this to that extent but I'm just moody today hah (hormones)

Girl, chillax. I'm not discounting how hard you've worked and neither is anyone else. Everyone knows the markets have sucked ever since 2008; [almost] everyone knows what it feels like to cold-call 50 firms and only get 5 responses. We come onto WSO to blow off some steam, and that's okay (I made a thread myself where I also whine about not having an FT offer). What's not okay is once everyone has given you some trustworthy advice, you're still somehow trying to justify why you don't have an offer, or you discount their advice because it wasn't said in a "constructive" manner. I'm just saying that even the guys who come and crack distasteful jokes know their shit -- if they're saying you're "delusional about your abilities", maybe that's a cue that you don't sound as knowledgeable as you say you do; if they say you're a "shithead", maybe they think that unless you change your attitude overall, there's no way you're going to make it. No one is making "assumptions" about you - we're telling you what we see based on the personality you've projected to -us-. Because really, on what else are we going to give you feedback?

Also, if this is your usual personality and you purposefully create a new one during recruiting, maybe that's also a flaw that's preventing you from getting an offer. It was definitely one of my biggest flaws during OCR. I find that I tend to get more superdays when I just act like myself during a first round, as opposed to fitting myself to a mold.

Also: hormones aren't a legit excuse, EVER. Now get out there and kick some ass on your job search.

Look, all I'm trying to say is :
my intitial post - my situation, a little whining, I'm trying to do these things to try to do something about it - research, study, coldcall. what do you think is the best plan of action?
some of the responses - well stop being a lazy, self-indulgent and whiny idiot, do something about it.

Umm ok...

Obviously many posters have been extremely helpful and I think I've expressed my gratitude.

In reply to miss-chief
2/3/12

Either way, best of luck on your job search too!

In reply to miss-chief
2/3/12
In reply to fmjohns
2/3/12
fmjohns:
Angelus99:

What rothy just said is crucial because we are dealing with a work situation that is specifically against us.
Networking is the one and only thing that you can control....the more people you know the more likely it is for you to make it. I have literally built a network within ms, gs, cs, jpm, and brock all from scratch....I absolutely had none to start with and now i have over 30 connections there that are all vp, ed, md status....built it all within 5 months.....the point of all this is that you need to make your own "luck" and "opportunity"

Teach me... How the hell did you do this?

Lots of stress and hard work....cold emails, warm emails, emailed people from linkedin, magazines, off internet articles...didnt hurt that im a salesman and that my email was coming from a top 3 bb....still working on getting to sales side of s&t...It's a hard world out there

Beast

2/3/12

btw lily, I understand how stressful this must be for you and all i can say is keep fighting it out

Beast

2/3/12

Cold-calling is challenging so if applications are working better for you, that's great. But I think you need to put networking with alumni or whoever first. You aren't go to hear back from everyone and some will take a week or two to schedule a call with you, so email a bunch now, schedule the calls or meetings, and then start preparing for those while you do apps/cold calls on the side.

You could get a job through any of these modes. But in a tough market, personal relationships will help you to find the unadvertised openings and put you ahead of others who only submit resumes. I was recently working at a top boutique investment bank and they were reviewing 100+ resumes for one position. But anyone with a personal connection got top consideration as long as they met threshold requirements (admittedly high but my point is that it's not merit after a certain level of qualification)- even if they didn't have a banking background at all. They were prioritized over solid top mba applicants with a bit more relevant experience.

Also, if you get a good network going, that will help you transition in case you take a job 'for now' and want to move in a few years.

In reply to miss-chief
2/3/12
Lily_1988:

Is 1) not really a good idea? I will have to take about 10 courses to complete the diploma/certificate from a local university, and I feel like it will actually be useful for S&T and research which I'm more interested in

why? I could perhaps make up a REALLY far-fetched argument for S&T.. but Research?

2/4/12

Hi all,

I am new to the website and would like to reAeach more about the treasury sales program specially atari Jpmorgan. I have been offered a position within their sales analyst sum program and would like any sort of input about the sort of work I might be getting expose to and the expectations specially if tis not a investment banking but e treasury services line of business. I would also like to ask if there are exit opportunities to like other desks like quitties or fx or commodities within the firm. If possible could someone also give me some insight about the starting base salaries and sort of bonuses to expect. I eally would like to learn about TSS as not a lot of website talk about it and to me it seems an interesting side of the business to start the career in finance.

Thanks

In reply to worthchanging
2/4/12
worthchanging:
Lily_1988:

Is 1) not really a good idea? I will have to take about 10 courses to complete the diploma/certificate from a local university, and I feel like it will actually be useful for S&T and research which I'm more interested in

why? I could perhaps make up a REALLY far-fetched argument for S&T.. but Research?

We use Java and C# all the time.

EDIT
That was me being sarcastic by the way.

Under my tutelage, you will grow from boys to men. From men into gladiators. And from gladiators into SWANSONS.

In reply to Sikandar89
2/4/12
Sikandar89:

Hi all,

I am new to the website and would like to reAeach more about the treasury sales program specially atari Jpmorgan. I have been offered a position within their sales analyst sum program and would like any sort of input about the sort of work I might be getting expose to and the expectations specially if tis not a investment banking but e treasury services line of business. I would also like to ask if there are exit opportunities to like other desks like quitties or fx or commodities within the firm. If possible could someone also give me some insight about the starting base salaries and sort of bonuses to expect. I eally would like to learn about TSS as not a lot of website talk about it and to me it seems an interesting side of the business to start the career in finance.

Thanks

Get your own fucking thread.

Under my tutelage, you will grow from boys to men. From men into gladiators. And from gladiators into SWANSONS.

In reply to Flake
2/5/12
Flake:
worthchanging:
Lily_1988:

Is 1) not really a good idea? I will have to take about 10 courses to complete the diploma/certificate from a local university, and I feel like it will actually be useful for S&T and research which I'm more interested in

why? I could perhaps make up a REALLY far-fetched argument for S&T.. but Research?

We use Java and C# all the time.

EDIT
That was me being sarcastic by the way.

I'm actually pretty surprised that many people are saying this. From my limited exposure, it seemed like something that would help. For example, algo trading desks and even other quantitative trading and research desks took interns with a programming background. I'm not saying that I will actually use it on the job, but isn't it be something that could boost my resume a little bit, especially for generalist rotation programs since I would viewed as being more technical and potentially useful for more desks? Also it seems like a lot of ad-hoc postings from the buyside list a few porgramming languages under requirements.

Would really appreciate feedback on this!

In reply to miss-chief
2/8/12
Lily_1988:
Flake:
worthchanging:
Lily_1988:

Is 1) not really a good idea? I will have to take about 10 courses to complete the diploma/certificate from a local university, and I feel like it will actually be useful for S&T and research which I'm more interested in

why? I could perhaps make up a REALLY far-fetched argument for S&T.. but Research?

We use Java and C# all the time.

EDIT
That was me being sarcastic by the way.

I'm actually pretty surprised that many people are saying this. From my limited exposure, it seemed like something that would help. For example, algo trading desks and even other quantitative trading and research desks took interns with a programming background. I'm not saying that I will actually use it on the job, but isn't it be something that could boost my resume a little bit, especially for generalist rotation programs since I would viewed as being more technical and potentially useful for more desks? Also it seems like a lot of ad-hoc postings from the buyside list a few porgramming languages under requirements.

Would really appreciate feedback on this!

Yeah because they're quants or something similar. Good ol' vanilla equity research has 0 need for programming.

For S&T, sure it would probably look good on the resume but what do I know about S&T? Probably very little.

Under my tutelage, you will grow from boys to men. From men into gladiators. And from gladiators into SWANSONS.

2/8/12

Maybe the first thing to do is step back and figure out exactly what job function you want; learn exactly what that job entails. From your posts, it doesn't seem as if you have a precise idea of what you want. That was one of my biggest flaws in the beginning too. I actually interviewed with a firm that said, "Yeah, we thought you were an amazing candidate and we would have taken you because one of the MDs really liked you, but the rest of us just weren't sure if IB was exactly what you wanted."

Lily_1988:

I'm not so picky anymore about the exact job function anymore , but I know I want a challenging high-pressure high-reward job: I am looking at everything from S&T, IBD, Research, ECM/DCM, IM and Consulting (MBB).

I hope that's not what you tell people when you network with them...! There's a reason why we're instructed never to answer with "I'm also considering consulting" during banking interviews, haha. Either way, I think step one is to figure out exactly where you want to be and focus your energies on ventures that will improve your chances for that area. Beggars can't be choosers, but if you focus on one or two specific areas, you can go for depth rather than breadth... which is always more impressive than a jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none ordeal.

Currently: becoming a clinical psychologist... yep, I quit finance
Previously: M&A consulting (Big 4), M&A banking (MM), business research (HBS)

In reply to Flake
2/9/12
Flake:

Yeah because they're quants or something similar. Good ol' vanilla equity research has 0 need for programming.

For S&T, sure it would probably look good on the resume but what do I know about S&T? Probably very little.

Flake, pardon me for my ignorance, but are you in ER? Would you say FICC research would be more programming heavy? My most ideal job would be FICC research ( I know it's a long shot which is why I've diversified my choices substantially), but I don't feel nearly qualified enough for it without all the techy and quant stuff. I just always had the impression that the rates research ppl were really quantitative (but not actual quants who appear to be sequestered in their own little corner)

2/9/12

Chic, while I do appreciate your advice on this, please rest assured that I am not that naive! haha I do make sure I tailor all my applications and networking emails to sound as if whatever I'm applying for is the only thing I want to do with my life (as pathetic as that sounds lol ). I would also never give any indication that I'm considering anything else but the role being discussed for in my interviews - I do have a pitch prepared for every one of those roles.

the reason why I'm being so broad with my career choice is well.. I learned from my mistake of being too specific , and really need to broaden my horizons. I'm mainly focused on research (equity and FICC), sales and trading and IBD, but will start to apply to the other jobs if none of these pan out. I felt that reserach, s &T, ibd and ECM/DCM were all kind of interrelated at this point in my (non)career. For example research<-> S&T,
IBD<-> ER, S&T<->DCM/ECM<->IBD etc
Whatever works out for me at the moment will be the direction I go in from here on.

Also, one thing I realized is that we won't really know whether or not we would love something without having tried it first. I was dead-set on equity research before I did my internship this summer. However, it was a really humbling experience as I got exposure to many different roles and securities (sales, trading, ecm/dcm, structuring and fixed income research) through work shadowing and networking during my internship. What I learned was that while ER is great, it's actually not my first choice anymore. many of these roles are really exciting and stimulating in their own ways and I feel that I would be happy in them.

I actually have a BB off-cycle, hedge fund, and ER interview lined up, so hopefully one of these will pan out ...

2/9/12

Lily,

I am a bit surprised no-one else has pointed this out before, but programming skills can be helpful but please remember that they are a tool and not a goal in their own right. Programming skills will be helpful for some jobs but hardly beneficial for many others.

Programming can be valuable in trading, research or structuring and is invaluable for quant positions. Mastery of C is often desired for quants or algo traders, but for most other positions I'd suggest you'd stick with VBA. Its is not elegant or efficient but it is easy to learn and integrates with your Excel spreadsheets without any pain. For those reasons, VBA is the most commonly used language on most (trading) desks.

Generally speaking, programming skills would help you the most if you are after a trading position. They have some application on certain research desks (mostly FICC or macro) and structuring desks but don't count for much in sales.

If you want to learn how to program, first carefully think what your ideal position, or asset class, would be and learn how to produce models or applications that are relevant for that job. For rates trading you could write and calibrate the Libor or Hull-White model in its basic form, for credit trading you could look into the KMVmodel, learn how to price digital options through replication and model if you're after equity derivatives, etc.

Is it worth getting an official certification? Not really, it is your relevant skills that matter and nothing else. A candidate who understands pricing models and can put these into sloppy code will be viewed more favorably than a candidate who writes fantastic code but has limited understanding of the model.

With the risk of rubbing you the wrong way, I would strongly recommend to narrow down your search and focus on one or two specific areas that really get your heart going. IBD, ER, DCM, and FX trading might be interrelated in theory but their every-day reality differs tremendously and few people would be equally happy in all of them. No matter how well you tailor your pitch to each application, you cannot fake genuine enthousiasm and interest. It may not be conscious, but interviewers will pick up on the fact that one qualified applicant would quite literally give an arm and a leg for the position while the other would just as well equally happy with very different job across the street.

In any case, good luck with your search!

2/11/12

Viscio I really appreciate the insight regarding the usefulness of programming on certain desks. The purpose of getting the certification was merely to maintain my "student/new grad" status and qualify for new grad recruiting next year, Ive now realized that BBs in the UK take new analysts even a year out of school, so I'm most likely scratching that idea.

I know it sounds like I have no clear idea of what I want to do - and to a certain extent that is true. I really like the markets as well as financial modelling and valuation, so I feel I would genuinely be happy with a variety of roles including sales, research, ecm/dcm, ibd.

After getting completely killed in recruitment this year in S&T(which took even less than ibd), I really regretted not applying to a bigger variety of roles. For example, I completely ruled out consulting because I wanted to streamline my recruiting and feel like I missed some good opportunities in hindsight - I actually would have had a decent shot of getting invited to the test with Mckinsey ( I had interviewed with them in the past before my Master's and got to final round and made some connections there - got some good reviews and was told to apply back after my Master's). I felt that should start playing it safe from now on and diversifying into ECM/DCM and IBD applications at the very least.

On a related note, I do have my first ever IBD interview coming up, and was wondering if anyone knew how advanced the valuations and accounting questions would be. For example, if I review the vault guide and looked through all the questions on ibankingfaq.com, would that be enough? Should I also have a good idea of current high-profile transactions, and what would be a good source for those apart from the FT?

2/11/12

Get the BIWS guide. Seriously, it was the best thing I bought for interview prep.
Check the firm's website, they usually post about their recent transactions, which is something you should definitely know about.

Currently: becoming a clinical psychologist... yep, I quit finance
Previously: M&A consulting (Big 4), M&A banking (MM), business research (HBS)

In reply to chicandtoughness
2/13/12

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In reply to miss-chief
2/13/12

"After you work on Wall Street it's a choice, would you rather work at McDonalds or on the sell-side? I would choose McDonalds over the sell-side." - David Tepper

2/14/12
In reply to miss-chief
2/14/12

"After you work on Wall Street it's a choice, would you rather work at McDonalds or on the sell-side? I would choose McDonalds over the sell-side." - David Tepper

In reply to rastarocket
8/21/12

Currently: becoming a clinical psychologist... yep, I quit finance
Previously: M&A consulting (Big 4), M&A banking (MM), business research (HBS)

11/17/12

It is not about the title that you have, it is about how much money that you have.

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