Bad Networking Calls - Analysts' Faults?

I recently went through IB recruiting and was interested in MBB consulting for a while, so I networked with bankers/consultants at roughly 15 or so firms, having phone conversations with about 50 unique individuals. I ultimately ended up receiving Superdays at multiple banks and accepted an offer for SA 2023 at an EB.

For context, my approach for calls is to usually brainstorm a few thoughtful questions unique to shared University experiences, bank, group, etc, then naturally respond to things they say to build genuine conversation.

One phenomenon I noticed with a number of bankers/consultants made conversation impossible. Some bankers/consultants (probably a significant 30% - 40%) on my calls made limited effort. These are the type of people who say they "just want to be an open resource" at the start of the call, but when I ask them a question, they would respond with a one to three sentence response. That means to continue the conversation, it would turn into a back and forth Q&A instead of a real conversation since I have nothing to go off of, effectively making the call a bad one and ending it in less than 15 minutes. I also noticed that this happened more for consulting firms, perhaps because there is less of an emphasis on networking, or because consultants are a bit nerdier. It also happened more at firms that don't have a strong pipeline from my school; it's almost like they knew I had no shot and didn't give a crap.

In contrast, I've had calls that were amazing and went well over thirty minutes, with the banker/consultant being super enthusiastic and eventually becoming a mentor and/or advocating for me over multiple follow up calls.

With my approach and question style remaining the exact same in these scenarios, it leads me to believe that bad calls aren't usually my fault (with a few outliers of course). I've noticed a direct correlation between the analyst's enthusiasm and how good the call goes; when they give me some effort and a chance, I can run with it. Otherwise, the call is mediocre. Some people may say that I just "clicked" with some people more than others, but I would say that the majority of those 30% - 40% didn't even give us a chance to determine that.

This begs the following question: Why do unenthusiastic bankers/consultants even take calls? I get that bankers/consultants are likely tired or don't want to deal with yet another overeager Sophomore, but why even take the call if you already know you won't genuinely care or potentially become an advocate for the kid? When a call turns into a crappy 13.5 minute rapid-fire Q&A, it just makes me feel discouraged. If a kid genuinely does not display any social awareness, I get it. On the other hand, if someone has a strong resume, is asking good questions, and seems friendly, why do this to them? If you're an analyst who does this, you're an asshole.

Does anyone else agree with me, or am I off base here? Looking to see if my experience is common, or if I need to improve my networking abilities.

Comments (10)

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Aug 3, 2022 - 8:57pm

Awesome observations OP. Been networking a while and had a recent chat with a VP who seemed enthusiastic to chat via email and also linkedin messages. However, when it came down to it, it seemed that not only was he unenthusiastic but also seemed to talk to me in a very condescending way. For example, he asked me "why PE?" So, I gave a response that Ive been told by partners at other firms was a "well research backed answer" but in this case he straight up told me to stop referencing my friends and gave me "his definition"Regardless, he did answer some of my questions and even offered to do a resume review which was kind of him. However, I felt slightly out of place when speaking to him as if I was a massive inconvenience (hence referencing the "why take the networking call in the first place?")

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Aug 3, 2022 - 9:02pm

It seems like he may have been tough, but at least he made an effort, especially offering a resume review, which is rare. I've had conversations with people who weren't the most friendly or came across as tough, but they still put energy into the call (which it sounds like he did) and eventually became friendlier once they saw me more as a potential candidate rather than a liability.

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Aug 3, 2022 - 9:03pm

Yeah, I think that's a good way to put it. He did wish me the best of luck when interview rounds start to go out for SA 2023, so, cheers to that lol

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Aug 3, 2022 - 9:07pm

Hey btw OP, do you know if any of these banks are still recruiting that you were in touch with. Spreading myself a little thin currently with all the recruiting cycles I'm in but still trying to find an SA gig. Would be great if you had some inside or a recruiter email

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Cov
Aug 3, 2022 - 9:26pm

Holy fuck you guys really are as entitled as everyone says. I hope this is satire. If a VP asking for a genuine answer is enough to make you cry, good luck working with some of the more direct personalities in this industry.

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Aug 3, 2022 - 9:31pm

I think you're taking things out of context. We're simply stating some observations and similar stories. Its always the analysts that "made it" that got the most to say 

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Aug 3, 2022 - 9:31pm

You're missing the point of the post for a comment. Maybe the VP was an ass, maybe he wasn't. I was just trying to offer some empathy with limited context. The post wasn't about confrontation or tough personalities, but about apathetic bankers/consultants that waste time for both parties.

Most Helpful
Aug 3, 2022 - 10:49pm
dealkuro, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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