I recently started at a top 3 BB and am beginning to have younger students reach out. It's so entertaining to watch it from the other side. A recent call went something like this…."So why don't your tell me a bit about yourself and I'd be happy to answer a few questions", I say to the student, almost rehearsed, like I'd done it before."For sure" he remarks, I can hear the passion in his voice. Confident - perhaps a little too confident."I'm Nick and I'm a second year student at - ", STOP! I shout into the phone. That had been enough, I'd heard it all before. I tell him as he stutters in confusion. Before he has time to gather his thoughts I jab "If I'm going to refer you, I need to know you're worth my time. Coverage 5x Leverage 5x, what's your interest rate?" I've caught him off guard, his reaction will precursor his future.Stuttering - mumbling - utterly confused; he choked. He couldn't handle the heat. It was time for me to hang up the phone. "Thank you for your time Nicholas, we'll be in touch within the week" i lie through my teeth and hang up.I can imagine him on the other side of the phone, dazed and confused, stunned and discouraged. I walk back to my cubicle and send him an invoice for 50\$, a fair fee for my time.

Coverage 5x Leverage 5x, what's your interest rate?

2500%?

Here's how I'm approaching it: Leverage Ratio is Debt/ EBITDA and Coverage Ratio is EBITDA/ Interest Expense. Both are 5x. So, imagine Debt is \$100mm, EBITDA is \$20mm (\$100mm/\$20mm = 5x) and Interest Expense is \$4 (\$20mm/\$4mm = \$5mm). Debt * Interest Rate = Interest Expense. Interest Rate = \$4mm/\$100m = 4%.

nah it's 2500%

Prospect: "Before you go, one last question: is there anyone else I should be talking to or anyone you think it would be worth my time to connect with?"

You: "Sure! Let me ask around and I will get back to you!", you say as you know full well that you will not ask around and you will not be getting back to him.

A worthy note: As a student who just went through the process, I wanted to drop this here. While there were some instances when I connected great with people and got this response, or they did actually circle back after a week or two+, this is usually a bad sign. If you're consistently getting this response and they don't follow up, something is going poorly in your calls. Recognize that and fix it. Also, sometimes recognize that when you're networking at a "long-shot", like PJT RSSG from UBuffalo, you aren't likely to get passed around as you would with school alum or other banks and may be better off trying to build the connection (or ask for a referral then realize it doesn't necessarily mean the call went poorly and the person can still be a great resource / referral if you play it right)

I know this is common sense for most of us, but I got my fair share of these responses when I just started the process.

If this is the case, what would be a good sign? And do you have any tips on maximizing successful networking calls?

One time I was nearing the end of a networking call and made the decision not to ask for a new contact. I said my final thank you and it was the bankers turn to say feel free to reach out with anything else I can help with, and end the call. But instead he said something along the lines of "What else can I do?" I don't remember the wording exactly but he had already said he's happy to help with anything else and then added this at the end. I saw it as my green light to ask for a network referral and he hits me with let me think about who would be a good person for you to talk to. Yea never heard back, I didn't reach out further because I felt like that was the door closing in my face but I know I probably should've just sent a follow up email.

You know this one is 100% coming at the end of the most boring pre-rehearsed questions.

This is a great post, didn't expect the plot twist, +1 SB

Reminded me of when I was a search fund intern who was cold calling tiny boutiques and I got this absolute hardo who scheduled a 9 PM networking call. I was in school and working 40+ hours a week at the time so I didn't really prep much other than looking into past deals and coming up with unique questions based on the Analysts' background. We got on the call and I walked him through my search fund experience and he immediately started grilling me with questions like, "what was the deal size", "what was your multiple", "how many turns on senior debt", and it was beyond brutal. For those who dont know as a search fund intern (especially as fresh/soph intern) you dont touch the model, you mostly just look for acquisition targets and put together industry analyses. I made it clear up front I did zero modeling put still the analyst pushed on with the technical. So yes, people like this exist.

For anyone who missed the takeaway, if a freshman / sophmore calls you for an informational interview its probably good to lay off the gas when it comes to the technicals, unless they specifically bring up relevant experience.

this is great - hardos are out there in the wild. :-)

I need to lateral into this networking gig you've changed my career ambitions

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