Help! Meeting with PWM Director next week

So next week I will be meeting with the Head Director at a local boutique PWM Firm about possible summer opportunities at the firm. How should I prepare for this meeting? How should I market myself so that he would be willing to create some sort of paid/unpaid PWM Internship for me.

To give you some background, I currently am a rising Junior at a Target School. However, I'm majoring in Engineering with a minor in Economics. Also, how should I address the following possible questions he might ask:

Considering you're majoring in engineering, why do you want to work in PWM?

In what ways can you contribute to our firm?

Thanks for your help guys.

Comments (4)

Best Response
May 22, 2014 - 9:01am
thebrofessor, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I'll tell you why I love PWM and what opportunities might be available for analytical, non-salesy type people.

I love PWM because of the autonomy, the fact it's meritocratic, and because I love investing. I think the stock market is one of the modern wonders of the world, I could go on and on, but I simply love the act of researching investments, putting together a portfolio, and pitching it to a client. PWM is the only area of finance where you can essentially have a small business and run it the way you want to without any startup capital, the only caveat being you have to stay in compliance with all of the rules & regulations. if you produce, you have no boss, you do what you want, as long as you keep producing.

it's meritocratic because no amount of rules, regulations, or firm roadblocks can prevent you from growing your business. sure, you will hear from people how hard it is given whatever hurdle is in the present day, but in reality, people who don't play the victim and complain about this or that will continue to grow their businesses, and you will find that there is literally no ceiling on how much money you can make. there are brokers who make over $5mm a year, and while they are few & far between, they do exist. and by the way, most of them work less than 60 hours a week, some less than 40. you make your own luck, you reap what you sow, and the only determinant of success is your effort, period.

it's autonomous because you can literally tell your manager to fuck off and he/she can't do anything about it if you produce. heck they might even apologize! I simply love the fact I make my own schedule, work as much or as little as I want, never have to ask for time off, none of that BS. I'm my own boss, and as long as my clients are happy, life is good.

most analytical types in PWM are either at the firm's capital markets desk or on a team in an analyst type role. the trouble with the analyst roles is for most teams, they simply don't want/need it. if they need help managing money, they'll outsource it, it's cheaper. if I wanted to get into that, I'd hold informational interviews with every big producer in the area, hear their story, and then be ready to tell mine.

as far as your interview question responses, you tell us: why do you want to work in PWM? because you think you can make a lot of money? because you get to work 30 hours and play golf 5x a week? reflect on why you want this, but feel free to borrow my responses if they resonate with you. what I would expect a younger person to know about PWM is that they are interested in investing, enjoy interacting with different types of people & hearing their stories, and like the entrepreneurial aspects of the business.

what can you add? no idea, but I'd guess an engineer could add analytical ability. one of the biggest things about PWM is being genuinely curious, you have to be curious about people and their stories/backgrounds, otherwise you'll never forge a relationship, gain trust, and eventually manage their assets. people can find money managers at Vanguard & Fidelity, they come to PWM people because they want someone who "gets" them and whom they can trust with their life's earnings.

hope this helps, let me know if you have more questions.

May 21, 2014 - 11:50pm
Feelzgudman, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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