Advice for Incoming FT Analysts: How to best prepare for analyst stint and PE interviews?

ZeTerminator's picture
Rank: Baboon | 101

Hi everyone,

I'm an incoming FT analyst at a top Independent advisory/EB in London. I come from a non-target school and a consulting background. As a result, I feel I may be at a slight disadvantage compared to other analysts who have interned at my firm before. I am also interested in moving to PE ASAP and would like to prepare as much as I can for PE recruiting while I'm still at University. Please bare in mind I have already read "15 things I wish I knew as a first year banking analyst", which covers some aspects of my questions. However, I'm looking for more advice.

Given my brief background description:

1) What should I do to prepare for my analyst stint while at University? My aim is to pick up as many "practical" skills for the day to day job as possible. Examples include modelling, pitchbook creation, excel and ppt. skills, formatting and other important tasks analysts are responsible for. The more suggestions the better!

2) I understand that as a first year analyst I'll have very little time to prepare for PE interviews. While I have substantially more free time in University, how can I anticipate preparation for PE interviews/ what should I do? Are there any particular guides you would recommend?

3) I often hear that to be prepared for PE interviews it's important to "think like an investor". Can anyone shed light on what this means in more practical terms and what steps should be taken to do so?

Thanks in advance for any input, I appreciate it!

Comments (4)

Feb 9, 2017

Focus on your IB Analyst job first; make sure you're a top performer in your group. You have 24 hours in a day. In IB, you're not nailed to the work. There will be plenty of time to look at study materials and practice modeling on the job.

Feb 9, 2017

Thanks for the comment iBankedUp. My question 1) was asked to gain an understanding of what I should do now (in university) to maximise the chances of me being a top performer in my group. Any recommendations in that regard?

Feb 9, 2017

I think you have to do what us non-targets have done. Pick up a course or study materials and just figure it out on your own. As long as you have Google, WSO, and Excel, you should be able to breakdown and rebuild models. I guess you have probably another 4 months until you start so there's time. And you don't have to skip vacations or anything like that. Put in 3-5 hours per day and that's almost 600 hours. What I did was pick complicated companies so I could challenge myself to run into as many problems as possible, so that I could learn to work my way around.

I would start by putting together a three financial statement operating model, DCF, accretion/dilution, LBO, and even do the corresponding slide deck with your ideas on a potential transaction. Like I said, it will take time, but I don't think the four months or so that you have can't be enough time. If you don't already have a mentor, you can also start reaching out to your team to find one. This should be someone you have a connection with, that way they're willing to hop on the phone with you and chat out the questions you might have, or look over the model to ensure you're not really screwing it up. But, really focus on getting it right yourself. I wouldn't reach out to someone just for the model, but if you have someone where there's a connection, it could be a good way to build the relationship.

Feb 9, 2017