Alumni Cold-Emailing

I just wanted to get a good sense of what the people that are receiving the cold e-mails are thinking. Do most of you think that this is another kid looking to get a job or a kid that is genuinely looking for advice.

Considerations for writing an email to alumni

Alumni are some of the best people to reach out to while job/internship hunting. They can help you land interviews and introduce you to new contacts.

Always approach them respectfully. Write a short, honest, and humble note. This shows two things, that you respect their time and that you are direct. If an alumnus is able to help you be responsive and keep in touch with them. This will show your thankfulness for their help.

from certified user @TNA

I have received (when I was working) and sent while in school and when I used to get hit up with emails I was always happy to help and speak to them. As long as the email was polite.

I tend to think that those people who have gotten jobs through emailing and networking are a little more responsive than others. Only a few times have I helped someone and had a less than great experience.

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Comments (65)

Jan 13, 2010

I have received (when I was working) and sent while in school and when I used to get hit up with emails I was always happy to help and speak to them. As long as the email was polite. I tend to think that those people who have gotten jobs through emailing and networking are a little more responsive than others. Only a few times have I helped someone and had a less than great experience.

Jan 13, 2010

Thanks for the reply. So you received impolite e-mails? im curious as to the content of these e-mails.

KICKIN ASS AND TAKING NAMES

Jan 13, 2010

Not so much impolite emails, but I have helped people and then had them not follow up or basically blow me off (rare occasion, but it has happened). Still doesn't stop me from helping people, just part of the game. Most of the time I have had positive experiences.

Jan 13, 2010

Most people are very helpful, but don't feel bad if you never hear back from them. Just keep in mind that they're busy and can't attend to everyone. They do know what you're trying to do. It's no secret, and you're not the only one doing it. But then again, they understand it is part of the networking game, so you'll find that many will be willing to lend a hand. Also, you actually want advice anyway. Even if they can't exactly pull you through to the job, the least you'll walk out with is advice and hopefully other contacts they refer you to.

Jan 13, 2010

Ive had tremendous feedback from alums and many of them I still talk to after a few years on the job (getting drinks, dinner, coffee) and some I even work with ... so networking is the name of the game.

Whenever kids email me, I am very eager to help but I did have some impolite / retarded kids who obviously only wanted a job ... and some blew me off

one kid blew me off for a call adn then i saw his resume in a drop and i dinged him

Jan 28, 2015
GordonsGecko:

Ive had tremendous feedback from alums and many of them I still talk to after a few years on the job (getting drinks, dinner, coffee) and some I even work with ... so networking is the name of the game.

Whenever kids email me, I am very eager to help but I did have some impolite / retarded kids who obviously only wanted a job ... and some blew me off

one kid blew me off for a call adn then i saw his resume in a drop and i dinged him

Do you think its wrong to be upfront about looking for a job? I have started cold emailing and well its pretty much the recruiting time for boutiques so I dont have time to build up a relationship.

Jan 28, 2015
GordonsGecko:

Ive had tremendous feedback from alums and many of them I still talk to after a few years on the job (getting drinks, dinner, coffee) and some I even work with ... so networking is the name of the game.

Whenever kids email me, I am very eager to help but I did have some impolite / retarded kids who obviously only wanted a job ... and some blew me off

one kid blew me off for a call adn then i saw his resume in a drop and i dinged him

Do you think its wrong to be upfront about looking for a job? I have started cold emailing and well its pretty much the recruiting time for boutiques so I dont have time to build up a relationship.

Mar 13, 2017

Any further comments on being upfront about asking for a job? I've always thought you could say something like "What can I do to position myself for a full-time/first-year analyst at a IB?"

Feb 21, 2013

if you have failed to keep up contact with someone you conducted an informational interview with, is there anyway to revive the conversation/relationship? or should you just not bother?

Mar 13, 2017

Doesn't hurt to contact both, but you need to establish rapport before you can ask someone to go to bat for you. Email your contact with the notion that you want to meet and learn a bit more about what they do, their background, etc. At the end of the phone call, you can mention your situation, and if you haven't completely screwed up, they should be willing to help out

    • 1
Mar 13, 2017

Definitely focus on establishing a relationship first. Don't ask for anything before they know you. Regarding the cold email, you're definitely off to a good start given the fact that both of those people are alumni, since this can easily give you a good talking point. But make sure that you hold a good conversation with both before you ask for any sort of referral, so that they know what kind of person they're introducing to other people. In terms of the email itself, keep it concise. Just introduce yourself as a student of their alma mater who's interested in their firm and ask if they're free for a brief phone call. Maybe tailor your message based on something you can relate to regarding their past experience or something else on their LinkedIn profile.

Mar 13, 2017

Thank for the advice guys, much appreciated

Jan 28, 2015

Even though I went to a target, cold emailing helped me get my first IB job and my first buyside job. So I'm always happy to help current students who reach out to me (whether or not they went to my school), and take 30-60 minutes of my day to talk to them on the phone or meet for coffee.

That said, my enthusiasm level depends on the tone of the email. I like short, casual notes that really convey honesty and humility, but I *don't* like being placated. In other words, don't write to me like I'm the President, don't try and pretend you know anything about finance or banking, and don't try to suck me off.

    • 2
Mar 13, 2017

Congratulations.
Best of luck finding something for the fall.

I'm not concerned with the very poor
-Mitt Romney

Mar 13, 2017

Sounds about right in terms of response rate. You'll probably get 1-2 more responses today or next week especially if any of their emails were personal emails that they may only check sparingly.

Mar 13, 2017

Sounds about right. Good job, and keep at it. This will eventually lead to something positive.

Mar 13, 2017

That's agrees with my experience as well. I put my hit rate ~50% for alums.

Please don't quote Patrick Bateman.

Mar 13, 2017

Thanks for the words of encouragement guys! I got another response earlier today from an MD at JP Morgan, so I'm at 5/15 now.

Mar 13, 2017

sounds about right im at about 50% hit rate as well. ive just been asking for advice and most have been really receptive, ive yet to have anybody grill me or criticize my background.

One thing that i didnt expect is how much i actually enjoy these phone calls. Reality is most are going to be dead ends, but its a numbers game and you never know what somebody has to offer. The people i have talked to have genuinely been interesting and hearing their "elevator pitch" really helps you develop yours. I asked one guy about his background and I still remember how good it was. it was just a shining example of what a story should sound like, so intersting, so polished, hits on everything, really sets the tone for the rest of the call. If you can get your pitch up to that level you can really set the tone for your interview/call/meeting/whatever

Mar 13, 2017

bump

Mar 13, 2017

Just send her a brief email and introduce yourself as a fellow alum. Say you noticed that she is interned at that firm and you were wondering if she had any suggestions or recommendations on how to position yourself for a possible internship. Build some rapport and maybe even get a referral. Be professional this time lol

Mar 13, 2017

You have the right idea.

"Hey Jane,

I was browsing Linkedin for other X school alumni and noticed you interned at XYZ bank. What was your experience like, getting an internship there? I know you're busy, but I'd like to give you a call at some point to talk about it.

Thank you for your time,

Chimp"

Something like that. Brief, no fluff, let her know what you want.

Mar 13, 2017

Historically, this has worked pretty well for people on WSO.

Hey [First Name], I've attached my resume and cover letter below.

Cheers,
[My Name]

Mar 13, 2017

LOL bean

Mar 13, 2017

do it. they wont give a shit

Mar 13, 2017

Do it. If they don't want to respond, they won't.

Mar 13, 2017

People generally appreciate the effort you put in. Look at it like this. If the persons email isn't out there and easy to find the chances are you will be the only one messaging him.

Mar 13, 2017

go for it. it shows initiative. like the guys say above, if they don't respond, it's no harm to you.

Mar 13, 2017

Instead of 'letting them know you're interested in the position' (which you obviously are as you applied), try asking him some questions about the company culture to answer the 'why this firm' question in the interview

Mar 13, 2017

Ya. This is fine. I've emailed people being like 'hey I saw your company posted a job listing. could get on the phoen to hear more about your experiences?' you already have an interview; i don't see why this is an issue at all.

Mar 13, 2017

I would personally cover everything you can get your hands on. I just finished FT recruiting a month ago. Associates were typically most helpful (as they were often in charge of individual group's process), VP ~ MD: best way to set up an interview. Analysts: to obtain information relevant to prep your interview (also name dropping multiple analysts that you've talked to makes more sense during the interview)

Mar 13, 2017

I would personally cover everything you can get your hands on. I just finished FT recruiting a month ago. Associates were typically most helpful (as they were often in charge of individual group's process), VP ~ MD: best way to set up an interview. Analysts: to obtain information relevant to prep your interview (also name dropping multiple analysts that you've talked to makes more sense during the interview)

Mar 13, 2017

I would personally cover everything you can get your hands on. I just finished FT recruiting a month ago. Associates were typically most helpful (as they were often in charge of individual group's process), VP ~ MD: best way to set up an interview. Analysts: to obtain information relevant to prep your interview (also name dropping multiple analysts that you've talked to makes more sense during the interview)

Mar 13, 2017

I would personally cover everything you can get your hands on. I just finished FT recruiting a month ago. Associates were typically most helpful (as they were often in charge of individual group's process), VP ~ MD: best way to set up an interview. Analysts: to obtain information relevant to prep your interview (also name dropping multiple analysts that you've talked to makes more sense during the interview)

Mar 13, 2017

I would personally cover everything you can get your hands on. I just finished FT recruiting a month ago. Associates were typically most helpful (as they were often in charge of individual group's process), VP ~ MD: best way to set up an interview. Analysts: to obtain information relevant to prep your interview (also name dropping multiple analysts that you've talked to makes more sense during the interview)

Mar 13, 2017

I would personally cover everything you can get your hands on. I just finished FT recruiting a month ago. Associates were typically most helpful (as they were often in charge of individual group's process), VP ~ MD: best way to set up an interview. Analysts: to obtain information relevant to prep your interview (also name dropping multiple analysts that you've talked to makes more sense during the interview)

Mar 13, 2017

ok, my computer just froze and posted multiple comments at the same time... how do i erase these...

Mar 13, 2017

In case you are connecting to your alumni for summer internships/ permanent roles, I would suggest you to cold call partners/ MD's & VP's for getting an interview and consult employees in junior positions about the interview process & preparation.

Most MD's generally don't end up replying due to their busy schedule (your mail generally ends up in their spam folder, they receive tens of them everyday), hence your best bet would be No.2 and 3 (VP's are generally in the middle of the hierarchy and tend to be helpful). Most Analysts hardly have any say in the recruitment process unless the firm want them to screen resumes (typical senior year analyst chore).

If you are confident of sailing through the the initial rounds don't even bother connecting with them unless you want to know about the firm culture, pay (bonus) etc.

In the end it really boils down to the nature of the person you are trying to interact with and how busy he is on the day he receives your mail :)

Hope this helps!

Mar 13, 2017

a

Mar 13, 2017

Most helpful contact I ever made is a VP

Mar 13, 2017

Email Lloyd Blankfein.

Mar 13, 2017

This. I got my FT offer from a non target because of this.

Mar 13, 2017

You can contact anyone, it doesn't matter how high up they are, honestly. If you want to have better chances, shoot a bit lower than the top. You would be surprised how much people at any level are willing to help if you have a good background and worthy of being a candidate for the role. If your background sucks you're likely just wasting your own time and theirs.

    • 1
Mar 13, 2017

Yeah, agree here. You can contact anyone - senior bankers have more sway but are less involved in the actual recruiting process (usually); however, you can bet you're getting pulled through if they push for you. Junior bankers are more involved, but ultimately no analyst is going to overrule an MD when it comes down to that last interview/offer slot. Ultimately, the point is to cast a wide net - many people will not respond and you will be surprised at the people who may end up very helpful.

Mar 13, 2017

Most helpful person was an MD that was not an alumni that I cold emailed. Seriously, spoken on the phone multiple times in the past year and had breakfast when I flew into town. Got me interviews at his firm and another firm he used to work at.... I got the interview that got me a job through a VP when I got him coffee. Associates and Analysts pushed my resume into the first round interview stack and scheduled office visits that introduced me to VPs and MDs.

So, everyone helps if they have time or you can make a personal connection with them - and 100% of them don't really have the time. You can learn something from everyone, and as long as you are not spamming a single group, I think you are fine to reach out to as many people as you can.

I spoke to 100+ people before I accepted an offer.

Mar 13, 2017

Never hurts to email way up the food chain. I'm up there and I like to help younger people out especially if we have something in common (school, fraternity, same mother, etc) and I like to help out people breaking into the business in general. I can't alway simply because I get a lot of emails every day (not just networking emails but ones I really need to respond to) and they get lost in my inbox but if I happen to be slow or hungover or something like that there's a good chance I'll respond.

There's no rule. Just throw as much shit against the wall and see what sticks. Just don't harass an entire company by continually doing it.

Mar 13, 2017

Don't make it an advice email. They know you're emailing for a job, don't let career services push you around. If you ask them specific questions, you'll likely seem stilted, and it will make it easy for them to reply with answers, when you don't care about the answers. Email them with a quick introduction, say you are interested in finance and would love to chat some time. If you are in the same city as them, try to meet. Most of this has been covered extensively, but identify who is a good target, based either on your initial conversation or what you can find out about them online. If you talk with someone and it seems like you have a connection, stay in touch. Update them on your progress, and push for an in person meeting (well, not push, but hopefully you understand that - just be persistent).

If they don't reply to the initial email, dont be shy about following up if they seem like they might be useful.

If you do some searches, I'm sure you'll uncover lots more.

Mar 13, 2017

To all, don't stop on just alum!!!! I would suggest logging into linkedin and emailing every single person that interests you. You'd be surprised how many complete stragers are interested in helping you out. For ex, I sent out about 60-70 emails to employees from one company and got about 20 replies. Only 1 of those was from my school, a complete non target, and the guy didn't bother answering. Some asked for a resume, some forwarded the email to recruiters, some just gave me their number to give them a call. I still haven't applied to any firms for fulltime, but when I do, I plan to let them know them know.

Mar 13, 2017
Kris Kringle:

To all, don't stop on just alum!!!! I would suggest logging into linkedin and emailing every single person that interests you. You'd be surprised how many complete stragers are interested in helping you out.

Agreed. Met a BB prop trader today after messaging him on LinkedIn.

Mar 13, 2017

repost

Mar 13, 2017

thnks drex, im still searching for that specific threadpost which talked about this and had many great responses..ahhh if only there were an advanced search function..

kris, i tried the linkedin idea. however, i only have two options 1) pay the linkein message fee which i believe is about $30/month for minimum of 3 emails/month or some high fee like that or 2) cold buddy them before i can message them....

to avoid the fee, i just cold buddied some of them in hopes they would simply accept, and then i can shoot them free messages..tried that route but wasn't too successful as i figured they might have deemed it too aggressive...just curious are you ivy?

Mar 13, 2017

I just took the name, plugged into the email structure. The majority of those who replied wanted to know how I got their email though. Don't go to an ivy, complete non target.

http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/cold-emailin...
^^^This was very helpful.

Mar 13, 2017
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Mar 13, 2017
Mar 13, 2017