Any tips for cold walk ins

I plan on driving to chicago from a city roughly 5 hours away. The goal is to cold walk in at as many investment banks as I can. Does anyone have experience doing this? Any tips? Keep in mind I have absolutely no warm leads. I plan on going in and asking for a hiring manager or MD depending on the size of the firm.

Comments (162)

Apr 8, 2017

I'd say it's better to cold email a banker in advance and ask for a coffee chat because you will be in town. Walking in out of the blue seems pretty creepy to me.

    • 10
Apr 8, 2017

OP I'm amazed & jealous at your confidence, but I think you'd have a better success rate doing something along the lines of what Heineken said

    • 5
Apr 8, 2017
metronorthdude:

OP I'm amazed & jealous at your confidence, but I think you'd have a better success rate doing something along the lines of what Heineken said

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result. I have an extremely low hit rate and being out of the area does not help. I just feel its time to take a chance with something different. The facts are that: 1) I have an MBA with no traditional experience, 2) I am not from the Chicago area, and 3) I enjoyed my first couple years of undergrad at a non target school which impacted my GPA. I dont view the first two as being truly negative. The third is my fault and I accept full responsibility for that. It took me a while to figure out what I really wanted to do and believe it or not, during my MBA, I really figured out what I wanted to do and I furthered my knowledge of Finance. I am a very persistent and motivated individual and I can't give up.

    • 1
Apr 8, 2017

Wow. I've heard of a few success stories of people having done this.

If you can pull this off, you should be in the VC game.

    • 2
Apr 13, 2017

Or RE. I know deals have gotten done this way. Granted it's not a cold walk in, but more of a - I'm here and I'm not leaving till you tell me where I need to be to win this one situation.

    • 1
Apr 8, 2017

Definitely wouldn't categorize it as creepy, but definitely an interesting play.

That said, if I could persuade you to do otherwise - make an effort to get the contacts of people in the industry of which you are attempting to break into (fiends, family, school, network..) and start reaching out. Cold emailing has a low hit rate, but you would be surprised at the random hits you get just based on timing. Think about when you send out the email and when this employee (analyst, consultant, through md) would have the greatest chance of reading/responding.

Not going to tell you what to write, but give it some thought. If its well reasoned, a logical guy/gal would have a though time turning you down from a coffee - at the time of their leisure. good luck out there

    • 1
Apr 8, 2017

I wish you the best of luck doing this, but honestly, I think you should re-evaluate your approach. Your cold email response rate is not low because cold emailing doesn't work, but rather because you have no relevant experience and a low GPA that seems to be the result of partying your ass off in school. Showing up to a firm unannounced isn't going to change that. Again, I wish you the best of luck.

    • 9
Apr 8, 2017
Sil:

I wish you the best of luck doing this, but honestly, I think you should re-evaluate your approach. Your cold email response rate is not low because cold emailing doesn't work, but rather because you have no relevant experience and a low GPA that seems to be the result of partying your ass off in school. Showing up to a firm unannounced isn't going to change that. Again, I wish you the best of luck.

I get that. I really do. But i am more than willing to start out as a summer analyst. Im not expecting to get an associate role right of that bat. I am just looking to break into the industry.

Edit: My GPA in business was over 3.2. My overall GPA was right around a 3.

Apr 17, 2017

There's a reason why this response got +8.

Apr 8, 2017

Wouldn't getting past the lobby or security be difficult since they call the firm and let them know you (an uninvited, unknown guest) are here? I admire your hunger, but it may be better to use it in a different way.

    • 2
Apr 9, 2017
guggroth93:

Wouldn't getting past the lobby or security be difficult since they call the firm and let them know you (an uninvited, unknown guest) are here? I admire your hunger, but it may be better to use it in a different way.

I imagine it will be but it can't hurt to ask for 5-10 minutes of someone's time. Also, I plan on targeting mainly boutiques so it should be a little easier.

Apr 9, 2017

I think you'd have much better results showing up to Menlo Park. That absolute lack of fear is something Sand Hill would appreciate more than Chicago IB. Andreessen, Battery, Menlo, Sequioa, Coatue, KKR, Silver Lake, MS Tech and so many other giants are all right next to each other here. There are tons of smaller firms here as well.

If you try to go about it the way you are now in Chicago, the likelihood of getting a positive result is much lower than if you email ahead. Just call them if you can get a hold of their phone number and do whatever it takes to line up 8-10 coffee meetings and try to nail something down. Have a pitch ready.

    • 1
Best Response
Apr 10, 2017

This is a really bad idea. You should do everything you can to arrange sit downs ahead of time. There is no such thing as an inability to find leads ahead of time. Pay for LinkedIn premium and start firing away. Don't be afraid to follow up 3-4 times. It might take a few hundred emails to get a handful of meetings but that's how this works.

If I had some kid show up looking for an informational at my office I'd never speak to them. It's bizarre, it's unusual, it's desperate and its not how things are done in this internet age where you can track down 10 people at a firm ahead of time. It would infer, to me, a lack of commitment, lack of organization, general lack of professionalism, and a probable 1% chance that I'm about to meet with a future serial killer.

    • 15
Apr 10, 2017

seconded

Apr 12, 2017

I would also concur. A random stranger wouldn't get past building security, let alone get to speak to the IB receptionist or secretary. An actual front office employee is almost out of the question. All of this hating wall street stuff a couple of years ago has tightened things up when it comes to random people trying to accost employees.

Apr 10, 2017

I echo the thoughts of most on here, I admire your courage, but this isn't a great idea. Have you been to buildings in Chicago? You are not going to get past security. I don't mean that the secretary won't let you see the MD (which she wouldn't if you somehow got their), but you literally wont make it out of the Building's lobby to storm in on the secretary.

You'd have much more luck at a conference or somewhere that you know professionals will be attending. There is an extremely small chance that this approach yields any conversations with secretaries and virtually zero chance of meeting MDs.

twitter: @CorpFin_Guy

    • 2
Apr 17, 2017
accountingbyday:

I echo the thoughts of most on here, I admire your courage, but this isn't a great idea. Have you been to buildings in Chicago? You are not going to get past security. I don't mean that the secretary won't let you see the MD (which she wouldn't if you somehow got their), but you literally wont make it out of the Building's lobby to storm in on the secretary.

You'd have much more luck at a conference or somewhere that you know professionals will be attending. There is an extremely small chance that this approach yields any conversations with secretaries and virtually zero chance of meeting MDs.

He wouldn't even make it to the MD's secretary--he'd get stopped by the front deck receptionist at best.

    • 1
Apr 10, 2017

If it adds anything, a kid cold called my company's office about internship opportunities today and we're interviewing him.

Apr 10, 2017

Don't just show up unannounced. @Sil gets it right - your response rate isn't low on cold emails because you're insane to try - it's justifiably low because you're non-traditional, and the approach doesn't net a whole lot of responses even in a best-case scenario.

The people who can actually be gatekeepers for you here are super-scheduled and very busy. They're not going to displace a back to back schedule that was set weeks ago, and cancel meetings on short notice with clients that generate millions in deal flow just because some kid with gumption that they've never heard of is calling their name in the lobby. I guarantee that by taking your proposed approach, you are only going to come off as socially inept and disruptive, albeit ambitious. And in professional services, emotional IQ is everything.

I'd recommend you hone your writing skills. Figure out how to convey your wishes with less text, and while maximizing the emotional appeal of your cold email. Because this is an industry that needs humble, hardworking people, this strategy will pay more dividends than showing up in lobbies and effectively making the pitch "Look how willing I am to disregard the normal process - this means I'll succeed". Without context, to the VP/MD, it will only make you look desperate and like you don't understand the corners you're cutting.

    • 1
Apr 10, 2017

If you have an MBA and have absolutely nothing, did you not try to do any type of networking or anything while in school? I get the non-traditional background, I have one too. But myself and others in my class who came from non-traditional backgrounds aren't really struggling for interviews and our career office has been really helpful in placing us with firms. So, I would set up an appointment with the career office of where you went to business school and undergrad (if you're not too old) to get a game plan going. They might be able to set you up with the people you want to meet.

Apr 10, 2017

I've tired talking to the career office at my school. The best they've done for me is look over my resume and say "I'm surprised you don't get more call backs." I've tried reaching out to alumni. People in my MBA class don't really have any IB connections.

Apr 10, 2017

OP: You posted asking people for advice, yet seem unwilling to take the advice that is being given. I wish you and your future employer the best of luck.

Apr 10, 2017

Sorry. I was caught up all day. I see the advice here and I get it. I am going to be in the Chicago area soon anyways. Can it really hurt to drop off a few resumes and try to get 10 minutes of someone's time? I understand IB professionals are extremely busy and I'll be lucky to get time from someone. I'm not arrogant and I'm not full of myself. I won't be overly aggresive either. I plan on just trying to get to the gatekeeper and politely asking if a hiring manager has a few minutes to spare and if not I'll ask if I can just drop a resume off.

Also, I read another thread on here about cold walk ins and people liked the idea.

Apr 11, 2017

Just because you don't seem to be getting it with the litany of people giving you unnecessarily long descriptions of why you should not do something this autistic for 2017 I will also add - don't do this.

    • 2
Apr 11, 2017
freemarketswork:

Sorry. I was caught up all day. I see the advice here and I get it. I am going to be in the Chicago area soon anyways. Can it really hurt to drop off a few resumes and try to get 10 minutes of someone's time? I understand IB professionals are extremely busy and I'll be lucky to get time from someone. I'm not arrogant and I'm not full of myself. I won't be overly aggresive either. I plan on just trying to get to the gatekeeper and politely asking if a hiring manager has a few minutes to spare and if not I'll ask if I can just drop a resume off.

Also, I read another thread on here about cold walk ins and people liked the idea.

Yes, it CAN hurt, if it makes you remembered in the wrong way (and this is really bizarre behavior, it WILL make you remembered and you will be water cooler talk). You don't want to be up for a job 5 years from now, have some VP overhear your name in consideration and start laughing about that "weird guy who showed up one day".

    • 2
Apr 11, 2017

Bad idea.

Apr 11, 2017

At the very least, you could do something on the lines of what I did - cold email 2 times first, then cold call, then wait outside the office of the guy in question and "remind" him of yourself. Mind you, throughout I had the assent of the guy, only that he wasn't very responsive. But the last action nailed it.

Another time, I cold called my way into a McK informational, which turned into an interview. But not before I cold emailed first. And mind you, both examples were back during my undergraduate days, so I doubt any one would expect such "unconventional" behaviour from an MBA (not in the good way).

GoldenCinderblock: "I keep spending all my money on exotic fish so my armor sucks. Is it possible to romance multiple females? I got with the blue chick so far but I am also interested in the electronic chick and the face mask chick."

    • 1
Apr 11, 2017

Zero chance this works. You wouldn't get near a banker doing this.

If your cold emails aren't working I suggest you have someone read over your pitch. Why not go to ACG or TMA events. Bankers will be there and you can network normally.

Apr 11, 2017

I mean if you really want to do this, what I would suggest is that:
1) Don't nag the gate keeper too much
2) Be extremely polite and say that you are a MBA student from XYZ school and want to learn more about this firm, is there anyone that you can talk to
3) They will probably just give you i) an online website to fill in, ii) give a card of someone at their firm, iii) ask someone to show you around

As everyone has mentioned above, the hit rate can be pretty low and there are a lot of chances that it can go wrong. But if you have tried every trick then go ahead.

If scenario 3 did happen, I would just keep it more like an informational interview rather than trying out for a hard sell. But if the numbers work out and you hit the platform for 1000 firms, I am sure you will end up with about 10 interviews. Not the best way (for me) but just try it.

    • 2
Apr 11, 2017

This is a very very bad idea.

Apr 11, 2017

Anyone seen the Netflix show Iron Fist? That dude cold-walked into the building, neutralized security and made it all the way to the executive floor. What you need is ninja skills and an employee badge with elevator clearance.

Kallester out.

    • 1
Apr 11, 2017

It's not just that bankers are busy people, imagine any profession you are in the middle of time sensitive work and a random person you have never met shows up unannounced to meet you. Best case scenario, you make it to the firm's office and they call an analyst to meet you. I think it just leaves a bad first impression. Some old timers might respect it, but personally I would be pissed off the whole time that I had to leave my desk for you.

Apr 11, 2017

I don't think I have ever been to a bank's office where you could freely go up to their floor / reception. You always need to sign in with security (with valid driving license / passport) and get a temporary batch / sticker to be able to go through the turnstile and up the elevator. No one in their right mind is going to allow you to go up without an appointment.

Apr 11, 2017

CS, Citi, JPM and UBS you need a badge to even make it to the elevators up to their floor...

Apr 11, 2017

I saw some guys smoking outside of the JPM building in Houston when I was walking by.

OP Pick up a 5 pack/day habit until you find someone who is willing to give you an interview.

"Hey bro got a light?"

1 hour later

"Hey bro got a light?"
...

"Weren't you here an hour ago?"

Array

    • 1
Apr 11, 2017

It's clear this kid refuses to accept the explicit advice to not do this. So you know what, go for it man. Be sure to update us in exact detail as to how it goes.

Apr 11, 2017
PEREtzel:

It's clear this kid refuses to accept the explicit advice to not do this. So you know what, go for it man. Be sure to update us in exact detail as to how it goes.

I was able to drop off several resumes and filled out a paper application at a firm. Will post more once I get home.

Apr 12, 2017

Full update: so I did take your advice and modified my strategy slightly. I decided to call prior to each firm to ask if they cared if I dropped off a resume. For the ones that said yes, I was able to get through security and drop off my resume. Based on the reaction I received I would ask for a hiring manager or managing director. The concern in this thread about them being busy did materialize. That being said, I politely said something along the lines of "no worries, I understand."

Did it go as well as hoped? No. Did it go as poorly as some predicted. No.

I would do it again but would be more aggresive in getting prior leads.

A big reason I decided to do this was I discussed this strategy with an IB professional in my area. He more or less said "i would be annoyed or really impressed." Also, I believe the act of driving up to Chicago shows passion for the industry and how serious I am about relocating. Yes, I could have just sent emails, cold called, etc but it would utilmately be a faceless resume. I maintained professionalism and what ever happens, happens.

It is imperative to note I did not blindly ignore the content in this thread. I thank those who posted constructive criticisms.

Apr 12, 2017

I actually did this a few years ago when trying to get my first internship, with a few caveats:
1) Only went to regional boutiques;
2) Didn't just go to IBs, also visited AMs and other markets focused firms;
3) I was in my sophomore year.
4) I addressed my cover letters to specific directors etc who I had read about either on LinkedIn or the firm's website.

Believe it or not, it actually worked: I got my first internship this way. I also got informationals from a few friendly directors who seemed impressed. Nobody was outright rude, though at about 50% of places I didn't get to see the person in question.

Don't know if it'd work for someone with an MBA though. I was (and still am) just a kid next to these people. Being 25+ would probably make it seem more pushy.

Definitely wouldn't work at anything more than a regional boutique or anywhere with a formal new analyst program either.

Apr 12, 2017

Ayy I remember when I watched Wall Street the first time. Make sure it's the MD's birthday bud

Aside: How do you even plan to find out what floors are occupied by the IB division/boutique? With zero leads and all. This isn't exactly advertised.

    • 1
Apr 12, 2017

It's usually displayed inside the building in the reception.

GoldenCinderblock: "I keep spending all my money on exotic fish so my armor sucks. Is it possible to romance multiple females? I got with the blue chick so far but I am also interested in the electronic chick and the face mask chick."

    • 1
Apr 12, 2017

It would be ballsy, but you will look nuts and do more harm than good. They have pretty normal channels with hiring people. You would be much better off meeting people via email or at a conference. Basically, if you do not have business somewhere do not go there. And waltzing in to get seemingly random face time with the managing director is not exactly business.

Apr 12, 2017

Reminds me of that kid who cold-emailed James Gorman for a summer internship at MS, LOL.
https://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/aspiring-mo...

GoldenCinderblock: "I keep spending all my money on exotic fish so my armor sucks. Is it possible to romance multiple females? I got with the blue chick so far but I am also interested in the electronic chick and the face mask chick."

Apr 12, 2017

I'll admit, reading this was very amusing

    • 1
Apr 12, 2017

Horrible idea. Just go on LinkedIn and network, or cold call. What is wrong with you?

"Do you even know what ya EBITDA is?" - Paulie Walnuts Gualtieri

Apr 12, 2017

This is some Jake Gyllenhall in Nightcrawler stuff

Apr 12, 2017

Personally, I would never take the approach you're planning.

But with that being said, Gary Cohn cold walked into his first job on Wall Street. I think 99% of the WSO members would be pleased with his career.

Apr 12, 2017

The year was 1980 something. Back then, you didn't need a college degree to work in finance. Like Chris Gardner, or Nigel Farage.

GoldenCinderblock: "I keep spending all my money on exotic fish so my armor sucks. Is it possible to romance multiple females? I got with the blue chick so far but I am also interested in the electronic chick and the face mask chick."

Apr 13, 2017

I did this once and it actually got me an interview. Unfortunately I was not prepared to interview on the spot... honestly I had no idea what to expect and had no clue what I was doing, but I will share my experience.

The firm was a small growth equity shop located in New York that had a job posting on my University portal. I made a trip to New York with the same intention as you in mind, but keep in mind I was in my sophomore year and very green back then.

I started by trying to call the person to see if I could set a meeting on the same day. I wasn't able to reach the said person so I figured the right thing to do was to grab a cab and head to their office. I got to the office and there was a buzz with a telecom type thing to get the elevator/door to unlock. I said I was here to meet with Jane Doe (the associate in charged of recruiting). To my surprise, the secretary told me to come up. I then proceeded to walk over to her and said I was here to meet Jane Doe. The secretary asked me if she was expecting me and I said no and I explained that I was only in town for a few hours and I really wanted to see their offices as the job posting seemed very appealing to me and the firm seemed great, so I would really like to talk to Jane Doe.

The secretary then told me to sit down and wait while she goes to see if Jane Doe is available. To my surprise, yet again, she said that Jane Doe would meet with me and directed me to sit in the conference room. Jane Doe finally walked in and I introduced myself with the same type of speech along the lines of "Im very sorry to show up unannounced, but I am really interested in the job and I wanted to see your offices before leaving New York". She thought that was cool and asked me to tell her about myself, I then gave her my resume and walked her through "my story", she liked the story and started asking me technical questions about sectors I liked and investments that I thought could be interesting. Unfortunately, I had nothing prepared for this type of question and it became super awkward super quick and that was pretty much the end of it.

That being said, I believe this approach can work for smaller firms, but make sure you are prepared. Good luck.

    • 5
Apr 12, 2017

Buy them Jimmy Johns for lunch and stop by and let them know, Cooly drop of your resume and let them know you'd like to keep in touch.

Let me hear you say, this shit is bananas, B-A-N-A-N-A-S!

Apr 12, 2017

Again, you were 19, the OP is at least mid twenties if post MBA. Totally different perception.

Apr 13, 2017

OP what you're suggesting sounds like the equivalent of finding a girl on the internet that you've never spoken to before and showing up outside her apartment hoping to get laid

    • 5
Apr 13, 2017

Keep in mind, the people you talk to in the lobby won't have the faintest idea of who to send you to. If you give them a name of someone you're trying to see, they'll then call the person and ask if they should let you up, at which point they'll probably be told "No, I don't know who that is. Tell them to leave." That being said, do the cold email idea.

Apr 13, 2017

My GPA is also low. This shouldn't matter for landing informational interviews though. In my experience, you don't want to attach a resume right off the bat. They're going to know you're trying to ultimately get a job, but you want to hide that behind a veil of curiosity about their firm/the work there.

I think you need to customize who you're reaching out to a little more though. I scan the team's biographies to see who I have some sort of connection to (alumni of my school, from the same place, whatever). I also search the company on LinkedIn to see if I have any mutual connections with people, or if there are any other alumni of my school there. I've had a pretty good success rate using these tactics.

Apr 13, 2017

You won't get past security in the lobby, unfortunately. All Ibanks will have security in the lobby and will ask who you're looking for when they call up to let you in.

Apr 13, 2017

Very creepy. Additionally, with stones like that, maybe working at a stock broker is your best route.

Apr 14, 2017

Cold call or cold e-mail beforehand.

+1 for courage though, best of luck.

Apr 15, 2017

This is a joke right? You won't get past security at any firm larger than a regional boutique, whose security you'll get past only because they don't have security.

Apr 15, 2017

Thoughtless.

If you wish to do anything, buy coffee for the one office that gave you a chance.

Apr 19, 2017

As someone mentioned above, if you're going to cold approach live you should 100% do it at an industry conference where there will be lots of professionals you can approach without having to get through security and the vibe will be more laid back (e.g. people are not at work). I also think you should maybe consider another avenue into finance - you're more likely to get a new/small/random HF to give you a chance to be (paid like) a glorified intern than an IB since IB are generally more structured/ better resourced.

Apr 19, 2017

GJDM

Apr 19, 2017

Grats brah. Sexy story.

Apr 19, 2017

Congrats dude! This is something I need to do myself, as just applying to OCR positions and sending cold emails isn't working out for me.

Apr 19, 2017

hats off to you sir, brilliantly tried and written.

Apr 19, 2017

Thanks monkeys!

Apr 19, 2017

thanks for sharing your story, it is inspiring!

All we need is just a little patience

Apr 19, 2017

I don't think it can hurt. Would be tough to do in NYC given that you need to get past security to even get to elevator.

Would probably be most effective if you live in a smaller city/town, or if you're looking for a job/internship to just get some experience under your belt in whichever field you're pursuing.It's even more important that you get the person at the front desk to like you so they actually pass along your resume to the manager/owner/etc..

    • 1
Apr 19, 2017

There was a guy who did it in Toronto a while back on here. Additionally, I'd consider trying office visits for genuinely tiny boutiques. They'll get you in front of people who will help during the recruitment process.

Apr 19, 2017

Thanks for the input guys. I am targeting boutique firms in Central and Western Florida.

Apr 19, 2017
VCWL:

Thanks for the input guys. I am targeting boutique firms in Central and Western Florida.

You should 100% go for it. Differentiate yourself from the competition. Follow-up with a phone call as well.

Apr 19, 2017

I don't think it'll hurt

Apr 19, 2017

How would you get pass security in the lobby?

Apr 19, 2017

Midtown: These are boutique firms with 3-4 partners and less than 10 associates/analysts in Florida. Some firms aren't located in downtown, which makes it easier to walk in. I have made a list and only 4 are located in downtown.

Apr 19, 2017

This guy did (@"DJBanker") in one of the best threads ever on WSO:

Here's the one where he asks questions about doing it, just like you OP:
http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/walk-in-cold...

Here's the one where he talks about how it worked:
http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/walk-in-cold...

You'll notice he's a Certified User now. Give it a shot.

    • 1
Apr 19, 2017

Thank you sir! I already have a list of firms I will be dropping by tomorrow and the next day in the AM and at lunch. At this point, I can honestly say I have nothing to lose.

Apr 19, 2017

A lot of old school finance execs in boutiques would probably love it.

Apr 19, 2017

I dropped off resumes in person at two boutique sized banks. Really good reaction and the bankers were impressed. At the first bank, the bankers were gone so I dropped it off with the secretary. Ended up getting an interview (despite no connections in the bank) because I dropped off the resume in person. The other bank was very impressed as well. MD actually had me into his office for ten minutes to talk to me.
Out of my experience I'd say go for it. Dress well, be polite, and be prepared for a short questioning. Worse they can say is no.

Apr 19, 2017

I think it's an awesome idea if you've got the balls to do it, but I would honestly give a phone call first just out of respect for their time. Just call their office line after hours and leave a vm saying something like "Hello my name is xyz, here's my situation. I'll be in the area on x date and would love to stop by your office, meet you and hear more about your business. I look forward to meeting you."

Then maybe shoot them an email saying something similar with your resume. That way at least you're giving them the opportunity to let you know they won't be available to meet. If you don't get a response, then show up and say "I called and emailed you a couple days ago, just in the area and blah blah blah".

Apr 19, 2017

Great to hear about the success! Keep us posted.

Apr 19, 2017

Today went fine, luckily I was able to give my resumes to at least one partner of each firm. The last resume drop-off was at a PE firm around 3:30pm, and the secretary was a total B.

It is just a waiting/following up game now. I am researching for more local firms (if any); Central Florida is so limited.
I hope to hear something from the top 3 firms on my list.

I'll keep you all posted.

Apr 19, 2017
VCWL:

Today went fine, luckily I was able to give my resumes to at least one partner of each firm. The last resume drop-off was at a PE firm around 3:30pm, and the secretary was a total B.

It is just a waiting/following up game now. I am researching for more local firms (if any); Central Florida is so limited.

I hope to hear something from the top 3 firms on my list.

I'll keep you all posted.

I had a shit GPA after graduating last May, and figured this strategy would be my only hope. I probably visited 20+ places, asked to talk to ANYONE who would hear me out (which was few) and ended up getting in front of a few people. I found that the more senior guys were the most impressed at the strategy, one even gave me kudos and told me that I have big balls (they're actually average, tops).

It ended up working for me as I received two interviews and one offer. I hope you can convert one fo your interviews into a gig, it's a great feeling. Congrats on going through with this, not many do.

BTW, some of the secretary/admins I met were pretty cunty as well. Keeps things interesting, haha. +1

    • 1
Apr 19, 2017

UPDATE: YES!!!! I just got 2 calls this morning and secured interviews for next week. One of them is a PE in my top 3 choices, and the other one is a VC firm. The VC recruiter told me that my resume was forwarded to them by a local PE firm. YES!

Whatever the outcome, I am thankful for this experience. Walk-ins work better than cold emails. Thank for the support all! I'll keep you all posted!

Apr 19, 2017

UPDATE:

So I went to my interviews, not what I was really hoping for. Tell me which option is the best.

A. PE firm offered non-paid internship. I asked if the internship could translate into a FT position down the road, and they said no. The firm is very small (only 3 partners) and is not looking to bring anyone as paid associate. (Basically I would be making them rich for free). They said what they provide in return is reference to hiring PE firms and access to their network. They guaranteed that I would polish my modeling skills and will be able to sit in meetings and learn the ins and outs.

B. VC firm offered a position which entails capital raising (they provide the leads and tools). It is commission based, but if I help them raise $150MM, I would be offered a partnership. $150MM seems unattainable knowing that it is a boutique firm with a few millions under management. Also, same as the PE firm, I would be able to sit in meetings and learn in the ins and outs. The VC firm has about 6 partners.

Which offer should I take? Which one is the best option in the long-run? Should I keep looking?

Thanks!

Apr 19, 2017
VCWL:

UPDATE:

So I went to my interviews, not what I was really hoping for. Tell me which option is the best.

A. PE firm offered non-paid internship. I asked if the internship could translate into a FT position down the road, and they said no. The firm is very small (only 3 partners) and is not looking to bring anyone as paid associate. (Basically I would be making them rich for free). They said what they provide in return is reference to hiring PE firms and access to their network. They guaranteed that I would polish my modeling skills and will be able to sit in meetings and learn the ins and outs.

B. VC firm offered a position which entails capital raising (they provide the leads and tools). It is commission based, but if I help them raise $150MM, I would be offered a partnership. $150MM seems unattainable knowing that it is a boutique firm with a few millions under management. Also, same as the PE firm, I would be able to sit in meetings and learn in the ins and outs. The VC firm has about 6 partners.

Which offer should I take? Which one is the best option in the long-run? Should I keep looking?

Thanks!

Keep looking, but I would say the VC one sounds better, assuming it's paid (even though PE is probably more aligned with banking, you could spin the skills from VC the right way)

    • 1
Apr 19, 2017

VC seems to be the better option.

Apr 19, 2017

Thanks, this is such a hard decision.

Apr 19, 2017

Interesting thread. OP, I'd be curious if you could post a bit on your background, like are you fresh out of school or are you doing this with some work experience of some sort already?

Apr 19, 2017
JulianRobertson:

Interesting thread. OP, I'd be curious if you could post a bit on your background, like are you fresh out of school or are you doing this with some work experience of some sort already?

I have some professional experience, chronologically:

1. I started as a Financial Analyst for a F500 (5 months).
2. I took a loan from my dad to partner for a hotel and also work as an analyst/intern for a very boutique REIT flipping hotels (1 year)
3. Sold our Hotel on a cash offer; I made a good return and was able paid my father back.
4. With my return on investment I angel invested in 3 start-ups, 1 failed miserably and the 2 other ones are barely breaking even.
5. Finished an unpaid VC internship with a boutique firm in 2013.

Apr 19, 2017

I've been in your shoes and have tried 'pounding the pavement' as they call it--or simply just walking into large banks or boutique firms to drop off a resume and introduce yourself.

Let's be clear here.. a face to face is by far the best way to introduce yourself to another person on a human level.

But as far as being efficient goes? Not such a good option.

You're much better off using a tool like Linkedin to find mutual connections to people who work at these firms. Once you find a mutual connection, you can then ask for a warm intro to the person you're trying to meet with. And let me be clear.. you can ask for an introduction to ANYONE within the firm, even if they're not the person you want to speak with.

Why? Because getting your 'foot in the door' is really the hurdle you're trying to get over here. Once you get your foot in the door and you get a response from someone from within the firm, that's when you can ask him to point you in the best direction to someone at the firm.

Don't get me wrong.. I love being bold and walking into small boutiques and introducing myself. But 9 times out of 10 you're going to get shut down by the front desk unless you have an appointment setup.

So work efficiently.. gain introductions, get pointed in the right direction, schedule a call to introduce yourself, THEN make your way into the office. This way, you can have 10 - 20 opportunities your working on at one time as opposed to just one.

    • 1
Apr 19, 2017

Since when do large hedge funds hire freshmen? What are you going to do for them, pick up dry cleaning?

Apr 19, 2017

And the coffee if they need it..... should I be looking at small hedge funds? I dont know, i was going to get an internship with my friends dad because he is the managing principal at his VC except they just fired one for messing some stuff up and they are not currently looking for any.... to be honest i just really want an internship at an investing institution, right now i have a job as a teller in a savings bank and i want to move up to IB or HF. any and all replies are helpful as no one in my family can help me with these questions.

Apr 19, 2017
Apr 19, 2017
SirTradesaLot:

//www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/walk-in-cold-call-q...

This might work at boutique shops and smaller funds, but I doubt this would fly at a "large HF".

Apr 19, 2017

No, this is too obtrusive. Work the phones and email and yet your sights lower than hedge funds as a freshman. Try a wealth management internship or something.

Apr 19, 2017

Walking in is usually hit or miss. They like the gumption but if you walk in to their office they might feel obligated to talk to you even though they would rather be doing something else. Or they could be in a good mood and give you an internship or advice etc.

But to rehash the other guy's comment, what are you going to offer them? A lot of reasons why interns are paid so little (nowadays even for free) is that the main opportunity cost of having an intern is time and energy spent teaching a kid what is going on etc.

Also, I think you just need to get any kind of finance internship under your belt even back office, which would prove educational and show future employers that you're dependable and interested, then slowly work your way up through sophmore yr then junior yr internship etc. These things take time. The only times I've ever seen undergraduates get hedge fund internships (at reputable firms) is through connections, if you don't have them spend time cultivating them so that when you do get out of school or have the requisite experience you can get into said hedge fund.

Apr 19, 2017

OP, I too go to a non target in Boston, however I am a sophomore. I walked into a few small boutique/mm I-Banks in my school's area and dropped off my resume/cover letter with the MD's name addressed on the front. That got me a few interviews, and I now intern at a mm bank about 10 minutes from my school. So def try, but I'm not sure if the process would be the same for hedge funds.

Apr 19, 2017

IB is fine too and what my plan was going to be was try for any of the investing firms be it HF, VC, PE, or IB. i really just want to get experience in the investing field. i was literally going to just go into every office and just ask.

Apr 19, 2017
Afrankiewicz12:

IB is fine too and what my plan was going to be was try for any of the investing firms be it HF, VC, PE, or IB. i really just want to get experience in the investing field. i was literally going to just go into every office and just ask.

Again, as long as it is local boutique firms (not NY) and you're smart about it, it can only help.

Apr 19, 2017

lol this should end well (not srs)

Apr 19, 2017

so is during a week day the best time to do it?

Apr 19, 2017
Afrankiewicz12:

so is during a week day the best time to do it?

Probably early in the morning when everyone is just getting in.

Apr 19, 2017

go for it. you have nothing to lose. I know a women who got a job this way back in "the old days".

Apr 19, 2017
Bondarb:

go for it. you have nothing to lose. I know a women who got a job this way back in "the old days".

How wouldn't this totally piss off an employer? Business is tough as ever in this economy apart from a few exceptions and there is already a ton of applicants for a minuscule number of spots. With the advent of this site and others it seems like IBs get more emails from applicants seeking a job than from firms actually seeking business!! Firms evaluate candidates by GPA/School/Test Scores and internships and barging in isn't likely to make a great impression. It's different from cold emailing MDs/Analysts since it allows them a chance to screen one's resume to see if they have a shot. Having college aged kids barge into my office everyday to ask for jobs would piss me off greatly as an employee and would be an automatic ding needless to say due to a needless pompous, entitled attitude. Seriously! My good friend who graduated last year got stuck with a shite boutique bank and tells me about how he gets flooded with desperate college freshmen/sophomores looking to leverage it into better things. His firm used to take in younger kids, but due to the competition out there, now they only take non target MBAs at least wanting to work there full time as opposed to wanting to rape them out of their brand name to head to morgan stanley! There's nothing wrong with applying, networking hard and trying to get in there as early as possible, but it seems like the majority of people in this thread are trying to get into IB and find this type of approach okay while they fail to realize how annoying it will be when they actually get into IB.

Apr 19, 2017

Don't offer your services (mainly because your services are worthless to them).

Instead maybe try to catch someone walking in/walking out and start chatting about what it is their firm does and you can show genuine interest in learning more about it. Then perhaps try to parlay it into a lunch/coffee.

Apr 19, 2017

yea i figure that's a better approach as well.

i might just sit in the bathroom stall and wait until one of the VPs come in to brush their teeth after lunch. and maybe start a little chat? what do you think? (i'm only half kidding btw)

Apr 19, 2017

Ummm... no. Don't approach/engage anyone in the bathroom, unless he's tapping his shoe under the the wall of your stall... then feel free.

Catch them in the elevator, elevator bank, on the way up in the morning, on the way down for lunch, etc... just try to get to know the person and the firm. Don't have an agenda.

Apr 19, 2017
Marcus_Halberstram:

Ummm... no. Don't approach/engage anyone in the bathroom, unless he's tapping his shoe under the the wall of your stall... then feel free.

Catch them in the elevator, elevator bank, on the way up in the morning, on the way down for lunch, etc... just try to get to know the person and the firm. Don't have an agenda.

Yeah, don't mistake my wide stance as an invitation.

Regards

Apr 19, 2017

spend the day riding the elevator your bound to catch at least one person!

Apr 19, 2017

why dont u ask someone at the place you work at if they know the ppl from next door. maybe they could introduce you? introductions usually go smoother than just randomly starting to talk to ppl.

Apr 19, 2017

VC
take the bird in hand

happy to give advice; no asking for referrals please

Apr 19, 2017

Just curious as to what did you previously during your experience in venture capital. Also, what happens if you do not successfully raise the $150m?

Apr 19, 2017

Hi thecoldburns: I did not have any previous VC experience just 3 angel investments of $30K each with the return I made on a Hotel partnership that involved some Real Estate Private Equity transactions. I believe the similarity with VC would be that they were all early-stage companies. One venture miserably failed, and the other ones are just breaking-even so far.

As far as raising 150M, it seems unattainable (especially by myself) provided that I am fairly young and suck at sales. The upside from this experience would be the industry exposure and network built. I will continue looking for opportunities as I am doing this.

Regards.

Apr 19, 2017

1. Based on your gut feel, how much do you trust the guys at the PE firm to go to the bat for you.
2. Can you afford to take up the unpaid stint?

With respect to building a strong network, I personally believe that this comes with time and experience (and preferably white hair). Even at 30, unless you're a galactic superstar with serious backing/exposure to the industry, it's difficult to raise a decent sized fund.

Also, what happens if you end up raising $20m instead? Do you still get a job at the VC? From my understanding of your post, they are paying solely commission?

Apr 19, 2017

Haven't tried it - sure some others have. MDs are usually busy and my best guess is you will get shut down by reception who may take your resume and pass the message on out of courtesy.

Could be one of those scenarios though where you end up meeting one person who likes your moxy and it could play out well for you.

    • 1
Apr 19, 2017

I was thinking about lying to the receptionist saying something of the sort I am the son of the CEO of one of their companies that they are holding. I really only need two minutes to pitch myself.

Apr 19, 2017

More possible downside than upside IMO.

Apr 19, 2017

Thought about it and I would have only done it If I got desperate enough. If you do this, know that you could leave bad enough impressions at every firm and severely hinder future job prospects in your city. All of these shops likely know eachother, too. It's really a sort of nuclear option.

Apr 19, 2017

how do you suggest getting by security?

Apr 19, 2017

You mean the secretary? Local boutiques don't have security.

Apr 19, 2017

This seems like an ill-conceived idea. Life is not like the movie Wall Street (1987) where Bud Fox called every day for 2 months and showed up with birthday gifts until he got a job. If you aren't getting interviews, the odds are even if they let you pitch yourself, you aren't going to beat out the people they wanted to interview in the first place. As I write this, I'm picturing the optics of this situation - very bad.

Apr 19, 2017

This sounds like all downside risk. Like @archervice stated, it's not Wall Street the movie. I suppose dropping your resume off by hand and just leaving it with the receptionist doesn't have a big downside but I doubt it's going to do a ton to sway an MD or any senior person because they're not going to see you right then. If I'm actually getting work done or in the middle of something, I hardly even like seeing people when they have appointments, let alone someone just dropping by. But not leaving until you get your two minutes, lying to get in and in any way involving security just seems like a horrible idea. If you did any combo of the above three things, and one of them would probably be enough, word would get around and you'll never get a job.

Apr 19, 2017

Well, I guess I'm going to have to change my game plan. Cold calling would be more effective I reckon?

Apr 19, 2017

Well, I guess I'm going to have to change my game plan. Cold calling would be more effective I reckon?

Apr 19, 2017

I struggle to think of a more ill-conceived plan.

We have security desks and turnstiles to filter out this sort of Hollywood-inspired self destruction.

Apr 19, 2017
    • 1
Apr 19, 2017

If you're going through the effort of finding all of these banks' contact information, send them an email requesting a very small amount of their time with an extremely short "pitch" and see who agrees to chat. You can try cold calling after that if nothing works out. And try to learn or at least feign some humility, you're not god's gift to banking and MD's aren't all the supporting cast of a movie starring you. You can be proactive and get in front of people while still showing some semblance of respect for their time.

Apr 19, 2017

I swear some people here think everyone in an investment bank exists solely to recruit interns and analysts.

Apr 19, 2017
Comment

"It is better to have a friendship based on business, than a business based on friendship." - Rockefeller.

"Live fast, die hard. Leave a good looking body." - Navy SEAL

Apr 19, 2017
Apr 19, 2017
Apr 19, 2017