Ask a 2nd Year IB Analyst

squawkbox's picture
Rank: Gorilla | 654

It's the time of year for SA interviews. Two-plus years ago, analysts on WSO helped me break into i-banking from a non-target school.

As a result, I'd be happy to answer questions to those interviewing or trying to get banking interviews coming up.

(fyi: I don't know about the S&T process and a minimal amount about Cap Markets, nor anything about recruiting in Europe or Asia.)

I know everyone wants to get into banking. However, realize that most banks are in a similar hiring situation as 2008/early 2009. Keep your options open!

For starters, here is what you should know/do:

If you have less than a 3.6 GPA (target or non-target), the odds of getting into banking this spring are extremely slim due to the state of the European markets. This should not deter you from trying to get interviews, but you should be applying to a wide range of industries and consulting. You will need a glowing resume if you have below a 3.6.

Get the following guides (small investment for a job that pays >$100k out of college):
1) WSO Behavioral + Technical
2) Beat the Street
3) Vault
4) The Rosenbaum book (ignore APV)

You should be reading the following daily:
1) Dealbook
2) Bloomberg
3) WSJ.com
4) http://www.renaissancecapital.com/RenCap/Default.aspx
Some summarized technicals:
http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/ebitda-vs-op...

Comments (116)

Jan 15, 2012

When you say 3.6, you mean only for finance majors?

    • 1
Jan 15, 2012
Abdel:

When you say 3.6, you mean only for finance majors?

All majors except engineering

Jan 15, 2012
squawkbox:
Abdel:

When you say 3.6, you mean only for finance majors?

All majors except engineering

Do you also include math majors within engineering?

How many nontargets in your analyst class? how many on the team? what about analyst classes from other years?

Is it bad if I take out all my leadership experience from my resume (Non-profit work and national math competition) and include more detailed internship descriptions (2 small IB boutique internships, 1 big PE fund internship, wrote down over 8 ongoing or completed deals and how I exactly contributed)?

Jan 15, 2012

How do you think boutique (not elite) and MM hiring will be for SA? I realize that a lot of students that don't get a BB will come to these banks, but do you think there will be a drastic decline in their overall hiring numbers as well?

Jan 15, 2012
notaspammer:

How do you think boutique (not elite) and MM hiring will be for SA? I realize that a lot of students that don't get a BB will come to these banks, but do you think there will be a drastic decline in their overall hiring numbers as well?

no idea. big corporations are flush with cash and cheap debt, so buying small companies should continue into 2012. This should keep the MM banks humming.

Jan 15, 2012

What would a resume stand out beside the GPA? What it be previous financial internships or varsity sports?

Jan 15, 2012
Powa23:

What would a resume stand out beside the GPA? What it be previous financial internships or varsity sports?

Sure, but you still need the GPA

Jan 15, 2012
  1. I'm in my third year and never applied for an internship in December, is it too late now?
  2. In my fourth year when I do apply for an analyst position what are my chances with exactly a 3.6GPA without a glowing resume?
  3. What kind of things can I add to my resume aside from an internship that would make it glowing?
  4. Is taking the wall street prep course this summer and adding that to my resume something that will benefit
    me?
  5. If I don't get into investment banking what kind of job specifically should I be looking for that will help me break into investment banking a year later that would be realistically attainable?
  6. I've always wondered this too, if I do get the interview does my GPA now not matter and it's all about the interview or will those hiring me go "hmm the guys we've hired all seem good but that one guy had a 3.6 and the other guy had a 3.7 so we better go with the guy who has a 3.7"?
  7. I see a lot of mention of cold calling as a technique to get into investment banking. When should I start cold calling, what number do I cold call, who do I ask to speak to and what am I supposed to say? Especially considering I don't live in a financial hub city so I can't just meet up with someone for coffee, I need something substantial to be worth going there for such as an interview.
  8. Any other tips you can give me to try and break into investment banking? Like I said I'm in my third year, I go to University of Alberta, I am taking every single Finance course my university has to offer and I am taking mostly all accounting courses as my options (I will have all the courses required to write the CA). I was thinking of completing that wall street prep course and I am planning on writing my CFA I in the June I finish school. My GPA will end up probably somewhere in the range of 3.6-3.8. I didn't apply for an internship this summer because at first I thought it wouldn't work due to my living arrangements but I think I could make it work now but I might have missed my opportunity. Is there anything else I should be doing? I want to network but I also want 4.0s in everything so I dislike going to events organized by my school meant for networking that just end up wasting my time. Since I don't live in a financial hub I don't see how much networking would actually lead to a job but perhaps I'm being too narrow-minded when it comes to networking or perhaps there is something I am overlooking.

Any help would be appreciated, thanks.

Jan 15, 2012
  1. I'm in my third year and never applied for an internship in December, is it too late now?

No, banks are recruiting now

  1. In my fourth year when I do apply for an analyst position what are my chances with exactly a 3.6GPA without a glowing resume?

Depends on how many summer analysts take now and how the stock market is doing in September

  1. What kind of things can I add to my resume aside from an internship that would make it glowing?

Leadership positions, relevant classwork, investing?

  1. Is taking the wall street prep course this summer and adding that to my resume something that will benefit
    me?

No way

  1. If I don't get into investment banking what kind of job specifically should I be looking for that will help me break into investment banking a year later that would be realistically attainable?

Consulting or Industry Finance

  1. I've always wondered this too, if I do get the interview does my GPA now not matter and it's all about the interview or will those hiring me go "hmm the guys we've hired all seem good but that one guy had a 3.6 and the other guy had a 3.7 so we better go with the guy who has a 3.7"?

GPA will be much less of a factor once you get the interview It's like SAT score (a checkmark)

  1. I see a lot of mention of cold calling as a technique to get into investment banking. When should I start cold calling, what number do I cold call, who do I ask to speak to and what am I supposed to say? Especially considering I don't live in a financial hub city so I can't just meet up with someone for coffee, I need something substantial to be worth going there for such as an interview.

Would go on linkedin and email analysts at current banks. if they like you, they can forward your resume to HR

  1. Any other tips you can give me to try and break into investment banking? Like I said I'm in my third year, I go to University of Alberta, I am taking every single Finance course my university has to offer and I am taking mostly all accounting courses as my options (I will have all the courses required to write the CA). I was thinking of completing that wall street prep course and I am planning on writing my CFA I in the June I finish school. My GPA will end up probably somewhere in the range of 3.6-3.8. I didn't apply for an internship this summer because at first I thought it wouldn't work due to my living arrangements but I think I could make it work now but I might have missed my opportunity. Is there anything else I should be doing? I want to network but I also want 4.0s in everything so I dislike going to events organized by my school meant for networking that just end up wasting my time. Since I don't live in a financial hub I don't see how much networking would actually lead to a job but perhaps I'm being too narrow-minded when it comes to networking or perhaps there is something I am overlooking.

I have never met anyone on Wall Street from Univ of Alberta. I know nothing about the school

Any help would be appreciated, thanks.[/quote]

Jan 15, 2012

I just happily accepted my offer for a summer internship (top boutique at regional location). What would you say interns and 1st years work on? Are they mostly research and formatting? I heard you don't get to touch modelling until your 2nd year analyst?

Jan 15, 2012
neanderthal:

I just happily accepted my offer for a summer internship (top boutique at regional location). What would you say interns and 1st years work on? Are they mostly research and formatting? I heard you don't get to touch modelling until your 2nd year analyst?

Depends if the boutique does a lot of buyside or sellside

Buyside -> heavy modeling

Sellside -> some modeling, a lot of powerpoint for the management presentation

Jan 15, 2012

Just accepted an offer for the summer from one of the BB's. Would you recommend taking a product group over a coverage group if possible? My top choice right now is LevFin -- in your experience do these groups generally offer a good experience across the Street?

Jan 15, 2012
JWR34:

Just accepted an offer for the summer from one of the BB's. Would you recommend taking a product group over a coverage group if possible? My top choice right now is LevFin -- in your experience do these groups generally offer a good experience across the Street?

I've know a lot of people leave LevFin and/or say it was a bad experience. From what I've heard, there's limited modeling.

I would target M&A or Sponsors. Everyone does this, so push for it early on.

Jan 15, 2012

Just curious, I'm a non target 3.8 lower junior majoring in economics- if i get a summer internship at a boutique or MM, what will they have me do?

Are there tasks at MM/boutiques that can be done without knowing finance (modeling)?

What type of group do you think I should aim for? (IB, PE, Macro fund, what do I have a shot at w/o finance knowlege?)

rufiolove:

When evaluating whether or not to post something on WSO, I think to myself, "would an idiot post this" and if the answer is yes, I do not post that thing...

Jan 15, 2012
peepstache:

Just curious, I'm a non target 3.8 lower junior majoring in economics- if i get a summer internship at a boutique or MM, what will they have me do?

Are there tasks at MM/boutiques that can be done without knowing finance (modeling)?

What type of group do you think I should aim for? (IB, PE, Macro fund, what do I have a shot at w/o finance knowlege?)

Have you taken any accounting classes?

If not, get on that.

The most significant misconception of aspiring analysts is that you need to know "finance" This is complete b/s. Nearly every target school does not offer finance.

Most school do offer one-two semesters of accounting. This is much more relevant than "finance".

The BB's have great training that will start from ground-zero. Don't know about MM's. I think the boutiques usually get TTS

Jan 15, 2012
squawkbox:
peepstache:

Just curious, I'm a non target 3.8 lower junior majoring in economics- if i get a summer internship at a boutique or MM, what will they have me do?

Are there tasks at MM/boutiques that can be done without knowing finance (modeling)?

What type of group do you think I should aim for? (IB, PE, Macro fund, what do I have a shot at w/o finance knowlege?)

Have you taken any accounting classes?

If not, get on that.

The most significant misconception of aspiring analysts is that you need to know "finance" This is complete b/s. Nearly every target school does not offer finance.

Most school do offer one-two semesters of accounting. This is much more relevant than "finance".

The BB's have great training that will start from ground-zero. Don't know about MM's. I think the boutiques usually get TTS

Thanks.

I've also taken the intro's to Acc and Fin (one semester each), wasn't sure how good I was just with this.

What do you suggest trying for as a summer internship? I'm mostly looking for some experience to give me a good chance with BB summer internship next summer.

rufiolove:

When evaluating whether or not to post something on WSO, I think to myself, "would an idiot post this" and if the answer is yes, I do not post that thing...

Jan 15, 2012

thanks for this squawkbox...how would you best position yourself for group placement considering a lot of places have done away with sell days? would you have done anything differently?

Jan 15, 2012
Beeland Rogers:

thanks for this squawkbox...how would you best position yourself for group placement considering a lot of places have done away with sell days? would you have done anything differently?

Just do whatever you can to get M&A or Sponsors.

Jan 15, 2012

squawkbox do you mind if I PM you instead?

Jan 15, 2012
needtodecide:

squawkbox do you mind if I PM you instead?

i rather give advice to everyone in general.

Jan 15, 2012

Can one get away with just posting a major gpa if it's 3.6+?

Jan 15, 2012
Planetbeing:

Can one get away with just posting a major gpa if it's 3.6+?

You can try, but you would probably need to be from a target or semi-target

Jan 15, 2012

How well do you need to know the technicals? Can you make it if you get a couple technicals wrong?

Jan 15, 2012
Delta Riot Shield Squad:

How well do you need to know the technicals? Can you make it if you get a couple technicals wrong?

First rounds will usually not be very technical unless you are a finance major.

There is not much leniency if you're a finance major. You better know those guides (WSO, Vault, Rosenblum) inside and out. Skip the section on APV.

Econ majors are expected to know what is in the guides, but nothing crazy like deferred taxes.

However, there is a bit of leeway if you're non-finance/econ. See the link below -- you will still need to know that stuff

If you understand what I posted two years ago, then you should be in decent shape on technicals:

http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/ebitda-vs-op...

Jan 15, 2012

If you're a good candidate, how much will networking help you? Would no networking hurt you?

Jan 15, 2012
HarvardOrBust:

If you're a good candidate, how much will networking help you? Would no networking hurt you?

You only need to network if a bank does not come to your school.

If they come to your school, drop your resume in the OCR and let the rest work itself out.

I would only network if you don't have direct access to submit your resume to a bank.

Jan 15, 2012

Not related to SA interviews, but I think you might be able to answer given your standing as a 2nd-year. Of your group's analysts that were above you, or any other analysts you know, what percentage go on to careers in PE vs. corp development vs. MBA vs. other opportunities? I understand that it varies depending your group/bank's standing, but would you say a large portion go on to PE, or is it more a select few that are able to land these jobs? Just trying to figure out if it's only top bucket guys that are getting these offers, or if "average" analysts are in the hunt also.

Jan 15, 2012
westsidewolf1989:

Not related to SA interviews, but I think you might be able to answer given your standing as a 2nd-year. Of your group's analysts that were above you, or any other analysts you know, what percentage go on to careers in PE vs. corp development vs. MBA vs. other opportunities? I understand that it varies depending your group/bank's standing, but would you say a large portion go on to PE, or is it more a select few that are able to land these jobs? Just trying to figure out if it's only top bucket guys that are getting these offers, or if "average" analysts are in the hunt also.

This is the biggest misconception incoming analysts have.

Every year there are 1,000-1,250 new banking analysts.

Of those, maybe 25% get offers on the buyside.

It all depends on M&A experience. Zero M&A experience is a near-death sentence when it comes to PE/HF recruiting. You don't have to announce/close M&A deals, but you need to have worked on live M&A deals by the time buyside recruiting comes around.

Buyside M&A is infinitely more valuable than sell-side due to the nature of the modeling.

Sell-side modeling is very one-dimensional. You are thinking about the company in isolation.

Buyside modeling takes synergies, NOLs, and Accretion/Dilution into account. This is the type of in-depth, "meaty" analysis that the buyside is looking for. It doesn't matter what the deal size is.

A lot of others go into industry finance, corporate development or grad school. Many stay on for a 3rd year.

Jan 15, 2012
squawkbox:
westsidewolf1989:

Not related to SA interviews, but I think you might be able to answer given your standing as a 2nd-year. Of your group's analysts that were above you, or any other analysts you know, what percentage go on to careers in PE vs. corp development vs. MBA vs. other opportunities? I understand that it varies depending your group/bank's standing, but would you say a large portion go on to PE, or is it more a select few that are able to land these jobs? Just trying to figure out if it's only top bucket guys that are getting these offers, or if "average" analysts are in the hunt also.

This is the biggest misconception incoming analysts have.

Every year there are 1,000-1,250 new banking analysts.

Of those, maybe 25% get offers on the buyside.

It all depends on M&A experience. Zero M&A experience is a near-death sentence when it comes to PE/HF recruiting. You don't have to announce/close M&A deals, but you need to have worked on live M&A deals by the time buyside recruiting comes around.

Buyside M&A is infinitely more valuable than sell-side due to the nature of the modeling.

Sell-side modeling is very one-dimensional. You are thinking about the company in isolation.

Buyside modeling takes synergies, NOLs, and Accretion/Dilution into account. This is the type of in-depth, "meaty" analysis that the buyside is looking for. It doesn't matter what the deal size is.

A lot of others go into industry finance, corporate development or grad school. Many stay on for a 3rd year.

Does the prestige of the bank you work at make any difference for buy-side recruiting? For example, I would think that an analyst out of Goldman IBD would have an edge over an analyst coming out of Jefferies?

Jan 15, 2012

What advice can you give someone who is about to start in their first year (BB IBD)? Feel free to explain any political or social office dynamics. How to network internally...etc.

Thanks for offering to answer these questions!

Jan 15, 2012
God of Wine:

What advice can you give someone who is about to start in their first year (BB IBD)? Feel free to explain any political or social office dynamics. How to network internally...etc.

Thanks for offering to answer these questions!

Push to work on M&A deals and large buyside accounts.

Enjoy the rest of senior year. Do not waste a dime of time or money prepping.

Jan 15, 2012

[]

Jan 15, 2012

Isn't Math one of the difficult majors like engineering where a lower GPA in Math is equal to a higher GPA in an easier subject.

Does a lower GPA still matter if you can get into an interview through networking?

Are GPA requirements as high for Middle Office positions also?

Do MM banks have Back Office/Middle Office divisions?

Jan 15, 2012
JamesHetfield:

Isn't Math one of the difficult majors like engineering where a lower GPA in Math is equal to a higher GPA in an easier subject.

Does a lower GPA still matter if you can get into an interview through networking?

Are GPA requirements as high for Middle Office positions also?

Do MM banks have Back Office/Middle Office divisions?

I haven't encountered many math majors in banking. The ones I have are insanely smart and have very high GPA's from target schools.

The lower GPA will still matter because every interviewer (from analyst to MD) will ask why you slacked off in class. Maybe you have a good story.

I will let those in MO/BO answer questions regarding those processes as I'm not familiar.

Jan 15, 2012

squawkbox,

thanks for taking your time to answer questions.

My question is how strict the GPA cutoff is at OCR. You mentioned 3.6 as a requirement, does that mean people with 3.4 to 3.5 GPA are out of luck unless they have sick work experience? I didn't know .1 to .2 GPA difference could make all the difference in the world for IBD recruiting.

Do you need at least 3.6 GPA to land interviews even if you are coming out of Ivies? Do you cut any slack towards people with 'harder' majors, such as math, computer science, engineering, or physics? If so, by how much??

Also, do you mind if I ask you how many analysts your bank tends to hire each year? What percentage of analysts tend to get direct promotion to become associates without the need to attend MBA?

Jan 16, 2012
Sexy_Like_Enrique:

squawkbox,

thanks for taking your time to answer questions.

My question is how strict the GPA cutoff is at OCR. You mentioned 3.6 as a requirement, does that mean people with 3.4 to 3.5 GPA are out of luck unless they have sick work experience? I didn't know .1 to .2 GPA difference could make all the difference in the world for IBD recruiting.

Do you need at least 3.6 GPA to land interviews even if you are coming out of Ivies? Do you cut any slack towards people with 'harder' majors, such as math, computer science, engineering, or physics? If so, by how much??

Also, do you mind if I ask you how many analysts your bank tends to hire each year? What percentage of analysts tend to get direct promotion to become associates without the need to attend MBA?

It's not a rock solid thing in all cases, but some OCRs will block you dropping your resume unless you meet the cutoff. It's more of that's who is getting interviews. I don't know how much "GPA slack" is given to the quant majors; HR determines this. There is definitely some.

Number of analysts hired varies. The LTM performance of the XLF (an ETF symbol) is the best barometer IMO.

In general, many analysts have the potential to direct promote but choose other options. Most banks are happy with this since for a number of reasons, but some hate it.

Jan 15, 2012

Thank you squawkbox!

I had an another question which relates to an interesting point you brought up

You said that if banks comes for resume drops and does OCR there is no point in networking.

What if my school is a semi-target but loads of banks from boutiques to every BB comes to recruit? Our school perennially sends around 30 - 40 to banking and have established relationships.

Would my time be better spent studying to get a higher GPA and reading books about finance than networking?

Jan 16, 2012
Powa23:

Thank you squawkbox!

I had an another question which relates to an interesting point you brought up

You said that if banks comes for resume drops and does OCR there is no point in networking.

What if my school is a semi-target but loads of banks from boutiques to every BB comes to recruit? Our school perennially sends around 30 - 40 to banking and have established relationships.

Would my time be better spent studying to get a higher GPA and reading books about finance than networking?

Your time is best spent
a) Making sure you meet the GPA cutoff for the OCR
b) Reading the materials I mentioned in my original post
c) Keeping up with the M&A and IPO deals that each bank does, so read Dealbook

I would use networking with analyst only as a means of learning about the tools that you need to do your daily prep for the interview, many of which I've mentioned in the OP. The networking itself will not make an impact once you have the interview.

Jan 16, 2012

What kinds of questions do you ask lateral analysts in interviews?

I'm prepping. Halp.

Jan 16, 2012
Cries:

What kinds of questions do you ask lateral analysts in interviews?

I'm prepping. Halp.

It's more technical. Review your valuation materials from the bank you're coming from.

Jan 16, 2012

Have you ever met anyone from Northeastern University in FO? Its a non-target but I heard they can do ok.

Is an Ops internship at a BB in the summer after Sophmore year going to help me at all for FO?

Is a Business degree with a Finance concentration good enough for trading? I know an extreme level of math isnt needed with equities and bonds but I always assumed they prefered quants...

Jan 16, 2012
BulgeBracket:

Have you ever met anyone from Northeastern University in FO? Its a non-target but I heard they can do ok.

Is an Ops internship at a BB in the summer after Sophmore year going to help me at all for FO?

Is a Business degree with a Finance concentration good enough for trading? I know an extreme level of math isnt needed with equities and bonds but I always assumed they prefered quants...

I have not met anyone from Northeastern, but I'm confident that a candidate with a glowing resume can and will get an interview.

Any FO/BO/MO sophomore internship at BB is priceless. This will definitely help you stand apart with FO recruiting. HR and Banking Analysts reviewing resumes will always stop, at least for a moment, when they see the name of a top-20 bank on the resume of a SA/FT applicant.

Like I said, I'm not qualified to give advice on the S&T interviewing process.

Jan 16, 2012
squawkbox:
BulgeBracket:

Have you ever met anyone from Northeastern University in FO? Its a non-target but I heard they can do ok.

Is an Ops internship at a BB in the summer after Sophmore year going to help me at all for FO?

Is a Business degree with a Finance concentration good enough for trading? I know an extreme level of math isnt needed with equities and bonds but I always assumed they prefered quants...

I have not met anyone from Northeastern, but I'm confident that a candidate with a glowing resume can and will get an interview.

Any FO/BO/MO sophomore internship at BB is priceless. This will definitely help you stand apart with FO recruiting. HR and Banking Analysts reviewing resumes will always stop, at least for a moment, when they see the name of a top-20 bank on the resume of a SA/FT applicant.

Like I said, I'm not qualified to give advice on the S&T interviewing process.

Thanks for the response!
Sorry, just saw your previous comment about S&T now.

Jan 16, 2012

Are VP and analyst in today? I know its holiday, I emailed a few bankers a week and half ago and thought about sending another one today to follow up. Good idea?

Jan 16, 2012
TheKid1:

Are VP and analyst in today? I know its holiday, I emailed a few bankers a week and half ago and thought about sending another one today to follow up. Good idea?

I don't know why you would email a VP. They are generally very busy or with their families.

If an analyst has not replied after a week, try one follow-up (only one).

Jan 16, 2012
squawkbox:
TheKid1:

Are VP and analyst in today? I know its holiday, I emailed a few bankers a week and half ago and thought about sending another one today to follow up. Good idea?

I don't know why you would email a VP. They are generally very busy or with their families.

If an analyst has not replied after a week, try one follow-up (only one).

Thanks a lot.

Jan 16, 2012

I have a 3.589 GPA, can i put 3.6?

Thanks!

Jan 16, 2012
mapr89:

I have a 3.589 GPA, can i put 3.6?

Thanks!

It rounds to 3.6, so sure

Jan 16, 2012

i have an interview coming up with a guy in LevFin. i didn't apply specifically for LevFin and am only interested in coverage group. should i prepare differently?

I double major in Finance and Real Estate - but if I say I'm more interested in consumer and retail group because I don't want to pigeonholed into a "niche" area and I want some more general modeling techniques. does this make sense?

Jan 16, 2012
asianracist:

i have an interview coming up with a guy in LevFin. i didn't apply specifically for LevFin and am only interested in coverage group. should i prepare differently?

I double major in Finance and Real Estate - but if I say I'm more interested in consumer and retail group because I don't want to pigeonholed into a "niche" area and I want some more general modeling techniques. does this make sense?

It depends on the bank. With most programs, you interview with someone, but that has no meaning on which group you will get placed into.

I assume you applied to a general banking program?

Jan 16, 2012
squawkbox:
asianracist:

i have an interview coming up with a guy in LevFin. i didn't apply specifically for LevFin and am only interested in coverage group. should i prepare differently?

I double major in Finance and Real Estate - but if I say I'm more interested in consumer and retail group because I don't want to pigeonholed into a "niche" area and I want some more general modeling techniques. does this make sense?

It depends on the bank. With most programs, you interview with someone, but that has no meaning on which group you will get placed into.

I assume you applied to a general banking program?

Yes, I applied to a general program. It just happen that the guy interviewing me is from Lev Fin.

So how about if I were asked "you major in Real Estate, so why are you not interested in working in RE and RE industry group?", does it make sense to banker if I say "I enjoy a more fast-paced environment and want to work in a group which is directly related to our daily life. Also I don't want to pigeonholed into a "niche" area and I want some more general modeling techniques."

    • 1
Jan 16, 2012

Hi squawkbox,

I'm trying to lateral to a bigger firm. Would you be able to provide any insight in general? Thank you.

Jan 16, 2012

I just want to caveat that (I am a 2nd year associate at a bb) - not trying to hate on you squawkbox but a number of what you say is just incorrect based on my experience ...

Jan 16, 2012
DebunkingMyths:

I just want to caveat that (I am a 2nd year associate at a bb) - not trying to hate on you squawkbox but a number of what you say is just incorrect based on my experience ...

Could you possibly expand on this point?

Jan 16, 2012

Sorry to add, your advice is correct in terms of preparation

1) Banks are hiring for internships right now ... I just came back from final rounds (interviewing juniors)
2) I'd do industry coverage over sponsors .... sponsors is worthless

Jan 16, 2012
DebunkingMyths:

Sorry to add, your advice is correct in terms of preparation

1) Banks are hiring for internships right now ... I just came back from final rounds (interviewing juniors)
2) I'd do industry coverage over sponsors .... sponsors is worthless

1) I never said banks weren't hiring interns. I said it's very competitive.

2) If you're a PE firm, do you value someone's experience doing committee memos over LBOs? I don't see how copying and pasting text/charts into a word document is better experience than modeling.

Go look on any PE website that lists their pre-mba associates. You will see that many come from sponsors groups.

Jan 16, 2012
squawkbox:

Go look on any PE website that lists their pre-mba associates. You will see that many come from sponsors groups.

you should caveat this with "at my bank" is the issue. Sponsors group is terrible at many top banks.

Array

Best Response
Jan 16, 2012
squawkbox:
DebunkingMyths:

Sorry to add, your advice is correct in terms of preparation

1) Banks are hiring for internships right now ... I just came back from final rounds (interviewing juniors)
2) I'd do industry coverage over sponsors .... sponsors is worthless

1) I never said banks weren't hiring interns. I said it's very competitive.

2) If you're a PE firm, do you value someone's experience doing committee memos over LBOs? I don't see how copying and pasting text/charts into a word document is better experience than modeling.

Go look on any PE website that lists their pre-mba associates. You will see that many come from sponsors groups.

Your advice seems to be from the perspective of your bank. For instance, point #2 is bank-dependent. As some banks, sponsors represent a great group that take a very active approach to modeling and at others, simply constitute a relationship-management role (where the analysts do very little modeling). CS Sponsors is a lot different from JPM Sponsors...

Another example is how you advised people to choose coverage groups over the LevFin team... The LevFin team at your bank might play an unimportant and secondary role but at certain banks (i.e. JPM / DB / BAML), LevFin may represent the best group for technical work, prestige and buyside recruiting. The LevFin teams that have lead-left capabilities, the analysts do significant modeling and structuring.

    • 2
Jan 16, 2012

[]

Jan 16, 2012

what would you be doing if you didn't become a banker out of school

Jan 16, 2012

How important is networking in getting interviews? I know its important but how much of an advantage do you think it is in getting interviews? If you are strong enough to get interviews at places like BB finance or credit risk, then networking doesnt help that much given you know the technicals, markets and about the industries? I see how it helps at the IBD level for BB's but for less competitive positions like ops or finance at BB, it might not be as much of a requirement given you are strong enough to get a decent amount of interviews?

Jan 16, 2012
Delta Riot Shield Squad:

How important is networking in getting interviews? I know its important but how much of an advantage do you think it is in getting interviews? If you are strong enough to get interviews at places like BB finance or credit risk, then networking doesnt help that much given you know the technicals, markets and about the industries? I see how it helps at the IBD level for BB's but for less competitive positions like ops or finance at BB, it might not be as much of a requirement given you are strong enough to get a decent amount of interviews?

Here's my opinion on networking:

If the bank comes to your school for the position, then networking won't do much

If you go to a non-target and/or the bank does not come to your school, you need to either meet the banks at a target school or find analysts at the bank through LinkedIn that might be willing to pass along your resume.

IMO, networking can get you an interview if you have a great resume. Beyond that, it's all up to you. Extra networking will not score "brownie points" during the actual interviews.

Jan 16, 2012
squawkbox:

If the bank comes to your school for the position, then networking won't do much

my bank definitely discusses interactions with potential candidates when picking 1st round candidates from my target alma mater. when you get an inch thick stack of resumes to review, most of which look the exact same, it definitely helps if you can actually put a face/voice/etc to the name.

Array

Jan 16, 2012

Thanks for taking questions.

I;m a college senior awaiting my start date as an analyst at a BB in NYC in an industry group. I was never a SA and am wondering if you have any advice on what I should do leading up to my start date to prepare myself for a successful analyst role?

Jan 16, 2012
jbt073:

Thanks for taking questions.

I;m a college senior awaiting my start date as an analyst at a BB in NYC in an industry group. I was never a SA and am wondering if you have any advice on what I should do leading up to my start date to prepare myself for a successful analyst role?

TAKE A LONG, EXPENSIVE TRIP TO ANYWHERE. ENJOY SENIOR YEAR.

I wasted money and time "prepping" for the position, and it was a complete waste.

If you are motivated to do so, now would be the best time to study for GMAT. Take it in May or June. It will be years before you have time for it again. I think the score is good for 5 years.

If you're going to a BB or elite boutique, they will train you on fundamental accounting through LBOs.

Jan 16, 2012

is there any way to maintain some sort of balance or well-roundedness in your day-to-day life as an IB analyst? Is the day to day similar to what mergers and inquisitions describes in its day in the week of an IB analyst? or much worse?

Jan 16, 2012
englandco:

is there any way to maintain some sort of balance or well-roundedness in your day-to-day life as an IB analyst? Is the day to day similar to what mergers and inquisitions describes in its day in the week of an IB analyst? or much worse?

Depends on the group, and groups can differ significantly within any bank.

In general, be prepared to come into the office 7 days a week. You will usually get Friday and Saturday night off, except if you're on a live buyside.

You will not be able to make plans for weekends well in advance.

Jan 17, 2012

First off, thanks for taking the time out of your schedule to answer some questions.

I'm going to be starting undergrad at Northwestern for economics coming up. My plan is to take every available finance and accounting class they have on top of my major, then get the Financial Economics Certificate from Kellogg after I finish undergrad. I'm confident with networking, going to information sessions at Northwestern and UChicago, and keeping up with dealbook, WSJ, etc. to ask questions that are more far more interesting and memorable than "So what's it like to be an investment banker," that I should be able to put some ground between myself and everyone else applying for summer internships, and eventually full-time interviews.

My question is, looking back to your time in college, what are some other than obvious things you wished you would've researched more, or didn't expect you would need to know so much about that had an impact on breaking into IB, or adapting as a successful analyst? I'm reading all through M&I and Vault to get a strong understanding of what to expect and how to get an edge, but if there's any resources you think are especially accurate or have an input on it, I'd appreciate it.

Jan 17, 2012
Romneybot:

First off, thanks for taking the time out of your schedule to answer some questions.

I'm going to be starting undergrad at Northwestern for economics coming up. My plan is to take every available finance and accounting class they have on top of my major, then get the Financial Economics Certificate from Kellogg after I finish undergrad. I'm confident with networking, going to information sessions at Northwestern and UChicago, and keeping up with dealbook, WSJ, etc. to ask questions that are more far more interesting and memorable than "So what's it like to be an investment banker," that I should be able to put some ground between myself and everyone else applying for summer internships, and eventually full-time interviews.

My question is, looking back to your time in college, what are some other than obvious things you wished you would've researched more, or didn't expect you would need to know so much about that had an impact on breaking into IB, or adapting as a successful analyst? I'm reading all through M&I and Vault to get a strong understanding of what to expect and how to get an edge, but if there's any resources you think are especially accurate or have an input on it, I'd appreciate it.

a) Get a high GPA
b) Do whatever you can to get a freshman and sophomore internship at a bank in any capacity
c) Try to take on some kind of leadership role in any group
d) Stay on top of the markets. Does NW have a student-run investment fund? This would be a great way to learn about the markets and security analysis
e) Take as many accounting courses as possible

Jan 17, 2012

Does SAT score really matter?

Jan 17, 2012

^ I can tell you with first-hand experience JPM/BAML LevFin does 0 modeling. 95% of the deals done in those groups are high-yield refis. The other 5% LBO's are handed off to sponsors.

Is LevFin a cash cow? Yes. Is it a good analyst exp. Prob not.

Jan 17, 2012

Sorry don't check this incessantly. You guys can PM me if you want to speak more.

On your point re: sponsors.

1) Many of my friends did 2 years in industry group and a 3rd year in sponsors before bouncing because sponsors just got them more people to network with. In terms of core skills they learned in industry group

2) What bank are you at where industry groups just make memos?

a) At my bank, the model, the dd and most of drafting is done by the industry group
b) If your bank has a designated M&A group (some don't) - I'd go to M&A if not, pick an industry group
** In most cases, sponsor's experience just helps you network that's about it. and PS any monkey can make an LBO model ... if that's the merit of working in sponsors ... it's not a strong case

3) LevFin, HY, AcqFin - its just CF. Honestly, if your goal is to learn modeling and that's it - go to IBD. Beyond 2nd year, all of this becomes a wash since the business becomes more judgment oriented. I worked in ECM before and I guarnatee you I knew more than the corp fin guy ...

That said, as a general rule / observation - go to IBD / Corp Fin if you just want to bounce to a buyside firm ASAP.

There are plenty of corp fin ppl who get dinged and others from lev fin / cap markets that don't ... and even if you get the job and you're a moron, you won't last on buyside

Finally, I understand the traditional route is going to PE but buyside is a tough life but that's another story and pay isn't exactly what its touted to be.

Anyhoo, squawkbox appreciate you doing this for the general community but again, i don't agree with alot of what you're saying.

Tx

Jan 17, 2012

By the way, we can all be realistic. Modeling is mostly done by the banking team. LevFin just sanity checks the assumptions re: debt capacity etc. But again, the judgment to me is more useful than the modeling itself. I'm pretty sure 90% of this board can go cram for 3 months and figure out how to model ...

anyhoo if you're determined to do 1-2 years in banking before buyside - go to corporate finance and any industry group (probably not FIG though).

Sponsors for a stint so you can basically get your name in front of sponsors. On a flipside, sponsors gets you nowhere for HF jobs. HF wants industry and especially M&A guys (particularly merg-arb or event funds) whereas long/short wants industry analysts. Long onlies want research analysts.

That's just how recruiting works and there are always exception to the rule. I've gone through the recruiting already a year ago so can speak to that and have friends at various places on the buyside.

Cheers

Jan 17, 2012

I go to a non-target but my friend goes to a target and gave me acess to his OCR. What do you think of me submitting my resume through his OCR (hes non-business major). Also some of them have recruits email address as well some bankers who screen resume how should I go about emailing them? How long should it be what should I say? Thanks a lot.

Jan 17, 2012
TheKid1:

I go to a non-target but my friend goes to a target and gave me acess to his OCR. What do you think of me submitting my resume through his OCR (hes non-business major). Also some of them have recruits email address as well some bankers who screen resume how should I go about emailing them? How long should it be what should I say? Thanks a lot.

I wouldn't submit directly on the OCR.

Maybe email HR and the bankers listed. Brief email with your resume attached. Say you're interested in applying but you go to a non-target, so you can't apply via OCR. Put some highlights of your stellar resume in the email. Remember that you need a really good resume coming from a non-target.

Jan 17, 2012

If i have a 3.5 from a target with asset management experience and a couple leadership experiences including one finance-related club, would i be competitive for SA recruiting? Thanks.

Jan 17, 2012
WallStreetBound312:

If i have a 3.5 from a target with asset management experience and a couple leadership experiences including one finance-related club, would i be competitive for SA recruiting? Thanks.

To be honest, having a 3.5 from a target would put you on the low end. It's the bare minimum. You will get interviews but keep your expectations reasonable. The wrong attitude would be to expect only GS/MS/JPM. You will need to consider other BBs and Elite Boutiques.

I would apply full force, stay current on markets, read the guides, and ace your interviews.

Jan 17, 2012

Depends on who's screening. What we do is HR does a first round (basic GPA - btw for GS / MS / JPM its a 3.3)

Then the books are sent and the bankers pick. Some guys are douches and will only pick 3.8 from an Ivy, some will read it all ...

3.5 is generally good enough from an Ivy / top 10? (Don't know how you define target here)

Jan 17, 2012

Oh and by the way, this may seem obvious but every year I get a book (300+ resumes) of kids with the same finance resumes.

1) it is impressive when you have 3 finance internships under your belt but then I just get more demanding in the interview

2) all of my coworkers are MUCH more impressed if you've done some cool stuff ... entrepreneur etc - so do well at what everyone else is doing well at but also find something to set yourself apart

I've dinged plenty of high GPA kids 3 internships by the way

Jan 17, 2012

What are some questions we should ask the interviewer? What have been your favorite questions if you've interviewed someone

Jan 17, 2012

I am trying to decide what major is best to break into the industry. I am currently a finance major with a minor in accounting.

Should I switch my major to economics or maybe even accounting? Also, will a minor in information system give me a advantage?

Jan 17, 2012
upod01:

I am trying to decide what major is best to break into the industry. I am currently a finance major with a minor in accounting.

Should I switch my major to economics or maybe even accounting? Also, will a minor in information system give me a advantage?

Take Financial Statement Analysis for the accounting side - it should make the interview a lot easier... for economics, take macro theory to handle current event issues better. aside from that, finance all the way...

Jan 18, 2012

^^ Don't pick a major in college just so you can get a finance job (or think you can).

You go to college once, make it count. You can learn accounting on the side if you want.

I hired an art history major, 2 history majors, 1 undergarad finance major and a few pre-med kids ... all you get for taking undergrad finance is a tougher interview

Jan 18, 2012
DebunkingMyths:

^^ Don't pick a major in college just so you can get a finance job (or think you can).

You go to college once, make it count. You can learn accounting on the side if you want.

I hired an art history major, 2 history majors, 1 undergarad finance major and a few pre-med kids ... all you get for taking undergrad finance is a tougher interview

^ I agree with this. My answer assumes you're pursuing an undergrad business degree of some sort.

Jan 18, 2012

Hi Squawkbox, thanks for the thread. Are Wealth Management internships at BBs like Merrill, UBS, CS, MSSB or top boutiques like Evercore looked favorably upon? I heard they were fairly common and mostly just BS work, but how far does the BB name go compared to an internship at a much smaller firm that lets you take on a lot more responsibility? Or an internship at a small boutique I-Bank? I'm deciding among the three right now.

Jan 18, 2012
dm1992:

Hi Squawkbox, thanks for the thread. Are Wealth Management internships at BBs like Merrill, UBS, CS, MSSB or top boutiques like Evercore looked favorably upon? I heard they were fairly common and mostly just BS work, but how far does the BB name go compared to an internship at a much smaller firm that lets you take on a lot more responsibility? Or an internship at a small boutique I-Bank? I'm deciding among the three right now.

I am not qualified to speak about PWM.

Jan 18, 2012

I have a 3.8 GPA from a non-target. Entrepreneurial experience, leadership experience, long volunteer experience, a summer internship in buy-side M&A advisory at a boutique between my soph and junior year.
I'm currently studying abroad but the resume looked good enough to get an accelerated superday at GS for IBD without having any contacts inside. (Didn't make it past first rounds however)

Haven't had anyone get in touch for SA interviews yet and applied to a decent range of companies.

Should I be worried at this point and is there really much I can do? I feel like time is running out and Ill be frustrated if I was qualified to at least interview at GS and haven't anywhere else.

Thanks guys

    • 2
Jan 19, 2012
thesauce101:

I have a 3.8 GPA from a non-target. Entrepreneurial experience, leadership experience, long volunteer experience, a summer internship in buy-side M&A advisory at a boutique between my soph and junior year.
I'm currently studying abroad but the resume looked good enough to get an accelerated superday at GS for IBD without having any contacts inside. (Didn't make it past first rounds however)

Haven't had anyone get in touch for SA interviews yet and applied to a decent range of companies.

Should I be worried at this point and is there really much I can do? I feel like time is running out and Ill be frustrated if I was qualified to at least interview at GS and haven't anywhere else.

Thanks guys

Look up analysts on LinkedIn and try to reachout and see if any will pass along your resume to HR.

Jan 19, 2012

PWM will not get you a job in IB

    • 1
Jan 19, 2012
DebunkingMyths:

PWM will not get you a job in IB

It's better than nothing for Freshman/Sophomore Summer.

However, doing something like Risk Management is much more relevant and preferable.

Jan 22, 2012
DebunkingMyths:

PWM will not get you a job in IB

This is false. I saw two friends go from PWM to IB this year.

Jan 19, 2012

or research... gives you something cool to talk about during interviews.

Jan 20, 2012

Can you give insight into imperial capital?

Ex: exit ops, respect in the industry..etc.

(interning there now and hear they pay street, great culture, take interns out to drink here and there end of the week and hoping to continue until SA position and see what i decide to do for FT if given the option)

Jan 22, 2012
USCstudent26:

Can you give insight into imperial capital?

Ex: exit ops, respect in the industry..etc.

(interning there now and hear they pay street, great culture, take interns out to drink here and there end of the week and hoping to continue until SA position and see what i decide to do for FT if given the option)

No idea.

Jan 21, 2012

What is the best way to obtain a mid-year interview/position? Brief background about myself: 3.5 gpa, non-target east-coast school, collegiate athlete, graduated undergrad in May of 2011, and working four jobs/internships to gain experience since then. I have been working assiduously to develop, but do not want to wait until August '12 to go through the typical recruiting process to start in June of '13. Any advice or insights?

Thank you

Jan 22, 2012
Nickvestment:

What is the best way to obtain a mid-year interview/position? Brief background about myself: 3.5 gpa, non-target east-coast school, collegiate athlete, graduated undergrad in May of 2011, and working four jobs/internships to gain experience since then. I have been working assiduously to develop, but do not want to wait until August '12 to go through the typical recruiting process to start in June of '13. Any advice or insights?

Thank you

I've never heard of someone getting in after graduation. It may happen, but I've never heard of it.

Jan 22, 2012

1) Would you consider yourself to have been a successful analyst?

2) Is banking worth the "exit ops" if you don't actually enjoy the work (this is obviously subjective but just felt like asking).

Jan 22, 2012
Culcet:

1) Would you consider yourself to have been a successful analyst?

2) Is banking worth the "exit ops" if you don't actually enjoy the work (this is obviously subjective but just felt like asking).

1) Define "successful" vs. "unsuccessful"

2) YES, it opens a lot of doors. Nonetheless, consulting also opens a lot of similar doors. There are quite a few PE and HF shops that will only recruit from MBB.

Jan 22, 2012

Private Banking SA to IB FT - possible? how hard is it?

Jan 22, 2012
asianracist:

Private Banking SA to IB FT - possible? how hard is it?

Definitely possible if you have a great resume and know the technicals.

I'm assuming this was PB with a BB in NYC? Otherwise, might be very difficult.

Jan 22, 2012

Chicago? I have a couple IB OCR right now at a few BBs..but I also want to apply to some PB OCR for safety in case I don't get anything from IB

Jan 22, 2012

What was the age range of your analyst class?

Jan 22, 2012
Rumplesmoothspin:

What was the age range of your analyst class?

Everyone had just graduated from undergrad. 22-23?

Jan 22, 2012
squawkbox:
Rumplesmoothspin:

What was the age range of your analyst class?

Everyone had just graduated from undergrad. 22-23?

I think he was referring to non-traditional students. Did you meet many people applying that were in their upper 20's when they finished undergrad? Any opinion on how that would be looked at by the interviewers you've dealt with?

Jan 24, 2012
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Jan 26, 2012
Feb 1, 2012