Bankers Missing Calls?

teaktable's picture
Rank: Gorilla | 599

This past summer I have networked relentlessly to aim for interviews. Often I'm meet someone who connects me to more people and so forth. Eventually I just get connected to people who set up a phone call and don't answer, and never respond to me.

At least 45% of my calls are either unanswered completely or they ask to reschedule and then never answer a follow up (a nice(?) way of saying no I'd rather not talk)

I'd end up talking to 4-5, sometimes even 10 people at certain places, who at the end of the call I ask for advice, and they connect me to someone else. This just has gone in circles constantly until I either hit someone who never answers the referral email, arranges a call but forgets/ignores it and doesn't answer my follow up, or they reschedule the call and then stop answering follow ups.

I had at least believed speaking to 4-5+ people between the associate and VP level would be enough for a couple first rounds, and although I'd keep trying to network, I would eventually be told the only thing I can do is for HR to screen me.

I'm from a non-target obviously, and I am going to get screened out. I ended up getting 1 first round, and its september at this point. It feels like the money I spent on multiple trips to NYC, time spent for thousands of cold emails, and time spent for so many coffee meetings was completely wasted.

This whole summer I have felt like I've been going in circles at these banks, everyone I speak with connects me with someone else who might be able to help with my application, who then connect me to someone else, who then connects me to someone else, who ignores my email. I understand these are busy people, but from the perspective of a student aiming to get a job, what do I do? Is that just a brick wall? It feels like I've been hitting my head against a brick wall with networking.


Many people from these places indicated that I should expect to receive a first round or super day (and some outright told me to get back to them when that happened, it never did)

Comments (9)

Most Helpful
Sep 10, 2018

What you are describing is how finance actually works. Round and round and round and round and then you end up broke delivering seamless to the bankers as they come down from their ivory tower. You try to peer behind the magic temporary wall that security puts up so that you cannot even catch a glimpse of the lobby, wondering if that banker you were supposed to connect with is somehow behind the curtain. Alas, it is just smoke and mirrors, the magical Wizard of Wall Street returns to his cubicle to run the world for the evening.

Sep 10, 2018

Sums up how I felt waiting in the lobby for 30 minutes while the person who agreed to meet me never came downstairs for free coffee

Actual thoughts though? I was hoping having a previous IBD internship would help but clearly not lol

    • 1
Sep 10, 2018

Yeah...I think its just a tough business to network into from a non-target. You are doing everything you can, and I am sure that it feels like its not worth it, but keep it up. Something will bite, somebody will see something in you that they like and somebody will hire you. It may be at a smaller bank at first, but if you truly have your eyes set on BB you can always keep trying.

Hell, when I was a second year we got a new hire from a smaller bank that was like last on a financing deal who emailed our MD from a big WGL and said he really wants to work on more stuff like that. That was three months into his first gig and then got hired at my bank.

Keep it up and it will work out.

Sep 10, 2018

I hear that, but it seems to be less about finding 'one person' who sees something in me they like (thats already happened a few times, awesome people), and more about the people they refer me to:

A. Answering my email
B. Setting up a call within a few weeks (they usually take 4-7 days to answer each individual email in the chain)
C. Hope they answer the call
D. Flying up to New York to show them I am serious when we meet for coffee
E. Hope they show up
F. Getting a referral to someone else
G. Setting up a call with a few weeks
H. Hope they answer the call
I. Flying out to New York again to meet this person to show them I'm serious (it doesn't carry over from person to person. Everyone can say they flew to NYC, but people will only try to help if they SEE it).
J. Get referred to someone else and repeat the process, until someone in this chain stops responding, or they say the best thing I can do is wait.

Each person 'says' they will refer me to HR/mention me to them, but I highly doubt they remember to follow through on that/will follow through (I thought they did until I didn't get interviews)

I've been doing this since end of November, was prepared to fly up again but its so late in the process now. I've spoken with about 200 people now, although I stopped using my Excel file at 150 so I'm not sure what the actual number is

On the note about smaller banks, I've only had much success networking at BB's/EB's (if you could call it success). Smaller banks are much quicker to point out to me that they have an application pool from all these top schools and that I can't compete/they shut me down very quick. BB's/EB's have been much more likely to hear me out and actually set up a call and speak with me.

I've had people from small boutiques emphasize how they have candidates from x, x, and x school and they will all be considered first and that I can't compete, was very demoralizing, after it happened so many times I started focusing more on larger/more well known banks since they'd talk to me

Lastly to add, I've checked off all the boxes (highest possible GPA, previous internship, finance major, honors, extracurriculars, etc.) according to people I've met with

Sep 11, 2018

You should reach out once you apply to all of the past people as well. Let them know you submitted your application and wanted to let them know you are still excited about the opportunity.

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Sep 10, 2018

Most people working real hours end up putting out fires a lot/getting slammed with last minute shit. Btw bankers are way better at making meetings than people in other professions in my experience.

Sep 10, 2018

Oh I completely understand. I'm a student which is pretty low priority. The question I have is how other people deal with this.

Sep 10, 2018

Don't take it personally and try to line up another meeting. Diffuse social tension by telling them you understand something important must have come up and you're not offended, then push for a reschedule. :)

Sep 11, 2018