Breaking into equity research - Graduating senior from a non target

well I am a graduating senior from a non target, with two internships under my belt, one is on the research side for a big wealth management firm and the other was an overseas opportunity in africa in which I might add was a great experience. I am looking to get into equity research and will start applying during fall recruiting. Any ideas on what these recruiters might look for. Note that I didn't have a summer analyst position in equity research but I do have research background, so will that be used against me in some sort of way??


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Comments (32)

Jul 4, 2008 - 1:50pm

why would it be used against you? if anything it would help. you dont need to have SA to get a FT offer in ER, its not like banking. and are you trying to get into ER at a BB or at a research firm like morningstar or bloomberg? either way, breaking into ER is a cakewalk compared to IB and bloomberg/morningstar is probably even easier than BB PWM, so just have a high gpa from your non-target, format your resume properly so its clean and professional (the more colors the better... and use borders too. KIDDING), and brush up on vault guide for equity research (if there is one) and the state of current markets, and you will be set for interviews.

hope that helps. im currently doing an ER internship as a rising junior (not at a bank) so if you have any other specific questions let me know.

Aug 13, 2008 - 2:54pm

Hi, I'm in a similar situation in that I will be a senior at a non-target liberal arts college (top tier but still non-target). I would like to get into a bulge bracket sell-side research, however none of them recruit at my school. I have a 3.7 GPA with an economics and math background. My internships include doing equity research for a small cap buy side fund (lots of modeling, Excel, valuations, etc.), management consulting at a boutique (not well-known), and wealth management at Merrill. In addition, I've been on a student investment fund managing a 6 figure portfolio. Unfortunately, I can't find any alumni doing ER, although I have found I-bankers at BB who usually get in through connections.

My questions are:
1) What are my odds of getting an interview without any connections?
2) How stiff is the competition? (probably not as stiff as banking)
3) How much does getting in contact with a recruiter help?
4) Will my resume even be looked at w/o connections?
5) What do FT and SA stand for?

Thanks for your time.

Aug 18, 2008 - 11:59pm

1) What are my odds of getting an interview without any connections?
Decent - based upon your extra-curricular activities.

2) How stiff is the competition? (probably not as stiff as banking)
Stiff - there are fewer spots than in banking so even if there are fewer applicants, the ratio of interviews to offers is similar.

3) How much does getting in contact with a recruiter help?
Not really at your level. Better to apply to the firms directly.

4) Will my resume even be looked at w/o connections?
Yes - even if its to confirm that it definitely belongs in the bin. What makes you think connections matter at this level?

5) What do FT and SA stand for?
FT = full time, SA = summer analyst. There are very few SA positions in equity research across the street. By the time you get them to the point of doing anything useful, they're gone.

You're welcome.

Aug 19, 2008 - 12:00am

Non Target breaking into equity research (Originally Posted: 11/05/2014)

Where can I improve to obtain an entry level equity research position. I am currently a senior at a non-target school. I have involved myself in as many clubs and organizations as possible that revolve around my interests in investing and equity research. I plan on taking the CFA Level I exam this June. I am networking as much as possible to try and find connections at ER firms. Any help, advice, criticism, and assistance would be greatly appreciated in my search to receive an entry level position. My resume is attached so you can review my credentials.

Best Response
Aug 19, 2008 - 12:01am

I am a non-target with a similar GPA that just broke into Equity Research at a MM bank.

My advice:
-CFA is huge. A lot of candidates are starting to list being a candidate on their resume, but it doesn't mean much until you actually pass one level. If you're serious, you need to start studying for the June exam in January and be able to talk about it/know what it entails. I passed Level I in June and it immensely helped me as a I graduate in December.
-If you haven't already, invest in your own portfolio. Doing the research and putting your own money on the line is huge and shows that you have an actual interest and some experience. Often times I was asked about the best/worst investment I've made in my portfolio.
-Start doing your research reports. Create a 2-4 page write-up on a stock you like with an investment thesis and supporting facts and research to back it up. I brought two of mine to each interview and they liked to look them over and ask you questions. Putting in the effort to create these write-ups shows an interest.
-You will be asked for a stock pitch, which is why doing those write-ups helps. Practice a 1 minute stock pitch until you have it down. Have a few in mind, in various sectors, in case you're asked by certain ER analysts that cover one of your stocks. Also have a short to pitch if asked.
-Reach out to alumni from your school at firms you want to work for. Keep it brief but ask for a quick call so you can hear more about their experiences as you want to gain some insight in a similar career path for yourself. People will respond, don't worry.
-Practice your interview questions. Know your technicals and valuation methods (even apply these in your write-ups) like DCF, DDM, relative P/E, comps, etc. Also craft your "story" about why equity research or investments. Research the hell out of the firms you get interviews with and know why you want to work there and be able to sell it. Reach out to people that work as analysts at those firms you're interviewing with. They can give you culture insight and it really shows that you want it.
-Keep up on the markets. I kept a running document of the latest economic data (GDP, jobs, unemployment, sentiment, manufacturing, etc) and had it memorized. This will help you come up with your answer to "where do you see the economy going or what is going on in the markets lately" which you will be asked.
-When you go into an interview, write down the levels of the S&P 500, DJIA, Nasdaq, 10-yr treasury, etc so you know these if asked.
-Apply around. I ended up applying to 30 different firms. If you spread your net wide and bust your ass, eventually things will turn your way.
-Resume- Overall, good formatting, looks clean. I would ditch the objective line.

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Aug 19, 2008 - 12:02am

check all the links in this thread

also post a word doc of your resume, i will try to modify it, just to give you a different perspective .. please remove the name if it is your real name ... try to keep your online presence anonymous just to be safe...some firms check your online presence/activity make sure your facebook, twitter is clean

also buy the BIWS program or the WSP program if you havn't already ... and the BIWS program will increase its cost on December 19, 2014 .. just so that you know

you are on track ... specially if you do the paper portfolio thing ... your own research, updating that research etc

if you use the WSO resume and networking and mock interview trainings etc .. it will only help ... its a once in a lifetime sort of thing why not give it a shot ... also ask Patrick for help he might give you a few tips as well

Aug 19, 2008 - 12:03am

how to break into equity research from a non target? (Originally Posted: 06/03/2013)

What should I do to break into equity research from a non target. I just finished my freshmen yr. What kind of internship should I aim for after my sophomore yr? I am currently interning at a ML pwm office. Should I try and get a research position at a boutique or try and get a corporate finance summer analyst position at F500 company? Any other tips would be much appreciated.

Oct 17, 2017 - 5:37pm

need advice on equity research (Originally Posted: 05/24/2013)

hi, I am currently a rising sophomore at a non target(rutgers), I am interested in a career in equity research. I know rutgers is a nontarget school, but does anyone have any advice on breaking in?
anything would be much appreciated. thanks in advance

Oct 17, 2017 - 5:38pm

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Oct 17, 2017 - 5:39pm

If you take a look around the ER forum, that'd probably be a good place to start. Also, check out the Best Interviews underneath FAQs. Loads of stuff on ER, should give you a better idea of how to break in and what to expect as an ER analyst.

Oct 17, 2017 - 5:40pm


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Oct 17, 2017 - 5:42pm

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