Can we talk about networking as an experienced analyst?

What strategies have you guys used in cold approaches when trying to network for a lateral/upward move? It was easy in undergrad when you could play the "I want to be in your industry, can you tell me about it and how you got there" card, but a little less obvious how to approach when you're already in the industry, you know a thing or two, and are just looking to land an interview.

How would you go about reaching out to an alum with regards to a specific job opening?

How would you go about reaching out to an alum in your target market or firm without a specific "ask"?

Comments (26)

May 11, 2017

I'm in brokerage, but I am trying to move to a bigger and better shop with a team. When reaching out to people I tell them this.

Just have a concise reason for reaching out and what you're hoping to accomplish from it.

May 11, 2017

The best luck I have had in doing cold approaches/networking is joining real estate associations. For example, Boston has a few organizations (NAIOP, GBREB, REFA) that offer networking events and those have been the money makers for me. I've been on a decent amount of interviews in the past few months so I know who the general players are. I try to have a plan of attack before going into any of those events. I joined an "Emerging Leaders" group as well and I've met a lot of Analysts/Associates this way. These events are made for networking so it isn't awkward to read someone's name-tag and introduce yourself.

Another way is simply to ask to buy them a cup of coffee via LinkedIn/email. Boston's real estate groups are all within a half mile of one another so it's easy for me to leave the office for 20 minutes and meet up with an analyst/associate at another shop. I think MonopolyMoney is absolutely right with the concise reason approach. People appreciate honesty and are generally willing to help.

May 11, 2017

Based on my experience working with students such as yourself, here are my thoughts...

Networking is very important. I would argue it's critical - so much so, that I say your application is made up of 3 parts - resume + cover letter + networking. The challenge is that networking isn't something you can easily do. You said you have tried talking to people through LinkedIn - can you tell me what your messages said that you sent to them? Your approach may be keeping you from getting responses. As an example, I get messages on LinkedIn all the time asking for advice. I do try to respond to all of them, but I tend to respond to the simplest messages first - those that basically say "I'm so and so, and I have a few quick questions regarding Consulting... do you have a few minutes to chat?" - as opposed to the ones that read like "Hello, I have a background in xyz, I have 5 years of experience..." and then they proceed to document this experience in great detail... "and I have 10 questions for you, which are..." You get the idea.

Your GMAT is strong - generally speaking, the magic number is 700+, and the higher the better. I will say that I have worked with a number of students who had lower GMAT's who still landed jobs with MBB. So it's just one aspect of your profile. What were your grades in your undergrad? And what school did you goto? What company are you working for? Brand names are important when it comes to schools, and employers.

And with 3 years of post-undergrad experience, you are nearing the point when you would (technically) consider doing your MBA. So at this point, it would be difficult to place you - you're more senior than the typical BA applicant, but you don't have an MBA like other applicants who have 3 years of experience.

There isn't an easy answer here, but you should probably at least consider your MBA, which of course has benefits outside of just applying to MBB.

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May 11, 2017

Hey,
Well an MBA is on the cards. Everyone talks about a career in consulting post MBA, I thought I'd try and figure out if consulting is for me beforehand.
When I message people to connect on linkedin, messages are usually like this
Hi XXX,
I was going through your profile and was really impressed with your work. Being an engineer myself, your career shift into consulting has further fueled a similar interest in me.
Please accept me as a connection so that I can learn more from you.

I did my undergrad from a top 10 engineering school in India (ranked about 7 to 9 by all polls, its a non-IIT), grades were OK, 7.3/10 GPA

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May 11, 2017

I dont get it. Ive tried every trick in the book and Im still not able to get any response. I really wonder whats going wrong. Are people in the middle east usually this difficult to network with? Any pointers or tips are more than welcome.

May 11, 2017

Go out, meet people. Conferences, bars, friends of friends, etc. Networking isn't cold calling and cold emailing and InMails.

May 11, 2017

Can I just go to their office with printed resumes and ask to meet some1. Is that too desperate? :P

May 11, 2017

Yeah they'll introduce you to their admins.

May 11, 2017

Thanks F.Ro Jo

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May 11, 2017

Can you reach out to firm alumni? That seems the easiest way.

May 11, 2017

you're never too experienced for an informational interview. Although it might not be called that, per se, but it is what it is.

May 11, 2017

You can keep doing the cold e-mail -> informational interview thing if you'll eventually look to move out of your boutique shop. You can phrase the purpose of the call as you just being a young professional looking to connect with more senior professionals.

Best Response
May 11, 2017
wallstreet101:

I have recently graduated and was lucky to land an investment banking analyst gig at a small boutique.

Good shit, dude. Congratulations!

wallstreet101:

I am looking to maintain and grow the small network that I have accumulated throughout my college career,

Very smart

wallstreet101:

but am finding it difficult to generate excuses to keep in touch with bankers at other banks.

ok now you lost me. "Generate excuses?" Whatever happened to "Hey we're in the same boat here, let's grab a beer (or seventeen)"

wallstreet101:

(of course I may be looking to lateral to a larger bank at some point.)

Decent objective

wallstreet101:

What are some of your strategies? Looking for input and tactics from people in the industry not necessarily college kids as I imagine the 'informational interview' doesn't really work for me any more.

Thanks!

Again, the aforementioned "We're in the same role in the same industry and we're going to be assumingly on at least a similar path in our career so we should chill" approach had never failed for me, unless said person is a shit, and in that case you don't want to connect with them anyhow.

Branch out a bit, man. You shouldn't be looking to "generate excuses" to "accumulate a network." Make friends with people who are in the same boat as you and someday when you're all big swinging dicks (or you get fired and need a job quick) it'll pay off.

Make friends. I can't stress this enough.

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May 11, 2017

Oh and if you're looking for people at a position above yours...

"Hey, my name is _______ and I currently work as a ______ at _______. I am interested in talking to you about how you got to the position of ______ and your advice on what I should be doing to get there myself. Let me know if you would be willing to talk."

...is fail-safe.

I've gotten anyone from local guys to very famous people at very famous Wall Street firms to respond to that. Of course they pretty much tell me "Well there is no way in hell for you to get hired here right now. You should probably get an 800 on your GMAT or something and graduate from Harvard first" but I get to talk at least.

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May 11, 2017

Good input CRE. Thanks for that. What is the best way you have found to keep in touch with these guys? I consider 'keeping in touch' to be me weak spot and am not sure how to maintain contact after the initial phone call.

May 11, 2017
wallstreet101:

Good input CRE. Thanks for that. What is the best way you have found to keep in touch with these guys? I consider 'keeping in touch' to be me weak spot and am not sure how to maintain contact after the initial phone call.

It might be a little different in my industry, but usually I just try to stay in front of them.

I'm always reading through articles, so every now and then I find a good one, either about commercial real estate or business in general, and I send it via email saying "I found an article you and your coworker might find interesting." Or, read an article about his group or his company and say "Hey I read this and it sounded interesting. Maybe you could tell me about it sometime." Depending on how "close" you get, coffee, lunch, happy hour, etc. are all options too.

Really, you have to stop worrying about seeming too obvious. Everyone knows how the game is played, and even if you never get taken up on your coffee offer or he doesn't give two shits about the article you send him, if he's receptive he's going to recognize the effort you put forth and in the end that's what matters anyhow.

As usual, I like to compare talking to business contacts to talking to girls. When you have a girl who you've messed around with before and don't see all that often but you want to keep her in your "bullpen" still, what do you do? You text her every now and then, maybe invite her to coffee, so that when it's time to utilize that connection you don't come across as "well you only talk to me when you want laid." Similarly, just stay in touch with the higher up, then one day, when you want something, it will feel very natural for him to help.

May 11, 2017

Funny, I was about to post this exact same question today, with the same objective of lateraling to a bigger place from a boutique. Thanks for the tips!

I sent out quite a few emails last night which were pretty straightforward. Unfortunately I am in a location where there are hardly any good PE funds, so max I could do was request an email interview to 'get to know more about their career'. Hope I get some responses. Now I'm gonna put it as 'get to know how they reached where they currently are' ;)

May 11, 2017

Honestly you're going to see these very same guys over again and agian. Just hit them up occasionally when you can for a drink or just to watch a game. Probably the best way to keep in touch.

May 11, 2017

There is no wrong way to network, ok there is one. Not networking.

If your not networking, you aren't doing it right. Talk to the people in the elevator, on the street corner, if your sharing a cab, walking down the hall, in random places, hell even while your taking a piss just don't look at his junk (unless he looks at yours then look at his and be like hey we have that in common). The point is if your aren't networking 24/7 you aren't trying hard enough.

Follow the shit your fellow monkeys say @shitWSOsays

Life is hard, it's even harder when you're stupid - John Wayne

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May 11, 2017

"(unless he looks at yours then look at his and be like hey we have that in common)."

This is how you get to the top. /Thread

May 11, 2017

@Heister Makes a great point. Building a very strong network can give you endless opportunities.

May 11, 2017