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Cold Emailing for Internship

Mojito
Rank: Senior Baboon | banana points 213

I was wondering how someone might write an email asking for internship opportunities. My school is not in the city and there are no i-banks here so I can't really set up coffee meetings. So, how would you structure your email and should I attach my resume with it?

Any help is much appreciated.

How to Cold Email for an Internship?

Cold emailing is often essential for the purposes of networking and in the case of the OP - it is critical. Below we review the process and the dos and dont's.

Finding Contacts

The first thing to note is that your first point of contact should be alumni from your school. Whether or not you come from a target school - alumni will be the semi-warm contacts who will be inclined to read your email when it hits their inbox. Find the firms where they work and start there. You can find these alumni through your career center database or through LinkedIn searching. Use the advanced search feature to look for alumni that work in the finance industry at firms you may be interested in.

When reaching out to bulge bracket banks you should start with analysts and associates from your school and then try and get passed along through that process. End every phone call by asking - "Is there anyone else that you would recommend that I speak to in order to learn more?" If there are more senior people that are alumni at the bank - talk to some junior people first if possible. This helps you develop talking points about the firm.

It is important to keep in mind that associates and up are the ones that typically can have a good amount of impact. When reaching out to smaller firms - cold emailing VPs and MDs is more likely to lead to an internship offer than emailing the analysts.

MIchael2:

Junior bankers and analysts are best to contact informally (friends of friends at social events, etc). They are great for advice to get your foot in the door, but they offer little knowledge of career trajectories or the upper workings of a firm.

Contact associates, VPs, and MDs - They are the ones that matter. They have the experience and knowledge to share, and, most importantly, they will be the ones that can help out come recruitment. Everyone you speak with at a firm will be judging you and seeing if you are a fit for the firm. If you are, then it is likely they'll put in a good word come recruitment.

Once you have the names of people that you want to reach out to look for the email formats in our company database which provides the email convention for each firm in the database.

Email Content

When cold emailing you need to strike the balance of passionate but not desperate and focus on finding a common connection that will lead to the professional getting on the phone with you. If you come from the same school your subject line should read: First Name Last Name | School Name or something to that effect.

Example Email:

Hello Linda,

I hope that this email finds you well. My name is Jamie Blankfein and I am a sophomore at XYZ University. At school I am involved in the Wildcat Trading Society at XYZ University which has led me to develop an interest in learning about Sales and Trading careers on Wall Street. If you have any availability, I would love to have the chance to get on the phone with you and learn more about your experience working at XYZ Bank. I look forward to hearing from you.

Best,
Jamie Blankfein

Cold Networking Email Timing

Not every cold networking email will lead to a response. However, you can time them so that you are more likely to receive a response. Send your cold emails during business hours and not on Mondays and Fridays if you can avoid it. Inboxes are especially full on Mondays and you don't want to get lost in the shuffle. On Fridays - people are simply trying to get out of the office so you are a very low priority.

Send your emails between a range of 10 am - 4 pm.

If you don't get a response you can email again around 7 - 10 days later. Email in a new thread and do not reference your previous email.

Resume Inclusion

Generally speaking - when cold emailing it is not advised to include your resume on the first message. This can seem to aggressive / presumptive.

jlk5500 - Real Estate Analyst:

Secondly, I wouldn't attach my resume to the first email and I certainly wouldn't make it sound like you're gunning for an internship right off the bat, that can be a turn off to a lot of people. I think you'll have better luck setting up a general phone call for a discussion of the "industry" and their experience etc., hit them with the idea of emailing your resume while on the call.

However, user @cartman, a corporate finance manager, offers a different perspective:

cartman - Corporate Finance Manager:

I would definitely attach it. I've had people forward my resume to other people that could help without ever responding to my initial email. Don't know if that would've happened if they didn't have my resume to look at in the first email.

Decided to Pursue a Wall Street Career? Learn How to Network like a Master.

Inside the WSO Finance networking guide, you'll get a comprehensive, all-inclusive roadmap for maximizing your networking efforts (and minimizing embarrassing blunders). This info-rich book is packed with 71 pages of detailed strategies to help you get the most of your networking, including cold emailing templates, questions to ask in interviews, and action steps for success in navigating the Wall Street networking process.

Networking Guide

Comments (465)

Jan 23, 2014

First of all, I think that in general most people appreciate the tenacity that it takes to cold email someone for a job prospect, no matter the level so props to you on that. If you're going to cold email someone I recommend trying to find a common link. Do you already have someone in mind to email? If not, or if you aren't hellbent on that specific person, try perusing LinkedIn for an alumnus from your school at the firm and play up the "alumni network" card. If not, find a different link to them, did you both share an unusual major, are you from the same city? If not, then try to make sure you're emailing someone who works in a specific subset of the industry that you're interested in.

Secondly, I wouldn't attach my resume to the first email and I certainly wouldn't make it sound like you're gunning for an internship right off the bat, that can be a turn off to a lot of people. I think you'll have better luck setting up a general phone call for a discussion of the "industry" and their experience etc., hit them with the idea of emailing your resume while on the call.

But to answer your original question as to structure, I would go with a very brief introduction of yourself, year, school, major, activities etc. Then simply ask if you can set up a time to briefly (10-15 minutes) set up a time to chat about their path from school to work and any advice they have (people love talking about themselves so make it sound like you want to hear their story). I would also be sure to tell them that you'll follow up in 7-10 days (but be specific as to date) - that way, they're less likely to think they'll be able to get away from you and might be more likely to respond.

Fellow posters - feel free to disagree, this approach worked well for me in my younger years but understand that everyone has different takes/experience/insight. A little more color from OP on specifics (i.e. where you went to school, what kind of work you want to get into) might be helpful.

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Jan 23, 2014

^ very good advice, but at this point in the game, it's safe to say people know what you want. I have had success with something along the lines of "I am really interested in your firm and would appreciate the opportunity to talk with you about it and opportunities within". Most of the time, people bring up internships automatically; just be straight up

Shooter

Feb 13, 2018

commenting for later

Jan 23, 2014

Thanks so much for the help! I've heard a lot of people say that I should be straight up (at least for internships) because the employee I'm talking to on a phone meeting might not be in the position to set me up with an internship.

I might try a few different methods and see how it goes. Another thing is do you think that alumni can really help you with getting an internship? Does the fact that we graduate from the same school have such a big impact on recruitment?

Jan 24, 2014

Depending on the school you went to, I think it has the potential to help a great deal. I'm still just a few years out of undergrad, but I was considering switching shops and reached out to a pretty senior guy in the local office of my prospective target firm and played up the alumni thing and it worked quite well. I also know of more than a few who have taken the same approach.

Will it make or break it? Probably not, but from a macro perspective I think you might have better luck getting someone to write you back if you can at least draw that parallel between yourselves and not seem like you chose to email them because their name happened to come up first in a Google search.

Jan 30, 2014

.

Best Response
Jan 26, 2014

Saved this from BankonBanking, which doesn't really exist anymore. Thought it was useful:

Applying to the Applicationless Boutique
There are pretty much 3 types of positions an applicant can apply to when it comes to IB recruiting - OCR (on-campus recruiting) positions, positions that have online applications (whether through a career website or a company's website) and, of course, as the title to this article would imply, the application-less positions. While the first 2 types are pretty easy to understand, the 3rd category might raise a few eyebrows. To briefly explain what I mean, the application-less position is exactly that; it is a position that is not being advertised by the company. In other words, the company is not highlighting a need for an applicant to fill position X in their firm. Now, just because the company isn't advertising a need, or at least isn't advertising one where you have searched, does not mean they haven't been thinking about filling a position, that a position might suddenly open up, or that they have a need for a new position (due to increased work flow, etc).

Now that we've covered what exactly the application-less position is, let's jump right into the best strategy for not only applying to the companies, but also how to find the shops and how to reach out to, ideally, the right bankers at the shop. This question comes up quite a lot from my readers, so I'm just going to jump in and tackle the issue at hand. No, it's not just a matter of praying for the right opportunities, but if you follow these steps, you'll be well on your way:

Where Are The Firms?
First, you need to actually find some boutiques/shops in your area, a big city you are close to, or where you are planning to be or can be over, for example, the summer (assuming you are looking for a summer internship). Once you know where you will be spending your summer (or other internship period), you need to perform a broad Google search to find boutiques and shops in the area that you're interested in applying to and ideally interning with. To be blunt, this will be the vast majority of shops that you find through your search in your area since, at the end of the day, your best bet, as is often the case, is to cast a wide net. Beyond a Google search, you can search popular IB forums and ask friends, your school career center, etc.

Who Do I Reach Out To?
Now that you've built up a sizeable list of boutiques to contact, you need to spend some time on each of their websites and find out a few things. First, you need to know what the boutique focuses on - what industry, types of transactions, size and so forth - not necessarily to be used on this step, but during later steps you'll definitely want to know about the company you are claiming to have an interest in. Beyond the basics, search through each of the websites for any career sections, employment sections, internship postings, etc. If you happen to find any positions, take the opportunity to submit an application that way - if not, it's time to move on. Keep in mind that even if you find an opportunity this way, you can still pursue the following steps as a means of further getting your name in front of some of the bankers of the company - showing enthusiasm is a good thing as long as you don't take it too far thus becoming a nuisance.

Since the article is about the application-less application, I'll assume most of you have sailed right past the closing point from the previous paragraph and are ready to apply despite the lack of an online application or website career section. Assuming the opportunity is not posted online, you should look for the company directory or "team" profiles link on their website, which usually, at the least, shows names and often contact info for VP bankers and up - which is what you need when you are considering submitting a letter of inquiry to the firm.
Now that you've found the list of bankers at the firm, and, ideally, some contact info (or at least a contact standard for the firm so you can deduce the email address for a particular banker) for the bankers, you need to go through each of the bankers' bios provided by the firm to learn of any common ground you might have with them. For example, did you attend or do you attend the same undergrad he/she attended, have you interned in a field they previously explored, have you interned or do you have an interest in the same industry they focus on, if there are any hobbies listed, do you have any common hobbies, are you both from the same hometown or have dwelled in a similar (and unique) place (meaning, if you both lived in NY, who cares, but if you both come from a small town in Tennessee, for example, that is a common point). Essentially, you should be looking for anything that is a mutual talking point to establish some sort of a connection in that initial email with the banker - something to hopefully get him at least marginally intrigued and interested in sending a reply to you.

Now that you've searched through the database, there are two scenarios: (1) you found at least 1 person that you have something in common with, or (2) no luck finding the "link" person. If you can find someone who has something in common with you, that person should be your first contact person. If there happens to be more than 1 person, then the most recent common point is the best to touch on - for example, if you both have the same alma mater and you are currently a junior, then that is a better common point than a common employer 2 years ago for you and 10 years ago for him/her. If, on the other hand, you find yourself a victim of scenario (2) and can't find anyone with anything in common with you based on the bios (which is often the case), then, in a matter of speaking, you will have to pick out the friendliest looking face, haha (which I've also done) - essentially aim for someone in a junior-senior role, meaning a VP or early D, and, if possible, someone that has grown in banking (meaning rose from associate up the ranks), as they might be a bit more receptive as they too would have been in the recruiting scenario at that point. In either case, whether you have a person to reach out to with some common points or not, you will want to reach out to the person of your choosing through an inquiry email (a letter of inquiry in the body of an email) and attach your resume. Yes, in this case, you should attach your resume.

I Really Include My Resume? What About The Inquiry Letter?
Here's the thing; although I don't usually recommend attaching your resume to the first email for numerous reasons, in this case there is no disguising your intentions. Simply put, you want an internship with his/her firm and need to not only put your best foot forward through a strong letter of inquiry, but also deliver a complete representation of yourself through a neatly pressed resume. Without attaching your resume to the email, you are only sharing a small snippet of your candidacy with your potential employer and hoping he/she is interested enough to ask for more instead of including your resume and giving your potential employer a more thorough, if not complete, picture of your candidacy. In the case of cold-emailing and applying to these types of positions, you have less than a first impression, you have nothing more than a faceless first virtual-impression, which absolutely requires putting your best foot forward.

Moving into the core of the application-less application, the inquiry email, you will want to treat it just as you would a well-crafted cover letter for an advertised opportunity you are interested in, but instead of applying for a specific position, you are targeting the letter to the broader goal of working for the firm. Essentially, just as you would in acover letter, you will highlight your interest in the firm and why you are interested in it (attributes based on your quick research on the website), your professional and/or academic highlights, any extras you'd like to include and, finally, a reaffirmation of your interest in working with the firm, a thanks and expressing an interest in speaking to discuss potential opportunities (internship, analyst, IB, etc).

What If The Banker Doesn't Respond?
Now as fantastic as your letter of inquiry highlights your skills and sells your candidacy, you are obviously not always going to receive a response (positive or negative since whether good or bad, a response lets you know which direction to take next). If, or rather, when, you don't get a response from the first person you reach out to at firm X, you shouldn't give up just yet. After several days (preferably a week to 2 weeks), you can try reaching out to 1 more person at the firm. If the boutique is a bit larger, you should send the letter to someone in a different group; if it is a tiny shop, then just take a chance and email someone else on the team, but especially in the case of the small shop, you need to be sure to mention to the second person that you had already reached out to person X (the first person you reached out to) without success, but you understand how busy schedules can become.

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Apr 10, 2014

Thanks mate

Feb 9, 2014

how did this work out for you? I'm starting to do this

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May 26, 2014

The cold email > interested in your work > what path did you take, landed me my current job and an other offer in a different city. Knowing the guy's work history, group's history, and having a genuine interest in the space the group focuses on are what he said got me the conversation and ultimately the job. Both people said they receive tons of generic emails about consulting/banking/real estate/jobs, but what caught their attention was my interest in the way their group finances projects/types of deals they are involved in...

I also had several informational interviews with other people in my city and other cities around the country, which I think helped me understand the industry more and have my story straight.

May 26, 2014

Very simple. For subject, you can use "Internship opportunities". For the body, just introduce yourself, how you learned about the bank, and go into the usual pitch you use in your cover letter. You may want to add a little more or a little less detail than you use in your cover letter, although that really depends on what the original cover letter looks like. Don't inundate them with useless info; focus only on the most relevant aspects that highlights your strengths as a potential banking intern. Try to sound as personable as possible. It's hard to do via email, but it can be done with little words such as "please" and "thank you". And keep a log of any contacts and phone numbers of the banks contacted so that you can call them within the week (usually 1-2 days after sending the initial email).

And that's pretty much it.

Oh, and attach the resume...I almost forgot! But I'm assuming you already knew that. :-)

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May 26, 2014

Thanks alot for the reply sofi, really appreciate the help.

Any other tips? I went to the regional boutiques list and plan on emailing a few a day.

Who should i email from the boutique, MD / associates/ or call and ask whos head of HR?

May 26, 2014

I always go for the MD as they have the ultimate hiring power. Then I follow-up with 2 phone calls, the first 1-2 days after I send the resume, and the second phone call the week after, and if I still don't get a response, then I send an email. That last email usually does the trick.

:-)

May 26, 2014

Back when I was scanning for boutique internships, that was my main strategy. Most boutiques list all their MD's. I sent a ton of messages two years ago for a Fall internship. Maybe a 8 or 9 out of ~25 didn't follow up. The rest at least give me a phone interview, a couple didn't even have physical room in their office and still heard me out. This seemed to really work well:

Good morning/afternoon XXX ,

My name is XXX & I am an undergraduate student at the XXX. I was writing in regards to any paid/un-paid internships you may have for this XXX in the XXX office. I understand deal flow is fairly slow across the investment banking community, but I would love to help at any capacity. I apologize if this is too forward, but I have attached my resume for any consideration.

Thank you,

XXX

Ace all your PE interview questions with the WSO Private Equity Prep Pack: http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/guide/private-equit...

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Feb 13, 2018

saved

May 26, 2014

So when should we start e-mailing and calling? I assume it can never be too early.

And in an initial e-mail, should we make it short and just say "I'm inquiring to see if you have any interships, etc..." or should we make it longer and actually write out why we would make a good intern, and why we want to work there, and stuff like that? It seems above, as if people have been successful with either method.

May 26, 2014

I would like to Bump this post and see if we can get some more responses. I was going to start emailing MDs, but should I be straightforward and ask for internships or should I just email and be like I have a few questions or something?

Thanks!

May 26, 2014

I don't know how useful my post will be, but I've been doing something similar in the past week. I found as many small IB as possible and then did a bit of research into the company: I look at the qualities they pride themselves in, etc.. I have a 'standard' cover letter which I modify based on the research I've done (I feel it still ends up being a bit too unspecific). I usually try to find the head of the corporate finance department, and send something similar to the following:

Title: Unpaid internship opportunity

Dear XX,

I recently gradauted from YYYY, and am interested in gaining practical experience in the investment banking industry.
I believe I have the qualities required to << I usually write something like 'help XXXX realise the full potential in it's clients' assets' >>.
<< Next I write about my prior experience and how it has given me the skills, etc. that may help the bank>>

I would like to offer my services as an unpaid intern, and would be grateful if you could take a look at my CV. << Here I write about my availability >>

Best regards,
name

(I might have missed something as I'm not on my own PC)

I've sent about 10 of these out so far, and am going to send a few more this weekend. I'm planning to call all the people I emailed in the coming week.
Can you guys give me any feedback on my approach?

May 26, 2014

Guys I would appreciate your opinions on, for example, my approach (see post above) v.s. westfald's. It's much faster to use westfald's template, plus people may be more inclined to reply if the email is short. On the other hand, my approach takes quite a lot of time but throws your pitch right in the person's face.
I've used both now, and the only thing that I've noticed is that I get people replying (with rejections :( ) quite quickly using westfald's approach (as opposed to not at all using mine).

May 26, 2014

Silverback88, how has your response rate been with your lengthier approach?

I too am curious about the effectiveness of your approach versus westfald's.

May 26, 2014

interested as well. Regarding Westfald's letter, isn't it a little weird mentioning "slow dealflow" when you are just inquiring about internship opportunities though?

May 26, 2014
excelsior:

interested as well. Regarding Westfald's letter, isn't it a little weird mentioning "slow dealflow" when you are just inquiring about internship opportunities though?

This was during the height of the credit crunch, so it may not be as applicable now. I threw it in to show I understood the crisis and its effect on banking.

Ace all your PE interview questions with the WSO Private Equity Prep Pack: http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/guide/private-equit...

May 26, 2014

Bump

So I'm kinda going through this process right now; anyone else have any suggestions?

May 26, 2014

I have just a few tips...

1) Keep the email short. These guys are busy and don't want to read your long-ass email.

2) If you're going to cold-email anyone, cold-email an MD. MD's have hiring power, Analysts or Associates don't. You should try to avoid cold-emailing the CEO though. I've never had luck cold-emailing the CEO. Much better results with MDs.

3) Banks usually list their MD's. Try to find ones that is an alumni at your school. The response rate from alumni have been much much higher than regular cold-emails for me.

4) Don't forget to attach a cover letter and a resume when you send stuff out, and be sure not to misspell anything.

I usually structure my email in this way...

Para 1: Introduce yourself, your educational background, and how you found your contact. If it's an alumni, this is a perfect opportunity to establish that connection. This way, they're more likely to be interested in you.

Para 2: State your objective (looking for a Spring Internship in IBD, etc) and why (interested in industry, want to gain exp, etc), and then talk up the firm a bit. Keep it short though.

Thank them for their time, and conclude.

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May 26, 2014

Hi guys.

I haven't had any luck yet, but the response rate has been much higher with the short email, so I suggest using that.

May 26, 2014

Hey Silverback88,

I was wondering where you were getting your contacts from to e-mail because I've been searching for the emails / contacts of MDs and have come up cold.

How has the emails been going though?

May 26, 2014

Best advice--try googling "BA from (your school)." You'll get tons of results (this is assuming you didn't go to Naropa University) and they'll pretty much all be MDs at the very least.

Sometimes you just get tired of plugging in company names into the alumni database.

Are you a CEO, CFO or other executive facing these or similar charges?
Why should you go to jail for a crime someone else noticed?

May 26, 2014

Ask for the person's email address before the secretary sends you to voicemail. Sometimes they give it, sometimes they don't.

May 26, 2014

First look at the list of investment banks on wikipedia, its quite big. I went through ever bank on the list and looked up their website. In most cases boutiques list the contact details of their MDs on their website.
After going through the wikipedia list, search for other IB lists.

May 26, 2014

Do you guys email MD's even if the website gives HR as a contact for employment opportunities?

May 26, 2014

HR will almost never get back to you. Alumni MDs actually respond for the most part, so that works much much better. The only time HR ever got back to me was when I emailed the MD who CC'ed me when forwarding my email over to HR.

May 26, 2014

HR is usually the best way to go if you want to ensure that you DON'T get an internship. Stick with MDs

I tend to think of myself as a one-man wolfpack
Buyside strongside

May 26, 2014

So exactly what do you guys say in the 1st follow-up call?

"Hey did you look at my resume?" lol?

Also, I've heard a lot of different opinions on to send the resume/CV in the first e-mail or not....

May 26, 2014

What's the verdict on sending the resume/CV in the first email? I'm about to a send a couple tomorrow.

May 26, 2014

I would definitely attach it. I've had people forward my resume to other people that could help without ever responding to my initial email. Don't know if that would've happened if they didn't have my resume to look at in the first email.

May 26, 2014

What does everyone usually say when they say "sorry we have no opening or any internship"? It is so awkward 'cause whenever they say this, I go numb for a few seconds lol.

May 26, 2014

^^haha

I usually say any of the following:

"Are you sure? Check again."
"That's not what I heard..."
"Are you really sure?"

In reality:
"k thx bye" *dialtone -the flatline of all cold calls

May 26, 2014
juklano:

^^haha

I usually say any of the following:

"Are you sure? Check again."
"That's not what I heard..."
"Are you really sure?"

In reality:
"k thx bye" *dialtone -the flatline of all cold calls

Lol, I might try "are you really sure?" next time.
No seriously, lots of time that is the secretary or receptionist speaking so it's questionable. Guess I only believe it if I can speak directly to somebody in authority. What is everyone's experience?

May 26, 2014

be careful, the attachment could cause the email to hit the spam box because of no past communication with the email addresses...has happened to me before

May 26, 2014

@noway: I attached it and one of the guys forwarded the email for me. Do you think he looked at the resume?

@samiam: Yes, I am afraid of that spam box, but so far I've gotten positive responses from two out of 35. However no solid openings. This would work better if I actually knew someone in the industry.

May 26, 2014

He probably did. If he fowarded it to HR, you'll want to try and see if you can contact anyone else at the firm unless HR gets back to you within a week. If he forwarded it to another contact, that's good news.

May 26, 2014

I didn't even read the posts above. But I've done this before and I have been successful at it. So here is the deal.

  1. Always post your resume (make sure your resume is immaculate)
  2. Talk about pay, if you are desperate for an internship, you shoudl use the line that "pay is an amenity" If you are qualified they will reward good work.
  3. Don't waste time on your academi qualifications etc. it should be outlined well on the resume (coursework, education etc.)
  4. Talk about your interests and how you feel that the heightened level of responsibility and learning potential at a boutique piques your interest more than a bulge bracket.

Keep it short, concise.

May 26, 2014

how do you pick an MD to send it to if there isnt an alum

May 26, 2014

I posted a pretty detailed thread that might be able to help you out.

http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/guide-cold-c...
Always available for PM's if you need any help

May 26, 2014

You've got nothing to lose either way, except time. Try shooting off a round of e-mails, but realize you aren't the only one doing this. The worst that can happen is you get ignored (most likely scenario), but the best case scenario is you get some interviews. It can't hurt to try.

May 26, 2014

Calling is much more effective

May 26, 2014

Even if the only alumni there is an analyst or associate, go with them over an MD. If there is no one there from your school, go with an MD who has something listed in his bio that you can relate to in a conversation. Don't spam all the MDs, they'll notice.

May 26, 2014

Emailing is too passive for me

May 26, 2014

Agreed -- pick up the phone. The next trick is to know who to ask to speak with. I used to use Linkedin to get a name of an analyst, get in touch with him/her, and work my way up to VPs/MDs. If you have no connections, then don't worry about calling the "right" one, just call, be excited/profession, and have a few good questions ready.

May 26, 2014

A lot of these questions have been answered already. Search is your friend.

And I know that you posted this in both iBank/consulting cabaret, but really you don't need more than one thread for this.

The main thing for cold calls/emails is to show genuine interest and be persistent. Its a #s game and if you keep going with it you'll find someone willing to help you.

Include general information and why you reached out to X person, ask them for advice/help.
Cold-email anyone you want really. Its easier to start with alum, but if you don't have a choice anyone is fine.

If you can't obtain a position of any kind, and you are a freshman so its not really a big deal, try to do something exciting/fun that you can talk about in the future that makes you seem exciting and multi-dimensional.

Hope this helps!

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May 26, 2014

Hey Acolyte-

First of all, awesome that you are interested in investment banking... it's a tough road ahead for you, but you seem to be well on your way to breaking into the industry. One word of caution -- I do not think you should EVER cold call / email anyone that you don't have business knowing. If so-and-so went to Michigan as well, fine. If it is a family friend or you were referred, fine. Otherwise, don't bother them at work because they might not appreciate it and networking in general can do a lot more bad than the marginal benefit if you happen to do well.

I wouldn't be so concerned with getting a banking job this summer. Positions aren't great as a lot of the big bulge brackets hired large amounts of their intern class and have less spots to fill as a result. This isn't saying the market is bad, because it is certainly not, but I think it would really need to be hot as hell for you to get a look so early on. Focus on getting a finance-relevant job... whether it is back office for Prudential selling insurance or launching your own small business... I think it is much more important to get a job where you can demonstrate your attitude and love of business Freshman year than anything else.

Naturally, feel free to network your tail off and prove me wrong -- but I think you are set up to have a great shot and you shouldn't get too far ahead of yourself this year trying to shock the world. Best of luck!

"You've got to belong to it."

May 26, 2014

+1 Balance... To piggy back on what Balance mentioned above, the fact that you are this driven this early in the game is a great sign and don't let anyone discourage you in your search. You are indeed about to embark on a long road, there will be ups and downs but you'll get thru it if you want it bad enough. That's the common thread between all the people in finance who make it. I would agree that it is best to start your networking early on with warm relationships and referrals. Talk to upperclassmen at your university who have gone thru recruiting and as that relationship develops then always look to ask "is there anyone you would recommend I speak with further," if you are humble and sharp then people will be happy to pass you on to their contacts. It is important to be tactful as Balance noted, because you can very easily do irreversible damage (I.e. Jeffery Chiang, Aleksay Vayner, recent Citi chick) if you get too crazy with the cold approach. Think about it as getting to know a core group of friends. Learn from them and gradually expand your circle. If you take the time to forge these solid relationships early on, they will be in a position to put you in front of decision makers come time for FT recruitment.

Feel free to PM me if you have any questions on networking...

May 26, 2014

-How did you find them
-Who you are
-What you want to learn.
-How you can help the team.
-Under 3/4th of a page.
-Now
-Don't list your SAT score, that's for the resume. It's pretty douche for a CL.

Now til Feb 2011
-Go to every career fair, info session.
-Get close to professors
-Think about transferring (you're at a great school but it's possible) to Cornell/Penn
-Read some usual suspect books "Good to Great" "Built to Last"
-Talk to alumni about consulting firms
-Find out which ones interest you for later on
-Memorize recruiting cycle/frequency/attendees.
-Go to some industry conferences
-Join a diversity group (if possible)
-Do a freshman winter program like Goldman Sachs Bootcamp
-Get laid.

Summer
-PWM for free at a bulge bracket, regional office.
-Intern at PR or advertising firm.
-Go to Asia to get an unpaid freshman internship.
-Take extra classes, study CFA I (who knows).
-Start calling alumni.
-Volunteer at a food bank
-Do research for a professor
-Start your own business
-Start an undergraduate consulting club
-Start researching MSc Finance programs.
-Retake SAT I
-Take GMAT
-Get laid.

May 26, 2014

First, my advice; then, an appraisal of some of the other advice on this thread. A couple years ago, I was in your shoes; I lucked into some impressive summer jobs while I was a sophomore/junior, and I'll soon be starting at MBB, so I think I can weigh in.

You won't get a big-time consulting internship this summer; you're way too young, and MBB do not - except in the most exceptional of circumstances - hire interns who aren't juniors. That's perfectly okay, though, because nobody does. The first summer when you shoot for it is after junior year; if you don't get it, that's fine, too, because the majority of consulting full-time hires don't get hired in from internships.

My general advice is that it wouldn't kill you to travel or do something fun; next summer is the summer when you have to get down to business. But if you want to start early, look for F500 internships (for things you do this early, brand name is very helpful). If you want to do academic research, go for it; if you have an interest in doing nonprofit work, this is a great summer to do it (that's what I did). If you have an interest in finance - which it sounds like you really don't, or else you'd be a prospective banker - you can look for anything in that area. Finally, you can look for boutique consulting firms; these places tend to be a little bit more flexible in recruiting. That's not an exhaustive list, but it's a good start; feel free to PM me to discuss more.

Now for the above suggestions:

wolfy:

-Think about transferring (you're at a great school but it's possible) to Cornell/Penn

Don't do this, it would be an overreaction, and you shouldn't turn your life upside-down for a very marginal improvement. UMich is a very good school that will have access to and alumni at all of the top firms. If you don't like it, feel free to shoot for an ivy, but you're in a fine spot now.

wolfy:

-Memorize recruiting cycle/frequency/attendees.

Whatever this means, you don't need to worry about it. If you go to information sessions, don't be that jackass freshman in the front row sucking up; my MBB partner mentor always makes fun of freshmen who do that.

As for the summer suggestions, the above list sounds disturbingly like a collection of every piece of advice ever given on this site. What you do after your freshman summer doesn't matter (in fact, one of my final-round interviewers at Bain asked me "what did you do after freshman year? i hope it was something FUN."). My assessments of wolfy's suggestions are:

wolfy:

-PWM for free at a bulge bracket, regional office.

Fine, but only if you have a real interest. PWM isn't the standard frosh/soph internship for consulting like it is for banking.

wolfy:

-Intern at PR or advertising firm.

Fine.

wolfy:

-Go to Asia to get an unpaid freshman internship.

Fine, but you shouldn't go to Asia if you don't have an actual interest in living/working in Asia.

wolfy:

-Take extra classes, study CFA I (who knows).

No, the CFA is useless for consulting. Some might even say it's useless to break into banking, too, but I can't say.

wolfy:

-Start calling alumni.

Only if you have legitimate questions.

wolfy:

-Volunteer at a food bank
-Do research for a professor
-Start your own business

All good suggestions.

wolfy:

-Start researching MSc Finance programs.

No, these are for prospective bankers, and besides, people only go to them if they went to a non-target or if they fumbled full-time recruiting. This would be wasted time.

wolfy:

-Retake SAT I
-Take GMAT

No and no. Unless you got a 1500 (out of 2400) or something, your SAT score isn't that important. gmat scores are only good for five years, so if you take the GMAT as a freshman you won't be able to use the score when you apply to MBA programs 2+ years after graduation and it will count for nothing.

One of those lights, slightly brighter than the rest, will be my wingtip passing over.

May 26, 2014

the pro is right there lol

May 26, 2014

lmfao @ getting laid....good to keep the humor alive

May 26, 2014

A few things:
1.) Do not retake SAT, you're already in college
2.) Do not transfer away from UM, it's a great school and you'll do fine with a degree out of AA.
3.) Personal opinion and I know I will get ripped on for this but, enjoy your freshman summer! You have the rest of your life to worry about work. Get a shitty summer job, party every night, go to work drunk (probably the last point for a number of years you will be able to). This was the route I took, and I am pretty happy with the opportunities/offer I have coming out of undergrad. Just keep networking and you'll be fine.

Good luck bro.

When you are great, people will often mistake candor for arrogance.

May 26, 2014

Consulting_rookie ain't wrong. The fact is, freshman summer doesn't matter at all. It really doesn't. Sophomore summer also doesn't matter, unless you do something that leads to you getting a coveted internship during jnr summer. The KEY is the JUNIOR SUMMER. If you can land a top job during that summer, unless you f**k it up you're likely to get the offer you want.

May 26, 2014

I realize that my comment above doesn't answer your question, but you got a bunch of dangerously flawed recommendations above (e.g. transferring and taking the GMAT). Cold emails for a freshman have nothing to do with how you can help the team or what you want out of a job; just say you're interested in consulting, found their contact information in the alumni database/etc., and wanted to chat briefly about the field. Once you get them on the phone, ask them about their careers, any advice they'd give a freshman, etc., and ask to keep in touch. Then keep in touch every couple of months via email or telephone until it's actually recruiting time. Then you go to a more direct ask for what you want.

If you really want to ask ABOUT internships right now, you can, but if you're talking to alumni at MBB-ish firms -- and I assume that's what you're interested in -- they're not going to have a position for you now, so don't ask FOR an internship.

One of those lights, slightly brighter than the rest, will be my wingtip passing over.

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May 26, 2014

interested in several of his questions as well.

May 26, 2014

There was literally a thread on this exact topic a few days ago... use the search function... and if you read M&I then you aren't going to get different answers here that are any more correct. You know that Brian from M&I worked in banking right... I don't see why you wouldn't take his advice on this topic...

May 26, 2014

http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/cold-calling...
http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/is-asking-fo...
http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/proper-cold-...
It's getting to be ridiculous... these were all found in the span of about 15 seconds using the search function...

May 26, 2014

How do you address a non traditional background?

The dragon dozes off in the spirit which is its dwelling.

May 26, 2014

For me, I was gungho about medicine initially I was (and still am) in a dual med program at NSU. When I saw the Obamacare debacle I knew that the odds of me pursuing traditional clinical practice were becoming close to zero. Initially I looked into consulting, I was at a cousin's bat mitzvah and met a distant cousin who was an investment banker we talked and I became interested. I did some research and found an area where I could apply my background in biology and biotech research in finance. This led me to healthcare banking.

When my background has come up I use this story and the fact I had a previous internship to show that I am interested in making banking my career. You need to show why you want banking, good reasons are a friend went into it and you've discussed it and it sounds like something you would enjoy; you work in finance but want to something more deal oriented i.e. Big 4 valuation services. All you need to do is explain why you want to leave the old and become a banker.

May 26, 2014

Thanks for sharing the advice and congrats on the position! Best of luck to you.

I didn't say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.

May 26, 2014

Thank you tlynch.

May 26, 2014

"Looking to Speak" (used for non alumni) "XYZ University student reaching out" (for alumni)

May 26, 2014

This would be for the non-alum. Do you think "Looking to Speak" might not be enough? I would think they would just skip over that???

May 26, 2014
monkey2525:

This would be for the non-alum. Do you think "Looking to Speak" might not be enough? I would think they would just skip over that???

It worked for me, but remember non-alumni will yield very few results...

May 26, 2014

XXX Student Reaching Out

May 26, 2014

"First Last Name - University of X Student"

May 26, 2014

XXX University Student/Internship Opportunites

XX

May 26, 2014

bump!

I didn't want to make another thread, but do you think it would be too direct or rude to title it "Working in the ___ Group at ____"?

or

"Full-time Opportunities at ____"

I am a nontarget and have no alumni, so all of these will be VERY cold emails

May 26, 2014

Its a lot harder without alumni. When sending out alumni emails my response rate is usually around 50%. I use the subject line "[school name] student seeking advice" then 3 short paragraphs 2-3 sentences each ending with requesting a meeting. When I meet with these alumni sometime they are helpful sometimes they arent, this is for when im trying to build contacts for FT recruiting. Im looking for a desperate last minute internship right now so I just sent out ~20 emails with the subject line "potential internship opportunity" to a bunch of banks and got 2 responses asking to set up calls.

May 26, 2014

Well done. The piece about beginning with a cold email is key - a decent part of the time, you'll get an emailed response about setting up a conversation, saving a lot of effort in getting through secretaries on the phone. And even if there is no reply, you have a basis to begin your conversation: "Hello Mr. X, my name is Y - I had reached out to you via email the day before last..."

Having things in common is key as well, but not just background. A contact of mine who heads a product group at a BB has absolutely nothing in common with me except I interned with an analogous group at a lesser firm that beat him out for a fairly large deal while I was working there. We were able to connect over this alone - I simply mentioned the specific group and firm I was with in the email, and when I called him two days later he said "oh, you were the intern from ABC Co, when you poached XYZ deal. I'm busy this week but let's connect next Thursday."

"There are three ways to make a living in this business: be first, be smarter, or cheat."

May 26, 2014

Spot on! I personally use Quickmail.io + yesware. Seriously, it works wonders.

May 26, 2014

Thanks for posting.
I have 2 questions:
1. When should I give them a call. I'm on the trading floor from 6:15am until 7-8pm every day. I don't exactly want to make a call like that in the hallway.
2. Would you be willing to proof read my email?

May 26, 2014
nauprillion:

Thanks for posting.
I have 2 questions:
1. When should I give them a call. I'm on the trading floor from 6:15am until 7-8pm every day. I don't exactly want to make a call like that in the hallway.
2. Would you be willing to proof read my email?

1) That's interesting. Can you get time off for lunch? You could also try calling bankers in different time zones? Perhaps weekends?

2) Sure.

May 26, 2014

Culcet, Good post. A good overview of how to initiate contact with people. It's useful for when you are already at work and want to reach out to people to do business with.

May 26, 2014

Pretty good advice.

Do what you want not what you can!

May 26, 2014

Culcet, any examples of those cold e-mails you send out?

I'm fairly confident in my cold e-mails, but jic.

Awesome post, man.

May 26, 2014

Alsatian,

I'd be happy to, but I honestly don't think it would help because the "hook" paragraph is highly individualized towards my personal story and is 99.99% likely to be impertinent towards anyone else's. For what it's worth, I'd be happy to draft a "mock" email template based on details you provide (these don't even have to be real).

May 26, 2014

.

May 26, 2014

Just cleaned up my post a bit. Trying to think of a catchy title...

May 26, 2014
Culcet:

Just cleaned up my post a bit. Trying to think of a catchy title...

Stop changing the title name so people can refer to this thread without getting a broken link.

May 26, 2014
Relinquis:
Culcet:

Just cleaned up my post a bit. Trying to think of a catchy title...

Stop changing the title name so people can refer to this thread without getting a broken link.

My bad. The title stands.

May 26, 2014
Culcet:
Relinquis:
Culcet:

Just cleaned up my post a bit. Trying to think of a catchy title...

Stop changing the title name so people can refer to this thread without getting a broken link.

My bad. The title stands.

No problem. I have a feeling lot of people are going to want to refer to this thread.

May 26, 2014

Better late than never. I'm pretty much in a similar situation : "non-target, subpar GPA, no finance background". I plan on cold-emailing in the future weeks and am hoping for the best.

Also, a "mock" template email would be of great help, just to get a better idea of the type of information that should/shouldn't be included.

May 26, 2014
Mat09:

Better late than never. I'm pretty much in a similar situation : "non-target, subpar GPA, no finance background". I plan on cold-emailing in the future weeks and am hoping for the best.

Also, a "mock" template email would be of great help, just to get a better idea of the type of information that should/shouldn't be included.

You might want to move quicker than "future weeks." Superdays are happening.

"There are three ways to make a living in this business: be first, be smarter, or cheat."

May 26, 2014
Sandhurst:
Mat09:

Better late than never. I'm pretty much in a similar situation : "non-target, subpar GPA, no finance background". I plan on cold-emailing in the future weeks and am hoping for the best.

Also, a "mock" template email would be of great help, just to get a better idea of the type of information that should/shouldn't be included.

You might want to move quicker than "future weeks." Superdays are happening.

Superdays for full time won't start till the first week in august.

May 26, 2014

Posting to check back later. Awesome information.

Nothing short of everything will really do.

May 26, 2014

Thanks for the post.

What do you recommend we put in the Subject line of the email?

May 26, 2014
lovepark:

Thanks for the post.

What do you recommend we put in the Subject line of the email?

Doesn't matter that much. I usually ask for advice.

May 26, 2014

tag

May 26, 2014

Hey Culcut,

great post, very informative. Is there anyway I could PM you my email so you can proof read it? I would really appreciate it.

May 26, 2014

*Culcet

*Proofread

Yes

May 26, 2014

Awesome post. Very informative!

May 26, 2014

Good stuff

May 26, 2014

Do you think this will work for anyone or is it specific to certain people?

The Four E's of investment
"The greatest Enemies of the Equity investor are Expenses and Emotions."- Warren Buffet

May 26, 2014

Culcet,

Can I email you my content for review? I have emailed few people and I actually received one replied yesterday.

Thanks,
Onyxcap

May 26, 2014

wow thanks, i'm definitely going to use some of this advice. i've been cold e-mailing but the response has been less than ideal...

May 26, 2014

Nice stuff. I'm a rising sophomore at a non-target, I'll be sure to use this.

Thanks!

May 26, 2014

Wow, that's a lot of comments in one day. Sorry for anyone that's PMed me- been out of pocket (currently traveling).

I'm happy to review any emails (i.e. let you know what I think of it, whether its too forward, how I would react to it) but I can't really help you write it. This is less because I don't want to help and more because its hard to really "calibrate" the email without knowing more about you, the person you're emailing, and the nature of the relationship. Even if its a complete stranger, I would still need to know what common threads you might have, or at least something random yet compelling that would make someone want to help you. It's a bit hard to do this without revealing personal information about yourself, which you may or may not feel comfortable with. I've helped friends do this, but its because I already knew their "story".

Another question you probably want to ask yourself is "what do I really want out of this phone call?" Did you miss a resume drop and need a last minute miracle? Or are you cultivating a relationship that hopefully manifests in an internship opportunity a year from now? If its the former- call. If its the latter, there's no need to be frantic, start slow. However, if possible, I would try to send out an email regardless of the likelihood of the person having time to read it and respond. Here's why: if you send one or two emails and the guy doesn't respond, it completely changes the nature of the phone call. The underlying message of the phone call changes from "Hi, I'm some random schmuck that needs your help" to "Hi, you don't know who I am, but I sent you an email that you didn't respond to, so I have the upper hand in this phone call now".

Re: Actual structure of the email, just make sure it answers the following questions in the least amount of words:

Who are you? What do you want? Why would someone help you? (Show, not tell).

May 26, 2014
ryan.stern611:
Culcet:

Wow, that's a lot of comments in one day. Sorry for anyone that's PMed me- been out of pocket (currently traveling).

I'm happy to review any emails (i.e. let you know what I think of it, whether its too forward, how I would react to it) but I can't really help you write it. This is less because I don't want to help and more because its hard to really "calibrate" the email without knowing more about you, the person you're emailing, and the nature of the relationship. Even if its a complete stranger, I would still need to know what common threads you might have, or at least something random yet compelling that would make someone want to help you. It's a bit hard to do this without revealing personal information about yourself, which you may or may not feel comfortable with. I've helped friends do this, but its because I already knew their "story".

Another question you probably want to ask yourself is "what do I really want out of this phone call?" Did you miss a resume drop and need a last minute miracle? Or are you cultivating a relationship that hopefully manifests in an internship opportunity a year from now? If its the former- call. If its the latter, there's no need to be frantic, start slow. However, if possible, I would try to send out an email regardless of the likelihood of the person having time to read it and respond. Here's why: if you send one or two emails and the guy doesn't respond, it completely changes the nature of the phone call. The underlying message of the phone call changes from "Hi, I'm some random schmuck that needs your help" to "Hi, you don't know who I am, but I sent you an email that you didn't respond to, so I have the upper hand in this phone call now".

Re: Actual structure of the email, just make sure it answers the following questions in the least amount of words:

Who are you? What do you want? Why would someone help you? (Show, not tell).

"Or are you cultivating a relationship that hopefully manifests in an internship opportunity a year from now?"
This describes me completely!!!!! I am a rising sophomore at a non target trying to use the summer time to establish connections that could lead to an internship opportunity next year! I have sent 4 cold emails to places I'm interested in interning and heard back from two of them. The rest didn't respond so I really don't know what to do. Should I reach out to them again in January? I doubt calling right now would be relevant. I feel like they didn't response cause they have more important shit to do right now than answer emails from a kid who wants to intern with them next summer? Also I got a hold of a recruiting assistant for one of the firms on the phone. We had a great conversation and she said she would email me all the info I wanted (my resume was forwarded to her) but never did. Its been 2 weeks since our phone convo and I'm not sure what to do. (I don't have her email) and I feel calling would be intrusive considering I'm looking for opportunities next summer not this one. help, what do I do lol

This is hard to assess without knowing more about what exactly you're shooting for and what the email you sent looks like. I would recommend sending more than 4 emails though.

May 26, 2014