Cold Emailing for Internship

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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 donts.

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 too 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.

Read More About Getting An Internship On WSO

Comments (463)

 
Jan 23, 2014 - 6:55pm

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.

 
Jan 23, 2014 - 7:03pm

^ 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

Array
 
Jan 23, 2014 - 8:08pm

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 - 7:45am

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.

 
Best Response
Jan 26, 2014 - 1:58am

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.

 
May 26, 2014 - 4:19pm

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 - 4:20pm

Cold-Emailing Boutique HELP! (Originally Posted: 10/30/2009)

Could anyone that has been through the process possibly share their tips of cold-emailing boutique / MM banks.

I am specifically looking for an internship / summer analyst position. How should i approach this (subject / body etc.)

I attempted to search the boars but didn't get any material results.

I appreciate any help.

 
May 26, 2014 - 4:21pm

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. :-)

 
May 26, 2014 - 4:23pm

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 - 4:24pm

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-equity-interview-prep-questions
 
May 26, 2014 - 4:25pm

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 - 4:27pm

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 - 4:28pm

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 - 4:32pm

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.

 
May 26, 2014 - 4:39pm

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 - 4:48pm

@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 - 4:49pm

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 - 4:54pm

Cold-Emailing Boutique Banks (Originally Posted: 04/03/2010)

When you cold-email regional boutique banks for internships, I heard you're only supposed to email the MDs, who have the hiring power. I also heard you're not supposed to email all the MDs, because that's just going to tick them off. If none of them is an alumnus of your school, how do you pick which one to email?

Array
 
May 26, 2014 - 4:55pm

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 - 5:00pm

Cold Calling/Emailing for Internship or Summer Opportunity - What to include in the call? (Originally Posted: 12/06/2010)

Background:
Freshman at UMICH
No finance experience or connections
Looking to break in to ibanking

My questions:
What should I include in a cold-email?
Whom should I cold-email?
Whom should I cold call?
What do I say in a cold call?
When should I do these things?
What can I leverage? SAT score?
If I'm unable to obtain a position of any kind, what are some things I should do over the summer?

Advice would be greatly appreciated.

 
May 26, 2014 - 5:01pm

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!

 
May 26, 2014 - 5:02pm

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 - 5:03pm

+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 - 5:04pm

Cold Calling/Emailing for Internship or Summer Opportunity - Questions for call (Originally Posted: 12/06/2010)

Background:
Freshman at UMICH
No experience or connections in the field
Looking to break in to consulting

My questions:
What should I include in a cold-email?
Whom should I cold-email?
Whom should I cold call?
What do I say in a cold call?
When should I do these things?
What can I leverage, i.e. SAT scores?
If I'm unable to obtain a position of any kind, what are some things I should do over the summer?

Thanks in advance!

 
May 26, 2014 - 5:05pm

-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 - 5:08pm

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 - 5:09pm

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 - 5:11pm

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.
 
May 26, 2014 - 5:12pm

Cold-calling boutiques for summer internships IBD (Originally Posted: 12/11/2010)

With finals finally over, as an undergraduate I'm now in the process of trying to find my first summer Finance internship and trying to get a toe in the door.

I've read everything at Mergers & Inquisitions and askivy.net and definitely spend a lot of time reading these great forums but I had specific questions.

1.) Email first or just skip the e-mail and go straight to the calling? A lot of people mentioned e-mailing is a waste of time, and M&I stated phone is 10x better and of course in person is 100x better.

2.) Do I ask for an the internship on the first call? And if rejected do I keep checking back next month?

3.) If I only see a generic corporate number that gets directed to a secretary, do I just straight up ask for the MD's or VPs number? How should I phrase this?

4.) If I end up calling a super-tiny boutique and they never had an internship program before how do I go about convincing them to accept me as their first one.

    • I'm so-far applying to only boutiques around Washington, DC/Bethesda, MD but is it worth applying to other boutiques up in NYC or Boston? Since those cities are much bigger hubs for ib than DC.
    • If I wanted to look for another internship in the fall (with university) do boutique ib banks typically allow students to only come in 2/3 days a week compared with 5 days a week in the summer for their internships?

I'd appreciate any tips as its definitely an uphill battle for me coming from a super non-target in a slim pickings city (Washington, DC/Bethesda MD).

 
May 26, 2014 - 5:14pm

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 - 5:16pm

How to Cold Call your way to an internship (Originally Posted: 09/24/2011)

WSO has truly been a huge help in my search for internships, so I figured I would discuss how I landed a decent SA position at a sophomore from a non-target. I wound up at a smaller MM Bank (about 50 or so senior bankers in 4 offices) in DC.

The first step is to figure out your elevator speech, in 30 seconds or less explain why you want to be a banker, address your nontraditional background and the like. Once you have this read you are set to start preparing to cold call.

The second step is do research, google and google maps are your friend. Use targeted search terms like "New York City Middle Market Investment Bank" and start making a list of places, contacts and names. Look through Linkedin to see if alumni or friends have wound up at firms you are looking at.

The third step is to call, if at all possible ask for a certain person as opposed to saying that you are interested in interning. During the call take notes in Excel, where the people friendly or assholes, it's good to note as if they're being assholes and you're calling about interning you may not want to follow up.

Fourth, get emails from the people you talk to and submit your resume.

Be prepared for a lot of rejections, people who cold call for a living close 2% of all calls with a sale. You are not likely as good at cold calling as they are. Persistence wins the game every time. Be prepared to call 200 places if need be.

 
May 26, 2014 - 5:18pm

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 - 5:30pm

Cold-Emailing Guide. (Originally Posted: 12/31/2012)

Hi guys,

I figured I would give this whole free online advice thing a try and articulate my thoughts on online networking.

In my experience, the success of a "cold call" is largely determined by the communication that precedes it. I’ve never actually had to “cold call” in the normative sense; every unsolicited phone call I have made has always been preceded by a respective "cold email". As such, this thread is dedicated towards the drafting and sending of those emails.

Keys to a Cold Email

1) Background info - Contact people with a similar background. Don’t limit yourself to alumni- think deeper. Think about what defines you on a superificial level. If you go to UCLA and want to work on Wall street, email Cal alums in New York. Williams College? Why not email alums that went to Swarthmore, or any other liberal arts college alum that might have had to teach himself the technicals? Ivy kids- you know what to do. And if you’re a non-target… email other non-targets. Simple. The sky is the limit.

Emailing someone with a similar background reminds them of themselves. They are therefore that much more happy to help you. Remember though, you are entitled to nothing, and even if the guy is a complete d-bag, thank them in a dignified manner anyways.

2) Content- Keep the email short and sweet. I usually send emails explaining who I am and what my intentions are, a sentence explaining my “story, and then a graceful thank you. For what it’s worth, the whole ‘copy and paste’ thing has never been a big problem for me at the bulge brackets. For boutiques, target carefully based on the above advice and try not to email too many people. Again, if you target the right demographic, this shouldn't be a problem.

Again, keep in mind that what you're doing essentially amounts to begging. These people have no obligation to help you. As such, unless its a very specific job, I think it's more of a numbers game and wouldn't spend too much time individually tailoring these emails.

3) Timing - http://news.cnet.com/8301-13880_3-9929823-68.html
Here is a link explaining how to send an email at a certain time using Microsoft Outlook. I personally have not tried this yet, but its worth looking into. People might have differing opinions about when the best time to send an email is, but I try to send them 9-10ish in the morning.

Now, what you actually have to do:

1) Create a list of the banks you want to email- Methods include: Search function on this site, google “investment banks [enter city]", Linkedin, etc. Not hard.

2) Locate the email addresses - If they are regional boutiques, chances are the email addresses are on the websites. If not, use the tried and true method of piecing together the email address ([email protected]) through contact information found on Linkedin. Don't forget alumni databases as well.

3) Send.

4) Remember to follow up - Bankers are busy people. Sometimes they just forget to write back. There is nothing wrong with politely sending up a follow-up email to someone that just didn't get back to you. I usually wait a couple of days to send one, but make sure that when you send this you're actually read to get on the phone. And if they don't respond to that, pick up the phone

Hope this was helpful. Happy to edit this based on user feedback and questions people might have. Will write another section on the actual cold-call conversation part if there is interest. Feel free to PM me with any questions.

Cheers,

 
May 26, 2014 - 5:34pm

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 - 5:40pm

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 - 5:56pm

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 - 6:00pm

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 - 6:05pm

Do you know if I can use this now to get an internship as a sophmore next year?

The Four E's of investment "The greatest Enemies of the Equity investor are Expenses and Emotions."- Warren Buffet
 
May 26, 2014 - 6:09pm

Sure.

Re: Who to email. For bulge brackets, I would recommend sending out a wave to pretty much everyone you can (for getting your first internship, etc.) Thanks to logical email addresses and the wonders of Linkedin, this doesn't take that long at all. I would save the profiling for follow-up emails and calls.

 
May 26, 2014 - 6:17pm

This may be useful to some people.

To find the company email address in Google try searching "email * * companyname.com" quotes included. Should be able to get the company name from just the first page.

Secondly, to check if a email address exists or not you can use this site,
http://www.mailtester.com/testmail.php

Some company set their email providers to block email address verification though so it won't for all companies, for example goldman sachs blocks it.

Happy Networking!

 
May 26, 2014 - 6:18pm

I've had a lot of success from when I was a college sophomore looking for an internship to a 2nd-year analyst trying to get a buyside gig.

1) Email title - if targeted to alumni, whom I prioritized, I would usually just write something like "Opportunities at Firm X -- [insert school here] alum/student." Otherwise, just "Opportunities at Firm X" or "Opportunities at Firm X -- experienced [inset group here] analyst."

2) Length - keep in mind many of these people are reading on their blackberry. My standard cold-email as an analyst, which I tweaked as needed (sometimes more heavily than others - but hey, if you want a job, you have to be willing to commit the time and not cut corners), is 2 paragraphs and 200-250 words. It was even shorter as a college student. Basically, who I am and why I'm interested in your firm/buyside opportunities comprises the first paragraph, while the second is my skills/experience. As a college student, I took the "I'd like to learn more and would love to talk" approach, but you can't get away with that naivete as an analyst so I was much more direct and to-the-point looking for buyside jobs. I also always attached my CV to avoid any slowdown in communication.

When I wrote why I was interested in working at Firm X or on the buyside, I didn't write crap like "You have an unparalleled track record and a great culture;" I wrote the reasons why I thought my skills/interests/abilities lined up well with hedge fund/private equity/lateral opportunities. You have to be both specific and to the point.

3) Tone - too many people write all this fake/idealistic BS in overly stilted language. I hate that and think it dilutes the sincerity.

4) As far as timing goes, I was never really able to establish a pattern in terms of which times of day seemed to work best. I would avoid sending around major holidays though. (i.e. if you are thinking about sending a cold-email, wait until Tuesday the 8th because lots of people are out this week and will need Monday to catch up). Keep Jewish holidays in mind as well, no joke.

5) Lastly, agree with following up. You have nothing to lose and nobody will find you annoying if you give it a week or two. Just don't keep bothering.

Above all, basic ways to easy cross-check things in your email to avoid surprisingly common fuck-ups: Your last step of the email before you click send should be adding the person's email address in the "To" field. Make sure the name in your "Dear [blank]" matches the name in the email address field, make sure the firm name in your subject/body match and also match the firm name in the email address field. Also, make the first thing you do to attach your CV.

 
May 26, 2014 - 6:19pm

In terms of content - the shorter, the better. Also, if you can, try to individualize/tweak it a bit beyond changing the name of the contact. I used a variable part of the message (one sentence) that could be quickly tweaked for each contact, while keeping the rest of the message intact.

In terms of putting in numbers: to get anything out of cold e-mailing, you have to send out e-mails to at least a hundred individuals. Playing the numbers is crucial. E-mails to just 4 contacts have a low chance of helping you.

Another important aspect is the contact database - this is absolutely critical. You have to have a way to track your progress and apply some strategy to the cold e-mailing process. If you have hundreds or thousands of contacts to e-mail, you will get lost without a good and well thought out database.

 
May 26, 2014 - 6:29pm

Need some advice guys.

I saw some BBs etc having posted intern opportunities. I went to a networking event with one of the banks in question and now I was thinking of reaching out to one of the VPs who I briefly interacted with to try to build a relationship and eventually aim to get an interview to work there later sometime this year. How should I do this though? The job posting itself closes in a few days so I might as well send my CV already but to maximize my chances, I'd also like to email the VP. How should I formulate my email? I dont need to attach my CV, right?

 
May 26, 2014 - 6:31pm

Ok, valid point.

I currently have a telephone interview lined up for a boutique but I have no idea what to expect. I did look around on LinkedIn for previous employees there and possibly reach out to them how the recruitment process was like. However, I have no connection to these people besides maybe nationality and do not want to come off as a complete stalker or other awkward-type guy, since who knows whether he still has contacts/friends at the firm I will be interviewing at.

So should I reach out to past employees to inquire? How should I approach them? Any ideas strongly appreciated!

 
May 26, 2014 - 6:37pm

Good stuff. Thanks for the info.

Consumption smoothing is retarded. If you stay in this game for a handful of years, money will be the least of your worries. Live it up, because this is the one time in your life where you might actually have time to spare.
 
May 26, 2014 - 6:38pm

@"SavedEmail" I would be careful using automated e-mails when they are sent more than once.
I use a similar service that shows me if my e-mail has been read and lets me send e-mails at a predetermined time and date.

Usually I would not send more than one follow-up e-mail. I once sent 2 follow-up e-mails but that was when I found out that the MD worked on the Twitter IPO. I then sent him a follow-up e-mail congratulating him and got an instant reply.

 
May 26, 2014 - 6:42pm

Cold-emailing and Networking Advice (Originally Posted: 05/14/2009)

I was planning to reach out to alumni of my school at some places I would like to apply to but I am a little stumped on what the best way to introduce myself and and let these people know I am interested in there firms would be?

First of all, what is the typical subject line for an email like this? Also, what is the best way to go about expressing interest without making it obvious that is the only intention of the email? What types of questions are best to ask in these types of emails?

Any guidance or suggestions on content and how best to structure these emails would be greatly greatly appreciated. Thanks!

 
May 26, 2014 - 6:43pm

Just introduce yourself, mention you're alma mater (I noticed you were a a graduate of ___ since it also my alma mater, etc", tell them you're interested in learning about their experience and industry.

Tell them you would appreciate any time they can give you.

Keep it short and sweet. They all know why you're networking, so don't act dumb or try to hide it when you actually talk to them. Be sincere, build rapport, and go from there.

 
May 26, 2014 - 6:49pm

Two of the best pieces of advice that I've read on the subject are:

The e-mail introduction most likely to open doors: http://www.gottamentor.com/viewAdvice.aspx?a=340
The e-mail introduction most likely to generate job leads: http://www.gottamentor.com/viewAdvice.aspx?a=339

Although, not exactly "cold-calling," the advice suggests that you try to find someone who knows the person you are trying to get in touch with to introduce you. This person could be someone more senior at the firm, more junior at the firm or just a mutual acquaintance. Having someone that the person with whom you are trying to get in touch with knows and trusts and who knows you and will put in a good word for you lets the person with whom you are trying to get in touch know that you are worth their time and not just some slouch. I've found this approach to be considerable more effective.

Good luck!

 
May 26, 2014 - 6:51pm

To lkc, once you get on the phone with them, you ask about the industry, how he/she got there, ask for advice on how to best position yourself to land a role in that division, if they like you they most likely will ask you to send over a resume that they will pass on to someone they know. If they don't bring it up, ask them for feedback on your resume, and keep politely prodding until they give you some.
I don't ask for help getting a job directly, I wait for them to offer it themselves.

 
May 26, 2014 - 6:52pm

I had one alum at a top BB tell me to call them on a certain day and at a certain time a few days ago. Obviously, I called that day and time and I was informed by his secretary that he was in a meeting, so I left a message. Should I call again next week or what? I know he's a busy dude, so I don't want to be an annoying student, but on the same token, I'd like to get a hold of the dude. :) Should I call or email?

 
May 26, 2014 - 6:56pm

any thoughts on how this looks as a networking email to an alum? all the "introduce yourself politely" and "describe your interest" advice is helpful, but the exact wording is a little trickier

Email title: [my name] / Current Student at [name of school]

Dear ________,

My name is _______--I am a rising junior at _______ and came across your profile on the LinkedIn Network.

I am currently interning at an investment management firm in NYC, and am eager to pursue a career in finance. If possible, could I buy you a coffee or quick lunch to talk about your experience in investment banking? I would be interested in hearing about your experience at your current firm as well as your path since graduation. Any time you could spare would be greatly appreciated.

I really look forward to hearing from you.

Best regards,


 
May 26, 2014 - 7:00pm

The career advisor at my school has people on his "linked in" account that live and work in finance in NYC. Some work at some very big institutions but they're people he said he hasn't talked to in a while. He recommended I contact them and say I'm friends with him. Good idea or bad? This sounds like a horrible idea but then again I'm no networking pro.

 
May 26, 2014 - 7:02pm

How is this cold email template? (Originally Posted: 11/07/2013)

Hey everyone,

I am currently a sophomore at a non/semi-target university looking to network my way into a SA position at a boutique/MM investment bank. I know there are many other threads on this subject, but wanted to get some input specifically on this template. I want to start sending cold emails or contacting people via LinkedIn and plan on using this template:

Dear Mr/Mrs X,

Hi, my name is ______, a student at the _________ double majoring in Finance and Accounting. I found your contact information on ________ as well as the alumni database.

I am highly interested in the investment banking industry and specifically the ______________ field/group/sector. I know you are busy and understand if you cannot make the time, but I would really appreciate it if you could be open to a brief informational interview over the phone or in person whenever it is convenient for you. I am eager to learn more about your undergraduate experiences at __________ and about your role at _________ bank.

Thank you for your time and help.

Sincerely,

My Name

Is this okay? Anything that I need to improve on/omit? Anything else I should include? How would YOU respond to this if you were on the receiving end?
Also, would it be more beneficial to contact MDs as opposed to junior bankers since I am applying to smaller firms? Any help and input that you can offer is greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

 
May 26, 2014 - 7:05pm

NEVER SAY informational interview. If i had never been on this site I would have no idea what you're one about. It's a horrible phrase, truly horrid. Bad WSO. Bad M&I

"After you work on Wall Street it’s a choice, would you rather work at McDonalds or on the sell-side? I would choose McDonalds over the sell-side.” - David Tepper
 
May 26, 2014 - 7:07pm

The comments above apply: a little too long, a lot too hesitant. Never give them an out automatically by saying "if you can't make the time, I understand". Instead, phrase it in a way that if they're going to deny you they have to either tell you straight up or ignore your email. Phrase it like "I'm sure you're busy but I'd like to take you to lunch/coffee and chat. Do you have some time this week/weekend/next week/weekend?".

That's not perfect but it puts the ball in their court. It's SO easy for someone to say they don't have time when the person asking the favor has already given them an excuse.

 
May 26, 2014 - 7:09pm

I would avoid contacting randoms on LinkedIn. Most don't care about a stranger that has no affiliation to them.

Find alumni at your school. Don't bother with a long-winded email, either. Just say that you are pursuing X and Y, and was wondering if you could chat with them for a bit to discuss career paths and opportunities.

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.

 
May 26, 2014 - 7:10pm

Cold-Emailing 300 firms - please give feedback on my email template (Originally Posted: 01/28/2015)

Hey Guys,

I have just finished a list of about 300 boutique PE and IB firms. I'm going to email all of them, so I built a quick template that I will slightly modify for different firms. Could you give me feed back on my template please. Thanks!!

Hello X,

My name is John Doe, I am a sophomore finance student currently studying at Target Uni with a very high interest in pursuing a career in investment banking. I’m emailing you today to inquiry about any potential internship opportunities at your firm.

I understand you are very busy and must get these types of emails fairly often so I will try and keep this email short.

I have a very unconventional background, which involves starting a business from scratch during university, building it up to 40 employees and then selling it. However, I assure you that I have the modeling skill set, knowledge about finance and drive required to fulfill the role of an analyst and I believe I could add value to your firm. I would be grateful if you allowed me the opportunity to further present myself by phone or in person.

Thank you in advance and I hope to hear from you soon.

Best regards,

 
May 26, 2014 - 7:16pm

Modeling typically has 1 L, but I think it can be spelled both ways. You mention that you have the necessary modeling skills, but do you? Does your resume really support a statement like that? Unless you have IB experience or have taken a prep class. I'd just take that section and talk about how you sold your business in 2 sentences.

Brevity is key, and try to get someone on the phone.

 
May 26, 2014 - 7:18pm

Short sentences are better and more decipherable. You need more straightforward text rather than stilted, over-constructed sentences. Get to the point, man.

Suggestions below.

Hello X,

I understand you are very busy and must get these types of emails often. So I will keep this email brief.

My name is John Doe. I am a sophomore finance student currently studying at [DEGREE?] Target Uni and I am very interested in an investment banking career. I’m emailing you today to inquire about a potential intern role at [firm name - make the effort to not look like a complete form e-mail].

I have a very unconventional background. While at [Target Uni name], I started a [type of business] business from scratch and built it up to $[NUMBER] in sales per [period eg month] and 40 employees. In [time], I sold the business for $[NUMBER]. [not sure why this is unconventional, as many kids have pet businesses at university. Are you trying to say your background is unconventional because you don't have a business-related degree, but vaguely hinting at this?]

I have the modelling skill set, knowledge about finance and drive required to fulfill the role of an analyst and I believe I could add value to your firm. [this sentence needs to be re-worked, but how to do that depends on whether you are studying a business related degree or not]

I would like to discuss a summer intern role with [firm name] with you. Please let me know if we can discuss this by phone or in person.

Thank you in advance and I hope to hear from you soon.

Best regards

Those who can, do. Those who can't, post threads about how to do it on WSO.
 
May 26, 2014 - 7:22pm
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