Done123123

Sorry had to take this away.

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Comments (69)

Nov 17, 2014

Well done and congrats! You definitely deserve the job. And you're completely right about being "normal" -- everyone and their mother sends out the usual Tesco/Iceland emails. Best of luck at BB; I'm sure you'll be great.

Nov 17, 2014

thanks for sharing your story!

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Nov 17, 2014

Nice job! Eerily similar to my story in some ways....I also made friends through networking that really went to bat for me, used Linkedin Premium for a month to get an introduction to my dream group (at GS/MS) and when I got an interview made it very clear I really wanted the job. Was over the moon when I got the offer.

Although you clearly had a large network by the end of it, it sounds like you also tried to make friends with the bankers and were not at all like the hordes of people who talk to a banker 1-2 times and then hope they push their resume, and never speak again. What worked for me was building a very small network (fewer than 10 people outside the firm I interned at) of bankers that actually turned into friends and who I get drinks with regularly etc. Makes a world of difference when some other banker is half-heartedly pushing someone else's resume, and a friend is really, repeatedly, going to bat for you to get you in the door.

Jan 2, 2015

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Nov 18, 2014

Thanks for sharing your advice! But when you network with those bankers, how do you become "friends" with them? Also for people from non-target schools who are very far from, say, NYC, wouldn't the distance make "making friends with bankers" even more difficult? It'd be great if you can share more of your insights here!

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Nov 17, 2014

Become friends by finding at talking about common interests and staying in touch rather than having an informational interview and barely talking again. Yes, definitely easier if you love nearby - if you don't, I would personally recommend setting up a bunch of meetings and making 1-2 trips to NYC at your expense to meet bankers in person.

Jan 2, 2015

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Nov 17, 2014

Good read

Nov 17, 2014

Nice job!

But if you had all these networking conversations and only 1 bank offered even a first round interview, did this strategy really work? Not being facetious, generally wondering why you think this might have been the case.

Nov 18, 2014

I was wondering the same

Nov 18, 2014
Quaneaser:

Nice job!

But if you had all these networking conversations and only 1 bank offered even a first round interview, did this strategy really work?

Curious as well. I have/can have a good network and apart from casual conversations it doesn't seem worth it since I've been told by analysts themselves (that includes non BB firms like Rothschild) only someone like MD can have a pull in recruiting

Have friends doing an exchange in the US and they tell me it's all about networking there

Jan 2, 2015

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Jan 2, 2015

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Nov 17, 2014

Always great to see someone making it and giving back to the community. Well done and congrats!

Nov 18, 2014

Thanks for sharing your story; it's been inspiring. Could you give some tips on how you tweaked your email when you sent follow-up emails to people who didn't respond?

Jan 2, 2015

Hi [],

I just wanted to follow up on my previous email. I imagine you have many other better things to do but I only ask for 15 min of your time.

Let me know if there was a good time for me to call you.

Thanks much,
[]

And then just vary this. The key here is not to send the same email over and over again - makes it boring!
So in streak (the app I mentioned above) I would have
F-email1, F-email2, F-email3, F-email4, F-email5,F-email6, F-email7 etc. Just write them all at once and leave the [] for name.

For timing I found following up between 3 days and 1 week to be most effective.

Nov 18, 2014

Thanks man! Your feedback is very helpful. I still think it's hard to rephrase to the 5th email with the one single content that you want to have 15 minutes of the banker's time. Do you think it's OK to add more content in the subsequent emails?

Jan 2, 2015

What kind of content? I would just write

Hey,
I am still really enthusiastic to chat! Let me know if you have 15min of downtime at any point this week and how to reach you.

And also note that there is no 1 set way of doing this. Brevity worked for me because I guess it matches how I interact in person. Just do what seems natural to you!

Nov 18, 2014

Thanks man. It's been wonderful.

Nov 18, 2014

Hey @"Banananker" when you were networking with the bankers, did you just network with the Analysts? Or you also went for Associates/VPs? Thanks for sharing!

Jan 2, 2015

See this was my mistake. I went for analysts and associates, but now looking back I would say Associates and VPs are best. Analysts have too much work and MDs probably won't talk to some kid. I think associates and VPs are the golden middle.

Also I imagine if a VP calls up HR and asks to get your application through it is a lot more possible than analyst.

Nov 18, 2014

I see, that's very helpful, thanks a lot for the insights! I'm pretty new when it comes to networking with people, but I'm determined to break into investment banking. So when you were networking with those bankers, other than asking about their experiences and how they got into where they are today, when do you think would be a good time to express your STRONG interest in breaking into the industry? And what other possible good questions do you think one can ask while talking to the bankers?

Thanks a lot again!!

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Nov 18, 2014

SB'd.
Great Advice. Thanks!

Nov 18, 2014

Hey would you be willing to PM a sketch of your "story" to me?

Nov 18, 2014

Hey,

Very great post! I'm very curious how it was helpful to have conversations with the bankers if, from what I understand, you got an interview by simply applying? Wouldn't it be better to cold email saying directly you are interested in working at BB xyz and you are emailing to know how you could best position yourself?

Thanks!

Jan 2, 2015

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Nov 18, 2014

This is brilliant stuff. Anyone aspiring to be a banker should read this.

Nov 18, 2014

This is fantastic, really great information!

Nov 18, 2014

Thanks for sharing your experience.
But i don't understand what you have reply when ask you "What are your strengths"
Thanks

Nov 18, 2014

Thanks. Really helpful for me as I try to network my way up the ladder, myself. Congrats on the success thus far.

Nov 19, 2014

Solid advice. Did you find that a lot a bankers asked how you found their contact information since you didn't explain in your e-mail? Cheers

Nov 19, 2014
Banananker:

Lesson 4: Got story?

What's a good story then? One that is fun, interesting, and unusual. Mine was pure BS, top to bottom, but it was fun. It was a story that people haven't heard before and so they would nod and listen. I had their attention. Obviously you need to be reasonable and have numbers in your head to backup what you say - last thing you want is to go "ehmmm" when they ask you "so when was this exactly?". Sit down, take a marker and draw the entire timeline. Develop every detail. What was the weather like? Who were you with? Was it at uni? Were you dating at the time? What was the name of your cat? It sounds silly but trust me if you can develop it to the point you start believing it, BSing becomes easy - you are just telling what your brain thinks happened.

Either you don't know what bullshitting means or you're giving bad advice here. Are you really suggesting that people completely make up their entire backstory? This is your advice on how to lie convincingly.

Jan 2, 2015

Pretty much yes, that's my advice. I see no harm in this type of lying - no one died, everyone enjoyed themselves, I got the job. Where's the downside?

Nov 19, 2014
Banananker:

Pretty much yes, that's my advice. I see no harm in this type of lying - no one died, everyone enjoyed themselves, I got the job. Where's the downside?

Here's how I know you are completely full of shit. Just above this post that you wrote, you told someone else to make friends by 'being yourself.' Those statements are incongruent. Plus, you yourself said you were full of shit, which is one of the only truths that liars ever say.

Harmless lying includes telling the Mom of an ugly baby that her kid is cute. Making up a back story to fake your way into banking is just fucking sleazy.

But, it's not all bad news, you might actually make it as a career banker. Morals mean nothing to you and that's important.

@flake
@ssits
@"Dingdong08"
@"going Concern"

Nov 19, 2014
DickFuld:
Banananker:

Pretty much yes, that's my advice. I see no harm in this type of lying - no one died, everyone enjoyed themselves, I got the job. Where's the downside?

Here's how I know you are completely full of shit. Just above this post that you wrote, you told someone else to make friends by 'being yourself.' Those statements are incongruent. Plus, you yourself said you were full of shit, which is one of the only truths that liars ever say.

Harmless lying includes telling the Mom of an ugly baby that her kid is cute. Making up a back story to fake your way into banking is just fucking sleazy.

But, it's not all bad news, you might actually make it as a career banker. Morals mean nothing to you and that's important.

@Flake

@SSits

@Dingdong08

@Going Concern

I would highly recommend not lying to break in or advance. First there's the practical implication that you will have to keep up the lie and be found out. And I'm not even quite sure what the lie could be to break in. Exaggerating your importance on a deal is one thing. Making up the deal will just get you caught. You will work with these people more intimately in a non sexual way than you will be with your partner that you're actually screwing.

Then there's the ethics. All you have in this business is your word and honor. We don't make a better widget or figure out how to sell more of them. In IB or PE you simply stand on your word. If you lie and you're found out no one will trust you. When I say I'm going to do something I will only allow hell and high water keep me from doing that. I could be a rude, mysoginistic dickhead but if people know I stand by my word it's ok. Them there's the slippery slope. If I'm ok lying on a small thing what won't I keep lying about until it builds up to me being Madoff (extreme example yes).

I only skimmed the OP but making stuff up isn't a good idea.

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Nov 20, 2014
DickFuld:

Making up a back story to fake your way into banking is just fucking sleazy.

But, it's not all bad news, you might actually make it as a career banker. Morals mean nothing to you and that's important.

Agree with @DickFuld here. If I hire you parlly because of your backstory, I'm following up on that. And if it becomes apparent your backstory is bullshit, you're out at first opportunity,

I'm a curious fellow and if a good sales pitch doesn't have substance, you've demonstrated I can't trust you one bit.

I'm cool if you bullshit clients (within limits), but if you bullshit me you're out in in hurry because I can't trust you. You're the sort of guy who is fucking over the client, fucking over me, and leaving me carrying the billl.

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Nov 25, 2014
SSits:
DickFuld:

Making up a back story to fake your way into banking is just fucking sleazy.

But, it's not all bad news, you might actually make it as a career banker. Morals mean nothing to you and that's important.

Agree with @DickFuld here. If I hire you parlly because of your backstory, I'm following up on that. And if it becomes apparent your backstory is bullshit, you're out at first opportunity,

I'm a curious fellow and if a good sales pitch doesn't have substance, you've demonstrated I can't trust you one bit.

I'm cool if you bullshit clients (within limits), but if you bullshit me you're out in in hurry because I can't trust you. You're the sort of guy who is fucking over the client, fucking over me, and leaving me carrying the billl.

I think I know what the OP is talking about here....Case-in-point a dude I went to b-school with..

He wanted to get into IB so made up a bunch of stuff to show that he had some professional finance experience... got the internship at a BB ... but because they figured it out in the internship/he didnt perform as well as they expected he did not get the full time gig.

He went to a completely different line of work after b-school but still kept trying to get in IB... about a year later he is now in IB at another BB... In summary, he lied his way in and did not get the full time offer but he leveraged his experience at the BB internship to later get the fulltime gig elsewhere.

now, I am not a big fan of this guy - never liked him, never trusted him from the first day I met him but he did lie his way in and chances are he will exit a couple of years down the line just like everyone else and it doesn't matter now if he initially got his foot in by lying.

Jan 4, 2015

Although that sounded a little harsh DickFuld =) London is a hustler's city with a moral compass pointing towards the 'means always justify the ends'. Not to say that there are no honest and hard working people here, it's just the bull shitting comes very naturally to many in the London town. That is until they have to produce results at work... then, shit hits the ceiling, period.

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Nov 19, 2014
Banananker:

Pretty much yes, that's my advice. I see no harm in this type of lying - no one died, everyone enjoyed themselves, I got the job. Where's the downside?

This reminds me of a quote that someone once said: "If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed."

You know who said that? Adolph Hitler.

Congrats OP...your path to psychopathy should be a smooth one.

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Nov 19, 2014
Going Concern:
Banananker:

Pretty much yes, that's my advice. I see no harm in this type of lying - no one died, everyone enjoyed themselves, I got the job. Where's the downside?

This reminds me of a quote that someone once said: "If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed."

You know who said that? Adolph Hitler.

Congrats OP...your path to psychopathy should be a smooth one.

Apparently, OP is attempting the George Costanza of lying. "It's not a lie if you believe it."

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Best Response
Nov 20, 2014
Going Concern:
Banananker:

Pretty much yes, that's my advice. I see no harm in this type of lying - no one died, everyone enjoyed themselves, I got the job. Where's the downside?

This reminds me of a quote that someone once said: "If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed."

You know who said that? Adolph Hitler.

Congrats OP...your path to psychopathy should be a smooth one.

Correct me if I'm wrong but Addie did pretty well for himself all things considered (non-target, art major).

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Nov 20, 2014

Good job on getting the offer but with all due respect I would delete your email in a heartbeat. "Invite you for a chat"? No thanks. "Aspiring banker"? No one talks this way. So while I agree your emails should be biased towards being more casual and "human", I find your example irritating and like it's trying too hard without actually...trying too hard.

Also, agree with @DickFuld here. Maybe that advice worked for you but don't seriously suggest that to anybody else. While you got lucky bullshitting your way in, others may get burned.

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Jan 2, 2015

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Nov 19, 2014

So what would make you more likely to respond? Would just swapping out "invite you for a chat" and "aspiring banker" with "speaking for a few minutes for some advice" do the trick? I imagine one would receive dozens of these, so I'm curious as to what makes one email more likely to get a response over another. (Not including timing/personal referrals, of course)

Jan 2, 2015

17 follow-ups are likely to get you a response over any other email.

Nov 20, 2014

Great and real post. Lots of good info and insight. I also read the lean startup book in my lean management class in my MBA program... great book indeed.

Jan 2, 2015

To all those worried about lying - I think you are overcomplicating things too much. I never said you need to bullshit throughout your career left and right, I also never said lying per se is good. All I'm saying is that sometimes that's your only choice!

An interesting fact - when I joined for an internship no one on the team gave a darn or could even remember why I was hired. They were a lot more concerned with how quickly I can turnaround markups.

Which leads to the only logical conclusion (which everyone sort of knows already): your career is what you do not what you say. "When I say I'm going to do something I will only allow hell and high water keep me from doing that." @Dingdong08 this sentence is about delivering on promises, in other words "doing".

Nov 20, 2014
Banananker:

To all those worried about lying - I think you are overcomplicating things too much. I never said you need to bullshit throughout your career left and right, I also never said lying per se is good. All I'm saying is that sometimes that's your only choice!

An interesting fact - when I joined for an internship no one on the team gave a darn or could even remember why I was hired. They were a lot more concerned with how quickly I can turnaround markups.

Bank-ifying your resume and emphasizing parts of your life story that position you in the best light is one thing. Mapping out an elaborate lie and memorizing it is another.

As a banker, your client needs to know they can trust you in the smallest things, hence the incredible attention to detail emphasized in banking. One wrong number or grammatical error in your deck, and the entire valuation might be called into question. In the same way, one small lie can call into question the bigger issues. If you lie for a simple interview, wouldn't you lie for much more important things? I don't want to make a character judgment, but you're rationalizing an unethical misstep... It's a slippery slope.

You have some good points in your OP, but that advice on lying taints the whole thread. Congrats on the offer, but I caution others reading this thread to think twice before following your advice.

Nov 23, 2014
Ventures:
Banananker:

To all those worried about lying - I think you are overcomplicating things too much. I never said you need to bullshit throughout your career left and right, I also never said lying per se is good. All I'm saying is that sometimes that's your only choice!

An interesting fact - when I joined for an internship no one on the team gave a darn or could even remember why I was hired. They were a lot more concerned with how quickly I can turnaround markups.

Bank-ifying your resume and emphasizing parts of your life story that position you in the best light is one thing. Mapping out an elaborate lie and memorizing it is another.

As a banker, your client needs to know they can trust you in the smallest things, hence the incredible attention to detail emphasized in banking. One wrong number or grammatical error in your deck, and the entire valuation might be called into question. In the same way, one small lie can call into question the bigger issues. If you lie for a simple interview, wouldn't you lie for much more important things? I don't want to make a character judgment, but you're rationalizing an unethical misstep... It's a slippery slope.

You have some good points in your OP, but that advice on lying taints the whole thread. Congrats on the offer, but I caution others reading this thread to think twice before following your advice.

"One wrong number or grammatical error in your deck, and the entire valuation might be called into question" - OK.

Nov 17, 2014

Although the warning sounds dire, if this response was as sarcastic as it sounds, consider the acquisition of TIBO recently where the company was shortchanged by $100M because someone got a number of shares wrong...

Nov 17, 2014

Although the warning sounds dire, if this response was as sarcastic as it sounds, consider the acquisition of TIBO recently where the company was shortchanged by $100M because someone got a number of shares wrong...

Nov 20, 2014

Thanks for your advice. Do you know anything about the equity research space in London? Any major differences between the US and the UK? I'm going to be qualifying soon as an ACA so any info would be appreciated!

Nov 20, 2014

Thanks for your advice. Do you know anything about the equity research space in London? Any major differences between the US and the UK? I'm going to be qualifying soon as an ACA so any info would be appreciated!

Nov 20, 2014

Great success story Bananker! It's really heartwarming to see people that used to be in the same situation as I am now and breaking into BB. I was hoping if you could answer some questions I haven't been able to find the answers to.
1. I started to coldcall a lot after reading your post and then I finally got an answer from someone. What do you actually do then? When he picked up the phone I didn't know what to say because I never prepared for this moment, so I asked him to have coffee with me.
2. What do you actually talk about during coffee, are you ultimately trying to pitch your sale and get him to hire you or should I expect a lot of followup coffee dates before he actually hires me?
3. When you research for cold calls, who do you look for? HR managers, CEO, senior management, etc. Could a simple say Financial analyst in a boutique firm be able to help me get hired?

We really appreciate your story and I hope to one day share mine!

Nov 23, 2014

Congrats! Great story... the email format is awesome btw.

Nov 23, 2014

Congrats man. One thing thats bugging me is that I'am not an EU citizen. How often do BB IBs sponsor work permits or Visa for non EU citizens?

Jan 2, 2015

Sorry not something I can help with. My guess is that if it's BB it shouldn't be a problem - for smaller guys it probably is.

Nov 25, 2014

How did you get through the actual interviews though? Did you buy the WSO guide, Some other guide etc?

Jan 2, 2015

[]

Nov 25, 2014

1)I wouldn't want to make up my story. Then I would no I am a fake and I am not a truly successful, I'd just be a very good con man.

2) If I did make up my past, who I am then I am not me. People would be going up to bat for the persona I created not me. Why can't they just go up to bat for me?

4)Knowing I did all of that, I would suspect my coworkers of the same, because we are all known to be like this anyways right? I would like to throw them all under the bus to make myself succeed. I would be the weak cornerstone that can't be trusted, because I am not in it for my company, which pays me my salary and the salary of my co-workers with whom I will be working with for hours on end.

3) Yes you could do all of the above, but then that will take away the challenge. Part of the reason I want in on IB is because of the challenge.

Anyways, each person does what they want. Lie or not lie. Just now why you do what you do, and be able to justify it to yourself. If/When your views and justifications are questioned, and you question them, you have lost.

@"Banananker"
@"MBA_Junkie"

Jan 2, 2015

[]

Nov 25, 2014

Award winning post right there mate. Congratulations on your achievements.

Nov 29, 2014

If you make up an INNOCENT lie (and I do have to say in this case I would qualify it as innocent) it doesn't harm anyone, no one will ever remember it, it might change the entire course your life takes, and chances are the person interviewing you has pulled some tricks in the past to get where he/she is. If you do not make it up, you're only harming yourself. The end.

Dec 1, 2014

Inspiring!

Jan 2, 2015

Arguably, it may be a better idea to lie than to say what got you interested in banking was the movie,"Wall Street".

Let's stick with this example. Let's say you wanted to lie about what got you into banking. Well, maybe instead of saying you watched a movie, say that you went to an info session --->http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/blog/a-clueless-fre...

Unsure of what IB even was and fell in love with it somehow. But the truth is that you went to the info session AFTER you fell in love with Gordon Gekko. But who on earth is going to be able to disprove this? I think the key is cutting things out, then twisting it ever so slightly till your story is perfect and can't be disproved.

With that said, if you NEED to, you probably should, just be aware of the consequences. I personally won't be lying on my interview so I can stay safe.

Jan 3, 2015
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Jan 4, 2015
Jan 4, 2015
Jan 7, 2015