7/21/14

I wanted to know if having a family connection at a top bank will increase my chances of getting hired as an analyst next year.

A family connection is an MD at Goldman Sachs. I think he was one of the youngest MD in company history, and according to my uncle he has a lot of pull at GS. I have no prior IB work experience, and I do not come from a target school (Penn State). I have decent grades (3.4-3.5) and a good resume. I spoke with him briefly on the phone a week ago and we set up a time for me to go up and see him at GS in his office. If I express a great deal of interest in working for GS, what do you think he will be able to do for me? Thanks.

Comments (54)

7/21/14

Yes, it will increase your chances

Financial Modeling

7/21/14

He can easily get you an interview. After that, more than likely it's up to you.

7/22/14

i think u'll be able to get at least the first round interview with ease. However, after that point, it's all up to you. If you bomb the first-round interview, no chance you will move forward to the super day

7/22/14

I've never been a fan of family "connections". You'd take more pride if you earned it over all of the other candidates. Good for you though! Just make sure you keep talking to him if you don't get the job.

7/23/14

jojome:

I've never been a fan of family "connections". You'd take more pride if you earned it over all of the other candidates.

Everyone has different opportunities. You walk through the doors that are open to you. It's unlikely GS would hire someone solely because of a a family connection. And if they do, then sucks to them when that new hire implodes. To suggest that someone ignore an advantage during the recruiting process is absurd.

7/22/14

I've gotten a job through a family connection and I've also not gotten a job through a family connection. They were both MD's at BB banks. They will be able to open the door for you, but you have to prove yourself after that.

7/23/14

jmatt, would you say that you would have had a strong shot to get the job even without your family connection. in other words, how were your credentials to begin with (school, gpa, area of study, work experience, etc)

7/25/14

If i'm being honest here, I don't think I would've gotten the job without the connection. I came from a non-target with a very average gpa, I also majored in Econ. I was working in a shitty industry for a year trying to break into Finance before it actually happened. I know I am better than my GPA and work experience, I just really didn't know what I wanted in college and partied a lot.

Without the connection I would've never got the interview. But, there was at least 20 people that interviewed for my position. I had to prove myself in the interview. It was an analyst position at a BB bank.

7/27/14

So how did you go about setting yourself apart from the rest of the candidates?

7/28/14

I prepared. Really dam well. I made sure I knew everything I was supposed to. I had studied every STAR interview question and crafted my responses really well. I also made sure to be as personable and friendly as I can.

I looked the part (meaning I was in a nice suit), I was friendly, I knew how to respond to the interview questions, and I stressed how much I wanted the position. I also focused on how I am analytical and I enjoy jobs that make you think and solve problems.

It's all about making a story about yourself and tying in all your past experiences and schooling to fit the job. Your recommendation will help and if it is between you and another candidate or two without a referral. You will probably get the job.

7/23/14

If the MD is an achiever like you say he is, expressing a strong interest is a necessary but not sufficient condition for him to back you.
Speaking coherently and show that you area smart person through your questions and conversation is the real way to have him pushing for you with the HR people and the hiring table

7/28/14

Probably can't 'get' you an internship (though might be able to) but can basically put you in a position where you will get one if you don't really fuck up an interview. Depends on the place though.

7/28/14

OK that makes sense. And it's a BB, if that helps at all.

7/28/14

Can isn't the same thing as well. An MD could probably get anyone hired if he actually put his foot down, but it might not be worth the cost in political capital. But there are plenty of other things he can and might very well do. He can definitely take your resume, he probably knows which resume readers might be more sympathetic, he can sit you down for informational (read: practice) interviews with his team, he can casually email interviewers asking "how'd he do?"... you get the point.

Soft power is as good as, if not better than, brute force in this sort of situation, both for him, and for you. Think about it - do you really want to be that kid on the team whom the MD told HR to hire?

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

7/28/14

It definitely helps, the equivalent of having a really good "in" at a firm that puts your resume at the top of the pile for a 1st and 2nd round interview. This being said, you still need to perform well, act normal etc just due to how fierce the competition is out there for BB positions. It also depends on what division your relative is MD of and whether you want to go into that group or whether you want to go to a different group (where the connection could still help, but obv a lot less).

7/28/14

family connections (or even family friend) are 100x better than a network connection.

7/28/14

^Agreed. Family connections are incomparable to a network connection. I don't know about a job, but if the MD (your uncle) really wants to get you an internship, there's really not much people below him can say. You may be deemed "the MD's nephew" but at least you'll have a secured position.

7/28/14
therock555:

^Agreed. Family connections are incomparable to a network connection. I don't know about a job, but if the MD (your uncle) really wants to get you an internship, there's really not much people below him can say. You may be deemed "the MD's nephew" but at least you'll have a secured position.

No one will look at him as the "MD's nephew" if he works just as hard if not harder than anyone else.
Family will be able to get you the internship, just don't be a jackass that is all.

7/28/14

I lost count on how many of my friends got internships at BBs through family connections (with and without interviews).

7/28/14

Depends if your family are clients (from the PWM side) or just within the bank. So that's a No and a Yes, respectively.

7/28/14

Will get you a first round interview, and probably super day. Most likely won't "get" you a job, but you don't want that to happen anyways. It will float around that he made sure it happened. Very common for family to get the process started though.

7/28/14

Dumb question. Of course he'll get you an internship.
I would think that he'll get you a FT offer too if you don't royally fuck up somewhere. Royally means in the order of losing his bank a few hundred million dollars, or showing up in flip-flops and Affliction t-shirt every day to work in the front office.

7/28/14

Yes it helps tremendously. You won't need to constantly be pulling out your hair in your third year wondering why people don't want you to network with them. Nonetheless, you still need to work hard and nail the later stages of the interview depending how much he is willing to help

7/28/14

Having a family member in a position of influence is the single most powerful thing you can have. If you have a strong resume to go with it, you're absolutely golden. Depending on how much he wants to stick out his neck for you, he can definitely put you a strong position to get a job at his company, if not guarantee you the job outright.

CompBanker

7/28/14

Whats the difference between a PWM Client's kid and a MDs kid?

What can PWM kids get besides from these investment banking "camps" that are held. I personally know a few kids getting these in Hong Kong for BBs. Aren't these useless anyway? They will just be marked client's kids.

Best Response
7/28/14

Hi all,

My name is Jon Blankfein. Do you think I have a shot of landing an analyst position this year at Goldman Sachs? (PS -- I have a close relative who is pretty high ranking there if you think that could make a difference)

Thanks!

7/28/14

Family connections in IB are so much better than networking contacts, ceteris paribus

Fear is the greatest motivator. Motivation is what it takes to find profit.

7/28/14

It turns out he actually works in a regional office, and not in one that I would want to work in one day. I'm sure this changes a lot, so do you all think he would still have enough pull to help me?

7/28/14

If he works in a regional office then it's even better in my view. Regional offices are composed of much smaller teams than NY HQ and usually with only 4-5 MDs who have much more pull in recruiting who they want. If you're not so interested in the location, try interning as a SO/JR and then ask for your uncle to leverage connections for a FT move to your preferred city. Although this might not be as easy these days given how much more strictly banks are looking at headcount in each office.

Also, just for your own sake make sure your uncle is actually in IBD/S&T/Capital Markets before striking up a conversation that can make you look ignorant. Have a buddy whose aunt is an MD at a BB. Buddy schedules a talk about internships with her and finds out she is actually in Data/Technology. He said it was the most awkward conversation because he had no interest in BO and she had no tangible knowledge of FO.

7/28/14

I am sure he is in IBD, which is what I'm interested in too. Any ideas on how much he could help with a position in NY? Without interning in the regional office.

Financial Modeling

7/24/14

Of course it helps.

Realistically a lot of people could do the job just as well as whoever is actually hired. A good word from a family member and that'll be enough to go from one of those who could do it just as well to actually doing it.

7/28/14

Nepotism is alive and well assuming you arent a vegetable but the road to BB employment will still be extremely difficult considering you have highly trained and desperate experienced hires who have been recently laid off.

7/28/14

how about for internships

7/28/14

i think a VP would be tough... even in good times. unless you really know him well... About current climate, I think even connections with MDs still need not get you a place

7/28/14
sleepymonkey:

unless you really know him well...

You read the part about family member, right?

A lot of firms take candidates with internal links over normal applicants. There are some pretty good studies showing you get better employees, very popular in HR right now.

7/28/14

I think you have a good chance. I just got a VP get me through the door at a BB.

7/24/14

My first interview ever my uncle set it up for me and the entire interview we talked about fishing. My third interview ever I think I was tanking the interview, just didn't mesh with the interviewer hard to describe, anyways friend of the family ends up hiring me on the spot, later to the interviewer's dismay. Friend of mine got short listed at a F100 company for a director position just because one of their old coworkers was friends with the guy widdling down the list.

These stories are endless. People like to hire who they know, it isn't unfair. It just is. So yea it'll help

7/28/14

The higher up you go, the bigger the sway. Common sense. However, in US you still have to go through the process. In Asia, they'd just give you the position if you have killer connection. They'll fall into the category of relationship hires.

Does it guarantee employment ? As long as you aren't an idiot, yes.

7/28/14

Sorry, I'm lost. If you're to still go through the regular process in the US, what's the point of having family connections? Or are you saying that that is the difference between referrals and family connections?

7/28/14

I think he means that even though you are probably guarnteed a spot (not actually said probably), you still have to apply, do interviews, etc

7/28/14

For the sake of formality. Sure, your MD uncle in Goldman Sachs would totally vouch for you but if you don't at least go through some interviews and the normal hiring protocol, it might raise some eyebrows in the office. Plus, you'd want to minimize the amount of people who're going to complain about it being unfair and make sure that you are at least up to par as a candidate. Even an MD wouldn't want to bring his nephew on if he's the type to pull a jeffrey chiang and start shitting all over his face.

7/28/14

Right. Thanks.

7/28/14

How would family connections fare in my case...

My father was no MD or major player in NYC or anything of the like. He retired ~2 years ago as a successful SVP for his own BB PWM group with his brother who is still working and aprox. 16 years younger.

While I may eventually pursue PWM or PB, I'd rather begin with AM or ER.

When applying to AM and ER positions in this BB, I would put down my father and uncle's relationship with the firm. How does this look to HR. Would I atleast get an interivew, or would it help me even more than that?
I am not just trying to use my father to get a job (he is all about earning everything on your own anways) , but could it substantially help my chances? I have a 3.4 from good liberal arts (vassar, bates, bowdoin), some ECs, and 2 internships related to research and PWM.

7/28/14

Maybe it's better to talk to your father/uncle about it separately from the application, then they can contact the firm and apply some pressure for you, and you can pretend not to know about it. You might look like an asshole if you base your application on your connections. An honest asshole, but an asshole nonetheless.

7/28/14

Ya, talk to your dad. I am sure either he knows someone or your uncle knows someone. If you have connections then absolutely use them. Some people have an MD relative, some people got into Harvard, other people networked and got a great mentor. Luck of the draw sometimes, but use every contact and leg up you can.

Masters in Finance HQ - The #1 site for everything related to the MSF degree!
MSFHQ

7/28/14

this topic has been touched on previously. this may help:
http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/networking-w...

7/28/14

hmmm, that thread actually didn't help much at all.

7/28/14

just make sure none of the places you apply to have nepotism rules or things like that

you can try asking ur dad or ur uncle to arrange for meet-ups with pple from AM or ER. I'm sure they will know some.. and you can benefit not just in terms of networking but to know more of AM/ER, advice etc..

hmm but in the long term you will want to do PWM or PB ?

7/28/14
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