Getting a job through family connection?

Handley's picture
Rank: Chimp | 12

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 (119)

Jul 21, 2014

Yes, it will increase your chances

Jul 21, 2014

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

Jul 22, 2014

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

Jul 22, 2014

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.

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Jul 23, 2014
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.

Jul 22, 2014

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.

Jul 23, 2014

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)

Jul 25, 2014

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.

Jul 23, 2014

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

Jul 28, 2014

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.

Jul 28, 2014

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

Jul 28, 2014

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?

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Jul 28, 2014

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).

Jul 28, 2014

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

Jul 28, 2014

^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.

Jul 28, 2014
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.

Jul 28, 2014

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

Jul 28, 2014

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

Jul 28, 2014

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.

Jul 28, 2014

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.

Jul 28, 2014

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

Jul 28, 2014

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.

Jul 28, 2014

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
Jul 28, 2014

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!

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Jul 28, 2014

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

Jul 28, 2014

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?

Jul 28, 2014

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.

Jul 28, 2014

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.

Jul 24, 2014

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.

Jul 28, 2014

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.

Jul 28, 2014

how about for internships

Jul 28, 2014

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

Jul 28, 2014
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.

Jul 28, 2014

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

Jul 24, 2014

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

Jul 28, 2014

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.

Jul 28, 2014

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?

Jul 28, 2014

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

Jul 28, 2014

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.

Jul 28, 2014

Right. Thanks.

Jul 28, 2014

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.

Jul 28, 2014

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.

Jul 28, 2014

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.

Jul 28, 2014

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

Jul 28, 2014

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

Jul 28, 2014

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 ?

Jul 28, 2014

Ya I think in the long term I will want to do PWM or PB. I am quite sure I can eventually join my dad/ uncle's PWM group if I want, but im not sure if I want to be living in this area (Hartford) and probably want to do my own thing/ challenge myself.

I just think that doing ER or AM will better prepare me than just trying to go into PWM immediatly as an analyst. I am aware it is quite difficult to bring in clients when you are very young ( and i look even younger) and don't have much experience.

I say I want to do PWM or PB because the hours are very good while the compensation can be very good once you gain a significant cilent base. My father was very succesful and he was rarely working 60 + hours after he was ~30. He rarely went away on business trips, was often home by 6pm on weekdays and on occasion went into the office for a few hours on a saturday or sunday. In PWM, you are your own boss. And if you join with another broker, you can have each other's back if you want to go on more vacations or take time off.

Jul 28, 2014
4frnt:

Ya I think in the long term I will want to do PWM or PB. I am quite sure I can eventually join my dad/ uncle's PWM group if I want, but im not sure if I want to be living in this area (Hartford) and probably want to do my own thing/ challenge myself.

I just think that doing ER or AM will better prepare me than just trying to go into PWM immediatly as an analyst. I am aware it is quite difficult to bring in clients when you are very young ( and i look even younger) and don't have much experience.

I say I want to do PWM or PB because the hours are very good while the compensation can be very good once you gain a significant cilent base. My father was very succesful and he was rarely working 60 + hours after he was ~30. He rarely went away on business trips, was often home by 6pm on weekdays and on occasion went into the office for a few hours on a saturday or sunday. In PWM, you are your own boss. And if you join with another broker, you can have each other's back if you want to go on more vacations or take time off.

IMO, u should join PWM or PB straight. ER and AM(maybe not as much) doesnt give you much skills needed from PB (which is basically soft skills like sales etc). I understand that by going thru ER or AM, it will give you the technical edge/advantage over others but in PB, all you need is a client porftolio. By being an analyst in PB (assistant RM), youu already have an edge as compared to being ER. Its true that these rich pple wont want to invest in young punks like me and you, but over the years you will win their trust and eventually your RMs as well..

I do think AM maybe a better start compared to ER. anyways, PB does reward you well but probably in your later years and the hours spent are not as long.

thats just my 2c worth, good luck buddy

Jul 24, 2014

My aunt was just outside of the C-Suite at a fortune 500 and she got me one of my first internships. I was qualified but I didn't interview for it or anything. She literally sent me a link for the internship app, I applied. They called me the next day with an offer.

First world problem: Really awkward answering all those how'd you land that questions.

Jul 28, 2014

Yes.

Jul 28, 2014

You're a lucky dude! They will help you get at least an interview.

Jul 28, 2014

I hope so, I see them once a year max on our family estate. (I wish my parents were as well off, haha). I feel like an interview is all I really need, I feel my resume is quite strong and unique given my entrepreneurial history.

Jul 28, 2014

Yes, will get your foot in the door (interview), after that mostly up to you.

Jul 28, 2014

I would say it's definitely worth a shot! If you get a referral to HR and/or somebody actually in IBD, it is surely a sizeable step forward (sure beats your odds with cold emailing).

Jul 28, 2014

What do you have to lose? If you don't reach out, you dont have a chance. If you do, you atleast have a chance.

Jul 28, 2014

You're looking to switch careers. Leverage everything. Good luck!

Jul 28, 2014

I don't see why not, you never know if he has the one connection or reference that turns out to be a perfect interviewing opportunity

"Understanding reality, and financial markets in particular, is a never ending process." - George Soros

Jul 28, 2014

i may or may not have gotten a job at a BB through a relationship.

Jul 28, 2014

define relationship

Jul 28, 2014

Has any one had experience landing a job through a family member or a friend of the family?

Jul 28, 2014

Any personal connection or referral from someone who works inside the bank like a classmate,a senior manager, a peer of some kind, i.e. Analyst, Associate, VP or MD. If so, what was your experience?

Jul 28, 2014

Are you talking about networking? If so, then yes it helps get you in the door.

Jul 28, 2014

Sure. Was your experience different from the typical BB (I assume that's what you mean) interview. Did you move through the process differently. I'm prepping for an interview at a BB as a career changer (consulting) and just want a better idea of what to expect.

Jul 28, 2014

Why the change? Doesn't consulting have good hours / lifestyle?

Jul 28, 2014

It was different in that I got an offer at this one... lol
The process was the same, but it helps to have a personal connection with someone inside. I didn't know them well, but it's better than not knowing anyone at all.

Jul 28, 2014

I don't think your resume link works.

Smith Barney is now part of MS. It is basically a full service brokerage of MS that deals with high net worth individuals as opposed to the PWM division at MS that deals with ultra high net worth individuals.

What area of banking (IB, S&T, PWM, etc) is you final goal?

Jul 28, 2014

I posted one of the original drafts of my resume which I have since deleted. the working link is http://www.razume.com/documents/11570 . sorry about the confusion...and nst, i really want to work in the IBD as my final goal (as far as banking goes)

Jul 28, 2014

Read thread below regarding sophomore and internships
//www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/no-work-experience-....

Resume looks good. You may want to reword the 4th point under the Food Vendor Experience "Increased ability to evaluate...". Maybe it is me but I don't understand what you are trying to say.

Jul 28, 2014

I am a junior and am looking for an internship for the summer going into my senior year, but thanks for that tip, I will definitley consider changing the wording

Jul 28, 2014

If you eventual goal is IBD I don't think a PWM internship would help you that much for IBD full time recruiting come fall 2010. The skill set for the two job is too different. I think it would be better for you to go after an IBD summer internship now. I don't know who is coming to your school but some BB already have summer 2010 analyst IBD application open online.

That being said I have read on this board that at JPM PB some summer analyst were given the opportunity to interview at the IBD division after their internship. I don't know if this is true but I strongly doubt that this is common practice at many banks.

Jul 28, 2014

follow up.. you should have a spot waiting if you did a decent job as a sophomore

Jul 28, 2014

if it normal for relationship hires to skip the entire interview process?

Answer is + yes

Jul 28, 2014

Talk to Bob directly, the tone in his voice will tell you.

Jul 28, 2014

Won't be surprised if that's the case. Last year, I was a relationship hire (albeit at a consulting firm) and did not even go through a single interview.

Jul 28, 2014

Here's a question, is a son/grandson of a major client basically a shoe-in? Have you guys ever known this type of a relationship hire?

Jul 28, 2014

BobbyLight - Depends on how much revenue the client has sent, to what division (IB/S&T?), and where you would like to go. I have known a person in this situation that was interested in S&T, but who's father was an IBD client at a BB. The group head was able to get them the interview for S&T but in the end the kid did not get an offer. On the flip side the MD has said that if he would like to get into IBD it would essentially be a "shoe-in".

Jul 28, 2014
CatsLHP:

BobbyLight - Depends on how much revenue the client has sent, to what division (IB/S&T?), and where you would like to go. I have known a person in this situation that was interested in S&T, but who's father was an IBD client at a BB. The group head was able to get them the interview for S&T but in the end the kid did not get an offer. On the flip side the MD has said that if he would like to get into IBD it would essentially be a "shoe-in".

I'm referring to a situation where the potential employee (son/g-son of major IBD client) is interested in being an analyst in IBD. You're saying that's essentially a guarantee if such a person is interested? We'll assume the client company is a F500 that has brought underwriting and M&A fees to the bank over span of many years.

Jul 28, 2014

I would say a 95% guarantee. That is assuming that you aren't a complete dud and know what you are getting into (have read the interview prep books/technical guides).

Jul 28, 2014

Have a friend who as an underclassmen (frosh/soph) got into IBD at a top BB (MS, JP, GS) through a really high up connection. I think he only went through 2 interviews and not even sure if he did the superday.

Jul 28, 2014

Fresh/Soph SA's are completely diff I'd say though. I mean more FT or SA.

Jul 28, 2014

Depends how strong of a relationship that you have with that individual. If they are willing to expend the capital to pull some strings and get you in it can happen. Definitely more of the exception than norm though.

Jul 28, 2014

"expend the capital"... no one is paying anything.

Jul 28, 2014

If you want the job tell your cousin you didn't graduate, ask if it's still possible to get the job without a degree and if there will be issues with a background check. Call me crazy but I think you'll get a more specific and better answer from your cousin than on here. Your cousin will probably not ask you again and think you're a bit of an ass if you don't respond, again.

Is nepotism common in the ME? Hahahahahaha...

    • 1
Jul 28, 2014

I wish I had a cousin like yours....

Send your resume to your cousin and let him know you did not graduate. As Dingdong08 stated above, he is in the best position to advise you regarding this issue.

Be thankful he is still willing to help you out.

Jul 28, 2014

You are overthinking this by a mile.

Posted job descriptions are written up by the hiring manager. If your cousin is in charge, he can re-write it to be whatever he wants given your professional experience (well, maybe, this really depends on how high up he is). You can spin it however you want -- you got a great job in the US through your aptitude and didn't feel the need to go back to school. Whatever you do, don't ruin your cousin's reputation by lying. Just tell the guy.

As an aside, experience in the ME is not well regarded in the US because of the nepotism. So it's a factor if you're ever looking to come back.

Jul 28, 2014

dude this is family. talk to him lol

Jul 28, 2014

Yes, if your family is super influential in all the ways that matter for the investment bank. Else the only thing he can do is get you an interview and if you are competitive that may be enough to get you an offer. If you are far behind the pack, then probably not.

Jul 28, 2014

He could heavily influence the process "if he wanted to" but that means you're decent enough that he doesn't steer things in a way that will make him look bad.

Jul 28, 2014

Think of it as a minor advantage in the sense that if it comes down to you and an equal candidate that doesn't have the connection, then you will get the job. Like others said, you need to put in as much effort as if you didn't even have this advantage.

Jul 28, 2014

he can if he throws enough political capital / weight - just depends on how hard he's going to push for you.

Jul 28, 2014

The interviews are conducted but of course somebody has the final say on whether to hire somebody, who then is that person at the top of the food chain for the hiring decisions? Is it the chair? A head of a specific group? Head of IB? Etc.?

Jul 28, 2014

each bank is different, but in my experience, it's a group decision and people would only go to bat for you if you are equally qualified / liked as the next best candidate.

Jul 28, 2014

I've seen being connected to senior level people affect people positively (when we had to give last spot to one of two average candidates, I actually thought other kid was slightly ahead) and not affect at all (with comments like the candidate should've done better with life).

Jul 28, 2014
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Jul 28, 2014