How do I prepare for shadowing

rnoodles's picture
Rank: Baboon | 116

I'm a rising senior completing my final summer internship in IB (got the return offer) but trying to lateral to a better firm through FT recruitment. Long story short, an alum who's VP at a top-tier BB offered to have me shadow him, which I think is an awesome opportunity that I hope materializes into something.

This is my first time shadowing at a bank though and none of my friends did this when they recruited, so my question is how do I prepare and what's the protocol -- how formally should I be dressed, what should I bring with me, how involved should I get? Any and all tips are much appreciated!!

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Most Helpful
Aug 7, 2019

You've spent the summer working in IB, so you should know what they wear - suggest you do the same for the shadowing: suit, tie, polished shoes, ironed shirt.

You've also experienced the deal process at a near competitor: draw up a list of questions to compare with your own experience to see what, if anything, is done differently and why this is the case. You'll almost certainly be asked about your own experience / motives, so make sure you have something to say (however don't prepare too much, or else you'll come off overly rehearsed).

I'd also not be afraid to say you don't know something / didn't have the chance to experience something during your time at your previous firm. They'll appreciate your candidness and honesty - better than BS'ing and getting called out within a few hours of walking in the door. Essentially, you're trying to leave as good as impression as you did on your internship, albeit within the space of 6-8hrs (if that).

I don't think you need to worry about "getting involved" - they're not going to ask you to do any actual work if you're only there for a day off the back of a connection. I'd suggest bringing a pen and paper and an inquisitive mind - drill into the nitty gritty if you can and show off what you've learnt the past 8-10wks.

As your goal is ultimately to lateral to a better firm, try and quickly establish a rapport (through competence and likability) and, at the end of your shadowing, begin to more directly enquire about the firm's hiring process and what sort of candidates they're looking for. If they don't twig that you're looking for opportunities, make your questions a little more personal (e.g. "What could I do to get a position on your FT scheme starting in September?") - you'll quickly figure out if they have appetite for additional hires.

    • 4
Aug 7, 2019

Really appreciate the thorough answer. Definitely helps put it all into much better perspective. Thanks a lot!!

Aug 11, 2019
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