Makin' the Lateral

Hello all,

I have really enjoyed the information on this site. I want to get feedback from everyone on WSO on a new question I have. I want to know whether I should best leverage my contacts to try and interview with some top firms this fall.

Last fall, I was able to secure a great offer from a boutique consultancy / M&A advisory focused on the financial services industry. Given the market, it's obviously been a great and interesting experience. Though the consultancy is small (6 partners, <50 other people), I've had the chance to work with some major clients (and see some decisions show up in the news). I've also had the chance to close a fire-sale of a large retailer's credit card portfolio.

While this experience has been great, I want to step up to the next level. I've had the unique opportunity to work on both management consulting case engagements and M&A advisory deals. I want to get experience at a firm that 1. gives me a wide variety of career options in a few years (because I have some ideas, but I don't know what I want to do, so I want options) and 2. raises my profile for when I apply to b-school. My boutique has placed well, but I'm looking for more.

My plan is to apply to MBB, as well as a few ibanks where I have some alumni contacts: namely Moelis and Lazard. While I've occasionally kept up with these contacts, I will need to put myself in the best position to win interviews. That said:

  1. What can I do, in terms of speaking with my contacts that will put me in the best position to win interviews? Should I ask them to if others will speak/meet with me, etc.?
  2. Should I go to networking events at the targets around where I work?
  3. What is the best way to sell yourself as a transfer? I've heard varied anecdotes one this (it's easy to sell yourself as experienced, it's hard--better to just go to bschool, etc.). But at the end of the day, I'm going for it, so I need advice on the best way to position myself as a lateral hire, not whether I should try or not.
  4. What else can I do to improve my chances?

Any advice would be appreciated. This site has always been a great help in the past. Thanks very much to all. I know my story spins a little differently at each type of place I meet/interview with, but some advice that might not be so apparent would be great (ideating and junkbondswap, I thought you guys had done consulting, so any advice would be appreciated).

Also, please let me know if background information would help.


Comments (1)

Jan 16, 2011