my situation, will paypal $30 to most complete answer

This is probably going to be a four-part question so get ready.

1) im a senior at Pepperdine with an expected 3.1 GPA (3.2 tops), majored in economics, I'm the president of the investment club if that means anything, i'm familiar with bloomberg and im good w/ excel/word/ppt. As far as experience I worked at Royal Bank of Scotland for a summer, and with Bank of China in Shanghai for a summer. Neither was particularly "investment banking" related. I guess I did some asset-backed-finance-stuff at RBS but that's it. I'd say my resume is as good as it could get, let's just say i know how to exaggerate. I'm taking an "Investments" class this coming semester so I can put that on my resume under coursework. But that's about it. If the time came I know I could craft a very convincing and very persuasive story for the interviewers but right now I'm just sitting at home wondering...HOW POSSIBLE IS IT for me to get a job/internship that will advance me on this path and where should I be looking?

My dad who works at RBS I'm sure has contacts but he is retiring this December. I've contacted a recruiter I know for BOAML she hasn't responded. I'm open to both Summer / Full-Time Analyst positions, or even one more good Internship....anything really as long as it gets my foot further in the door. I'm not in a rush to make money. Sometimes I wish I could just call a BB and said hey, I'm smart, let me be an intern without compensation and i'll give you my best. but alas...

2) My next question is essentially me doubting my interest in Investment Banking. I for one, enjoy the corporate lifestyle, the jokes, the serious moments, that come when $ is being made. However: I'm really not sure I'm cut out for IBD. I hear these horror stories of back to back all nighters...sorry but one-all-nighter and by 4pm the next day I'm as good as dead, with enough caffeine, maybe 5 or 6pm...i stayed up for almost 40 hours in shanghai this past summer and i was so delirious i was having auditory hallucinations. Is it really that bad?

3) One thing that I think I need to start looking into is Trading. I love poker, and at RBS during my downtime I would papertrade, and I got a huge adrenaline rush just from watching Yahoo stock tickers, retarded maybe, but it really seemed like something that I could see myself doing every day and being happy with it.

So I guess my question is: where can I apply for internship/summer/jr/analyst positions to Trading Firms that don't trade algorithmically, as I have no computer programming knowledge. I don't want to be put at a prop desk and basically lose all my money or struggle to cover desk-fees I want to be trained into a profit machine!

4) I'm sure my dad could step me through M&A LBO, DCF etc but what is the single best tool for getting ready for both phone/personal interviews and in person/technical interviews.

ANY REPLYS ARE GREATLY APPRECIATED, but if someone can give me a comprehensive answer to each question I'll give them $30.

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Comments (17)

Nov 19, 2010 - 6:31am

This isn't going to be a complete answer but just a suggestion, you don't HAVE to think you should be in IBD.
S&T, or more particularly trading, is just fine. Sit on an actual desk with people and you won't need to program anything at all.

Many big banks and smaller shops offering trading internships - im looking into some myself for summer 2011.

Or, even easier to get into, you could look for a pure trading firm and go there. SMB Capital in NY is the best example for this.

Nov 19, 2010 - 7:50am

Seeing as you have a father in the industry, I really don't see how difficult it can be to break in for you. If he is retiring in December, must mean he has amazing contacts, so why don't just stick with that as your main strategy?

Nov 19, 2010 - 7:57am

Unless you are a complete failure, and your accomplishments to this point indicate you are far from it, you can have a position within RBS pretty much on lock. Outside of RBS you will have to fight but you have enough experience and rounding your gpa to a 3.2 will at least keep you in the interviewable ball park. I think you are stressing it too much.

Bonus point is that RBS you will work substantially more reasonable hours within any department than a BB and half have comparable earnings. (I have a relative there in Stamford, and they make more per hour than anyone I know at their level at other banks, they like their team better, etc... its not as big a name and its not as intense nor does it have the deal flow, but it really sounds like a great place to work - but you wont be making GS $$$).

Still not sure if I want to spend the next 30+ years grinding away in corporate finance and the WSO dream chase or look to have enough passive income to live simply and work minimally.
Nov 19, 2010 - 8:24am
  1. Agree with the above comments on RBS - take advantage of the contacts you have there through your dad. If you want to break in, also expose yourself to as many opportunities as possible. I assume you already tapped out your school's campus recruiting resources. You should also cold email MM and boutique firms - I know someone who sent an email to 90% of the banks listed on the Regional ibanks thread at the top of this forum. He probably got 15 interviews out of that. He had a great resume but it speaks to the fact that they get read. BB's are harder to reach if you don't have existing contacts or can go through your school.

  2. It all depends on what you want and how motivated you are. If you want to live that lifestyle, I'd say suck it up and do banking. Not a lot of people agree with me on this, but I never bought this whole "am I cut out for thing". No one is naturally cut out for anything. It's about knowing what you want, assessing how badly you want it, and going for it. I'd especially suggest banking if you're not quite sure what you want to do yet. It's a great platform to build contacts and skills and looked upon highly by many industries. Invest in these 2 years of your career and you will be glad you did. I would say given your concern that you may be more suited for middle market or boutique firms. The hours aren't crazy (except for a few) not because you're learning less but because things are ran more efficiently and you're actually more hands on on the deals.

  3. Don't know a lot about trading but I do think the BB S&T programs seem to be a good option since it's a larger platform and you have more choices within as to which area of trading you want to be in. Trading doesn't have as many exit opps as banking, so again if you're not sure what you want to do, I'd go with banking.

  4. Vault / WSO guides. All you need.

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Nov 19, 2010 - 10:49am

First, the "I will give you $30 for a comprehensive answer" sounds pretty bad dude... What if 10 guys here give you a "comprehensive answer"? You'd have to pay $300 and with that kind of money you can pay a professional HR consultant to guide you better than some random guy at WSO. Not a good starting point for a guy that wants to be in finance.

My two cents:

  1. Don't EVER say "I am not interested in money, I'm smart, let me be an intern without compensation and i'll give you my best". IB IS about money. Those cheesy comments make recruiters laugh at you.
  2. If you want to be a trader, don't say that you'd love that because you like poker. in theory, trading should not be compared with gambling (in practice, you will end up gambling, but you cannot say that in an interview). Try to learn the basics about relative valuation, so that if you are asked basic questions (like how to derive a target price based on a valuation multiple) you can give an answer that makes sense.
Nov 19, 2010 - 10:52am

the advice you got here is probably all you need to know.
just a comment tho:
i doubt you've been on this forum for long - offering money for advice is somewhat asinine.
people here give advice all the time - whether it's out of kindness or an urge to prove their savvy.
and $30 are a joke to the people who really know what they're talking about.
a better offer (if it were even relevant) for serious help would have been to put the giver of the best advice in touch with your pa.

"... then, lobbest thou thy Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch towards thy foe, who, being naughty in My sight, shall snuff it."
Nov 19, 2010 - 2:55pm

thanks guys, i figured this much i guess...i've contacted charmw/substance regarding the 30 dollars

mainly my fear is that the second i submit my resume/cv/info to all these places i'm either going to fail completely or succeed and get a great offer and then bomb the interview because i havent given myself time to prepare and im probably not nearly as informed about financial markets as 90% of finance/econ majors but i dont really have the time to prepare either so idk what to do

Nov 19, 2010 - 4:02pm

3) One thing that I think I need to start looking into is Trading. I love poker, and at RBS during my downtime I would papertrade, and I got a huge adrenaline rush just from watching Yahoo stock tickers, retarded maybe, but it really seemed like something that I could see myself doing every day and being happy with it.

If the kind of trading you are considering anything like poker, and if you get a rush from it and want to do it full-time, you will either a) get ruined and have to start at the bottom doing something else not related to money in any way, or b) get used to it and get decent at it, but won't derive any rush from it (essentially find yourself feeling same way as you do about IB)

The guys that come to a table raring to play sometimes do get lucky (and I suspect in those cases the excitement was just a clever front), but most of the time they are nothing but a big walking "cash money for you!" sign.
Pocket aces is a good starting hand, but if you are too excited to recognize a straight lining up for your opponent and fold when the bets/pot are higher than the odds of your hand, you will lose and lose big.
Actually the better is your starting hand, the more likely you are to lose big if you are feeling a rush.
Where am I going with this... Don't use the "rush" as the reason to switch.

More is good, all is better
Nov 19, 2010 - 6:29pm

Btw, what poker are you talking about ?
Texas hold'em has a bit of a different strategy than Omaha hi-lo or any of studs

More is good, all is better
Nov 19, 2010 - 6:44pm

An ok, that's what I assumed.
There really isn't "mathematically, BUT agressively"

You either play odds and get aggressive when odds call for it (like re-raising pre-flop to protect pocket aces from a donkey with a 2-6 offsuit, who'd otherwise river a straight and take the pot) or you play emotions, and get aggressive when you feel like it :)

More is good, all is better
Nov 19, 2010 - 8:41pm

I am a highly emotional player. The mathematicians hate me at the poker table.


Nov 20, 2010 - 11:32am
"... then, lobbest thou thy Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch towards thy foe, who, being naughty in My sight, shall snuff it."
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