My Uncle is a Partner at GS - Help?

So I recently found out from my mother that her brother has been a partner at a BB for some time now. I had no idea about this as I rarely see the uncle and that I am in real estate. I've always been interested in true IB/PE but chose real estate since that's what my parents did. But now knowing this new information, I want to get in the industry.

Some background... 24 years old, majored in real estate finance (non-target, 3.6 GPA), but took many finance classes as part of the curriculum. I wholly understand RE finance, but it's not the same as corporate finance. I know how to model the three statements, however and can complete a rough DCF model with some guidance.

So here is the question: how do I network with my uncle? Keep in mind this is someone I haven't seen in 10+ years... Should I even contact him or should I go the MBA route and see what I can do by myself? I have no issues asking for help, but given the weird relationship dynamic, I'm not sure how to approach.

Comments (51)

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  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Apr 13, 2020 - 3:33pm

You: "mom can your brother get me a job at the Goldman Sachs?"

Even if your mom doesn't have a good relationship with him, he definitely would help you out. Jesus Christ dude I feel bad for the other interns that actually had to work for their internships and will wonder how tf you got it.

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  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Apr 13, 2020 - 3:36pm

Sorry, I'll edit it slightly. Please read closely.

You: "mom can your brother get me a job at the Goldman Sachs?"

Even if your mom doesn't have a good relationship with him, he definitely would help you out. Jesus Christ dude I feel bad for the other analysts that actually had to work for their analyst position and will wonder how tf you got it.

  • Analyst 1 in RE - Comm
Apr 13, 2020 - 3:39pm

Lmao well that's the question. I don't wanna be looking like a dumbass come interview time or anything so that's why I asked if I should do the MBA for more respect. Compared to coming from CRE

Jun 10, 2020 - 11:42pm

You will get respect for being a titan at what you do,...not how you got a job in the first place.
You could come from nothing and get a job at Goldman, but have no respect from anyone because you suck at your job....OR you could get straight in from a hookup from your uncle and be a powerhouse and earn respect by killing it.

  • Analyst 1 in RE - Comm
Apr 13, 2020 - 3:38pm

hah, didn't wanna be a hardo but you're right. changed title for clarity. but do you have any advice though? Like real advice not like the prospect

  • Analyst 1 in RE - Comm
Apr 13, 2020 - 4:14pm

How tf are you a VP with your lack of reading comprehension? I have yet to "use" anything, I'm asking how to navigate the complicated relationship between my mother and her brother given this new knowledge.

I'm going to utilize my uncle, the question is how do I do it

Apr 14, 2020 - 5:55pm

Unless your mom and uncle have a horrible relationship and he hates your guts by association, all you really need to do is reach out to him. Or your mom can softball it to say "John's in RE finance right now and doing well, but is looking to get into IB, maybe he can reach out to you for advice/thoughts some time?" and from there you reach out.

There's nothing you can do about the 12 year gap in communication. It's not like you can slow play this to re-develop your relationship and then make an ask. He's a partner at GS, he'll know what's up - that you're looking to get in. Anyone that gets intro'd, cold emailed, or whatever knows what's up. It's more about how you have a good conversation with him - demonstrate you've done your homework, intelligent (or can handle the work), ask good questions, and that you're not awkward (EQ and fit is important, it looks bad on him if he recommends someone that's weird - not that I'm saying you are). and then go from there.

  • Analyst 1 in RE - Comm
Apr 13, 2020 - 4:34pm

I'm aware of my age. The real question is how do I reach out given the rocky relationship he and my mother have? Like I legit haven't seen or spoken to him since I was 12

Apr 13, 2020 - 4:32pm

I'm just an undergrad but people are people. This depends entirely on his personality, your mom can obviously help there. Post COVID-19, find an excuse to get into the city and grab lunch with your uncle or maybe a beer. Build a relationship. Inquire about his work casually but don't make it a weird networking coffee chat. He could easily bring you to GS events if you cultivate this long term. If he's a hardo who only likes work, just be blunt but respectful. He's also your uncle lol, so your mom could probably annoy him into helping you lateral. Also, I recommend you take this thread down soon. Finance is a small world.

Apr 15, 2020 - 4:57am

happens anyway. just not nearly as high profile

"They say money can't buy happiness? Look at the fuckin' smile on my face. Ear to ear, baby!" - Boiler Room

Apr 14, 2020 - 2:48pm

Student: i own goldman sachs, how can i use this opportunity to get myself an internship at goldman sachs?

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  • Analyst 1 in RE - Comm
Apr 15, 2020 - 11:43am

Appreciate everyones candid and curt advice. My balls have dropped and I reached out via email yesterday for a call Friday. He hasn't responded, but at least the first step is out there.

Thank you for everyone telling me to just go for it and not to overthink. I'll update if it goes anywhere promising.

Apr 15, 2020 - 4:35pm

That's great. Like all networking, sometimes you get good response, often you get none - it's totally not personal. Don't feel awkward. You could even try again if you get no response, in a week or two, in a polite way. People get busy, off track, forget. Most people love to mentor someone who is bright, motivated, pleasant. Good luck and don't worry about the sarcastic comments here, it's just WSO style.

Apr 15, 2020 - 12:11pm

1st i would ask your mom to explain her dynamic with her brother...you need to know the context here. your mom might not want to open up about this...so you might need to push for details.

if their relationship is decent, then ask your mom to call your uncle and ask for a family reunion.

however, if your mom does not have a good relationship with her brother (seems like this is possible) the get his cell number. in the afternoon, send this text

"hi uncle John, this is Scott. I know we haven't been in touch in a number of years, and i'd like to change that. I graduated from abc college 2 years ago and have been working in RE finance at xyz firm in dgf city. Could i come over some weekend for lunch?"

if my estranged nephew sent me that text, i would happily bring him over to my house for lunch to reconnect.

First you should focus on reconnecting as uncle/nephew and get to know each other. Tell him about your life..about highshcool and college...about working..stories from your life. Thats what family wants to hear. Then, you can ask for career advice...and THEN you can ask if he can help you get an interview for whatever role you are interested in.

  • Analyst 1 in RE - Comm
Apr 16, 2020 - 11:24am

Thank you. I was able to get a response from him and we are going to have a call tomorrow. What you said is exactly how I plan on maneuvering the conversation

Apr 15, 2020 - 3:29pm

A two-sentence summary of your background (education and experience) and would love to learn how he got into his career and his experience at GS. Could you come buy him lunch or coffee (I'm sure if he agrees, he'll buy!).
I am sure he will not take it out on you, if there's some awkwardness in the relationship with your parents - he'll likely be very happy to hear from you. Be sure to soften the intro with hope you are managing well during the current crisis, etc. Short, genuine.
Tell us what happens!

  • Analyst 1 in RE - Comm
Apr 21, 2020 - 10:56am

I guess if anyone is interested, I was able to connect with my uncle last Friday and had a meaningful call. Barely talked about finance/real estate, more so just how I have been doing the past few years and how college was, any girlfriends, etc just life stuff and we didn't talk about my mother once.

It was super casual and not intimidating at all, so I appreciate everyone who gave candid advice. We will be speaking again this weekend to actually talk shop. I know what I want to say, but is there anything specific I should bring up? I mean I'm not even that interested at working at GS, but I totally would, but I'm mainly concerned with just breaking into the industry slowly.

Again thank you everyone for the help.

  • Intern in IB - Restr
Jun 11, 2020 - 5:51am

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