Networking: Analysts vs Associates vs MDs

Whether you 're sending cold emails, attending networking calls, coffee chats, networking events, is it better to reach out to Analysts, Associates, or even higher level people?

Now, before any of you say: "Well MDs....no shit". I already know that the general answer is that connecting with MDs or VPs will have more weight because...well, they're an MD or VP of the group. But can it still be helpful for recruiting if you have a coffee chat with an Analyst? To those who successfully entered IB through networking, did you reach out the most to Analysts, Associates, or MDs?

Comments (10)

Sep 22, 2018

From my experience, at your level, analysts are the most responsive, very useful to get insights about the culture and work environment but not extremely helpful for securing an interview. At least at my firm, analysts are not aware of hiring plans/needs. VPs are probably the sweetspot. Clearly, you can hit the jackpot if you successfully reach out (and they like you) to MDs/group heads, they have view on hiring plans and they can potentially introduce to other MDs in the firm if their team is not hiring.

    • 2
Most Helpful
Sep 22, 2018

It depends a bit on the firm and culture. In general, yes useful to reach out to analysts. They were in your shoes not long ago, they can give you lots of insight on the culture, the different groups, even the interview and hiring process since they just went through it.

How much they can help actually landing an interview depends. I don't work in IB, but at my firm everyone is pretty in tune to our hiring needs and process and I take the recommendations of people that work with me very seriously. We hire people that we trust and if they can vouch for someone they will almost always get a chance. That's not to say an analyst will vouch for you after a coffee chat, but it is a start and a good way to present yourself in a way your resume may not.

With all of that said, anyone (MD to analyst) can basically only get you an interview. Yes you can still override the process (again depends on the firm) but if you bomb the interview it doesn't matter who got you the interview (especially just off of coffee chats, there just isn't enough to back you there)

Sep 23, 2018

From personal experience I'd recommend reaching out to whoever will give you a response. You never know which analysts or associates have a good relationship with their superiors and may happen to mention you.

Best of luck!

Sep 24, 2018

I agree with what theATL said.

I would also affirm what Chairman said and suggest you reach out to any level. Be sure you are asking them at conclusions of calls or email chains for anyone else they can connect you to - you may get a couple analysts, perhaps, who connect you with a VP or MD.

Sep 24, 2018

I'd say that analysts usually are very much in the loop on hiring needs. They do all of the resume screening for on-campus recruiting at BBs and most of the initial interviews for boutiques.

When I was a VP I referred nearly every networking email to my favorite analyst and let them run with it as I respected their opinion. No MD at a BB or partner at the boutique I worked for ever would have responded to a networking pre-analyst if they weren't already in process.

As a PSA, your peers burn a lot of your networking attempts with senior people. I have had several bad interactions, but here's the worst:

A recent finance grad with good grades at a local school that we recruited from was introduced to me as an interested candidate through a friend of a friend.

Lo and behold, the kid shows up to our coffee meeting with another guy. He's now working for Northwestern Mutual, and they want to talk about my investment portfolio. WTF?!! I did need life insurance as I was recently married so I listened for a bit. The best was yet to come, they pull out a print out of all of my local LinkedIn connections in finance and start asking me for introductions, literally going down the list. My bosses/colleagues, local PE guys, other bankers, etc. at that point I told them to kindly F off and walked out.

Situations like these are why senior people don't generally take any/all comers. It happens more than you think. Also, fuck Northwestern Mutual's sales practices.

Learn More

Side-by-side comparison of top modeling training courses + exclusive discount through WSO here.

Sep 24, 2018

I'm an analyst. I respond to most cold/warm calls. I have, in some cases, put out a formal referral after a coffee chat, which is 9/10 cases should give you the first round. Please, be obs. For a confounding variable, namely that I wouldn't refer someone who wouldn't have chance (decent structured resume)

So definitely reach out to analysts too.

Sep 24, 2018

From my personal experiences, analysts/associates are the most responsive. Of course, there are times when VPs/MDs respond to my cold emails/LinkedIn requests. In addition, if you are reaching out to those who are in your alumni network, there's no need to focus on simply analyst and associates. Just connect with all of them.

On the other hand, if you are reaching out to someone who isn't from your university nor any mutual connections on LinkedIn, it's best to focus on analyst and associates. As for how much analysts can help, it really depends on how engaged they are in the hiring process. In some groups/firms, analysts plays a greater role in the recruitment process. I hate giving a non-definitive answer, but it depends.

How I approached networking was to go through my alumni network, 2nd connections, and finally 3rd connections. Reached out to at least 20-30 connections in the firms/groups that I want to work for. Not only send them a personalized invite on LinkedIn, but also an email (one can easily figure out any email given connections' names and the firms they work for). Then, it's a numbers game. Create a spreadsheet, list the names of those whom responded back, filter by firms, and personally put a hot radar on it (cold/mild/warm/hot). Hot meaning that the person will most likely help you during recruiting cycle.

Sep 26, 2018

I'm halfway between VP and MD so I'll give you my perspective. I used to respond to just about all cold emails / referrals I got and was pretty generous with my time. I went to a non target state school and would try to help kids in a similar boat (whether from my school or not).

I now still try to respond, but I'm not going to give you investment banking 101. That should be someone else, before you get me on the phone. I also shouldn't have to drive the conversation. I can generally tell within 2-3 minutes if it's a waste of time or not. You should have a goal to accomplish when you schedule a call with someone VP or above, depending on the time of year. If it's a sophomore reaching out in the late fall, after recruiting is over? Much more likely to be generous with my time (because I'm not getting requests for 10 calls a week), and also more likely to be understanding if the person is less polished.

There was recently a kid from a target school who randomly reached out to me a week before the campus team was going to interview (I wasn't on the team). I checked with the analyst holding the master on the interview list - the kid was on it, so I responded and set up a call. We get on the phone and he's a wet blanket, doesn't have anything to say so I turn to asking him about his resume and it turns out he's not even familiar with his "interests" on his resume. He would have been better off not wasting my time. He did not end up getting interviewed on campus.

    • 1
Sep 26, 2018

Stop saying coffee chats. It sounds quite stupid.

    • 1
Sep 26, 2018
Comment
    • 2