Networking Calls

Hey guys, freshman in college. I'm at community college and plan to transfer to, hopefully UC Berkeley, but probably UC Santa Barbara as it's my best shot (I'll obviously be applying for target schools, but this is worst case scenario) . Since I'm pretty much at the bottom of the bottom of the recruiting process, I have a couple questions and requests for advice.

  1. Have any of you ever come across a prior CC student, whether it be a SA or FT Analyst?

  2. Since I'm already way behind, I've already started networking and have gotten a few connections. I'm going to keep networking but realized that majority of bankers I speak to right now won't even be there in a couple years when it's my turn, so would it be appropriate for me to ask "do you plan to stay long term?" when talking to bankers? I see it as another topic of conversation. 

I also know being able to work with other people and having some sort of social skills is highly important. I wanted to ask exactly HOW important? I don't want to toot my own horn but I think my social skills are decent enough for me to make friends with just about anyone, hence the confidence in networking easily. For example, when compared to technicals (currently learning, but struggling with actually obtaining the knowledge), will it set me ahead? Say the interview process went extremely well on a personal/social level yet I kind of slipped up with the technicals, will I be safe (obviously depending on the interviewer)?

Lastly, does anyone have any pieces of advice, recommendations (I know the focus in school, high GPA), etc.? Any bankers willing to connect/speak? This is going to be a looooooooonggggg few years (not including IB itself lol) so I appreciate any feedback or responses!

Thank you so much in advance, especially if you read the whole thing.

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Comments (6)

Most Helpful
Sep 23, 2021 - 5:20pm

Christ aight

1) You are at the bottom of the recruiting process as you mentioned and being at a community college definitely will not help anything whatsoever. Thats okay tho, if you're really fucking passionate about IB/finance and you put in the work and all the other shit then you'll likely be able to get an offer (assuming that you're able to transfer to a good university) 

2) Read some other threads on this website. There are a TON of threads talking about people being in the exact situation that you describe yourself in. One thing that is almost ALWAYS true for someone in your position is that the only way they got their offer is from putting in fucking work. Like serious dedication and devotion to getting an offer. Although being the bottom of the totem pole isn't a great place to be in, try to find some positive in it - you can only go up from here. 

3) Specifically to your recruiting process and how you want others to view you - try to be the person who started from the bottom, the person who the people in the industry can recognize as being the most resilient. You want to market yourself as the most fucking hungry person in the recruiting pool. One of my good friend was a ED at Barclays some time ago and hired this kid who was remarkable - my buddy went down to do recruiting at UNC (standard shit whatever). But when he was there this kid that he had never seen before came up to him and talked to him with a ton of passion and what not. My friend sat down with him and described the conversation as "telling the kid every fucking thing I know about finance." The kid soaked it up, showed he was passionate about finance by conversing with my friend and being knowledgable. Turns out, the kid didn't even go to UNC, he was a Georgia Tech student who was driving hours to attend that exact recruiting event. My friend figured that out and then when the kid came up to NYC next, he invited him to the Barclays office for a type of shadow thing, and when the kid got there, my friend pulled him into a room and had him meet a bunch of MD's who were all willing to sign off on his hiring ---- this is the type of shit that you are going to need to do. BE FUCKING HUNGRY and people will honor that

3) I have come across CC students; however, all of them had transferred to another university like you said you're planning on doing. Maybe like 1-1000 but there are some

4) There is a good and professional way to ask someone if they want to leave their terrible ass job or stay. Say something like "What drew you to choosing this specific firm and are those things still motivating you to stay in the years to come." - Also, I don't really see it as an issue if the people you network with are at different firms, just make sure you get a ton of contacts so that you multiple at each bank / firm. Also pt2, try to network with more senior people, VP's are much slower to leave than an Analyst

5) Social skills are fucking important, develop them extensively. Unless you want to be a fucking quant and sit in a pitch black, sound proof room in the back of a uhaul truck

6) Technical skills are a pretty big deal, not huge for internships but if you're someone coming from the bottom of the totem pole (like you are) then technical skills will be the way that you shine and add value. For an interview for a internship I would focus on nailing to behavioral questions while showing that you are very good at technicals as well. Get good with technicals and social skills they will both help you tremendously

7) Last tips - just don't fucking stop. Networking really sucks... but you have to do it if you want any chance of getting into the industry. It basically will become your full time job and even then you have a small(ish) chance at getting an offer. Just grind, and know the commitment that you're putting yourself into. Get the most out of any call you get and just keep expanding your connections, they should grow exponentially

Shit will not be easy but the satisfaction of seeing your first offer will trump any distasteful memories from the recruiting process

Sep 23, 2021 - 6:34pm

Thank you so much man, and yea, I've been going HAM trying to get into contact with people (knock on wood, I have a pretty good success rate) while simultaneously trying to actually focus on the main goal of keeping a high GPA. Regarding your friend, is there anyway I can get into contact with the guy you're speaking of? Or is there really no point? Matter of fact, I actually was just trying to figure out how to get into a UC Berk IB Info Session by Citi Bank lol, thankfully Berk is only a 30 min drive but I reached out to the Campus Recruiter hosting the event and am waiting for a response. 

Thanks for the insight I'll definitely keep those tips in my mind, I was kind of hesitant to ask reach out to senior bankers but I guess we miss 100% of the shots we don't take.

And shit, I really gotta get on top of my technicals before I actually go into these interviews. I'm not dumb as rocks, I just don't have much knowledge (besides the basic idea of what an IB does) which leads me to ask a separate question; Are any of these IB courses offered by WSO and WSP really worth it? I'm not really considering them, I'm just genuinely curious as to if you could really pull off an interview from what you learn there. Actually, come to think of it, a better question for me to ask is, how did you learn about your technicals? Any recommendations? Not sure if that's a dumb question, just curious.

Thank you so so so much again, your response has helped a lot!

Sep 23, 2021 - 6:45pm

Unfortunately, it would be pointless to connect you with my friend. Hes not in finance anymore and doesn't have any connections in the industry lmao - once you leave the trading floor people forget who you were super quickly. 

In regard to you looking to go the UC ib session, I would say to just go to it, don't reach out to career/student service things because then they might tell you no. I would really just show up and say you're a student there. Worst case, they ask for your student id and you say you left it home and you didn't know that you needed it. Worst worst case, they tell you no.

Technicals are definitely important but I wouldn't say that you need to incredible skill in that department - just make sure you're slightly better than people applying to the same role. Unless you actually like learning about the technicals than you could just practice a ton and get super good. In terms of what I did to get good at technicals, I really just used free resources on YouTube. Its cliche but there are a TON of free videos on YouTube that go into depth on the technicals and can have great value. I would go this route before spending money on a course per say. Its totally possible to gain lots of knowledge from free sources and most courses are priced pretty fucking high comparatively to what they're actually worth. I know absolutely nothing about the WSO or WSP courses but I would say that they are teaching things that are already readily available, just in a very neat and organized way. 

Oct 1, 2021 - 1:08am

Thanks for writing this up, and love that story about the Georgia Tech kid. I'm currently thinking of pivoting into finance as a law school graduate, and the tips at the end about networking are on-point. Mentally, it's an uphill battle when you're giving up three years of a law school education and six-figure job offers only to get rejected for entry-level positions that offer half the salary. That last point really helped put things into perspective, though.

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