Networking Success Stories?

isa2130953's picture
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Not going to lie. Networking can be a real drag if you feel like you aren't getting any traction.

Does anyone have any success stories they can share to give some motivation to the rest of us?!

Have you ever got a great opportunity from networking?

Have you given anyone an opportunity got reaching out to you?

Comments (50)

May 17, 2019

I have a CRAZY story but it is not in finance.

I have a friend who is in tech and wanted to work for some very competitive companies. They got an interview with one of the world's top leaders (think Microsoft, Google, etc) but it would require relocation. The company paid for their flight and hotel room and all and the interviews were rigorous and VERY technical.

The company had them flying back and forth doing crazy interviews from FEBRUARY to MARCH. Obviously they were exhausted at this point and almost did not want to move forward.

At their last interview in the SF/SJ area they went to a local bar after. They spoke with someone next to them who happened to be a recruiter for that VERY company. This person got my friend a job even BETTER than what they originally interviewed for, a glowing letter of recommendation, and a permanent contact at that company. Who would think they would end up sitting next to that person, and what would have happened if they didn't. I just want to share this because this story is the perfect example of an outcome being great after what looks like a disaster.

The truth is like poetry, and most people fucking hate poetry.

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May 21, 2019

Thanks for using he/she 15 times. So woke.

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May 17, 2019

I didn't wanna give away who the person was lmao

The truth is like poetry, and most people fucking hate poetry.

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May 26, 2019

This really flamboyantly gay (I think now trans) kid at my school would buy a plane tickets just so he can network at major airports and on the plane. He said he'd literally approach any and EVERY female wearing business prof/casual with the hope they'd be in HR at a bank (maybe actual bankers too but he said HR women all love him so that's his target). Obviously, I'm sure he utilized LinkedIn as well, but in a few months he had URM events and superdays with most BB/EB on the Street. He now knows pretty much every HR woman on the Street and often threatens (and does) report people at our school (yeah he's kinda a fuck).

Although the catch is that he didn't spend any time in school, dropped out/failed a bunch of classes (two of which are intro finance and accounting), and didn't study at all on his own. He failed every single Superday and rumor has it that some interviewers got reported by him for homophobia and are "under investigation" by HR.

So, in terms of pure networking, manipulation, playing the victim card, and power grabbing - he may be the best out of anyone I've ever met and even historical figures.

May 26, 2019

This kid in my frat attended this BB LGBT accelerated interview process recently for IB, and he got the offer. He told me that the interview was super easy, with barely technicals at all, majority behavioral. Seriously making me consider living my life as a bisexual.

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May 28, 2019

I never wanted to believe these kinds of people actually exist. Hope he/she/it never makes it in a banking role.

May 17, 2019

I organised an event at uni exclusively for boutique firms. Had seniors and partners from these firms come and chat. I introduced as many classmates as I could to the contacts I had at these firms. 2 managed to get full time jobs from that event. I felt pretty proud I managed to get some people a job.

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May 17, 2019

Very cool! That is definitely something to b proud of. Not a lot of ppl go out of their way like that in fear of how it might impact their image if it doesnt work out

The truth is like poetry, and most people fucking hate poetry.

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May 17, 2019

Can't go in detail but stick with the process. Perseverance helped me the most.

yeah aight, blueface baby

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May 17, 2019

Thanks, I actually got a good lead after posting this ironically enough. Someone else mentioned too that they did not want to give specifics which I understand. A general idea is motivation enough

The truth is like poetry, and most people fucking hate poetry.

May 18, 2019

don't feel comfortable giving specifics (which is likely why so few people have commented as well), but i've had significant success networking. if a group likes you, they can pretty easily take you on.

I would recommend targeting specific groups, and not networking indiscriminately with alumni. Often non-alums were more helpful, in part because they knew i was speaking to them because of my interest in their group and what they do, not just because the went to the same school as me. Referrals from others are key though.

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May 17, 2019

Thank you! I think you are right about the specifics part. I didn't expect to hear anyone's exact story bc I understand for privacy reasons. I definitely notice that non alums have been more helpful to me as well.I think a lot of other students get competitive rather than try to help in my experience but I can also understand that

The truth is like poetry, and most people fucking hate poetry.

May 20, 2019

I went to a bunch of student groups my senior yr and non helped for the reason you mentioned. People were being competitive with one another and I genuinely felt like no one wanted each other to succeed. As soon as I turned 21 I was able to go to more events. Not because I wanted to drink or anything but a lot of events are held at places with the age barrier. I met some really cool people who were older than me and saw my dedication. Nothing was handed to me because they wanted me to work for everything myself, but they gave me great advice. When they saw that I was implementing all their changes and I had good contacts of my own I eventually got hired and moved up within the same firm. Can't really be anymore specific than that, but I can guarantee you if I had not met them at that event and stopped trying I would not have my job that I have today AND that I love.

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May 17, 2019

Thanks I appreciate this. I love hearing stories like this.Recently I got some good connections so lets hope one day I can make a post like this. Anyhow, I've been grinding like a MF so I am sure my perseverance will help me land something great

The truth is like poetry, and most people fucking hate poetry.

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7,548 questions across 469 investment banks. The WSO Investment Banking Interview Prep Course has everything you'll ever need to start your career on Wall Street. Technical, Behavioral and Networking Courses + 2 Bonus Modules. Learn more.

May 20, 2019

It's how I got into banking.

When I transitioned fromt the military (enlisted) to the civilian world, I took a related job in engineering for the government. I went to school for finance during this time but didn't really know what I wanted to aim for. Coming in towards wrapping up my undergrad, I learned about IB and the related fields (ER, PE, VC) but also learned that since I choose the non-target of non-targets, it would be an uphill battle. I cold emailed hundreds of people and had a good amount of success scheduling a call but nothing fruitful came out of it. Even had a boutique MD flat out tell me to stop wasting my time trying to get into banking.

A year out from graduating, I went to a veteran's hiring event. Any vet here knows these types of events - none of the companies there are really looking to fill meaningful positions but it's either a check in the box for their diversity hiring or they're looking for "technicians" (read laborer). However, I did meet a recruiter for a meat producer that leveled with me - He said, "I know you don't want to work at a pig factory, what do you really want to do?" I told him about my desire for banking and my meh success getting my foot in the door. He connected me with a buddy of his that works in CB.

I didn't know anything about CB at this point but beggars can't be choosers. I had lunch with his buddy a week or two later and even though the hiring window had closed, he pushed my resume through, introduced me to MD level people within the CB throughout the 5 state district, which led to my getting the job. It's not the IB job that I originally aimed for but since I already spent my 20's working countless hours in the military and full time + school, I'm happy that things worked out the way they did.

Networking sucks. It feels like you're getting nowhere, all the while having to pretend to care about dumb shit. All you're looking for is that one payoff though. If it takes 99 no's to get a yes, than it's all worth it.

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May 17, 2019

Great story! I hate when people tell you to stop "wasting time" it is so wrong. I am glad you didn't listen to him. I have never heard a single successful person I know say that no one has doubted them before. Thanks for sharing!

The truth is like poetry, and most people fucking hate poetry.

Most Helpful
May 20, 2019

Here's a quick story of mine on how my career kicked off from UG.

I didn't know what I exactly wanted to do, so I did a hospitality internship my sophomore year in college. Went all the way to Myrtle Beach, SC to do a rotational program at one of the big brand hotel chains. One of my rotations was at the front desk and one day I checked in a guest that happened to be from the same neighborhood in NY from where I was. We immediately kicked off a conversation given how a coincidence it was and soon after found out we both went to the same high school as well. We captured this moment in Myrtle Beach. Just insane. Told him I'm still in college trying to figure out what to do but expressed interest in finance. He was a VP in GS in the Tech division.

We stayed in touch, exchanging emails back and forth. Came recruiting time and he was able to drop my resume to HR for the GS Ops program. Nailed the interviews, joined GS as an Ops analyst out of college.

5 years later, I'm at a different bank now doing non-IBD FO, and I still stay in touch with this dude till this day. He legit kicked off my career after checking in a complete stranger at a resort in South Carolina. Pretty wild. You just never know who you're going to meet in life and how that path is going to cross over.

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May 17, 2019

That is so cool! Always crazy when that kind of thing happens. I have met people from my same high school in other states on total coincidence too. Glad you got to get something out of it! Perfect example of networking success

The truth is like poetry, and most people fucking hate poetry.

May 20, 2019

That's so cool. Happy things worked out for you and that you still keep in touch with him.

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May 20, 2019

Very cool!

May 20, 2019

I didn't get any job offers but as someone who comes from a country where there isn't any real corporate world, I found it really interesting to speak to people who are in their 50-60s and are actually pretty well off just by working for someone else. That's unseen where I come from. You either start a business and make it big, or you're broke forever. Almost all of these guys have degrees. Their grandparents have degrees. Fascinating. In my home country only 0.01% of people aged over 50 have bachelors degrees.

To summarise, by reaching out to such people I got great pieces of advice that stuck with me and have opened up my eyes a bit about life in general.

Networking isn't just about advancing your career, it's an opportunity to reach out to older, successful people and learn from them. Once you are in your late 20s, that's weird. When you're a student, that's normal.

Networking really helps and you only need 1 person to like you, but if you're not good at selling yourself you won't make it. I don't like asking people for favours that I can't return and that's my issue. I'll fix that though.

May 17, 2019

May I ask what country? If you'd prefer to keep it to yourself I understand. I am half Venezuelan and if you have seen how bad things have gotten over there, I am sure you know the job opportunity over there is awful. I made another post if you can contribute to this one.

https://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/whats-your-...
One of my goals I put on there was to go to a country like Venezuela and help people attain education and better housing. Would love to hear your feedback!

The truth is like poetry, and most people fucking hate poetry.

May 26, 2019

This is a great reply. I also come from a developing country where there is no corporate world.I have been exposed to this world only when I came to the UK to study. I guess networking helps here but it's a bit difficult if you come from a disadvantaged background and you're not in a target school.

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May 20, 2019

Networking was how I got into research.

On the outset, I didn't want to do it for a year or two because I didn't think it would work. However, it's probably the quickest and direct route to getting the job you want. Think about it, when you send in a resume, what's going to make you standout? Networking also helps because sometimes you learn about jobs that aren't posted, or someone knows someone else who is looking. If you look at this forum enough, people are always asking about getting their MBA, or if the CFA will land you "X" role. They definitely help, but networking I find is the quickest and best way to get it done.

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May 17, 2019

A family member of mine just got a great job in tech through a networking story. I should post that on here too. But I definitely agree that it is the quickest route to a quality job. I think if you send your resume all over you might land something but you will probably get something 100X better if you have a connection. Thanks for the input!!!

The truth is like poetry, and most people fucking hate poetry.

May 20, 2019

You are right @ironman32. The fact is that they musthave to hire someone. Might as well try to hire someone they like.

It's the same as choosing a roommate. If you already know them, it makes things easier.

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May 20, 2019

I'm from Eastern Europe, I do not wish to specify any further.

You have good aspirations, I hope you succeed enough to be able to give back to your community. Can't imagine anything better than that...

May 17, 2019

I understand! Thank you for sharing that much anyhow. Giving back if you have a ton is the best part of being financially secure- to me anyway

The truth is like poetry, and most people fucking hate poetry.

May 20, 2019

Made a new account to post as my first account reveals too much about myself.

Background: Non-target, Hispanic, 0 connections in finance, and non-existence knowledge of finance/ib/networking before finding out about wso

I come from a very non-traditional background where I had to attend a community college due to life, sort of stumble into this site from researching careers in business. Like most people after doing a lot of reading and all that, I got blindly interested in pursuing investment banking, so I set out to attempt to break into the industry using this site as my guide.

I started cold mailing right away last summer around July, and it was extremely rough; I sent out over 300 emails with probably a 1% response rate, and from those responses, I was able to land calls. My first networking calls were rough, no one wanted to help a community college kid, and the calls were pointless. It was very frustrating trying to break into the industry and not even being able to successfully network, but I kept at it. I went back to the drawing board and analyzed what I was doing wrong, and I how I can improve my response rates and make my calls more successful.

After some more time cold emailing, my response rate started getting better, and I started meeting people that sort of helped me. Met an alumnus who worked with me for an hour on my resume, he/she was the first person to ever believed in me, and it just made me want to work harder to make her/him proud. I then met a VP from a middle office role who became like a big brother to me and has been a tremendous mentor professionally and personally (never asked him for a referral).

From there, I just kept repeating the process, kept cold emailing and stopping every once in a while to analyze on how I can improve my response rates and networking calls. Outside of networking, I made sure to maintain a 4.0 GPA during both semesters (just finished spring semester) and started working on getting some experience. Constant cold mailing once again led me to be able to land a research role at a small firm and an ib boutique gig during both semesters at school. The boutique gig gave me a fantastic experience, and that blind interest in investment banking became a passion that I was able to demonstrate during interviews/calls.

With now an impressive GPA and substantial work experience, I was able to land a summer analyst role at a reputable investment firm where I'm going to be learning tremendously and getting paid street level as a sophomore.

Now with all that new experience, perfect GPA, and a great upcoming summer role, my cold emails success rates and calls became strong. I was no longer that community college kid who no one believed in, I was now this hungry gritty sophomore who stayed up to 4 am studying his technicals and sending out cold emails, and this showed when I spoke to people, and people started helping me out.

I was able to land three interviews as of now, with two offers (MM and BB) coming from them. I will be interviewing at every Buldge bracket during recruiting with possible EB interviews as well. I have MDs from top bbs fighting for me to not accept the offers and wait for my interviews with their banks. I have veteran MDs reaching out to all their contacts at other banks to get me interviews.

It has been a fantastic journey, and I never imagined that I would be in this spot today. There was no easy shortcut to it; all of it was achieved through hard work. I averaged 3-4 hours of sleep for a year due to continually staying up to perfect my technicals, regularly staying up to cold mail, and constantly staying up to make sure I maintained a 4.0.

I faced numerous rejections with people telling me that community college kids don't belong in investment banking. I was denied opportunity after opportunity at my school to even interview for their student management fund, had 0 help from seniors/juniors, had minimal support from my alumni, but I'm still here today. I took those rejections and ate them up; I was determined to prove everyone wrong and achieve what I set out to do.

*I rejected to do diversity events, as I thought they were bullshit and spoon fed, I worked too damn hard for a bank to treat me like lesser and spoon feed me an offer. I refused for my hard work to be tainted from getting an offer for being diverse; I wanted my offer to come from me being a strong candidate regardless of my race.

In conclusion, that's my story, and how I was able to network successfully, I'm deeply humbled from all the help that I have received and all the people that I have met during this year. I always try to pay it back and help others who might be in my position; it's a shame that most people from my school seem to forget that they were once also clueless and refuse to help. Networking it's frustrating and repetitive, but keep at it, and it will open doors that you never imagined possible. I'm nothing special, I'm not a genius at school, I'm not the most social person, I'm not the luckiest person, I'm not too strongly knowledgeable of the markets, I just worked harder than everyone around me, and if I was able to make it there are no reasons why any of you reading this cant. If you aren't having success, take a moment and ask yourself, are you working hard enough?

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May 17, 2019

Thank you for sharing!!! I have a different background too. I am half latina half middle eastern and a girl. I appreciate someone with a similar background sharing their story, although I do have a different opinion about diversity programs. While I have never been to one myself, I know people who are VERY qualified as individuals that just needed that initial belief in them and went on to do great things. but that's just me.

Thank you again for sharing!

The truth is like poetry, and most people fucking hate poetry.

May 20, 2019

While that's true that a lot of them are qualified, I have a big issue with Johnny getting an interview while Billy didn't even though they both worked as hard just because Johnny was Hispanic.

Most of these diverse candidates are from well to do families or upper-middle-class families; they have been given the same opportunities as any nondiverse candidate. Most of them even go to target/semi-target schools; they aren't limited in terms of opportunities.

Why should Johnny get a handicap?

The difficulty of diversity interviews is a joke. I find it insulting that they treat diverse candidates as lesser by giving them such interviews, why treat us like we are not capable of being able to handle the same interview that you would give Billy?

*My view against diversity events is mostly for race candidates, not females.

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May 20, 2019

Every professional job I've ever gotten was from networking. When I was in college I managed to talk with a gentleman at our family church who worked for MS Dean Witter (dating myself) which lead me to getting an summer intership there.

That experience was mostly banging out spreadsheets, and I realized I wanted to do something a bit more dynamic. Someone else I crossed paths with at Dean Witter had a friend who was an independent futures trader at the Merc in Chicago.

I went to the Merc to visit this guy, who had never met me, and he took me around the floor for over an hour introducing me to dozens of trading firms. He was a local trader, and thus did not have employees.

Through this visit I got my first job at a propietary options trading firm in Chicago. I do want to stress here, that once you get "in" - it is much easier to move around. From this job I met people at the Bear Stears' (still dating myself) CBOT operation and got a job with them for a bit- until I met even more people who hired me away to my current employer. I've been in multiple roles at my current firm for nearly 18 years.

Now I'm looking to switch things up again and have been tapping my contacts. A few "friends of friends" later - and I'm currently involved in the interview process with something totally different.

In my experience, it's quite literally ALL about networking. Most people will tell you to NEVER burn a bridge, which is good advice ... But also just as important is to maintain your relationships. If you have some really good professional contacts, don't let the relationships fade ... take time once a month to shoot out a few emails .. or meet someone for coffee or beers.

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May 17, 2019

Thanks for sharing! Yes I definitely agree not to let contacts fade. I have some really great ones that I have had the privilege to get to know and I try to reach out when I have something to share to maintain the relationships.

I also think there is a lot more leg room once you are already in which is what I am hoping for although my end game is probably going to be VC

The truth is like poetry, and most people fucking hate poetry.

May 22, 2019

Last year I was a Sophomore (West Coast target) looking to break into IB and get a Summer Internship.

I get an offer for MS Wealth Management (great stepping stone) I take it ~ late Feb.

I go on a snow trip to the mountains, the highway is closed due to poor conditions ~ March 13th

I go to Starbucks because the IB Career Fair @ my school was in 2 weeks - I was prepping in the sbux, and had a sticky note of my 'target banks' to research.

A man sits next to me and sees that I am looking at the weather report on my computer. We chat, and he notices that sticky. He says "you're applying to i-banks?"
Run of the mill response I say "yeah...I'm a Sophomore...yadda yadda.."

I tell him about the MS internship....he look me in the eyes and says "no no - work at my company, you'll learn so much more in IB."

He says he was a previous director at one of the banks on my list and ex-partner at another regional bank I was going to recruit at.
He gives me his info, we exchange and chat more (he's now founded his own startup)

A couple of days later I get the email he's cc'd me on two different intros to banks.

It was too late for the first one, but I get an interview at the second one.

First round --> Superday, then I get the offer.

I tell MS wealth management I'm leaving (after 1.5 months) to start in early June. they are pissed (to say the least)

This guy didn't know me until we started talking that day, he saw something in me, passion, persistence call it whatever you want. He took a chance on me and I performed.

Things like that are unheard of, and I am forever grateful to this guy. He was my angel who helped me when I needed it most and I hope to repay that same thing to someone down the line if I ever have the chance to.

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May 23, 2019

May not be a crazy story but here is my go at your AMA. I am a UK UG at a (semi-)target school. Here it is important to know that 'cold' networking doesn't really exist, we do not reach out to alumni for calls etc. We only apply online and wait patiently just like brits do in a queue.

So after my first year (out of 3) of school I am fortunate to have landed an IB boutique (if you can call it IB), we mostly work on very small deals in the LMM - valuations below PS50mm. The shop has 3 MDs, one VP and 2 analysts. The work I am given is straight out awful - had to input manually an excel list of family offices/PE/VC funds into a CRM (yeah like 900 contacts details being copy-pasted). But I suck up to it and hell this is the best I could find back then and I really needed work experience as I failed to get spring weeks (see other threads to learn more about spring weeks).
Whilst I simply hate my life (doing admin tasks) and not much work is given to me I try to see if I could do something productive in the mean time. I see that on e-financial careers some PE funds are hiring interns etc - I apply but one tells me that they want me in the Paris office (I speak french quite well too but hell moving from London, finding accommodation etc in less than a week and resigning from my firm is not easy).

So I decide to start adding some alumni from my school on LinkedIn that are working at firms that have an unstructured process - read do not normally recruit interns though a pipeline, but would take ad-hoc applications. He seems super kind, responds to my messages and offers me a breakfast in a few days. I take the opportunity, we end up chatting for an hour about how he got where he is now - he was first at a small shop like mine as an analyst before moving to a well known MM as an associate. At the end of the breakfast he shifts the discussion towards more technical questions and asks me about my plans in the future ie where do I want to be etc.
I explain that I would want to gain more experience in IBD, working on bigger deals that are often more interesting (ie not just sell side from owners retiring) although in a small team as I like the feel of not being part of a 40+ people team. He offered me on spot an verbal offer for the following summer if I had nothing lined up come March/April of this year.

This gave me such a leg up when recruiting came as I now had the confidence that I was qualified enough and that my story was credible for interviews. Secured and offer at a BB for this summer - screwed my PJT final round and I am still biting my own fingers from it but that is an other story! To this day we are still in touch and I recommended few friends for the internship and some got offers from his firm.

Conclusion:

Know your story and technicals cold at anytime it may be the one opportunity in your life

May 23, 2019

If you are new to networking, odds are your success rate is pretty low (speaking from my own experience). However between my friend and I, we have interned at 5 different investment banks and 2 LMM PE funds all through networking. We both didn't have a single connection in finance and did it all through hustling. Also, due to our ability to intern during the school year, we left undergrad with a cumulative 3 years (36 FULL months) of internship experience. Keep hustling and learn from your mistakes. Keep your expectations low. Most people don't respond. Of those that do, most people don't offer to help. Of those that offer to help, maybe half actually make a difference and push your resume. So out of 100 attempts you may get 1-2 interviews. IMO still worth it when you are interviewing for a position that will never be posted on a job board. Obviously this is all anecdotal experience. I am sure people from better schools and with a higher GPA have an even higher success rate.

May 24, 2019

I may have some decent stories.

Started a student club, invited a bunch of speakers including a top level leader of a global financial institution for a panel organized by this club, stayed in touch with said leader and developed a mentoring relationship (even though he works in a group I had no interest in), reached out to him come full-time recruiting, he pushed my resume around, a group which was one of my top choices called me in for an interview even though they weren't hiring (they didn't even have a job description when they called me in), ended up getting an offer.

Before this, my internship offer also happened because a recruiter I had invited to one of the club events sent my resume around in the firm.

Funnily enough, neither one of these are the wildest ones. I got my first job back in the day by cold-contacting someone on Facebook who at the time used to run an 800-member daily news group. Told him I'm looking for introductions, he knew exactly one relevant guy and dropped him a note, who called me in for an interview which turned into an offer. I wrote about it here on WSO way back when.

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May 26, 2019

Subject line is pretty key for cold emailing. I connected with an analyst because I had a similar background to her and I wound up getting advanced to a superday from that. I had been networking essentially non-stop for the past 2 years. You need to stay persistent as it only takes 1 offer to make the differnece. I was rejected from a lot of middle market banks but wound up getting and accepting an offer from an EB.

May 26, 2019

Any advice on how to write a subject line for a networking email?

May 27, 2019

Also interested regarding subject lines

May 26, 2019
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May 28, 2019
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May 28, 2019