I distinctly remember a phone call I made to a managing director atSecurities when I was in business school--I had cold-called him, done an in his office, and now, I was following up to see if I could get a full-time job.
He said no.
It was a tough conversation. I was dying on the other end of the phone, as I felt the door slowly closing on a career on Wall Street. I had a few other opportunities, but I sure didn't want to lose this one.
But I have to give the guy credit. I cold-called him and flew to New York (from California) and showed up in his office downtown, overlooking Governors Island. We had a great conversation. But Prudential didn't have much of a future--it didn't really have anything to do with me.
When I was looking for a job on Wall Street, there were a lot of people who went out of their way to help (to varying degrees) and will be forever grateful. That is why I always try to reach down and try to pull up worthy candidates.
I remember being in the position where I felt like I was the most talented guy in the world, but coming from a non-target school, it was difficult for people to see that. All I needed was a break. I was lucky enough to get a break. But to a certain extent, I made my own breaks. I called that guy from Prudential, on someone's recommendation. I called a lot of people. In retrospect, I can't imagine I had anything interesting to say. I didn't know shit. But all I was trying to communicate was that I could hustle.
It's harder nowadays. It takes more than just hustle. But hustle helps.
Over the years, I've had many, many young guys (and some girls) reach out and ask for help. The only people I say no to are people who blatantly ask for a handout without demonstrating any value in return. If it's someone I like but don't feel particularly strongly about, I will make a few calls and set up some meetings and let them take it from there. If it's someone I really do feel strongly about, I will stop at nothing to get that person hired.
That happened with a summer intern one time. I remember getting in a very public shouting match with people from HR over a guy I had on my desk for the summer. I wanted to hire him. They didn't. I got my way.
I'm busier than ever these days. Honestly, I really don't have a lot of time to be playing Monster.com for college kids. But I do it. Because someone did it for me, and it changed the course of my life. I hope I never get to a point where I am so old and rich and out of touch that I forget to do these things. Karmically speaking, it's probably why my life continues to get better and better.
Mod Note (Andy): This post is a reprint from the January 25th edition of Jared's Daily Dirtnap Newsletter. If you'd like to read more, WSO readers qualify for a $100 discount to his Daily Dirtnap daily market newsletter...just email [email protected] and mention "WSO Monkey Discount". You can follow Jared on twitter at @dailydirtnap..