Placement/ Sell Day, what the hell is it like?

Placement Day is coming up at JPM and BofAML. I am fortunate enough to be joining one of those for the summer and a friend of mine if joining the other. (We're SA's).

We have been networking and what not with the bank but neither of us has wanted to be overly frank and ask things about placement day like "how long will I be interviewed by your Group specifically and how hard is it?".

Does anyone know SPECIFICALLY the process of placement day at either of these two firms? I can't find a legitimate walk through of what this is like anywhere. I.e. timing, content, atmosphere, etc., additional specific concerns are below if this wasn't clear enough.

  • MOST IMPORTANT due to travel plans: Is it really the entire day? In the email it said 9 am - 5 pm. Although, it said the same for the original interview which was 1.5 hours consisting of three 30 minute interviews. (Also find it hard to believe bankers would want to spend a whole day with us).
  • How long do you meet with each Group? Or does it vary? Apparently, I am meeting with 3 Groups. How long could I possibly be in an interview for if I have to go visit two other floors? (Would like to mentally prepare the possibility of a marathon if that is the case lol).
  • Have you guys heard any horror stories about placement day at either of these banks? I.e. a paper LBO or an excel test or something of that nature? (I know, I know, a paper lbo isn't overly hard, but if I am supposedly meeting with two other Groups that would come off as pretty strange and is something I'd rather not unnecessarily expend time into unless I have to).

Really appreciate any and all advice thank you in advance for any help!

P.S. (Secondary question) - Really appreciate general process information and tidbits. However, if anyone knows anything about a few of the "competetive" Groups and what goes on in their interviews, it would be much appreciated. Also, I have heard most of the Groups are good at these two banks, any to AVOID? Any Groups at either bank overly sweaty or downright ridiculous?

Comments (69)

Mar 19, 2017

Your experience will vary depending on the group so you really shouldn't fuss over this. Just be conversational. How were your interviews? In my experience at JPM if you get a case study it should be a short one.

Best Response
Mar 19, 2017

I went through the placement day at one of these two banks for Summer Associate positions, so may be a tad different but I'm sure it's pretty similar.

Timing - we had a Thursday night Happy Hour and got to network with bankers in different groups and then a bunch of the summers went out after. Friday the day was pretty much 9-5 - we may have gotten out at like 4:30. They give you a breakfast and lunch (one was larger than the other - forget which). As for bankers not wanting to spend the whole day with you, they don't - they cycle in and out so each banker may speak to 2-4 kids (other than staffers who spend pretty much the whole day doing it).

Group meetings - Each of the three groups I met with started with a 20-30 minute overview of the group with 1-4 bankers from each group - introductions, size of group, types of deal, culture, etc. Then broke into 3x 20 minute interviews with bankers from that group usually Associates / VPs, couple directors. After each group session (of 1.5 hours, you get a short bathroom / coffee break. Yes you will be on many different floors.

horror stories / What to expect - I met with two coverage and one product group (LevFin) (All solid groups). I didn't get any technicals in any of the meetings; however, I heard kids got some in M&A meetings and maybe a random one here and there in other groups - so be prepared, but I don't think it's something to stress about (no excel tests). Most of the meetings was introduce yourself (give your short story), why banking and why that group. Then it's your turn to ask the questions. Also be prepared to talk about some of your interests and hobbies.

As to what groups to avoid, I'd just look at the other threads on here about JPM / BAML top groups etc (e.g., JPM HC is a top group but works you super hard)

Some tips -
1. Have a decent reason for why that group and shown some genuine interest even if you're gunning for another group. Be polite to all bankers in all the groups. Word travels if you're cocky or rude, even to your top group.

  1. There's some gaming of the matching process that can be thought about if you're a bit risky - e.g., you're #1 group is LevFin at JPM, so you put M&A / HC (other super popular groups) and won't get chosen for M&A / HC because they are your #2/3 choices, so they stick you in LevFin. But with this you may end up with a random group if LevFin passes.
  2. If you are very interested in a group, try to reach out to someone you're close with at the group to set up time to have calls / meetings with more bankers from that group before placement day.
  3. It's a long day, but shouldn't be a marathon as it's not super intense or intellectually demanding. More of a speed dating type of thing.
  4. In the downtime - try to meet more of your fellow interns - start building your network!

Hope this helps - feel free to PM me for any other questions you may have.

    • 6
Mar 19, 2017

Thank you so much for the insights!

Will probably PM you within the next few days.

Mar 13, 2018

How long after placement day did you hear about which group you got? Also, did they email you or call you?

Mar 14, 2018

^^^

Mar 13, 2018

If an analyst/associate/MD asks why you're interested in his/her group, what do you say? Particularly for industry groups like industrials, consumer, etc

Mar 14, 2018

Placement Day isn't crazy, it's just a long networking meet and greet. If you got the offer, you'll be fine. Pick the groups you're interested in and learn a little about them beforehand but go in with questions and be curious. Nobody is going to grill you, and at this stage they're more interested in fit.

The day typically involves a big meet and greet breakfast (take these times to also try to meet your fellow SAs), as well as a quick lunch later. They're big events with lots of kids and lots of bankers, so just try not to get lost and try to meet as many people as possible (sort of treat it like a networking info session). Your actual meetings will be arranged in modules, spending 90min-2hr with each group. Usually, the staffer will do an intro, and then you'll be pulled in to meet with a few random people who happen to have a few minutes. Again, just be nice and confident and you'll be fine.

There will be kids who have networked their way into their top group but don't worry about them or about gaming the process too much. It's hard, can back-fire, and most importantly, really isn't worth it. You may not know which groups are the best fit, and if you go in there with an agenda, you can't be open-minded or curious, which is crucial if you really want to find the best fit for you.

In terms of top-groups, I think it's been addressed elsewhere but everyone will want to be in M&A and LevFin at both places, and they're top groups at both banks (M&A at BAML less so). The strongest coverage teams in terms of deal flow at JPM would probably be TMT, HC, FIG, but HC is a sweatshop and FIG has some very questionable culture. At BAML, I would say C&R, HC, REGL, and Industrials have the strongest deal flow and as far as I know, none of them have serious and widespread culture issues. REGL and Industrials certainly aren't sexy groups but if I were you, I'd take a hard look because they're top on the street and the guys are pretty laid back and down to earth in both.

That's it - anyone PM me if they have more specific questions; I went through one of these two placement days back in the day.

Mar 14, 2018

yes

Mar 14, 2018

Basically the answer is yes. There are some subtleties (school alumni if you're from a target background, for instance) but usually you'll just go wherever spots are available, and you won't have a good time.

Mar 14, 2018

Weird, because Everyone I know is having a really hard time getting full-time offers. The irrational fear of providing the name of the BB completely makes half the information on this site useless. There's a handful of BB's that favor Stern much more than other firms (Deutsche doesn't even recruit front office here) , so its really hard to know how significant this is without knowing the firm. I know Lehman, Goldman, Citi, and ML seem to have a penchant for us...Whereas MS, Deutsche, and a lot of the 2nd tiers do not.

On the same note, the same 30 or so kids have been hogging up 5+ offers, whereas other kids can't get first rounds. The douchebags with 3.9's keep signing up for interviews with companies such as UBS after they already have a GS offer.

Also, A lot of people I know who are getting super days are having trouble getting passing it.

Mar 14, 2018

Is it for SA?

I go to UVA. All my friends (in undergraduate business programs) are getting raped. I can't believe 15-20 kids at my school got SA offers at the SAME TOP BB.

Is it IBD? or IBD/S&T/everything else?

  • b
  •  Mar 14, 2018

For SA. Strictly IBD. All at the same BB.

NYU slightly outnumbered UVA, but UVA was a close second, outnumbering Yale, Penn, Duke, etc.

Mar 14, 2018
b:

For SA. Strictly IBD. All at the same BB.

NYU slightly outnumbered UVA, but UVA was a close second, outnumbering Yale, Penn, Duke, etc.

most likely it's Merrill

Mar 14, 2018

which IBD? They aren't going to identify you...

Mar 14, 2018

My guess would be ML. Due to the number of NYU kids that intern there as night analysts and subsequently are given offers. But I have heard night analysts had a rough time getting offers this year.

Mar 14, 2018

This smells an awful lot like Lehman - they're nice and cozy with NYU kids.

Mar 14, 2018

Most Banks not all that recruit at targets dont have superdays....at my school (Cornell) almost all of the BB/MM only had first and second rds on campus then handed out offers. However as posters above have said this year has been pretty ridiculous....

Mar 14, 2018

15 3rd years in my school got IBD SA at the same BB? and outnumbering Penn? Maybe only 2-3 kids on that table are from UVA? I'm having a really hard time believing this. It's probably Lehman.......

Did this happen today? I noticed a lot absense in my corporate finance class today.

  • b
  •  Mar 14, 2018

ixjunitxi - This was a sell day, not a superday. Everyone at the event already had an offer.
untilted - Every student at both tables were UVA. Although I wasn't at the event, I had lunch with a few bankers about 30 feet from the event and we had conversed about the magnitude of students from these two schools.
curiousmonkey - Yes, it was all IBD.

I guess its understandable that many banks have strong relations with NYU, due to both nature of coursework and proximity of location. Nonetheless, my head doesn't associate NYU with the pedigree typically envisioned in banking.

Mar 14, 2018

that's really surprising. most of my nyu stern friends are gunning for equity research positions...

Mar 14, 2018
curiousmonkey:

that's really surprising. most of my nyu stern friends are gunning for equity research positions...

IBD is definitely much bigger among the people I know/friends of people I know. And I tend to know the less driven inidivduals...the quiet 3.9's are also probably all doing banking because they think it will get them laid some day...

That being said I got two ibd interviews, and zero equity research, and I personally wanted ER.

Mar 14, 2018

I work in S&T, and from what I've seen, in both IBD and S&T, BBs tend to be fairly idiosyncratic about where they hire from. Of course, all BBs pretty much look at top schools, but different places emphasize different schools within the upper echelon in part because of where influential alumni come from. After all, a heavy hitter from school X who cares a lot about his alma mater can dramatically increase the percentage of offers coming from that school.

Mar 14, 2018

Not to mention the sheer size and location of NYU. Imagine how much easier it would have been if you could have met NY bankers regularly for lunch / coffee. Networking in my own backyard would have been infinitely more effective. Anyways, NYU and UVA being heavily recruited doesn't surprise me.

Duke and Georgetown were by far the most well represented schools in my class.

Mar 14, 2018

There are probably a fair number of students at NYU that are originally from the area, living on the upper east side. These students are likely very connected and have a relatively easy time getting a spot.

Mar 14, 2018

About 4 out of 20 were from NYU at my sell day for S&T for a BB.

Mar 14, 2018

I was very underwhelmed by the Duke and UVA kids in my SA class.

Mar 14, 2018

I will punch someone in my SA class if they went to duke!

"Oh the ladies ever tell you that you look like a fucking optical illusion" - Frank Slaughtery 25th Hour.

Mar 14, 2018

I don't think we even looked at NYU in our recruiting.. or at least I noticed 0 presence at the firm (top consulting).

Really interesting how this school has moved up in the recent past.

Mar 14, 2018

I doubt that sell days for SAs are going on right now. At my superday last week, I met a couple girls who were there for their FT sell day.

  • aloki
  •  Mar 14, 2018

I've had a few sell days already. They're definitely going on.

Mar 14, 2018

Maybe the Ivy kids have decided to go to grad/law/med school given the economy is tanking rather than gunning for Wall Street.

Mar 14, 2018

"Maybe the Ivy kids have decided to go to grad/law/med school given the economy is tanking rather than gunning for Wall Street."

haha, yeah right.

Mar 14, 2018

I went to one of those schools, Wall Street isn't as popular as people on this site make it out to be, even in the best of times. At my school consulting and law school were far more popular than banking - and this was a few years ago when recruiting was solid.

I'm not saying it's THE reason, but it's certainly possible.

Mar 14, 2018

I'm an NYU alum, and I can say that we get solid recruitment at virtually all of the banks (BB, major and minor boutiques, MM, basically everything except DB, lol) and even some hedge funds. Top Consulting doesn't really actively recruit, though they will look at a few top kids. Oh well.

Mar 14, 2018

it's definitely not lehman. lehman gave 4 SA offers to UVA kids so far. The only other possible bank is Merrill. They only interviewed 14-28 kids for first round on Ground. How can they give 10+ offers?

OP, please PM me and tell me which bank this is. it's driving me crazy.

Mar 14, 2018

How did UT Austin/Ross/Hass do....if any at all?

Mar 14, 2018

here's the proof. some dude started a facebook group:

Merrill Lynch NYC Summer Analysts 2008

Mar 14, 2018

unct - you detective you.

Mar 14, 2018

Whats the conflict?

Mar 14, 2018

What is sell day?

Mar 14, 2018

bump

Mar 14, 2018

This is a sell day for a summer internship; the conflict is a banquet held by a firm that is currently holding a full-time offer until after this summer

Sell day is when a bank brings in new hires/interns for to meet and greet with different groups so that each side can rank who they want assigned where.

Mar 14, 2018

Wait so is sell day with the bank you intern with and it is after the summer internship?

Mar 14, 2018

the bank you are about to summer with before the internship starts

Mar 14, 2018

is this for all the BB and all interns, or jus in ibd?

Mar 14, 2018

no and no

Mar 14, 2018

Wear a suit.

Mar 14, 2018

I agree a suit

    • 1
Mar 14, 2018

"If opportunity doesn't knock, build a door."

Mar 14, 2018

I just went through one. Essentially all the groups at the bank give a presentation and then you rank them afterwards. I was also told that they rank you. I know that all the presenters had a copy of our resumes.

Mar 14, 2018

It can take the form of mutual rankings like Steve wrote above. Or it could just be after you get an offer, when they try to "sell" you on why you should go to them. The second case happens more often if you have competing offers and are considering alternatives.

Don't really need to prepare anything, just be on your toes, fully rested, etc. Some background research into recent activity and different groups at the firm may be helpful as well.

Mar 14, 2018

If you have received a "platform offer" for IBD, Sell Day is usually in January/February (I am talking about FT positions) where all the different groups wine you and dine you, you rank them, they rank you, and you get placed into a specific group. That's my experience with it.

Mar 14, 2018

this is for a summer analyst position

Mar 14, 2018
1:

this is for a summer analyst position

Should be sometime around April

Mar 14, 2018

mine is soon

Mar 14, 2018

Have you accepted your SA offer? At this early stage, I'm assuming you haven't accepted and they're "selling you" on the firm. I'm rather hesitant to believe that group selection is occurring this early at any bank. Let us know.

Mar 14, 2018

xoxox

Mar 14, 2018

Also interested!

Mar 14, 2018

Networking before a sell day is def a good idea. My sell day is in March but I was able to get my offer changed to group specific for the top group in the bank through networking after receiving the platform offer.

If you interviewed with someone in a group you're interested in, reach out to them and ask if you can talk more about their group and how they like it. If not, use linkedin to do the same thing. Ask for what their group looks for in SAs and express your interest.

Is this the only way to get a solid group placement? Probably not. But you might as well tip the odds in your favor as much as possible.