Recent MBA Grad, Literally Can't Even Get An Interview

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Comments (26)

Jul 17, 2017

Any chance the OCR team could make an introduction?
What happened to all the folks from b school, where did they end up? Given the fact you already have work experience, can they at least bring your resume to the right people after they got in somewhere?

Sep 22, 2017

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Jul 17, 2017

I would go through every network you are on (linkedin, facebook, email contact list, ..) and ask every relevant contact to reach out to their network. Be as specific as possible about industry, seniority or departments you might be interested in.

Your business school contacts have access to internal HR portals/jobs/internal HR person, actual hiring managers, and know the hiring situation. They might know which teams are working on what clients/mandates, where there might be a need for additional staff, etc.

Jul 17, 2017

Sorry to hear about that dude, Are you in the US? As opposed to focusing on your classmates, I would channel my networking strategy to senior alumni in target firms and cast a wide net. Pretty frustrating going back to networking basics while in Bschool but it has to be done. Also, do you fully have your technicals AND market intel down. It is super important you know what is going on in the market, recent transactions, current market dynamics, themes etc as a post MBA experienced hire. Keep your head up, you'll get something. Good luck!

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Sep 22, 2017

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Best Response
Jul 17, 2017

As someone who has been on the other side of the table (i.e. interviewing analysts for SA and FT roles), not getting a return offer is a huge red flag. We are in the business of minimizing risk. That is why we prefer targets over non-targets. That's why we like high GPAs and prior experience. That's why we hire candidates who have return offers. It's all about signaling (i.e. showing the interviewer that you're a low risk hire). You might have performed well in your internship, but if you did not get a return offer because of headcount, your performance was still not up to par, and in this business only the best is good enough. Not trying to get on you or anything, but just trying to explain the logic from the other side of the table.

In addition to the advice given to you by other posters, I would start reaching out to boutiques. As the gap between your graduation grows, you are probably going to start to want to fill that with some experience. Good luck.

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Sep 22, 2017

Removing for now

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Jul 17, 2017

You are looking at two scenarios here, and honestly, I am not 100% sure which would be better:

  • You work at a small bank for a year and try to lateral to a larger bank, while keeping your internship on your resume. You may run into the same problem again because interviewers will see that you interned at a BB, but then went to a small bank for FT, which will naturally lead them to asking why and then finding out that you did not get a return offer. I imagine that their focus will mostly be on your full time experience, and if the return offer is still a negative at that point, it will be a very small one, but again, I am not 100% sure.
  • Similarly to above, you work at a small bank for a year and try to lateral to a larger bank, but you remove the internship from your resume. Interviewers will wonder why you completed your MBA program without any internships and will probably ask. You now have to come up with some sort of story or admit that you left the internship off your resume. I feel like this is the trickier scenario and one that I would not choose. I feel like having to explain going to a top MBA (I assume you went to a T20 given that you interned at a BB) and not interning raises more flags than not receiving a return offer, which really should not matter much anymore given your full time experience.

I wish I could be of more help, but I have no direct experience with this and would rather not lead you down the wrong path.

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Jul 17, 2017

We live in a gray world, not black and white, and things are not always so cut and dry. While in normal circumstances I would absolutely agree that the employer's objective is to minimize risk, clearly this is an experienced finance professional who probably has an objectively correct view of his summer performance. And, contrary to what many will have you believe on this cite, there are extraneous factors one cannot control and headcount is unfortunately one of them. It absolutely makes sense to hire targets over non-targets; high GPA over low. But in light of mitigating factors and qualifications, a judgment call can and should be made. It is just unfortunate that in this industry there are a preponderance of bankers running the screening process who, similar to you, apply near zero critical thinking in their hiring decisions.

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Sep 22, 2017

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Jul 18, 2017

Ok so prestige does matter no matter how smart you are?

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Jul 17, 2017

Network with your alumni, assuming you went to a decent school you should have a fair number of them in senior roles. Target commercial banks' that have capital markets arms, also look at corporate banking roles.

I would reach out to anyone with pull (VP and above). I would be flexible and look at the less well known firms e.g. US subs of foreign banks, regional banks, boutiques.

Jul 17, 2017

If you dont me asking where did you get your MBA from or range of schools?

Sep 22, 2017

Removing for now.

Jul 17, 2017

Can we assume NYU/Cornell? If so start emailing alumni. You need to get in front of people and get meetings.

Jul 17, 2017

I don't have anthing else to add here carrear wise. But I want to say a few things:

  1. Eat lots of fruits and vegitables. Frozen ones are equally healthy. Just eat them.
  2. Lots of exercise, even if its just walking. and lots of weight lifting as well.
  3. Get social interaction. don't lock yourself up. go out for a long walk if nothing else.

Network, Network, network. Don't just submit applications online. Emails tons of people--strangers, dosen't matter, and ask them to put in yuor application. That is what I did, just went on linkined and messaged like mad. I don't have an MBA mind you or a relevant degree or experience, but managed to find a decent position.

Make sure you are psychologically ok. Wake up early b/c the sunrise is good for depression. Go out a lot. Good luck, let us know when you land a job.

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Jul 17, 2017

A few comments....while not getting a return offer is a knock against you, it's not insurmountable. My advise is as follows:

1) Be able to spin not getting offer as best you can (and do so without making excuses--it's a tough line I know). Saying it was because of headcount isn't good enough...if 3 of 5 people in your group offers due to headcount, that's rough, but the first question is, why weren't you one of those 3....it's a flag that you were rated bottom 40% of your group. Were you waitlisted or outright denied? Was it performance based or perhaps you didn't realize the importance of continued networking during the summer? Where you in a group full of MDs from x school and 2 of the 3 that got offers were all from that school? Anything you can do to take the emphasis off the fact that your performance wasn't as good as your peers will help.

2) Did you go through the normal B school recruiting cycle (i.e. September through January)? If so, you likely met people at other banks from your school...reach out to them

3) Find a job somewhere..in IB...if you take something not iB related, it will be very hard to get back...then when you lateral, absolutely list your resume. It's harder to explain why you didn't intern between first and second year. You don't even need to spin not having an offer then (it likely won't be asked--they'll care about your full time experience. If asked, you can say the bank you interned at wasn't a cultural fit, or you were interested in another group or whatever. Worry abou that bridge when you get to it. Most people realize that internship offers are a bit of a crapshoot...if you do well at your full time job no one will care.

4) It's a reasonable question why you are going from the buyside to the sellside, as many people would prefer to be in buyside. Again, have a plausible story to spin this....you like acting like a Trusted Advisor, you like working with different companies/industries, you get a rush out of the sales element of IB...etc...Saying you were squeezed out, coupled with not getting a return offer, is a lot to overcome.

Good luck.

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Sep 22, 2017

Blah

Jul 17, 2017

Look into Capital Markets or Lev Fin at Commercial Banks. JPM/BOA/Wells or large regional. They will take you.

Jul 17, 2017

There is something really off here. First, I knew plenty of people in my bschool class who did not get return offers and those who chose to continue recruiting for banking all landed at another good bank before graduation. Second, you should have known that getting into banking if you are not a student or a lateral is really (really) difficult, unless you want to work for a random bank. It should also be obvious that you are not a lateral, both in terms of class as well as experience. Third, did you really find PJT's reasonse to be surprising? First their class is small and, second, these people are all ex MS and ex Blackstone so their standards Did not drop simply because they changed the name on their front door.....and now you are seeing if it's possible to recruit at a mega PE fund for an associate role? I'm saying all of this because I think you need a bit of a reality check because this is probably why you wound up in your current situation. If it were me, I would put banking behind me, move on, and focus on landing a good corporate job....and the truth is that most banking associates go corporate anyway after a few years so it's probably the path you would have taken anyway.

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Sep 22, 2017

Blah

Jul 17, 2017
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Sep 22, 2017
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