Talking points to university kids who are networking with you?

Many students are reaching out to ask for advice and want to go into IB. I did not attend university in the US so don't know a lot about the recruiting process. What do you think I should cover in these calls? Trying to help as much as possible. I noticed that some know what they want and ask questions straight away and some just need some guidance

Comments (19)

  • Intern in IB - Ind
Sep 9, 2020 - 7:50pm

You can always pass them along to a similar role/seniority level colleague (ask permission first) if you'd think they'd be a better resource. If you still want to take calls just be upfront about your story and I'm sure they'll asked to be referred to another banker anyway

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Sep 10, 2020 - 3:19am

Many bankers - from what I've seen - aren't up to date/familiar with the specifics of process. If they ask you something related to it and you don't know, just point them to HR or something (depending on the firm you're at).


When talking to them, try focusing on what you do, what distinguishes your firm from others, and ultimately, what keeps you in banking, that's hopefully what they're asking about anyway. All college students also love hearing you walk through a deal they can then regurgitate back out in their interviews.


You could also just go the casual route and see if you like them as a person/share interests. 

Sep 10, 2020 - 8:33am

First I want to say thank you for being one of those people who actually enjoy helping others.

For calls, all I'd personally really want is for you to talk about your experience at your firm, and to learn more about you as a person. If you had a different path, I'd definitely be interested in hearing how that path worked. I already know the strategy to break in from talking to other people so what I really want to learn from you is what you specifically do for work and most importantly who you are as a person. I'd also ask for a referral and see if you could pass me along to a colleague that I could meet as well. We can find information on the typical "break-in" all over the internet so I'd find it a waste of your 30 minutes telling me something I could easily look up.

  • Associate 3 in IB - Restr
Sep 11, 2020 - 2:07am

Ya, I'm sure you understand everything about how to break into banking purely from reading online. Reading or hearing about something is completely different from hands-on experience.

It is good to ask questions about how they transitioned into IB, asking to share some experiences, what they love and hate most about the job, specific things that they didn't expect once starting the job, ideal attributes to have, etc.

Sep 10, 2020 - 9:30am

I would just let the students ask question and provide whatever color info that I know / feel comfortable giving. If they ask about specific process I usually just punt and say that's outside of my control i.e. and point to HR or whoever (cheap out I know but I don't know the answer). Works for most Qs i don't wanna deal with. Assuming the student is prepared they will usually have enough good questions to fill an 30 min slot, if not then I get some of my time back that was blocked on my calendar for a quick snooze.

Most Helpful
Sep 10, 2020 - 4:06pm

Ask the student questions:

Who are you?

What is your major?

What are you studying?

Why are you interested in Banking?

What do you currently know about banking?


Tell the student about yourself:

Your role on your deal team

Your deal teams role at the firm

What types of businesses do you work with

Where your firm sits in the marketplace

What is going on in the M&A marketplace


Finishing touch:

Ask how you can help the student?


PS: I finish with "how can I help you" because these calls are all about giving back.  We all have had countless people help us get into this line of work, it is our obligation as professionals in this industry to share our experiences, education, and connections with others so that they too can achieve their career goals.

"A man can convince anyone he's somebody else, but never himself."
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