The best informational interview one could ask for!

CrashDavis12's picture
Rank: Baboon | 149

Fellow monkeys,

Long time reader, I have only posted several times. I am here to share my success. I just landed a S&T role at a top BB (GS,MS,JPM).

My background: Small, private, non-target finance grad with a 3.2 GPA. My university only places did an equity research internship for a boutique shop.

I know many on this site discourage cold emails, however, all my success has come from this strategy. Granted, I have a concise/unique 3-4 sentence intro that very few people have (retired professional baseball player).

The big day:

I have been meeting Director/MD's at most of the BB's over the last two months for informational interviews (80% through cold emails, 20% friend of a friend). One Director of Prime Brokerage at (DB/CS/Bar) really liked me and gave me emails of his colleagues in PB at other BB's and told me to put his name in the email subject. I emailed one of his friends at the eventual firm I am hired at. I met with him and he laid out what he does. He explains that part of his job is to keep a talent pool of qualified candidates for their Hedge Fund clients. He thinks I am aiming for a buyside gig. I express to him that I really want to do S&T. One because I am very interested in it, and two because I do not have the experience to be a HF Analyst.

After I express this, he says "I'm pretty sure we have an opening here, let me go see if I can get someone from the desk"... He comes back with an Associate, then a Director, next a VP, then the MD, and then another Associate. When I first met with the PB guy, he told the receptionist that we will be in the conference room for 30 minutes. After the last interview, I had been there for four hours. Now it is a waiting game, I am in the conference room for fifteen minutes by myself. I had an offer at a tech company that exploded at 5pm that day, and they knew this. After 15-20 minutes the MD comes back in; at this point I am feeling pretty confident that the job is mine. After we talk for a minute or two I ask him what I should do about the Tech job, he says, don't take that job, and I asked why, and he said because I am going to hire you!

Stay persistent, and stay passionate about what you are doing, you never know when your break is going to come. They say luck looks a lot like hard work. I agree, but I would add that being proactive and expressing hunger also brings more luck than you can imagine.

Thanks for all the advice over the past year; it made a significant difference.

Last but not least, never underestimate the opportunity of an informational interview.

*Wrote this up very fast, sorry for typos

Comments (44)

Oct 22, 2013

Interesting background, congrats

Oct 23, 2013

Congrats man! It's great news. Way to network ahead of the curve.

Oct 23, 2013

Congrats! So am I right in thinking you met up for an informational and got a job from it?

What sort of things did they ask you? As in, after the guy asked about the position and got the guys from the desk to see you, did it get more formal?

Great networking story all the same!

Oct 23, 2013

Yes you are right.

Once the people from the desk came in, it got pretty formal. The questions ranged from my background, why S&T, pitching stocks, why should I be hired, and fit Qs.

My success comes from expressing hunger. My academic background doesn't jump off the page, so when they leave, I make sure they know that I want this more than other people, and I will work harder than all others... Right before the MD left I asked him "What would it take for me to start tomorrow?".. He saw that I had some aptitude, but what he really loved was my competitiveness, and my drive. That is why I got hired.

Oct 23, 2013

'grats - SB'd for the story and hustle

Oct 23, 2013

I love success stories.

Oct 23, 2013

thanks for posting!

WSO's COO (Chief Operating Orangutan) | My Linkedin

Oct 23, 2013

Solid post bro, SBed that shiznit

Oct 23, 2013

Awesome story and background.

One major takeaway is that you need to have your shit together. You probably weren't expecting back-to-back interviews, but it's great that you pushed through.

Oct 24, 2013

Perfect story. Give me a lot of hope because I also come from a non-target school. I wonder how can you get contact details of VPs and MDs at BBs? and How you make your cold email unique and catch their eyes?

Oct 24, 2013

awesome job mate

Oct 24, 2013

Incredible story. Its great hearing about success stories from non-targets. As Wallstreet123 posted above, it def gives hope to the rest of us that went to non-targets. Good luck at the new job bro

Oct 24, 2013

Congrats man

Oct 24, 2013

This is awesome. Good job.

Best Response
Oct 24, 2013

So I just started at the new job this week, and I have a funny/interesting thing to add that I just found out today.

When the head of PB emailed me, he said do you have time to "chat".. We decided on a date and time but he didn't specify if it was a phone call or an in person meeting. I emailed him to asked but didn't hear anything back. At that point I said screw it, might as well be proactive, so I head downtown to the building. After I give my id to security, she informs me that I don't have an appointment, but quickly assures me that they forget to put them in the system all the time. When I get up to the floor, they come get me from the lobby and act like I was supposed to be there....

I come to find out today that he was just going to call me and have an introduction call, and was completely surprised to get a call saying I was downstairs... So yes, it went from what was supposed to be a phone call informational to a full time job offer in four hours. Probably the most serendipitous morning of my life.

    • 4
Oct 25, 2013
CrashDavis12:

So I just started at the new job this week, and I have a funny/interesting thing to add that I just found out today.

When the head of PB emailed me, he said do you have time to "chat".. We decided on a date and time but he didn't specify if it was a phone call or an in person meeting. I emailed him to asked but didn't hear anything back. At that point I said screw it, might as well be proactive, so I head downtown to the building. After I give my id to security, she informs me that I don't have an appointment, but quickly assures me that they forget to put them in the system all the time. When I get up to the floor, they come get me from the lobby and act like I was supposed to be there....

I come to find out today that he was just going to call me and have an introduction call, and was completely surprised to get a call saying I was downstairs... So yes, it went from what was supposed to be a phone call informational to a full time job offer in four hours. Probably the most serendipitous morning of my life.

HO.

LEE.

SHIT.

    • 1
Oct 26, 2013

What city are you in?

BREAK CATCH-22
Fan of Yuzuru Hanyu

Oct 24, 2013

Right as I was reading the opening lines "Fellow Monkeys", I saw the picture of Ron Swanson.

And I for some reason I read that line in Ron Swanson's voice in my head. It was the best part of my day. Excellent post though, I love those stories.

Oct 25, 2013

Congrats man, and it was great you were prepared to actually nail the interviews.

Oct 25, 2013

Nice! I'll be sure to do more information interviews from now on.

Oct 25, 2013

Congrats.

Oct 25, 2013

Nice work, how was your approach in cold calling? who did you decide to call? Did you try linkedin? success vs. cold calling?

Oct 25, 2013

Thanks for sharing!

The Auto Show

Oct 25, 2013

Very encouraging story! I'm interested in how you make your cold-emails appealing for the MDs to read them, can you elaborate more on that as well? @CrashDavis12

Oct 25, 2013

LOL.. great story, thanks for sharing

Oct 25, 2013

I don't usually enjoy these sort of stories (often very generic) but this one is pretty prime, particularly with the rock at the office adage.

Oct 25, 2013

Great job. Good luck and congrats.

Oct 26, 2013

Awesome story, congrats!

I would be careful what you write going forward on the site, as I'm sure given the unique series of events, it won't be difficult to figure out who you are. Just a thought, not a criticism by any means.

Oct 26, 2013

Great story, SB'ed.

Care to share a few details i.e. major and investment experience prior to the interview?

Oct 27, 2013

Welcome to the club.

Oct 27, 2013

hahahaah, this is such a joke

TL;DR Preppy WASP Jock gets job at bank. if you didn't play ball you'd have been explaining your dismal GPA

most people on earth can't relate to this, at all. this would be a cool story if you had actually worked a real job in between your internships and moved into banking.

alpha currency trader wanna-be

    • 4
Oct 27, 2013
watersign:

hahahaah, this is such a joke

TL;DR Preppy WASP Jock gets job at bank. if you didn't play ball you'd have been explaining your dismal GPA

most people on earth can't relate to this, at all. this would be a cool story if you had actually worked a real job in between your internships and moved into banking.

You jelly?

If he didn't play ball maybe he would have a better GPA, duhhh...?

How is he a WASP?

Oct 27, 2013

No, I just don't think there is anything special about this story. Wall Street loves athletes, this guy has done nothing phenomenal other than be a WASP Jock with a finance degree. He is not a unique snow flake and there is nothing inspirational about this story

I'd be impressed if he was half Czech/Ukrainian, didn't play sports, actually had a full time job doing something unrelated to finance and got this job.

Seriously, every time I see those lists of athletes on Wall Street they are exactly this guy.

Oreos:
watersign:

hahahaah, this is such a joke

TL;DR Preppy WASP Jock gets job at bank. if you didn't play ball you'd have been explaining your dismal GPA

most people on earth can't relate to this, at all. this would be a cool story if you had actually worked a real job in between your internships and moved into banking.

You jelly?

If he didn't play ball maybe he would have a better GPA, duhhh...?

alpha currency trader wanna-be

    • 2
Oct 28, 2013

@watersign

Man, who pissed in your cheerios?!

Your ideas are based solely on conjecture and narrow mindedness. It is no wonder you don't have a job on the Street. I am taking the high road because someone like you who would post such fictitious information without even knowing the person, is a lost cause, and cannot be changed. (Yes, all of your generalizations were wrong)

Oct 28, 2013

Thanks for all the kind words and posts!

@wallstreet123
Using LinkedIn is the best way to get contact details. Usually all you need is their first and last names, because the banks email format is usually easily attainable... You have to make the email relevant to what is going on. Whether it be ibd, er, s&t. I liked to show them that I was paying attention to the market/deal flow. Have an opinion on something, good or bad, it will show you have some conviction. Another good strategy is to attach a letter of rec if you can get one from a previous boss. I had a great LoR from my previous MD. Think of it this way, everyone has a resume, but not everyone has a LoR from a respected MD in the industry.

@UnclePanda
I didn't do very much cold calling, almost strictly email. Mainly because I didn't have most of their phone #s. Read above for info on emailing.

@johnny_quest
I have definitely thought of that, thanks for the tip.

@Scholes
Major was Finance. Prior investment experience included working at a small l/s hedge fund for six months, and four months in equity research at a very good boutique.

@Oreos
I know it is was relatively easy because you had logic and reason on your side, but thanks for having my back against that troll.

Oct 29, 2013

The professional basket ball player thing is always a good icebreaker. Congrats, bro!

Nov 10, 2013

Congratulations! Good luck with the new gig.

Nov 10, 2013

Congrats & thanks for sharing your success.

Nov 10, 2013
Comment
Nov 11, 2013