I graduated a few years ago and was impressed with a student that reached out to me last week. Thought I would summarize what he did in a digestible how-to guide so others could learn.
1. Start on LinkedIn
Message one of your alums on LinkedIn. Confirm that he works at a BB. It doesn't matter that he doesn't work in IB and that you only care about IB and anyone else working at a bank is the untouchables of bank society. He works at the BB and he's an alum -- he's got an in.
Introduce yourself and say you're interested in IB. When (if) he responds, he'll say, "Hey, I don't work in IB. I'm a quant and can talk about my quant experience". Lie and tell him, "Interesting! Let's talk"
2. Build anticipation
- Call him 10 minutes late. You want him to have you on his mind for that whole 10 minutes, thinking, "why did this fuckwit waste my time scheduling this if he was never going to call". This is how you make an impression. This is how he'll remember you.
3. Be humble
When you call, introduce yourself by explaining you're quarantining in your family's "awesome" vacation house while you work remotely at your no-name bank.
Even better if you call it a "no-name" bank and tell the alum, "you've probably never heard of it..."
Make sure you explain why you want to go into IB. A good explanation is, "The charity I founded taught me the importance of financial valuation"
4. Respond enthusiastically
Let the alum know you're engaged and paying attention by constantly interrupting. Let him know you're wise beyond your years and very experienced in banking life by interrupting him frequently with a quick and subtle: "Yeah, I know", after every other thing he says
Ask questions. When the alum is explaining to you his role, interrupt and ask something. It doesn't matter what as long as it's dumb and about IB. When he asks, "So, what questions did you have about my role or find interesting about it?" say: "Hey yeah, how easy is it to get into another group from your role?"
But don't ask too many questions. Don't ask him about his role at all, how he got into it, what his day looks like, etc. This call is all about you and getting you the job.
5. Mind his time
- Cut him off early and say you have to run and half way through the call that you already started late
6. Finish strong
- Don't forget why you contacted him in the first place: for IB. Ask him if he's got any IB references at the bank. When he informs you he may have some because he started out in IB, hyperventilate a little
7. Maintain contact
Follow up with an email and your resume attached. The alum will forward it to a campus recruiter and the head of IB recruitment (a real banker!!!!!) for your school. You made such a great impression on the alum that he cc's you when he forwards it and writes, "Hey, here's a smart kid who's interested in IB"
And if you did all of this correctly, and shoved a vault guide up your ass far enough, he will immediately reply back to the recruiter and banker without cc'ing you and write, "By the way, I don't recommend him. Try someone else"
Banking is a people business. Learn some social grace you fuckwits.