Too early to network?

Hello monkeys,

I'm an international student starting college this fall at a non-target(private LAC). I was thinking of emailing bankers with similar backgrounds, interests etc to get a feel of the industry and receive much needed guidance on recruiting. But given that I haven't even attended classes yet, I was wondering whether I am putting the cart before the horse.

I would really appreciate it if you guys could guide me on how I should go about it.


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Comments (25)

  • Incoming Analyst in IB - Gen
Aug 10, 2021 - 2:55pm

I would still wait because 

1. You come off as a massive hardo

2. I'm going to forget who you are and it's a long time to maintain a relationship.

3. You literally don't know anything about the school.

All these are assuming you're reaching out to alumni that you don't have a strong connection with already. If you were a recruited athlete and they hosted you, then by all means reach out. At least then you can talk about how your football season is going.

I would also hesitate to reach out to first year analyst right now (who started this summer). I say this because people have already started to reach out to me about my role and the only thing I've done is take the series exams lol.

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  • Intern in IB-M&A
Aug 10, 2021 - 11:16am

Too early. From what I have heard from people that started way early, one of two things happens. A) you won't get many responses because of how early you are/your resume won't have anything meaningful B) it'll be too hard to maintain that connection for a year and a half

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Aug 10, 2021 - 2:41pm

I started reaching out fall of my sophomore year from a non-target and had no issues connecting with people. I would say earliest you should start is summer after your freshman year. The latest though is probably December/January of sophomore year.

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Aug 10, 2021 - 11:21am

Yeah I'd wait until at least sophomore year unless you're diversity. You should focus on your gpa & getting a solid internship related to IB/PE/even AM/Corp Finance for your after freshman year summer

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Cov
Aug 10, 2021 - 12:24pm

Start networking sophomore fall or 2-4 months before a bank's application open. Use this time to learn about the industry so you don't sound like an idiot.

Nothing is worse than hopping on a call with a freshman and getting asked about our group's "investment process".

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Cov
Aug 10, 2021 - 5:50pm

Mostly similar to what other people have covered-- focus on understanding the basic IB landscape. Know that the job at the junior level isn't the most glorious. Definitely not models and bottles. I would start preparing for behavioral and technicals freshman year. The 400 guide is good. Nail down your "tell me about yourself" question that is asked during every networking call. 

Most Helpful
Aug 10, 2021 - 2:03pm

The right time? Hard to say, the youngest person who's reached out to me has been someone going into their sophomore year at a target, but they already secured a BB internship for the following summer and clearly knew what they were doing. The student did a good job on the call and had thoughtful questions prepared. 

This undergrad can be juxtaposed with a few 1st year MBAs, students much more senior w/ WE, that completely bombed their informationals. A lot of it is 'knowing what you don't know,' if you go in w/ an attitude you know more than what you do and can't defend yourself when it comes to technical questions, you can get shot down very quickly. 

There are ton of books / training manuals / informational guides out there. I believe WSO offers a few, but I can't vouch for any of them. I'm sure there are a ton of threads on getting up to speed in this process.

Best of luck! 

Aug 10, 2021 - 2:58pm

Don't listen to the majority of people on this. You should start asap it's never too early to start. I started about the same time as you did and went to a non target. I wouldn't try to initially get jobs from it, but was just generally curious to learn more and find out how diff people get started. People will understand you're not going to be asking top level in depth questions but it still shows you're eager and want to learn how you can get started

Aug 11, 2021 - 12:40am

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