Comments (39)

Nov 22, 2009 - 4:43pm

Try to send them a paper that you have wrote for one of your non-business courses to show you as a competent writer, but also someone that can write about more than the markets. If the sample is something outside of their field of expertise they will be more interested to skim through it, and will be less likely to really scrutinize any of the points that you try to make. I'm sure throughout your U Grad experience you've written some solid papers - use one of those - edit it, punch it up, make sure it is better than when you submitted it for class and send it over with a quick few sentence overview on the topic. They are not really that concerned about the content as much as seeing whether you can deliver a coherent and well-written paper that makes a point and does it well. Good luck.

Nov 23, 2009 - 1:31pm

DE Shaw Writing Sample (Originally Posted: 05/10/2012)

I was asked to submit a writing sample for a DE Shaw position. Any advice on what to do here? I haven't done much writing since college and my current job consists of putting together pitch books and models all day long.

Should I put something together over the weekend or is something academic from college appropriate? Should it be finance specific or just a good piece of writing in general?

Many thanks for your advice.

Nov 23, 2009 - 1:32pm

It can be general rather than financial. Go ahead and take something you wrote for school, the polish it up if you can.

My other advice is, to be honest, not to spend a ton of time/energy on this. Shaw takes pride in their rejection rate.

Nov 23, 2009 - 1:33pm

They probably should have given you some guidance on what kind of writing sample they wanted. I had to do three (not for DE Shaw). One long piece from college, one "live" in a 45 minute exercise based on a prompt from the interviewer that was quite short, and one over the weekend from another interviewer.

Nov 23, 2009 - 1:36pm

I was asked for a writing sample once and submitted a piece from a friend as I wasn't and still am not the greatest writer. I got a 2nd round but I wonder if that would have came back to bite me in the ass had I received an offer...

Nov 23, 2009 - 1:37pm

If they are asking you for a writing sample, it's probably because the job involves a significant amount of writing that is going to be published. If you're just writing to your coworkers, it really wouldn't matter. When they notice that your writing is crap on the job, they would probably not be pleased.

Nov 23, 2009 - 1:38pm

Writing sample for summer analyst application (Originally Posted: 03/06/2011)

I am in the process of applying for summer internships and I just noticed one of the boutiques, as a part of their application process, requires a 5-10 page writing sample. Has anyone had to submit such a writing sample before? Do I need to write something related to finance, or can I submit part of a paper I wrote for a class before? How important would this sample be in the selection process?

Nov 23, 2009 - 1:40pm

Thanks man. Since I didn't have a paper with a related topic already written, I ended up submitting a paper I had written on ethical issues in the sport of boxing. I emailed the recruiter for my campus and she said the topic was open so hopefully that won't affect my chances.

Nov 23, 2009 - 1:41pm

Writing Sample for M&A firm (Originally Posted: 02/24/2015)

So I've been cold emailing smaller firms in hopes to land a summer associate role because I wasn't able to get anything so far.

I emailed a firm and they said that they would want my resume, cover letter, and a writing sample.

This is a firm that does M&A, what do you think they mean by a writing sample? I'm not trying to get into ER or AM or HF or anything like that.

make it hard to spot the general by working like a soldier
  • 1
Nov 23, 2009 - 1:42pm

Would a report that I did for school be suitable? I wasn't given a topic or anything, just "submit a writing sample"

make it hard to spot the general by working like a soldier
Nov 23, 2009 - 1:44pm

Would length matter? a one pager? 20 pager? etc.

make it hard to spot the general by working like a soldier
Nov 23, 2009 - 1:45pm

It doesn't sound like you're going to be writing any public materials on their letterhead. More likely they just want to make sure you're familiar with basic punctuation and can write a client email without disgracing yourself and the firm. It doesn't take more than a few sentences to distinguish good writing from bad, I would keep it short.

My humble opinion.

Nov 23, 2009 - 1:46pm

I ended up just using a couple pages of a report I wrote. Hopefully that will work and I'll end up getting something out of it! Thanks for the advice!

make it hard to spot the general by working like a soldier
Nov 23, 2009 - 1:47pm

I'm coming in late on this, but for future reference - I suggest writing a short piece (1-2 pages) of analysis of a recent public deal, setting out the rationale, sources and uses of funding, valuation benchmarks, analysis on whether you think it was a good deal.

Those who can, do. Those who can't, post threads about how to do it on WSO.
Nov 23, 2009 - 1:48pm

Writing & Analysis Sample (Originally Posted: 01/19/2015)

I am currently working in consulting. I have applied for an IB associate role and was contacted by HR today. They aksed that I send a writing & analysis sample prior to the interview. I have both for many clients I have done work for at my current form, however these are all confidential in nature. Would it be better to black out or change to XXX etc all the confidential names within the report, or draft something from scratch? Any samples would be much appreciated.

Nov 23, 2009 - 1:52pm

ER Writing Sample (Originally Posted: 06/12/2013)

I've been asked to send over writing sample for an entry level ER associate position. This is before my first interview and the specifics were not clearly mentioned. I have a good week before the interview and was wondering if I should send in a old investment recommendation report, other finance-related works (think econometrics), or non-finance related writing.

Nov 23, 2009 - 1:53pm

Definitely keep it finance or economics related.

Why can't you just phone your interviewer and ask for some clarification on what exactly they'd like to see, and then let him know what you've got.

I had to send in a writing sample for my ER position, granted it's just SA and not FT they were ok with an economics paper.

Nov 23, 2009 - 1:55pm

Help Needed: What to use for writing sample for IBD Analyst application? (Originally Posted: 04/24/2012)

Hey guys,

I was wondering what type of writing sample I should submit for an IBD Analyst position application. It is suppose to depict the elements of good business writing. It is with a small boutique shop that requires writing sample. I was going to submit a write-up for a HBR business case, with modeling done for the case as appendix from my financial/management policy class. Would it be better to use a non-finance related paper?


Nov 23, 2009 - 1:56pm

I sent a writing sample from an Economics class to 2 boutique ibd shops when they asked me. Got to the next round for both. It wasn't very technical and had no graphs or appendices at the end. They're probably just looking for writing quality. If the model is really impressive though, then I could see that being helpful on the margin. I don't think they are going to ding you for sending them a finance related paper. It would probably be a plus.

Nov 23, 2009 - 1:57pm

That was what I was thinking. It's a case write-up with a merger model that I worked on for a class.
Do you think it would be ok for me to email the contact person and ask the person if it would be ok to do so? The contact person my school provides is actually a Sr. Associate from the firm. The thing is that I don't want to bother the person with such a question for the application process.

Nov 23, 2009 - 1:58pm

Unless I'm missing something, I don't know why you would ask if a finance paper with a model attached counts. As long as the writing is good, I don't see the problem. It sounds like it's somewhat open ended and that your paper fits within the guidelines.

Nov 23, 2009 - 1:59pm

Unless I'm missing something, I don't know why you would ask if a finance paper with a model attached counts. As long as the writing is good, I don't see the problem. It sounds like it's somewhat open ended and that your paper fits within the guidelines.

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