It was a standard Sunday for JRMM - Woke up entirely too early, ate breakfast, watched SportCenter, then had to kill time before the start of day 4 of the tourney. I had just gotten home from hitting golf balls and was about to firmly plant my ass on the couch for the remainder of the day when I caught the following tweet "in NYC with a few hours until takeoff, any blog readers want to get coffee?" The tweet belonged to a fund manager I respect greatly and whose blog I follow closely.
First thing through my mind is, "wow that's cool, I should respond." Second thing is, "wait, why would XYZ fund manager ever want to get coffee with me? What can I add to conversation?" Third thing is, "What's the worst that can happen?" So I fire off the email and sure enough, 5 minutes later, "Here is my number, call me". I call XYZ fund manager and after a short discussion he tells me to meet him in the lobby of his hotel. I hang up the phone and am ecstatic, "Holy shit, this is real, I have a super unique opportunity here." I throw on some respectable clothing (i.e. not sweatpants) and jump in a cab...
On my way downtown I started to think about what to expect. If nothing else I viewed this as an opportunity to pick the brain of someone I greatly respect. A chance to poke around and ask questions of what he likes/doesn't like, how he evaluates potential investments, and other general development questions. I went into it not expecting anything more than a simple conversation. (Spoiler Alert - There is no Hollywood ending where I say something and he is so enamored with the comment I get a job on the spot.)
When I arrived, XYZ fund manager was sitting in the corner with another gentleman. I approached them and introduced myself; a third would join us 10 minutes later. For the next three hours XYZ fund manager proceeded to discuss current trades, tell war-stories and field questions. My favorite parts of the discussion were when he broke out his laptop and proceeded to walk us though one of his shorts and his discussion of his biggest mistake of 2013. (I am a strong believer that you learn exponentially more from your mistakes/failures than from your successes). For anonymity reasons I won't discuss specifics. The event culminated when XYZ fund manager invited us to continue the conversation over dinner.
After all was said in done, we exchanged contact information, shook hands and went our separate ways. I wish I could dive into greater detail about what we discussed but I won't. Put simply, it was an invaluable experience where I got to have an in-depth semi-private conversation with a well-respected fund manager.
The point of this write up is to hammer home how important it is to take shots, no matter how improbable you think they are. After I initially saw the tweet I closed my laptop and had a conversation with myself about how ridiculous this was and that XYZ fund manager would never respond if I emailed him. At some point between the fridge and the couch I remembered how I spent my first summer after college cold calling i-banks looking for positions and had I approached that summer with a similar mind set I never would have made it out of my hometown. (This is a different story for a different thread but I had an offer rescinded 2 weeks before graduation due to an office closure and spent the summer doing everything possible to find a job) That is when I fired off the email that set off the event above. You should always take a shot at something you view as improbable because you never know when or how it will pay off in the long run.
Side note - I wasn't sure where to put this so I am dropping in in thesection, if any of the mods think it belongs elsewhere please feel free to move it.