You want a summer analyst offer? Here's how...

     As the summer 2021 analyst wrap up their experience and the summer 2022 analyst bombard LinkedIn with job post-I am sure there are many of you who wish to either be in their shoes, or are interested in learning more about the industry, profession, and process. In this thread, I will tell you my path to contacting, applying, interviewing, and landing the ~incredible~ offer. (Hint: I didn't come from a quote on quote "target" school either). So, read along if you want to hear how I broke the banking barrier. 

The Beginning

     The beginning of having any chance in landing an IB offer is the work you put in the year and a half prior. Yes, that starts with GPA. Honestly, 3.8 is just the benchmark level- so shoot for that number. Anything more is great, but anything less can automatically get your resume tossed in the trash. Once you have your GPA squared away, Congrats, there is a long way to go. 

     The first thing any prospective IBD employee should do is find the organization at your school that has other individuals that want to achieve the same thing. My school had a Investment Banking Club, and admission to that was paramount to my understanding of the field, industry, and process. Surround yourself with other undergrads that are either going through the process with you, or have already done it, and can offer advice to you as a mentor. These mentors can check your resume, give you the recruitment scoop on different banks, and a lot more. Trust me- don't be scared to reach out to older students. I promise this is much easier than going over WSO until you have read everything on this side of the western hemisphere. 

Now that you have the GPA, and some fellow students/ mentors around you- the fun starts. 

Networking. Networking. Networking. Then Interview Prep

     Yep. This is unavoidable. Unless you come from a top tier Ivy or have serious connections in the bank- you have to network. Networking is the most important part of the process, but I guarantee prospective interns don't do enough of it. Make a list of about 10-15 banks that you either like the location, culture, or even name (It doesn't matter) and email their bankers. First start with school/club alumni- they are the most likely to respond- and set up a 30 minute phone call with them. Develop a relationship with these bankers, learn why they are in banking/ what makes a great banker, and they might pull your application when it comes to decision day. I sent over a 1000 emails in my networking grind, and I easily could've sent more. (Hint: Avoid talking to anyone other then analyst for your first few calls- I learned this one the hard way). This process is pretty fun, and you will meet a lot of interesting people along the way.  

     After you have networked and talked and then re-talked to people- begin doing your interview prep. This is just time and repetition. You will need to know the common questions (you know what they are), paper LBO's, behavioral questions, etc. I recommend making flashcards and using the free 400 question guide. You don't have to spend a lot of money on some teacher or WSO program (again I learned this the hard way). Practice. Practice Practice. For the behavioral questions, essentially just do reflection on what you have accumulated from your multiple conversations with other bankers, and your own reflection on why you want to join this industry. DO NOT TALK ABOUT MONEY. (Did you notice that I didn't put anything about model building in there? It is generally unnecessary for the interview process, you're welcome) 

Interviews & The Offer 

     Now that you have built out your resume, networked, and learned your technicals (I used an Oxford comma don't tell the associates) the actual interview process is a breeze. On your interviews be yourself, and know that just getting your foot in the door is the hardest part. The majority of the interviews will be fit based, but occasionally you will get a hair jelled back hardo that wants to see if you are mentally tough. Don't let it rattle you because this whole industry is made to rattle the weak minded. 

     Then, after you have completed this marathon of a process, you will hit the finish line and you will get a phone call with an offer. LETS GO! Celebrate with your friends and mentors. This is a big night. Remember, even though you got ~the big job offer~ you can't drink tequila until the break of dawn. The stakes will change on you fast (again I learned this the hard way). Cheers! 

P.s: After you get the offer please don't tell the world on LinkedIn. I know you want to, but it is annoying as hell. Have reassurance in the fact that the world doesn't really care that you accepted an offer, the world cares about how you perform when you are on the job. 

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Comments (6)

  • Intern in AM - Equities
Jul 27, 2021 - 2:03pm

Curious why you like people to celebrate accepting an offer but are opposed to people posting it to LinkedIn. I understand, its slightly corny, but like you said its a big moment in a very hard to enter industry. I think its acceptable to have a small announcement post that just shares "Hey, I worked my butt off and I managed to do it". It also shows your network where you ended up and how their hard work in those conversations might have paid off.

Just my two cents. 

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Jul 29, 2021 - 7:57pm

I kind of have the exact opposite of what you described. I got interviews everywhere in pe, vc, growth, ib, am and consulting with firms like bcg, Goldman, baml , tpg sixth street without any networking and just applying online on handshake. But still don't have an offer because I have not been able to convert my interviews. Interviewing is not a breeze and in my opinion, much harder than getting the interview. I literally just apply on handshake and forget it but granted I do attend an ivy. 

Jul 29, 2021 - 8:49pm

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