Frequently Asked Questions

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Resume & Cover Letter

To even get to the first round of interviews, it is imperative to have a solid resume. As with any job, bankers look for certain qualities that a candidate embodies in their resume. They will probably only spend about 30 seconds (maximum, they've got many to look at and not much time) looking at them, so make sure what you think is important is easily seen. Here are a few helpful tips:

  • Attention to detail is one of the most important traits for an Analyst in any industry. It should be professional and completely free of any typos or inconsistent formatting.
  • An easily identifiable interest in finance is also very important. It’s always nice to have
    finance-related internships, but if you haven’t had any internships or you don’t have a finance/econ/business-related major, you need to somehow show that you are truly interested in this field. Leadership positions in a student organization focused on business is one way to overcome this obstacle, but just being a member of a club won't cut it.
  • Nobody wants to work with someone who is one-dimensional, it makes for a terrible workplace environment. Thus, you need to include experiences outside of work/study. Many applicants have similar resumes (3.5+ GPA, past finance internships, finance club). Having some unique experiences, whether in the arts or sports, gives the person reading your resume a better idea of who you actually are. This is (usually) a good thing and allows you to connect with those reading your resume on a deeper level.
  • Your resume should always tell a story. You may not have the right major or right internships, but being able to show your interest in finance and that you are capable of doing the work is a key part of successfully navigating the hiring process.

If you start from scratch, it would be helpful to use a template. Your career services office can also be a great resource. Having another pair of eyes looking for typos and inconsistencies never hurts. If you would like a more professional critique and format, you can use WSO's Finance Resume Review service, which has garnered much praise from past customers. Another option is to use the free Public Resume Review Service, which allows for critiques from other WSO members.

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Get a Pro to Review Your Resume

In general, rounding your GPA will not make a huge difference. However, on a resume it almost always looks better to have a 3.3 as opposed to a 3.25 or a 3.5 as opposed to a 3.45.

Can You Round Up Your GPA On Your Resume

If you have a 3.3 or lower, you may have a hard time selling yourself as a 3.5 is generally considered to be the expected minimum GPA (however, this does not make 3.5 the GPA cutoff). If you have 3.35, rounding it up to 3.4 is a wise move. If you are over the cutoff mark, increasing your GPA by 0.1 will not add that much of a difference.

GPA Rounding Rules

Some easy guidelines for rounding include:

  • Never round your GPA to 4.0, even if you have a 3.99. Having a 3.9+ GPA is already very impressive, but rounding it to 4.0 may harm you more than help you. A 3.95 is almost equally as impressive, and someone reviewing your resume and transcripts might wonder what your thought process was in adding the extra five hundredths of a point. If you have a 3.95 or higher and the dropdown box on the application only allows for tenths, follow conventional rounding rules and round up.
  • Make sure you never round up to a quarter or half point. The only rounding that should be done is with hundredths of a point. If you have a 3.24, you may be able to get away with rounding up to a 3.3, but it's not generally advisable. If you have a x.x5 or higher, definitely feel free to round it up to the NEAREST tenth of a point. This topic has been debated heavily by the WSO community, so if you are unsure, please use the links below to get a better grasp on the reasoning behind rounding your GPA.

GPA Rounding Examples

Actual GPA Resume GPA Dropdown GPA (tenths)
3.46 3.46 3.5
3.23 3.23 3.2
3.448 3.448 or 3.45 3.4
3.951 3.951 or 3.95 4.0
3.949 3.949 or 3.95 3.9

Relevant Discussions

    • Ugh frustrating GPA rounding on resume question (Note: This person's overall GPA is a 3.9. There is not point in putting the major GPA. If he were to put both on his resume, he should keep them both at the hundredths. If there was a dropdown box on an online application with only tenths, he would only be able to use his overall GPA which is a 3.9.)
    • 3.49 GPA (Note: Yes, a 3.49 is a 3.5, though on your resume you should leave it to the hundredth. It really won't make a difference.)

Read More About GPAs on WSO

Want Your Resume Reviewed by a Pro?

The WSO Resume Review Service has hand-picked the best professionals from thousands of currently practicing finance professionals… people who live and breathe their industry - day in and day out… who can tell you what’s changing firsthand…who LOVE giving back and will keep you up-to-date on everything you need to polish your resume and land more interviews.

Resume Review Service

Recruiting is a rough and stressful time for most prospective analysts. The banks know this and generally do a good job of making sure you have a good experience while interviewing with them. You must absolutely make sure to keep your cool and your typing in check while writing up your cover letter. While the your resume is kept in check somewhat by the format, you can potentially go wild on your cover letter.

While your cover letter probably won't help you land a job, it can absolutely hurt you. Do you really want to be an investment banker? Good. Do you really want to work for this firm? Good. Am I going to regret having not hired you in five yea... what the f...?

The second link is WSO's exclusive interview with this young man. He knows he screwed up, and that's why we actually feel kinda bad for this guy (but he's still a great example for up-and-coming analysts, and he should take solace knowing this). You don't want this to happen to you, so make sure someone who cares actually reads your cover letter before you send out something similar.

The posts by Mis Ind are a great way to see screw-ups and things that aren't really necessary on a resume. Take note, your resume is what gets you in the door.

What Not to Do Series:

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Generally, cold-emailing works better than cold-calling for securing informational interviews. This is because a clear and concise email can be answered whenever the networking target has the time, whereas a cold-call at the wrong time may annoy a potential contact.

A huge part of this process is targeting people you have some sort of connection to, even if it’s not personal. If you attend the University of Wisconsin and there are three alumni working at JP Morgan’s Investment Bank, start with them. If you served in the Marine Corps and are looking to transition to a position on Wall Street, networking with former service members is a great way to get started.

Direct and Concise:

The most important thing to do is be direct and concise in what you would like, while simultaneously showing your appreciation for any advice or help they’d be willing to offer. The people you are targeting are extremely busy and have a lot on their plate already. Try and keep emails to 2-4 sentences, and your introduction in a cold call to less than 10 seconds. Your goal is to get an informational interview, so telling your life story isn't necessary. The easier you make it for them, the more likely they are to help you out.

Cold-Call Opening Line Example:

Hi, my name is John and I'm a junior studying finance at the University of Virginia. I was wondering if you might have a minute to discuss your job and background or if you'd be willing to meet up for a cup of coffee sometime?

Cold-Email Example:

(first name),
(If you've been referred, start off by saying "I was referred to you by ____.") I am currently a Junior at UVA studying finance. I am very interested in learning more about (their industry) and (their firm). Would you be willing to speak on the phone for a few minutes or perhaps grab a cup of coffee so I can learn more about your background?
John Student

Finally, keep in mind that you will have far more in common with an Analyst than with an MD. If you have the option, start from the bottom up. If you make a strong connection with an Analyst, they will most likely go to bat for you and will probably give you contact information for other Analysts (and possibly even some Associates, VPs, and MDs).

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You should build relationships like you would any normal friendship. Go out to lunch, go out to coffee and if you really get along, you can even go out for drinks or happy hour together.

The key here is to relax and realize that you are all in the same boat. Covering for a fellow analysts and trying to help them when they are working long hours will go a long way toward building loyalty and a camaraderie between employees.

You will likely be spending more time with your fellow employees than with your significant other, family or close friends, so try to put your best foot forward and they will hopefully return the gesture.

When you are both working 80-100 hour weeks, there is no need to get competitive with one another. You will have enough challenges to deal with without having an adversary in your ranks.

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This is a difficult question. Networking is a very delicate balancing act because you need to put enough pressure on to get an informational interview, but not so much that the person you are trying to network with gets annoyed. While you'll have to be the one to ultimately decide how persistent to be, here are a few guidelines:

  • If you do not get a response to your first email, wait two weeks and try again
  • Don't try cold-emailing the same person more than 3 times, at that point you're just wasting your time
  • If you receive a response that says the person will get back to you by a certain date and they don't follow up, wait two business days after the stated date to follow up.
  • If your contact misses a meetup, email or call immediately to let them know you were there and you'd like to reschedule if possible. Be very polite, these people are extremely busy and going out of their way to help you.
  • Do not spam a group or firm. If you email everyone in a firm with the same message, you may annoy some people and hurt your chances.
  • If you're making cold-calls, don't call the same firm and/or desk over and over trying to get through to someone. You will piss someone off, especially if you're calling a trader in the middle of the day while he's trying to work.
  • You know when you're being obnoxious. Back off a little.

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An internship is not absolutely necessary, but it is an extremely important part of the process when trying to secure a full-time position. If you are thinking about pursuing a career in finance, an internship is a good way to find out more about the day-to-day of the job. It also gives you the opportunity to network and show the firm you're interested in that you can handle the work.

Your Story
Perhaps the most important part of an internship is how it relates to you telling "your story". If you're aiming for investment banking, but get an internship in private wealth management, this is by no means the end of the road for you. This has at least shown that you have an interest in finance. The downside is you haven't worked in investment banking so you don't know exactly what it entails and the person looking at your resume doesn't know if you can handle that particular position. Your job now is to pull your academic record, extracurricular activities, and any internship experience you might have together to show the recruiter or interviewer that you are not only interested in finance, but also that you can handle the workload.

Overcoming No Internship

If you are not able to secure a relevant internship, you can still overcome the odds by having an otherwise very strong resume. However, we would not risk this -- all of the most competitive finance positions expect you to work in at least some internship remotely related. If you've missed all the deadlines for the major banks, for example, look at small boutiques and offer to work for free. You can also look for Fall/Winter/Spring internships (also known as off-cycle internships). While these internships are not generally looked upon as favorably because you are not working full time, it's a lot better to have some experience and demonstrate interest than to have no relevant experience none at all.

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Internships are a crucial part of the recruiting process not only because they allow you to gain experience in a specific industry, but also because they give your potential employers the opportunity to see how you work. There are a number of internship opportunities available to you and deciding which one is right depends on what industry you want to end up in. Keep in mind that one of the best aspects of getting an internship on Wall Street is the perceived selectivity. Many firms will give you a full-time first round interview just for having investment banking, sales and trading, or another highly relevant internship on your resume because of the process you must go through in obtaining that internship in the first place.

Private Wealth Management

This is somewhat of the go-to finance internship for the summer after sophomore year or for students who weren't able to get a summer analyst offer or realized too late that they wanted to try finance. These types of internships may be paid or unpaid, but usually what is most important is showing some sort of track record of interest in finance in general. It will be hard to convert, but if you have the resume and the interviewing skills you can turn a PWM internship into a full time offer in just about any finance-related industry.

Investment Banking

These are some of the most selective internships and some of the best. From an IB internship you can go just about anywhere. Many people choose to accept a full time position because of the exit opportunities of an analyst position, but some choose to go into corporate finance, consulting, or asset management, to name a few. With a strong IB internship on your resume, you are way ahead of 99% of those looking to enter finance and business careers.

Sales & Trading / Hedge Fund / Equity Research / Asset Management

Having an internship for any one of these types of firms shows an interest in the markets. If you want to be in a market-related career, these are the internships you should target. Many are known for their selectivity, which will even help you if you choose not to pursue a career in one of these industries.

Private Equity / Venture Capital

Securing an internship in either one of these industries is extremely difficult as an undergraduate. If you're able to get an internship at a private equity or venture capital firm, you're most likely hoping to get a full-time offer. If you end up trying for a different career in finance after your internship, these will still usually look very good on your resume, as long as you can help on some decent projects at the firms.

Consulting / corporate finance

Consulting and corporate finance internships can set you up well for many different careers. If you're good enough to pull off an internship at MBB, you should have no problem making the switch to investment banking or corporate finance. corporate finance varies greatly from company to company. Someone who gets into an internship program at GE is going to have a lot more options than someone who is keeping the books at the local supermarket. If you do manage to get in a strong program at a solid company, you can still find your way to a full-time offer in consulting or investment banking down the road through and MBA or with a little persistent networking.

Keep in mind that no matter where you end up for an internship, whether it's Goldman Sachs, Bank of America or the Corner Store, you're going to have to maintain a strong record for full time recruitment. Keep that in mind so you can make sure you come out of your internship with a set of good references.

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Recruiting & Interviews

We have our top 15 Q&As of 2014 here. Besides that, here's a list of all the valuable q&a's and interviews that have been done with WSO members and professionals in their respective industries.

Q&A with WSO Founder Patrick, Part 1 (background in IB and PE, the idea for WSO, Wharton MBA), Part 2 (the past, present, and future of WSO) - The "overlord of WSO" shares his experiences in investment banking and private equity, how WSO started, and his advice to aspiring bankers.

Ask me anything: Ex BB IBD analyst - Q&A with 3 yrs analyst experience in BB industry group, located in London. His background: 3.9 GPA equiv at target university with HSS degree

Ask Me Anything: Post-MBA IB Associate at bulge bracket (NYC) - Graduated from a UG from a semi-target college with a humanities degree. However, also had a sub 3.0 GPA and no idea in terms of career.

HappyPantsMcgee the Interview - Words of wisdom for undergrads and newly minted workers from a strategist at a top 5 bank.

Q&A: First-year Analyst at a "Micro-Boutique" Investment Bank - I decided on working for a small “micro-boutique” industry-focused bank (also, 90%+ M&A advisory) in the same city I went to school.

Q&A: Big Four to BB IB -Non-target - Big 4 audit - BB IB. I was lucky enough to receive multiple IB offers and 100% were a result of networking.

Q&A: Managing Director in the M&A and PE business w/ 20+ years experience - 20+ year veteran and Managing Director in the M&A and private equity business who has both bulge bracket and boutique investment banking experience.

Ask CompBanker - Veteran WSO member CompBanker, who has worked exclusively on M&A and leveraged buyouts his whole career, answers questions.

I'm f***ing in, you're f***ing out - Kenny_Powers_CFA, with 3 years of credit analysis experience, opens himself up to questions.

The rufiolove Interview - Part One (WSO, daily life, experiences in the industry, and advice for new hires), Part Two (entering finance, advice for prospective monkeys, and target vs. non-target) - "Power-user" rufiolove speaks on a wide range of topics and imparts some advice for aspiring financiers.

Recruiting and Resume Advice from the Rockies - A senior account Execu|Searchtive for investment banking recruitment gives specifics on what a recruiter is looking for, and why they don't care about your cover letter.

Former MS M&A / KKR here to field questions - Insightful question and answer thread with 10xleverage focused on private equity.

Former BB VP giving advice to all you wannabe bankers - VP left banking to work in natural gas sourcing, explains why, and answers questions.

Ask a 2nd Year IB Analyst - Analyst gives back to the WSO community that helped him break into investment banking with advice for summer analyst applicants.

Interview: Former Stockbroker and Bond Trader Turned IB Analyst - Recent summer analyst answers questions about his unique background and advice for students trying to break onto Wall Street applicants.

2nd year IB Analyst taking questions - Top-bucket analyst in a top coverage group of a BB investment bank discusses breaking into banking with a sub-3.5 GPA, comparisons to consulting experience.

Interview With ThePillowPocket Founder Chad Riddersen, Part 1 (Big 4, banking, why entrepreneurship?), Part 2 (his ventures and lessons learned as an entrepreneur) - Riddersen runs through his experiences as a Big 4 audit associate and an IB analyst, as well as what he's learned about entrepreneurship thus far.

Thinking About Actuarial Work? Why? I Mean, Read On... - A brief rundown of an actuarial career and how it differs from banking.

Second Year IB Analyst Answering Questions - Second year banking analyst, Bigbadanalyst, draws from his own experiences to answer your questions.

The Forgotten IBD: Big 4 corporate finance - onemanwolfpack answers questions about the non-accountants sitting under the accounting roof.

Interview with duffmt6 2nd Year IBD Analyst - duffmt6 shares his unconventional route to IBD and gives a great interview.

Q&A: Incoming IB analyst – international student, survived FT recruiting twice…

Ask a 2nd Year Analyst - 2nd year investment banking analyst does a great ask me anything, answering a lot of your questions.

Q&A: Australian IB (+ life, etc.) - IB in Australia's context

FT Recruiting Megathread - Compilation of the best threads on WSO to help with FT recruiting.

SA Recruiting Megathread

Some Observations from an MD - Some Observations from an MD

Ask an ex-IB MD anything - I was at bulge bracket IBs in IB, quant and sales roles. I have retired after a few years of being a MD. I'd like to help you know what its really like. Feel free to ask me anything.

Q&A: Non-Target + EB IB Analyst - A 3rd year EB IB analyst is here to answer your questions, other than those regarding his prior work experience.

Q&A - IB Coverage / M&A From Non-Target School to Tier 1 Bulge Bracket and M&A Boutique - For those who come from non-target schools or might have GPAs that will be overlooked because they aren't 3.8+ and are interested in breaking into IB, come and look for me!

Q&A Boutique Investment Banking Analyst - I'm an analyst at an industry focused boutique located in NY. I'd like to answer questions on the life/work culture here.

EB - I recently received an offer from an elite boutique firm for its M&A team. I went to a target school (but not for the bank I got an offer at), had a GPA in the 3.3-3.6 range, and I was neither an URM nor an athlete. Ask me anything. For advice specific to my process, please PM me.

Q&A: Restructuring Analyst at Top BB - A non-target restructuring analyst is here to answer London-specific questions on recruiting, exit opps and general life at a BB.

Ask an Analyst (Bulge Bracket 2-3 yrs experience) - I have been in the IBD at a BB firm in the US for 2 to 3 years. No topics are off limits.

Q&A- Non-Target >> Valuation >> MM IB - I leveraged my year of valuation experience at a non-IB role and networked my way to a MM IB analyst role. Ask away.

2nd Year MM IB Analyst - Q&A - I am a second year analyst at a reputable MM IB. Feel free to ask me about networking, (analyst or intern) interviews, the deal process, my MM IB experience and my personal story.

Incoming BB Lev Fin analyst Q&A - A incoming leveraged finance analyst is welcoming questions regarding to how to network, summer internship experience, interview, or anything you think that I might know as an incoming analyst.

Big 4 Audit to boutique M&A - I recently landed an investment banking analyst position at a boutique bank for M&A. I graduated from a non-target with an accounting degree and worked for a big 4 firm in their audit practice for about 2 years. After 2 years, I moved onto one of the big 3 credit rating agencies and was there for a little under a year before landing the banking gig. These past couple of years have definitely been a huge learning experience, and I'm happy to answer any and all questions you guys may have.

Q&A - Big 4 Audit to MM IB - Recently moved from Big 4 Audit to a top MM IB after 1.5 years in Audit. Willing to answer any questions about the process I used to make the transition, opinions on Big 4 Audit/TAS, corporate finance/ development jobs, the type of firms I reached out to/ recruitment process, and how I prepared for the interviews.

Q&A: Non-Target Engineer to BB IBD - I was an engineer who didn't know what IB was until the middle of my junior year, when I was able to get me an internship at a regional boutique over my winter break to get myself some experience (I had basically nothing significant on my resume). From there, got myself a boutique IB internship back at school via cold-emailing which I did part-time during the spring semester, and then cold-called my way into an upper MM PE shop.

Q&A: Non-Target >>> Big 4 Valuation >>> Boutique IB Analyst - I believe it was that hunger aspect that really sold me, as I was going up against other IB analysts who looked a hell of a lot better than me on paper.

Q&A: Middle Market IB Analyst - I currently work for a middle market bank covering healthcare in a Southern city (Dallas, Atlanta, Nashville, Charlotte, etc.). I am staying a third year and will be joining a health care focused private equity firm after.

Big 4 To Commercial Banking - Q&A - I don't think there is a lot of information on this board as it relates to commercial banking, at least from the perspective of more junior employees with under 5 years experience.

Q&A: I Hate My Banking Job. Most Likely Transferring To Back Office - I've never seen somebody do the reverse in this group.

Exclusive Edmundo Braverman Interview, Part 1 (the Playboy article, dating, divorce, Man Week, diets, fights, writing), Part 2 (the value of a college education, his military experience, travelling, entrepreneurship, drug culture) - WSO legend gives us a look into his past, and the results are as entertaining as they are informative, touching on his military service, travel, women, divorce, rum, entrepreneurship, drug use, and the advantages and disadvantages of not attending college.

Monty09: The WSO Interview - Energy trader based in Houston talks about his career path to this point, the energy markets today, and his yearly Energy Rodeo event.

Q&A: Recent Quitter from Fixed Income S&T to Startups - I went to a semi-target and interviewed during the crisis, when company presentations & on-campus workshops pretty much dried up. WSO was a crucial source for me when I started finance recruiting in late 2007, and definitely gave me an edge over my classmates. I am hoping to finally “give back” through contributing to the site as a blogger.

I'm A Former Trader Who Now Owns A Food Truck: Ask Me Anything - The following is an interview I conducted with Tyrone Greene, with whom I started chatting when I visited his food truck.

Ask Monty09 - Monty provides answers to questions ranging from trading to Greek cuisine in Houston.

Ask Monty09 - energy trading careers, interviews, firms, etc - A more in-depth Q&A focused on the energy sector.

Q&A: Gas Scheduler to Gas Trader - I will embark on my journey as a Trader soon. From being a Natural Gas (NG) Scheduler, I'm going to be a NG Trader/Scheduler.

Ask me anything - Non Traditional Background to MM PE to H/S/W - Almost 10 years ago, I just showed up to my first military base after graduating college. I was enrolled in an MBA program at a local school (not even top 100) because I didn’t think it mattered, and just wanted to study business, and I was sick of engineering (which I had earned a sub-3.0 GPA in at college)

Q&A: I'm an Agricultural Commodities Trader - I'm a senior trader with 8 years of experience in the ag markets.

Treasury Sales VP Taking Questions - Bulge-bracket government bond salesman gives some in depth answers regarding sales careers.

Q&A with a Fixed Income Trader at a Major Bank - TheKing details how he broke into Wall Street, the 4 types of traits the best traders have, and what motivates him.

Open for Questions - Equities in Dallas - From hedge fund intern to NYSE floor broker to BB fixed income analyst to property manager to lobbyist to head of institutional sales, with something to be learned from each stop.

Q&A: Non-target to Fixed Income S&T Analyst - A 2015 graduate at a Non-Target majoring in Finance, with an economics minor (Sub 3.0 overall GPA) landed a full-time Fixed Income S&T role out of undergrad. He had previous internships at a global macro hedge fund, financial communications firm,equity research shop, and a 10 week Summer Analyst role at a European Investment Bank.

Q&A Interview with SirTradesaLot, Part 1 (background, importance of first job, meritocracy isn't dead, building an investment case), Part 2 (experience vs. brand, how to sell, walk away number), Part 3 (becoming the boss)-With almost 15 years of experience, SirTradesaLot's thoughts are beneficial to any aspiring monkey regardless of industry.

1st Year BB London Rates Trader - A 1st year analyst fields questions on his experience in S&T in Europe

Q&A Interview with the Head of Equity Derivatives Sales, Part 1 (undergrad, grad, on the job), Part 2 (general advice) - The Head of Equity Derivatives Sales at a UK bank provides insight on his background and career in this q&a interview.

Ask Me Anything: I'm a Currency Volatility Trader - A currency volatility trader in London answers any and all your questions about lifestyle, breaking in, strategies, and more.

Ask Me Anything: I'm an Equity Prop Trader - An equity prop trader in NYC answers any and all your questions about lifestyle, breaking in, strategies, and more.

MD of Sales Q&A - A young MD in the Sales division gives some great advice and answers all your questions.

Q&A: Credit Analyst at +$5B Distressed Shop - Beginning third year as investment analyst at a $5B event-driven / distressed debt fund.

Interview with a Wandering Day Trader Part 1/2 - A day trader who travels the world shares what it's like to live the good life.

Interview with an Independent Trader/Consultant - A trader with 17 years of experience, now independently trading and consulting, shares in this interview.

Ask Me Anything: Physical Energy Trader - A physical energy trader with 3 years experience at a large firm answers your questions about trading, energy and internships.

I'm an Author and Former Head ETF Trader Q&A - Jared Dillian, former ETF trader at Lehmans, now author and keynote speaker at WSO Conference, does a Q&A to the delight of users.

Part 1 - Ask a Sellside Options Trader, Part 2 - Q&A- Equity Derivatives Trader - User derivstrading discusses what it's like to work both as a flow options trader and an equity derivatives trader.

I'm a Algorithmic/Derivatives Trader at a Chicago Prop Shop: Q&A

What it's like to be a prop trader: The inside info - A former poker player-turned prop trader gives a great interview on the inside scoop of day trading.

Q&A: BB Prime Brokerage - A professional in the prime brokerage industry is welcoming any questions about the role.

I'm Currently An Equity Derivatives/Vol Trader: Q&A! - I'm still relatively "junior" in my trading role despite being 3 years out of school and in this industry now.

The TheKing Interview, Part One (breaking in, compensation, who's a good fit), Part Two (education, advice for students, his next step) - One of the top WSO users explains how he broke into private equity, who is a good fit for PE, his advice for college students, and 3 tips for picking up chicks.

Associate in private equity FOF - will answer questions - Associate talks about the fund of funds side of private equity, including a "day in the life" schedule.

Private Equity Recruitment Q&A - Information on how the recruiting process operates and how it has drastically changed recently.

Interview Series #5 - Private Equity Senior Associate It is with a senior associate at a local private equity firm. After going to a non-target but big state school in the U.S. he landed at job in management consulting and then transferred into private equity once back in China.

Q&A: Peking University Professor / Global PE Investor / Former Alwaleed Exec Jeff Towson is currently a Professor of Investments at Peking University’s Guanghua School of Management in Beijing where he teaches global investing and private equity in developing economies.

Ex-PE Guy Launches a Briefcase Company - Ask Me Anything! - Launched a collection of military-inspired briefcases and wallets under a brand called Matador

MM PE, ask me anything - Great Q&A(100+ questions/answers) for those interested in Middle Market PE, from August 2016

Q&A- London IBD to megafund PE - Happy to answer London-specific questions on recruiting.

Former MS M&A / KKR here to field questions - Insightful question and answer thread with 10xleverage focused on private equity.

Q&A with WSO Founder Patrick, Part 1 (background in IB and PE, the idea for WSO, Wharton MBA), Part 2 (the past, present, and future of WSO) - The "overlord of WSO" shares his experiences in investment banking and private equity, how WSO started, and his advice to aspiring bankers.

Q&A: PE Authors Talk Dividend Recaps, Blackstone, and Future of AM - The authors of "King of Capital" reveal why they gravitated towards Blackstone, what Steve Schwarzman's personality is like, and where they believe the industry is header.

Ask Me Anything PE Analyst in Shanghai - Private equity analyst in Shanghai does a Q&A and shares some great advice and stories.

Q&A: Private Equity Analyst at African Impact Investor - Senior Analyst (3rd year) at MM private equity firm focussed on impact investment in Africa

Q&A I'm a MM PE Associate - Graduated from a target in Europe and did BB IB and is now an Associate at a MM PE firm, ask him anything!

MM PE Fund Associate Taking Questions - Ask this MM PE Fund Associate all your questions.

From State School to IBD to MM PE: Q&A - I went to a large state school before I spent three years on the sell-side at a top industrial-focused group of a MM firm. Subsequently, I moved to the buy-side at my current MM PE firm. Ask me anything.

Ask me anything - MM PE Associate, 1 year in - I graduated from a target school before I went into management consulting > boutique IB > PE (larger end of the middle market, think >$2.5B fund). I took a less traditional path to where I am and I also went through HF interviews. I'm happy to answer any questions (or at least share my personal perspective) about recruiting, picking a career path, interviewing, etc. for PE, IB, strategy consulting or anything else related to these topics.

Ask Me Anything: Post-MBA at Early PE Firm A PE professional's Q&A. He worked in a regional MM TMT group for 2 years, then moved to his current shop where he was promoted past the pre-mba stage without ever needing to get his mba. His current shop is focused on late VC to early PE.

Q&A: I'm at the end of the WSO Rainbow and Profoundly Unhappy - I'm in my early-to-mid 20's, I work in PE, I'll make nearly $500k this year and I have no fucking idea what I'm doing

REPE Q&A - I would like to give back to the community in the form of an interactive, Real Estate Private Equity(REPE)-focused Q&A.

Private equity Recruitment Q&A - Feel free to ask me questions pertaining to the new PE recruiting process. I.e. MM recruiting now, megafunds doing "fireside chats" in an attempt to keep the best candidates on ice until they kick off their recruiting much later.

Q&A- Private Equity Internships - I am a student at a non-target university. Feel free to ask me about networking, how to find an internship, and my work experiences during an upper MM PE internship and my high-frequency proprietary trading role (where I traded equities).

Q&A: I’ve held Pre-MBA MM LBO, Growth Equity and Venture Capital investment roles for funds with $500M+ AUM to $5B+ AUM - I'm ~5 or so years out of college. I did not do a formal 2 years of investment banking and was instead hired out of undergrad as an analyst at a fund. I've worked at one smaller regional firm with $500M - $1B AUM and have since worked for larger firms with $3B+ and $5B+ AUM, both of which are well known and respected in the investment community.

Q&A/My Story: Target --> State School --> Non-MBA Masters --> MM IB --> Lower MM PE - I recently accepted an offer to join a lower middle market PE firm after 1.5 years in IB and, as a longtime reader of WSO, I figured I would share my story in hopes of giving back in some small way to the community that has been critical in my journey over the last few years.

Fake Frank Quattrone (IB PE) Q&A -Shoot out any questions you may have regarding any topics over here - the job, MF PE interviews, consulting interviews, ibd interviews, unstructured recruiting, start-up dramas, networking, nerd culture, anything.

MM IBD (Analyst) > MM PE (Associate) > MM PE (Senior Associate) - Here to answer any and all questions! -Currently a Sr. Associate at a well-known $1Bn+ shop. Long time lurker and first time poster. Given all the misinformation and misguided advice so prevalent on this site, I'm here to (hopefully) provide some real advice to private equity hopefuls. Q&!

Q&A: 1st Year Private Equity Analyst at a MF (KKR, BX, TPG, SLP, WP) -Given the lack of info on PE Analyst programs on WSO, I thought it would be helpful if I started a Q&A. More info on myself: graduated from a target school and currently working as a 1st year analyst at a MF PE fund (one of those listed in the title) in NYC

Q&A: Mega Fund Associate - Asia Pacific Edition -I thought I would give back to the community that provided me with such entertainment and simultaneously provide an Asia Pacific view point

Q&A with accountingbyday, BJM85, STorIB, and djfiii - Everything you want to know about corporate finance, development and strategy in one well organized thread.

The Other Road: Corporate Development Associate Fielding Questions - Associate covers various topics including why he chose corporate development over investment banking, pay scale, and how to get into a leadership development/rotational program.

GE FMP here. Q&A. - I'm a former GE FMP who went through the program and completed areas in finance such as supply chain and commercial.

Q&A: I'm a media and entertainment analyst -I work in a divisional strategy position at a major studio. I see a lot of things that go on at a high-level, and there is a paradigm shift in the industry now, with an emphasis on digital growth.

Q&A: Peking University Professor / Global PE Investor / Former Alwaleed Exec - Jeff Towson is currently a Professor of Investments at Peking University’s Guanghua School of Management in Beijing where he teaches global investing and private equity in developing economies.

Corporate Development: Personal Experience & Advice - I started my career in IB (BB company) out of undergrad from a regional target school. I had held internships at other BBs prior to my full time role.

Q&A with Nefarious - a Strategy Associate at a Fortune 500 Company, Part One (how he broke in, day to day, pros and cons of strategy), Part Two (breaking in, exit opportunities, his view on the defense industry & the fiscal cliff) - Strategy associate at a Fortune 500 Aerospace & Defense company talks about the benefits of working in Corporate Development.

Q&A (Most questions answered) - 2nd yr FLDP (1.5 yrs in) at a F500 in Chicago. Currently at the end of 2nd of 3 rotations. (External reporting, Plant accounting/finance, Divisional FP&A).

Corporate Finance Analyst at F100 Tech Q&A">FLDP Financial Analyst at a big name F100 tech company. Graduated in 2015 with a finance degree from a well regarded school. I have worked in my current role for ~2 years, so figured I could field some questions.

Q&A - Corporate Strategy at a F500 company -I work in corporate strategy at a F500 company. Have an Executive MBA from a Target School but never got an consulting experience. Before that I had product development and strategy experience at a another F100 company.

Q&A - Non-Target -> Target -> MM IBD -> Corp Dev - I recently joined the corporate development team at a media/entertainment company. Feel free to ask me about SEC football, transferring of schools and going from IB to corporate devevelopment.

Q&A- Corp Dev (F500) with a non-traditional background and b school - Feel free to ask questions about going from a non-traditional background into finance, business school and corporate development.

Corporate Development Manager - Q&A - I transitioned from Big 4 Audit to Transaction Services (M&A Due Diligence) before moving to corporate development. Happy to help anyone making career transitions, especially if you are transitioning from a Big 4. Currently, I am interviewing at two PE firms.

Q&A: F500 Director of FP&A - 5 years at F500 Healthcare/Pharma Co. SFA and Manager in a few different roles. 3 years at F500 Industrial, Dir of FP&A for a business and now a GBU at corporate.

Top Tech / Media Corporate Development Associate - I recently switched into corporate development after doing ~3 years of banking and getting promoted to associate. I'm a couple months in, but can answer any questions you may have

The BlackHat Interview, Part 1 (background, breaking in), Part 2 (working in HF, money & motivation), Part 3 (career advice, how he advanced), Part 4 (his future, misc. tips) - BlackHat, one of WSO's top contributers, gives a all-encompassing view of his career and the hedge fund industry.

Q&A Interview with SirTradesaLot, Part 1 (background, importance of first job, meritocracy isn't dead, building an investment case), Part 2 (experience vs. brand, how to sell, walk away number), Part 3 (becoming the boss) - With almost 15 years of experience, SirTradesaLot's thoughts are beneficial to any aspiring monkey regardless of industry.

Q&A with Heister, "My Total Worth is North of $50 Million" - "WSO Chatroom extraordinare" Heister helps clarify how to break in with less than stellar credentials and reveals where the majority of his net worth is invested.

Hedge Fund Guru Answering Inbox Questions Here. - Private messages are answered as Mr. Pink Money details how to become a portfolio manager, 4 keys to a successful long position on merger arbitrage, and when to make the jump from the sell side.

3rd Year HF Analyst Q&A - BlackHat returns for a round of questions regarding work environment, career paths, a day in the life, and does the CFA help?

Q&A: Credit hedge fund analyst at MF, former BB trader - Background is working in a high yield/distressed trading desk as a research analyst and trader, before making the move to a credit hedge fund within one of the major PE firms.

Interview with Simple As...Hedge Fund Analyst - Background: Junior Stock Picker who was previously a corporate strategy analyst

Strategist Q&A - Background, how he got a hedge fund job, sell side vs buy side, and much more.

Q&A: I'm the President of a $1bn Global Long Short Fund - Mr. Weiner’s role over the years at UBS involved hedge fund selection, monitoring, and portfolio construction with a primary focus on Equity Strategies as well as sourcing, acquiring, and managing new clients./li>

Former Big 4, now buy-side analyst, ask me anything - Buy-side analyst with an accounting background answers questions regarding interviews, headhunters, and more.

Finishing 1st Year as HF Analyst, Ask Anything - 1st Year HF Analyst at a $10b+ L/S fund answers questions on how to break in, interview process, etc.

I'm a Hedge Fund Analyst Q&A - Long/short equity analyst at a large HF does a Q&A and provides great insight.

Ask a Preftigious HF Principal Anything - A humorous ask me anything by a supposedly preftigious hedge fund principal.

Q&A 2nd Yr Hedge Fund Analyst - An analyst at a multistrategy megafund doing fundamental long/short answers your questions.

Q&A: I'm an Investment Analyst working at a long-only and L/S fund - I've been on the buyside now for just about 1-year. I work at a $10+ billion value-oriented asset manager.

1st Year HF Analyst Taking Questions - A 1st year analyst from a non-target takes your questions.

Q&A- risk analyst at hedge fund with 5 years of experience. Ask me anything -Background: Engineering major in school. Did two S&T internships at BB sophomore and junior year on derivative FX and equity derivative structuring desks in NYC. Joined one of the largest real money asset managers on the west coast as a quantitative analyst, focusing on risk out of school. Worked there for two years, got bored and transitioned to a 10B AUM multi-strategy hedge fund in a relatively low cost of living city (around the dmv/nc region), nominally as a risk analyst but in reality a jack of all trade

Q&ADiscretionary Hedge Fund Trader - I am a discretionary trader at a large hedge fund, focusing on credit and convertibles. Previously I traded equity derivatives on the sell side. Feel free to ask me anything outside of compensation.

Gray Fox Q&A - I've been an analyst at fundamental L/S equity manager for some time now. I'm happy to answer questions on fundamental L/S equity investing (with a much heavier emphasis on the L), HF recruiting, CFA and GMAT (took the test but did not go to business school). I will not offer any investing advice or job referrals; and I was never an investment banker.

HF PM Q&A - I have been in the market for almost 15 years, always specializing in global rates. Currently, a PM in a reasonably large macro fund (~$9bn AUM). Previous to that, I was a PM working for a macro/rates group within a very large multistrat.

Q&A- Current Analyst at $20bn Hedge FoF - Background: MSF, ~2years MM IBD. There seems to be a dearth of information about FoF on this site, so happy to answer questions people might have about transitioning from other parts of finance, what the work is like, or whatever else might be interesting to folks.

Analyst at $1.5B Endowment Fund - I double majored in Accounting and Finance. I graduated with a 3.0 cumulative GPA, with a 3.7ish major GPA. Currently, my title is Investment Analyst and I work for a $1.5B endowment fund.

Buy-Side Analyst Q&A - I'm wrapping up my first year on the buy-side and I'm using this platform as way to reflect on the past year.

Q&A: Joined a top Hedge Fund out of undergrad - There is a growing trend of buy-side jobs recruiting straight from undergrad, so I thought this post may be useful to the community.

Q&A: Hedge Fund Allocator at a $2B+ E&F - I have 10+ years in the industry, touching every asset class from global equities to private E&P to drug royalties to macro funds. (And bonds too, but bonds are boring.) After hundreds of GP meetings, there are a number of factors that separate those who get funded from those who don't...ask away.

Q&A: Non-finance major --> BB IB --> Director at $5B+ Multi-strat HF - I am responsible for coverage on a couple sub-sectors, help an MD with a few positions where we have significant exposure, and keep abreast of credit markets (where opportunities are currently limited).

Consultant Answering Your Questions - PrivateEmpire answers your questions about MBB.

Q&A- Economic Consulting; Recruiting Qs Welcome - Since it's recruiting season again, I thought I'd answer any questions anyone has about economic consulting. I've worked at a top tier econ consulting company for the past 3 years and have held various leadership roles on the recruiting team. I've reviewed hundreds of resumes, interviewed over a hundred candidates, weighed in on decision meetings, etc., for both full time and internship positions.

I am a consultant at a non-MBB firm in London: Q&A - I obtained a liberal arts degree in the UK at a target university. Strangely enough, when I first started, I did not even know what Investment Banking was or the difference between sales and trading. Rather than stay in finance, I decided to switch to a non-MBB consulting firm in the UK.

Interview with a Former D1 Football Player Now Consultant - Former D1 football player does an interview about his athletics, how it's helped/impeded him, and the job.

Accelerated FT Offer Q&A - A recent MBB-hired consultant does a Q&A and answers questions about breaking in, lifestyle, on the job, etc.

First Year at Bain Q&A - A consultant finishing his first year at Bain does a Q&A.

Leaving Deloitte S&O after ~2 years, ask me anything - I will be leaving Deloitte S&O after just under 2 years on the job, to join the corporate strategy group at a retailer.

Q&A Recruiter from Top Consulting Firm - A corporate recruiter for a top management consulting firm answers your questions about interviews, applications, and more.

Ask me anything: Project Leader/Engagement Manager/Case Team Leader at MBB I'm a PL/EM/CTL at an MBB. Non M7 but very good MBA, and I am active in my firm's recruiting efforts.

Q&A: Former McKinsey EM - Following on from my previous Q&A, I left McKinsey as an Engagement Manager. Since then, I have moved to a growing startup. Ask me anything, except for confidential information about McKinsey's recruitment process. If you have specific questions about your candidacy, drop me a PM!

Spent 3 Years at MBB Ask Me Anything - Came from a non-target, spent 3 years at an MBB, and is now headed to a MM PE firm - ask him anything!

Q&A- I'm a Non-target who broke into MM IB with no prior experience -As some of you know, I'm about to begin by MM IB analyst stint in a week. I've been blogging for WSO for a fair bit of time now and I thought it would be good to use some of my experiences to help others

Q&A: Non-target undergrad to MBB - I went to an undergrad business school that has very little recruiting exposure for the kinds of jobs we talk about on this site. Most students go on to work for BB BO roles or B4 audit. Most don't know what MBB is, or what an IB exactly does. Fortunately, I learned about these things through this site, and associated myself with a very small group of people that were as ambitious as I was. I thought I'd share my own in order to help others who are trying to get jobs, especially you non-target guys.

Non-target to non-MBB consulting Q&A - A west coast non-target liberal arts undergrad with a BA in Economics recommends the following resources in getting into a non-MBB consulting firm: WSO, ManagementConsulted, Case in Point and Victory Cheng's Case Interview Secrets.

Ask Me Anything: I went from a non-target to McKinsey, MIT Sloan and BCG - I visited WSO back in 2006. I did not have many accomplishments and got rejected by all the 100+ consulting firms I applied to. Through focus, belief in myself and failing MANY times, I landed a job at McKinsey & Company. Ask me anything.

Ask Me Anything: First-Year (and Recruiter) at MBB - A chemical engineering graduate from a large state school is working and recruiting (from his alma mater) at a Southern US MBB office does a Q&A.

Former Deloitte and Booz Allen, happy to answer questions - I spent two years in Deloitte's S&O practice in DC working with Federal clients (mostly in the health care space). I then did some time at Booz Allen Hamilton, where I largely supported DoD clients but dabbled in some commercial work as well. I'm happy to answer any questions: breaking into consulting, federal vs. commercial work, life in Washington DC, exit opps, whatever.

Ex-McKinsey consultant here answering questions for at least a couple days - I joined McKinsey in a mid-sized office in the US as a Business Analyst out of undergrad (top 5 engineering school). Got the DTA (direct to associate) promotion in 2.5 years before leaving.

Q&A: Consulting > F500 > bschool/startups - I worked several years in management consulting before transitioning to a strategy position at a F500 company. I was also recently accepted to a number of M7 business schools. Happy to answer any questions on how to do well in consulting, the transition from professional services to industry, etc.

Q&A 2 years MBB > PE - I graduated from as a target undergrad, worked in MBB for the past 2 years and I'm going to the deal side at a MM PE fund. I'm happy to answer any question besides MBB/PE recruiting.

Ask Me: Former Strategy Consulting Recruiter - I'm sponsored by Deloitte S&O for my MBA. In consulting, I focused on M&A deals in Life Sciences across Europe and the US. I also led campus recruiting at two undergrad institutions.

Q&A: S&O Consulting to Corporate Strategy to Analytics Consulting - My roles and MBA were focused on regulatory issues in the finance industry, development of thought leadership as well as (financial) data analytics. Ask me anything.

Q&A: S&T>>MBB - I used to work in S&T at a BB. Now, I will be moving to the head office of a MBB firm. I am happy to talk about recruiting, office preferences, why I made my choices, etc.

Q&A: Failed BB SA to Consulting - I was a SA at a top BB IB (GS/MS/JPM) and unfortunately did not receive a full time offer. I did not really enjoy my summer experience and then went through a pretty intensive consulting case interview preparation process and also interviewed at a couple small PE firms.

Q&A - I Work at Strategy&. Consulting (Senior Associate) - Since this is an intro post, I don't want to get into too much detail here (but can do so depending on what questions you have), but think about the downstream effects of what this has in terms of the internal culture shift / incentives and behaviors from H1Bs / incentives and behaviors from US citizens / resentment from potential future clients / effect on the incoming talent pool / etc

Q&A: Consultant at Accenture Strategy - After speaking with a couple students currently recruiting, I realized that a lot of students could use more information about Accenture Strategy, as it can sometimes seem like a black box to recruits / students. Therefore, I'm willing to answer any and all questions people may have.

Equity Research Q&A with Flake - First year bulge bracket researcher who moved from a back/middle-office role fields questions related to entry-level topics.

Non-BB equity research Q&A with First Year Analyst - A complementary view to the above Q&A, with a non-bulge bracket equity researcher providing a day in the life and other insight into working at a smaller shop.

Unbelievable! Detailed WSO Success Story: How I Broke into equity research - An inspirational recap of one WSO monkey's journey to the elusive offer, including background, resume advice, and specific tips to improve your own chances.

Q&A: Analyst at Top BB (Plus About ER & General Advice)

Equity Research Q&A with bearing - A 3rd year associate provides his tips for college students and young professionals looking to work in ER, as well as information on graduate school and exit opportunities.

How Equity Research Works - An equity research associate at a BB provides the ins and outs of how equity research really works.

Ask an Equity Researcher Anything - Graduating without a job, this user hit the pavement and worked his butt off to eventually get an ER position. He answers your questions in this Q&A.

First Year ER Associate Q&A - Former engineer -> MBA -> ER Associate takes your questions.

Q&A: I am an Equity Research Associate - non-target, non-major, also had a sub average GPA in undergrad but compensated with a higher grad GPA and work experience

AMA... 3rd year ER analyst - I have been an ER analyst at a BB for the last 3 years... I am now moving to the buy side, starting in 2 weeks' time

1st Year Equity Research Analyst BB London - Q&A

Q&A: Equity Research in HK/Singapore - I grew up in a Western country, did high school in South East Asia and university from a top school in Australia. Upon graduation, I worked at a family office which started a long/short fund looking at global TMT. A little over a year later, I moved to the sell side to do ER, covering a number of sectors. I was a research associate for a year, then got offered coverage before I left (due to several reasons). Subsequently, I moved into VC (firm I moved to was badly run) and now I'm moving back into a long/short fund.

Brad Feld: A Quick Q&A - Co-founder of a VC firm shares what he attributes his success to, advice for breaking in, and what "sleeper" future opportunity he's keeping his eye on - it's not big data.

A week in the life of a VC intern/VC Intern Q&A - So instead, I’ve documented my first week and I’m happy to have this be more of a Q&A type of thing for VC internships/people

Venture Capital Associate Fielding Questions - Previous stints in banking and a hedge fund allows this venture capital associate to compare the three, and also speak on hours, type of work, and the perks of VC.

So Many Eggs in Vee Cee - Newly minted VC analyst discusses the rocky beginning there and what venture capital actually means.

Q&A: Sr. Associate at a CVC fund -Quick background: sr. associate at a corporate vc fund (TMT F500) in an emerging market. Have a total of 4 years experience; 2 spent in a biz dev role with a growth phase startup, 2 as an investment analyst in a diversified holding co in their early stage portfolio, set up the whole operation from scratch alongside MD

The Frieds Interview, Part One (background, 7 pieces of non-target advice), Part Two (a typical day, mentorship, low/high points, New Jersey), Part Three (future, politics, "MBA Is A Joke") - One of WSO's top users and authors, Frieds has worked in Asset Management and delivers an entertaining spin on career advice.

How PWM really works (part 4): Misconceptions, how we invest, choosing a broker, and my Q&A - Hey everyone, this is way overdue, but I wanted to give it a shot anyway.

Q&A- I'm an Equity Analyst/PM at an Asset Manager - I've been in the Asset Management field for 15+ years, started as an i-banker out of undergrad, moved to AM after b-school when the hours got to me (both at target schools).

Q&A: Financial Analyst Program/ Commercial Banking - This analyst shared his experience with Wells Fargo's Financial Analyst Program in the Commercial Banking and Credit divisions.

Interview with an Analyst That Started His Own Fund - This analyst joked about starting his own fund while in S&T and actually did it. Research Associate at a Major Mutual Fund, Q&A - Research associate at a mutual fund with 100b+ AUM does a Q&A, ask away! Q&A: Internal Wholesaler at a Mutual Fund - An internal wholesaler at a large Northeast MF is here to answer your questions.

Q&A - Financial Techonology/Unique Background - I started out as a contractor for an Asset Management Firm, before I was employed to program and create software for Front Office Analysts and Portfolio Managers. Right now, I am the VP of the tech department.

Q&A: Asset Management BO to FO and everything in between - I studied accounting/finance at a non-target state school and did an internship in bank/asset management compliance at a small firm. Subsequently, I worked at a major custody bank doing fund accounting for mutual funds and hedge funds for about 15 months, before I went back to the company I interned at in the same department for about 2.5 years.

Ask a bro: Thebrofessor's Q&A, 2016 edition - Background for those who don't already know: partner in a PWM practice at one of the bigger firms (MS/ML/UBS) managing $500mm in the southeast US. worked at a local bank for a few months out of college, hated it, moved to PWM in a non-FA role, did that for a couple years, been an advisor ever since.

Real Estate Q&A - A real estate banker gives his views on the best job to teach you how to build your own RE portfolio, what RE firms are the best, and whether getting pidgeon-holed is a concern

Q&A: Former TFA Corps Member, Current Commercial Real Estate Junior Broker - A bit about me: I graduated in 2012 from a New England liberal arts college. Always knew I wanted to go into real estate (family background in investment and development), but decided to do TFA before starting. Taught English for two years in a middle school before transitioning to commercial brokerage. My long term plan is to learn the market doing leasing then transition into investment and development.

REPE Answers - Originally from a non-target university, answers many career and RE-specific questions.

REPE - Questions / Day to Day - I was from a top 10 LAC and worked as a M&A analyst in Europe for a year. I moved back to the West Coast and joined a REPE group. I am currently an AVP at a REPE group with AUM > $10B. Ask me anything.

Q&A With a Buyside Analyst at Real Estate Investment & Development Firm - A buyside analyst at a $5b AUM real estate investment and development firm answers your questions!

Ask a Head of Research Commercial Real Estate Analyst - Certified User CRE answers your questions about commercial real estate lifestyle, breaking in, perks, and more!

Q&A: 2nd Year REPE Associate - Not really sure if there's such a thing as a 'target' tranche for CRE/REPE in undergraduate schools, but I went to what would probably be grouped as a semi-target

First year associate with a CRE Investment Sales Firm, Q&A - Currently based in Florida, he welcomes any undergraduates/graduates seeking to break into the Commercial Real Estate industry.

Biz Dev Guy @ Start-Up - karypto provides background and answers questions on what it's like to work at a start-up doing business development

A Day In The Life of a SaaS Sales Development Rep - I've been working in a sales development role at a hot startup in the SaaS sphere. We are innovating and disrupting in our field. Ask me anything.

Big 4 Audit Senior - Q&A - I'm a big 4 audit senior who has been active in the campus and experienced hire recruiting process. I have experience with 2 of the big 4 firms.

2.5 years in Big Four audit: Ask Me Anything - I work in London, auditing corporate clients while I simultaneously take the ACA exams (British chartered accountancy). I'm on WSO as I'm looking to move into corporate finance as soon as possible (I do not like audit) but I do think that one can learn a thing or two from audit.

Finished Busy Season in B4 Audit: Q&A - For anyone who would like to learn from my experience as a first year audit associate.

Exiting Big Four (Audit) after 5 years and entering FP&A - Ask me anything - I spent the past 5 years working for a Big 4 firm in the Assurance practice and I will be taking up a FP&A Director role.

Q&A- Transaction Advisory Senior at Accounting Firm - My story: nontarget undergrad, nontarget MBA, Big 4 auditor for a few years, recently moved to the transaction advisory division of a mid-tier accounting & professional services firm (think McGladrey, Grant Thornton, BDO) in a mid-size city (think Minneapolis, Cleveland, St. Louis).

Q&ABig 4 TAS Senior Associate - I work for one of the Big 4 in the Transactions Services - Financial Due Diligence group as a senior associate. I mainly perform buy side due diligence for private equity firms and tech corporations.

Q&A - Former Business Valuations Associate (BO->Val->Corp Dev) - Here's a quick rundown of my background: Graduated semi-target state school>>>Back Office (Funds Accounting) at a BB>>>Independent Valuations Firm>>>Valuations group within accounting firm (BDO/McGladrey/GT)>>>Corp Dev.

Q&A: Big Four Valuation Associate - Deciding Whether This Job Is Right For You - I have been in the valuation group at a Big Four for 14 months. Feel free to check out or chime in on your project experience, observations about Big Four valuation groups, the pros and cons of being a valuation associate and the types of candidates suitable for this role.

Q&A: Public Finance Banker - I am a 3rd year analyst at a large municipal finance shop (ranked in top 10). Cover power and utilities. Graduated from target school.

Q&A: Ex-BB analyst across US and Asia in Oil&Gas/Power - After studying at a target school in Economics and Engineering, I was employed by a BB for 2 years. I was in the US for a year before moving to Hong Kong for my second year, focusing on the Oil & Gas and Power industry. I recently moved to a special sits fund. Ask me anything.

Q&A - I'm a muni banker - I completed my BS in biology at a non-target before moving to MM healthcare coverage/M&A, and subsequently taking up a generalist role at a boutique IB. Then, I did my Masters of Management at a target school before transitioning to a boutique Biotech/Pharma strategy consulting firm as a strategy analyst. I am now an associate at the IB/capital markets arm of a municipal commercial bank. I am open to almost any questions.

Q&A: Kevin Roose, Author of Young Money - Hi WSO: I'm the author of "Young Money," a new book about junior Wall Street bankers. I'm a writer with New York magazine (formerly with The New York Times).

Q&A with Michael Giles, founder & CEO of Roboinvest - Financial Technology entrepreneur discusses his background and the social investing platform he founded - which recently fetched $125,000 in angel funding.

Q&A--I'm a Senior Business Analyst at a BB Private Bank - I moved to Los Angeles where I accepted an analyst position with European BB PWM firm. There, I worked for a two-person brokerage team with $500MM in assets under management

Private Banking Q&A - Although it doesn't start out as one, this thread turns into a private banking Q&A courtesy of rogersterling59.

Emerging Markets Investment Guide - A live and ongoing discussion for anyone interested in investing abroad.

Harvardgrad08s Corp Dev Q&A Word Doc - All of the Q&A from harvardgrad08s corp dev thread conveniently packed into one word doc.

I am a Greek Citizen Ask Me Anything - A Greek citizen tells us what it's really like in Europe right now and any other questions you may have.

Q&A: Analyst at the Risk Management Department of a Major European Central Bank I'm an analyst at the Risk Management Department of a major European Central Bank and I'll be moving to Sales and Trading the next Summer for an internship.

My Experience as a Market Risk Analyst - Communist did a Market Risk summer internship at a top BB (GS/MS) before becoming an analyst. He's here to provide insights on his work and lifestyle.

I am in Ops, Ask Me Anything - An analyst in Operations gives a real and unbiased picture of what it's like to work in the back office.

$130k/year out of College, No Networking or Contacts Q&A - A user who got into a prop trading firm now makes $130k/yr without any networking and discusses his non traditional path.

Working in Big 4 Audit - Asatar answers any questions about interning/working in Big 4 Audit in London.

Non-Traditional Investments Q&A - heister answers questions about investing in land, oil and gas, and other non traditional investing strategies.

Economic Consulting Q&A - An economic consultant at a major firm answers questions about what the job entails, interviews, exit opps, and more.

Interview with Darrell Silver Co-Founder/CEO of ThinkFul - Thinkful is an online school providing one-on-one education in Python and Front-end Web Development.

I'm a London-based Distressed Debt Analyst - Q&A - I did 1 year at one of the top restructuring shops (BX, HL, Moelis etc) and then moved on to a credit fund. If you have any questions about restructuring, credit investing, recruiting etc. feel free to shoot them my way.

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The interview process can vary greatly across firms and industries in finance. For example, a small Private Equity firm of 10 people may have half a dozen interviews consisting of technical interviews coupled with social functions to ensure that you fit with the company. There is, however, usually a general structure to the interview process for the majority of larger firms in finance.

  1. First round interview (this may be over the phone if the company does not recruit at your school or on-campus if they do, some firms may even have you come to their office)
  2. If you make it past the first round, you will either be invited to a second round in person interview or if the first round was already in person, you may be invited to a super day. A "super day" consists of many interviews with all levels of professionals at the target firm and usually takes all day.
  3. Some firms send out offers after a super day, however smaller firms may be more interested in fit and include activities such as taking you to dinner or a sporting event.

The process is very similar for both Summer Analyst and full-time Analyst positions, and for some firms it may include an online assessment test before the first round of interviews.

First Round

The first round of interviews will usually consist of behavioral questions; however, depending on the firm and the interviewer you may be asked some technical questions as well. It is important to be well-prepared for the interviews before you even start networking, so this should not be a problem. A solid performance will usually result in an invitation to a firm’s super day or a second round interview. If you are located in a different city, most firms will pay for some form of transportation, and sometimes lodging.


Super days usually take place on a Friday. You will meet with and be interviewed by employees from all levels, from analysts to senior MDs. Each interview may last about 30 minutes and you could have ten or more interviews in a single day. In every interview, you will have to answer these types of questions:

  • Your story (generally this is where you are asked to walk them through your resume)
  • Fit questions (why IB? why PE? Why this bank? Why this fund?)
  • Technical questions (accounting, modeling, financial knowledge)

Following each stage, the people responsible for conducting these interviews will get together and discuss the merits of each candidate. It is important to keep in mind that you are being interviewed by people, not computers. While there may still be some bias to select candidates from traditional target schools with impressive GPAs, if you have made it this far, “pedigree” will likely play a much smaller role in the decision compared to your performance in the final rounds.

If you’re not asked back for another interview, you can’t let this keep you down. You should always make sure to apply to as many firms as possible that you are interested in – at the very least, having more interviews will help polish your interview skills.

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First, you should know how interviews work. You’ll never win a game if you don’t know how it is played. Talk to your career services office, do informational interviews (although you should be well prepared for these), read through the interview guides from WSO and get yourself familiar with the process.

Craft Your Story

You must craft your story. Every interviewer will ask you to walk through your resume or have you tell them something about yourself. Your answer to these types of questions will set the tone for the entire interview. A great story will differentiate you from your competitors and give you an edge over other applicants. To learn how to create your personal pitch, you can read through these posts:

Behavioral Questions

Behavioral questions also play a very important part in the interview process. An analyst won’t support your candidacy for the next round of interviews if he thinks pulling an all-nighter with you would be unbearable. Always make sure you keep your energy level high throughout the interview process, whether you have one interview or ten in one day. The WSO Behavioral Interview Guide is a great way to make sure you are well-prepared for this portion of the interview.

Technical Questions

Finally, make sure you know how to tackle all of the technical questions. They will test your knowledge of accounting, valuation, modeling and, sometimes, brainteasers.

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Please try to stay calm. The interview is over so there is nothing you can do besides sending the standard thank you e-mails.

Depending on the number of positions available, anywhere from 20-80% of the super day interviewees may receive offers later that day. Other strong candidates may be put on hold in case some of the people who were extended offers end up choosing to go a different route. The timing, however, is really bank-specific. While most BBs contact you fairly quickly (one to two days), a smaller bank or private equity fund may take over a week to get organized and have other candidates come in before making a final decision. PE interviews are notoriously hard to predict.

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Background Checks

The background check can be a stressful process for new employees worried about something in their past that may show up....orr anyone that has rounded their GPA a bit too aggressively. In general the background check is meant to double check on a few key points:

  • Education: Did you go to the school you said you went to? Did you major in what you said you majored in? Does your GPA match your transcript?
  • Criminal: Have you committed a crime? How serious was the crime? Do you have a track record of criminal activity?
  • Work Experience: Did this person actually work for the company when they say they did?
  • Credit: Has this person ever declared bankruptcy? Are there any major issues with this person's credit?

Discrepancies and Red Flags

The background checks are used to make sure you don't have any glaring discrepancies or red flags in your application and you're not a career criminal. If you listed the correct school with the correct major and correctly rounded your GPA, you will be fine. If you have an offense related to underage drinking, drinking in general, or minor traffic violations, you will be fine. Most misdemeanors that don't result in the harm of another person will not be considered an issue. Anything connected with fraud or robbery will most likely keep you from getting a job with a financial services firm. As far as work experience, most firms just want to make sure you worked for who you say you did, when you say you did.

Some firms may look to make sure you held the position you say you did. Usually the credit check will not get you dinged in and of itself. Having a bankruptcy on your record may hurt you, as can delinquent or unpaid accounts.


In general it is best to be as honest and forthright as possible throughout the recruiting process about anything you may be concerned about. Lying on your resume and applications is an easy way to get dinged, or worse, lose your job in 10 years when you've established a career and reputation. If you're in doubt about putting something on your resume, ask here on WSO or connect with your network and see what they say.


Background checks are usually completed after an offer has been extended. If you cleared the background check with no issues, you will not hear about it again. If there is an issue with your background check you will most likely hear within 6 months of the background check starting, as it takes quite some time to get the information from government agencies, former employers, and your school.

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Please use common sense and protect your reputation. We would like you to succeed and lying is NOT the way to make that happen. When you are found to have lied to the company that is hiring you, you will most likely be fired. Not only that, but this likely kills all of your exit opportunities and can derail your career very quickly.

There's also a good chance you won't be able to get a job again in the industry. Getting fired for lying to your company about your past is something that will spread fast. Your reputation is your most important asset. Think twice before putting your entire future at risk.

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This depends on your firm, but for most large financial services firms, a drug test is a standard part of the background check. This is usually before starting your full-time or internship position.

If you are worried about this, there's a very simple way to get around the drug test: do not use drugs prior to your drug test. It's that simple. If you don't know if or when you will have a drug test, it's a good idea to go through the entire recruiting period drug-free. If you just found out you have a drug test tomorrow and have been engaging in illicit drug use, don't say we didn't warn you.

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