Submitted from a Street of Walls Contributor:
College: I went to a target where everyone wanted to be a banker, so although my experience is unique, I believe my advice can be very helpful to those in a similar situation.
Freshman Year: I did not know what I wanted to do or if I wanted to do banking. But after I joined an organization that provided me with access to a lot of seniors who had interned and had offers in investment banking, I was drawn to the money and honestly, just wanted to do banking because everyone else wanted to do it. Also, the upperclassmen were a great help to me because they were first and second years by the time I was junior and helped me get interviews.
Sophomore Year: Got my first finance internship at a boutique investment bank. I also lucked out, and worked as a deal side intern at a Private Equity firm in the summer after my sophomore year. My advice for anyone trying to get an awesome internship is to go to your school’s career site and spam it. Apply to everything that your system allows you to. Most positions just need a resume, so there is no reason to not apply to lots of positions. Even for those at non targets who do not have as many opportunities as I was lucky enough to have, apply to as many places as you can. You may need to cold call/network, but I have friends who networked from non target schools and got great internships.
Going Abroad/ Junior Year: I was abroad and could not network at my school during the events in the fall semester. I had a great time abroad, and things worked out for me so I do not regret going abroad. But I have friends who chose not to go abroad to network, and it really helped them during recruiting. I also have friends who went abroad and did not network, and could not get an internship at a bulge bracket, and they regret going abroad. Luckily for me, I had the network I had built through my school organization, so that meant I did not need to network as much.
Interviews: I got lots (10+) first round interviews through on campus recruiting at lots of advisory firms and bulge brackets. This was because I had a network and I think I actually had different resume from everyone because of my PE experience. My first interviews were not great. I talked too fast, and just was not completely comfortable talking about my experiences. I knew others who got mock interviewed and they did much better. MOCK INTERVIEW!!! Although I lucked out and felt ready during my second week of first round interviews because of all the interviews I had in the first week, I wish I had mock interviewed more because I would have been better prepared for interviews in the first week.
BE READY BY YOUR FIRST INTERVIEW. TRY AND FIND PEOPLE TO MOCK INTERVIEW YOU. READ THE INTERVIEW GUIDES, BE CALM, BE CONFIDENT. ALTHOUGH I GOT BETTER THROUGHOUT THE PROCESS (and was lucky enough to, because I had so many interviews), THE KIDS I KNOW WHO GOT THE MOST OFFERS WERE THE ONES WHO WERE FULLY PREPARED BY THE FIRST INTERVIEW.
I got an offer at a great bank that is doing well. Although it isn’t Goldman Sachs or Evercore Partners (Even though I interviewed at those firms), I learned a lot about myself and I know I will be ready to do it all over again when the time comes for full time recruiting.
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