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Investment Banking Recruiting

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Director
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Re: Investment Banking Recruiting [#permalink] New post 26 Jan 2009, 07:35
Hey DJ, can you give us a brief recap of how the past two weeks have gone with banking recruiting? How were 1st round interviews? How many banks did you interview with, get call backs for 2nd rounds? How were your peers faring? Similar story, or not? What were the percentages for offers?

Any information would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!!
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Re: Investment Banking Recruiting [#permalink] New post 26 Jan 2009, 09:11
djhouse81 wrote:

I-bankers don't miss much, so they'll probably notice that you left it blank and ask you why you left it off. Not to ding you, but just to throw you off your game. I would just put it in, and it will be a non-issue. Remember, most ibankers are MBA grads (this means that most are career switchers, very few leave ibanking to get an MBA just to get back into ibanking, and then some have foregone bschool altogether because they are moving up fine without it), so they might not have great SATs but a stellar GMAT. They are not about to ding you if you have the same credentials as them, if not better.


Very good insight - Kudos!
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Re: Investment Banking Recruiting [#permalink] New post 26 Jan 2009, 11:36
djhouse81 wrote:
MeddlingKid wrote:

You'll have the opportunity to put numerous scores down. SAT, ACT, LSAT, GRE, and, of course, GMAT.

Think they'll mind if I, uh, leave the SAT field blank? :-D


I-bankers don't miss much, so they'll probably notice that you left it blank and ask you why you left it off. Not to ding you, but just to throw you off your game. I would just put it in, and it will be a non-issue. Remember, most ibankers are MBA grads (this means that most are career switchers, very few leave ibanking to get an MBA just to get back into ibanking, and then some have foregone bschool altogether because they are moving up fine without it), so they might not have great SATs but a stellar GMAT. They are not about to ding you if you have the same credentials as them, if not better.[/quote]
Very helpful, thanks dj! Kudos to you, sir.
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Re: Investment Banking Recruiting [#permalink] New post 26 Jan 2009, 22:44
jb32 wrote:
Hey DJ, can you give us a brief recap of how the past two weeks have gone with banking recruiting? How were 1st round interviews? How many banks did you interview with, get call backs for 2nd rounds? How were your peers faring? Similar story, or not? What were the percentages for offers?

Any information would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!!


I can give you some info on my past two weeks, but give me a few days to think of good information to write that will add value in addition to pelihu's guide. My experience was grueling, yet it ended well, and I think I have some good info relevant to the current economy. Will get back in a few days.
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Re: Investment Banking Recruiting [#permalink] New post 27 Jan 2009, 05:59
Thanks DJ!! Look forward to your write-up, and really I'm just most interested in your personal experience, especially in this difficult hiring environment.
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Re: Investment Banking Recruiting [#permalink] New post 27 Jan 2009, 07:45
djhouse81 wrote:
jb32 wrote:
Hey DJ, can you give us a brief recap of how the past two weeks have gone with banking recruiting? How were 1st round interviews? How many banks did you interview with, get call backs for 2nd rounds? How were your peers faring? Similar story, or not? What were the percentages for offers?

Any information would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!!


I can give you some info on my past two weeks, but give me a few days to think of good information to write that will add value in addition to pelihu's guide. My experience was grueling, yet it ended well, and I think I have some good info relevant to the current economy. Will get back in a few days.


I am very interested to hear about it as well, dj. Thank you for offering to share!
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Re: Investment Banking Recruiting [#permalink] New post 30 Jan 2009, 09:52
I take it we're all waiting eagerly for djhouse's feedback in IB recruiting? Anyone else from GC going through IB recruiting?
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Re: Investment Banking Recruiting [#permalink] New post 30 Jan 2009, 13:40
We are all waiting with bated breath!!
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Re: Investment Banking Recruiting [#permalink] New post 30 Jan 2009, 20:29
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jb32 wrote:
Hey DJ, can you give us a brief recap of how the past two weeks have gone with banking recruiting? How were 1st round interviews? How many banks did you interview with, get call backs for 2nd rounds? How were your peers faring? Similar story, or not? What were the percentages for offers?

Any information would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!!



Ok, here it goes. To start off, I received an offer from my top choice, I have accepted, and I will be interning there this summer. I don't want to give the name of the bank, but it is bulge. However, take my advice as you see fit.

Recruiting:
The entire first semester you will have your academic classes plus an extra class and a half called IB recruiting. This entails events, informational interviews, writing thank you emails that are all unique yet say essentially the same thing. This will keep you up late, and then your classes will keep you up even later. This is what turns most people off, and the recruiting list declines.

You have to be on your game with recruiting the entire time. This means that to give yourself the best chance, you must start as soon as firms come on campus. If you wait you will most certainly make fewer and fewer closed lists because bankers want people who are 1000% IB from the get go. Also, being on your game means not giving in to exhaustion or resting on your laurels. You might have a lot of work and you don't want to go to your 5th firmwide event in a given week, but you have to muster up the energy. The reason being is that if bankers don't know you they will not give you an interview...simple as that. The same thing goes for talking to bankers at events. You might have talked to 5 of the 6 in the room, and you are exhausted. Too bad, make sure you talk to the sixth. You want them all to know you and like you. That's how you get invited to dinners and eventually to interview. What worked for me is that I kept telling myself to just stick it out because the rewards of having an offer is worth every ounce of effort and then some. You don't want to be offer-less and have to continue the grueling process just because you gave in to exhaustion once or twice.

Grades:
Grades matter, don't let anyone tell you otherwise. If your school allows you to report your grades, bankers will undoubtedly ask you your grade during interviews. Of course they want all top grades, but the most important ones are Corporate Finance and Accounting. If you get the top grades in those courses you are in excellent shape. If you get an equivalent to a B, be preapred to get technical questions in the interview. If you get below that equivalent, you are going to have to fight for your life in the interview. Grades, to bankers, show that you can handle the recruiting process while handling your academics. To them, it's very relevant to the life of a banker.

Informational Interviews:
Treat them like an interview. Know "Why Investment Banking," what investment bankers do, and, given this economy, know the markets. Have at least 15 relevant questions. The best questions are not the usual "Tell me about a deal" but ones that are about the economy, the different product groups, and questions that show that you've researched the firm and have a passion for learning more about the firm and IB. Bankers are proud of what they've accomplished and they want to pass it on to you, so ask questions that interest them and get them talking about their accomplishments. It instills a good atmosphere during the informational vs. "here we go again with the culture questions."

Following up:
One thing that I think separates candidates is going the extra mile. IB recruiting is very strucured in that they set up the informationals, firmwide events, and dinners. However, don't stop there. Keep emailing, trying to meet with more and more bankers. The more bankers you know the better it works out for you. Of course this can hurt you in two ways. 1) You could come off as annoying, so be tactful about this; understand that bankers are extremely busy and they might not get back to you right away, but they will. If they really don't, wait some time, and then email another banker; just don't email five at once looking for an informational; it might come back to haunt you. 2) The more exposure you have the more opportunities you have to screw up. That brings me back to making sure you are on your game. Don't contact bankers for the sake of contacting them because if you are not sharp then you will only hurt yourself. However, if you can build ties with several bankers and continue to get good exposure you will almost certainly make their closed lists.

Interviews:
Whether you make 1 closed list or 10, everything you did before your interviews matters very little. Interviews are conducted by senior bankers most of the time, so they might not know you at all except for your resume. The person who thinks that with 10 interviews they are guaranteed to get a job is sorely mistaken. I saw students with 11 interviews get nothing, and ones with 4 get two offers.

Interview prep is the final stretch, it is time to kick it into high gear. Hopefully your interviews will be before school starts so you can completely concentrate on that. Your prep needs to be day and night, no relaxation whatsoever. Your school will probably provide you a list of questions that usually get asked. Know them inside and out. Prep with a group of people so you can help each other. Mock interview as much as possible with 2nd years and your classmates. I know they are your competition but they are also your best source of practice. Be collegial before you are cuthroat competitive because it will help you in the long run; if you are 100% buttoned up for your interviews it does not matter who you help because you will succeed over those who are not prepared.

I can't stress enough how much prep is required for interviews. At least a week straight with eating, sleeping, and drinking interview prep. It goes back to the return on that investment. Do not rest on your laurels or give in to exhaustion, push through because if you get that offer it will entirely worth it!

In this economy you need to know the markets. Know about Bear, Fannie/Freddie, AIG, TARP, Lehman, Wachova/Wells Fargo deal, and everything that happens between now and when you start recruiting. Know your resume inside and out, and why investment banking. Know why Firm X, but have tangible reasons--not culture, people, and reputation; that will only show you don't know anything about the firm. Have your story down: why job X after college, what led you to business school and why business school X. Know what bankers do on a daily basis, and know how to answer questions like the following: "If a client has cash on the sidelines, what do you tell them to do." That question is technical and shows you understand banking at a very important and high level.

1st round interviews:
They are all different, but you will probably get a 2-on-1 interview. The questions may be fit or technical, it depends on the interviewers and the bank. There's always a "take me through your resume." Basically, if you follow my advice on the prep part, then you should not be surprised by any questions.

2nd round interviews:
The interviewers will be very senior bankers, and now they are trying to gauge your ultimate fit with the firm and whether you would take an offer from them. They will ask you about other 2nd round interviews and offers that you might have. Be honest because firms tend to like candidates who are desired by other firms.

The Aftermath:
Very few offers were given out this year. This economy is obviously tought. It was competitive to begin with, but with this economy it is even more demanding of excellence during the recruiting process. You 2011'ers should be in better shape because hopefully the demand will start swinging upwards. Regardless, as soon as recruiting starts, you need to hit the ground running. Knowing that you want to do IB or not before you start school is very important. Regardless of the economy, just keep telling yourself that this process is extremely competitive, so do everything you possibly can to be ahead of the competition.

One economic positive is there are fewer people recruiting for IB, but there are also fewer offers. A lot of deserving people are left with nothing for now. Most banks give anywhere from 3-7 offers each. So a given closed list could be 40-50 interviews deep, and in the end there are only 5 offers. It is extremely competitive. But, hey, you'd be surprised how many people do not take interview prep as seriously and it hurts them. So recruit and prep intensively and get one of those highly coveted, very limited offers! In the end, all of that hard work will allow you to finally relax a bit before your internship.
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Re: Investment Banking Recruiting [#permalink] New post 30 Jan 2009, 20:55
Congratulations and thank you for the write up, djhouse81!
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Re: Investment Banking Recruiting [#permalink] New post 31 Jan 2009, 09:58
Nicely done, djhouse! Do you (or others) have recommendations for career changers wanting to transition into IB as far as summer prep (books on financial modeling, etc)?
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Re: Investment Banking Recruiting [#permalink] New post 31 Jan 2009, 10:57
Thanks for the great debrief djhouse81!

As a follow-up to sonibubu's question, how successful were career-changers with IB recruiting this year (specifically, people with no finance background - e.g. engineers)?
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Re: Investment Banking Recruiting [#permalink] New post 31 Jan 2009, 12:41
Thank you so much DJ!!! That was very helpful. Also, if it's not too much, could you maybe add some more personal experience? Specifically, maybe the following:

Which banks came on campus, and which did you have to source yourself?
I'd be curious to understand who you ended up interviewing with during first rounds? How many banks?
How did your efforts during the fall translate to success in getting on closed lists?
Did you see many differences between how the firms recruit?
Who did you interview with during Super Saturdays?
Were you looking for a specific product or group, and did that affect how you targeted firms?
Also, how does selecting or interviewing for a specific office work? Say I want to be at MS in SF or CS in LA, for example.

Personally, I would love to work in TMT or Energy capital markets or as a M&A generalist. Did you find you needed to specifiy that far or could you be a little more generalist than that?

Thanks again for all of your help. If some of that information is too personal, then I can understand you choosing not to share that information.
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Re: Investment Banking Recruiting [#permalink] New post 31 Jan 2009, 21:35
I think everyone that is going to do banking should pick up this book before school. It is very highly recommended.

http://www.scoopbooks.com/ourbooks_2.php
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Re: Investment Banking Recruiting [#permalink] New post 31 Jan 2009, 21:46
Kellogg Mock Interview Questions

http://www.kellogg.northwestern.edu/student/club/finance/docs/Mock%20Interview%20Questions%20v2.doc

Also, from a different PPT. The number of Kellogg Alumni at each investment bank, circa 2005.

160 at Merrill Lynch
118 at Morgan Stanley
94 at Lehman Brothers
73 at Citigroup
63 at Goldman, Sachs & Co.
59 at JP Morgan Chase
45 at HSBC
38 at Deutsche Bank
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Re: Investment Banking Recruiting [#permalink] New post 02 Feb 2009, 12:30
jb32 wrote:
I think everyone that is going to do banking should pick up this book before school. It is very highly recommended.

http://www.scoopbooks.com/ourbooks_2.php


A bit expensive for my tastes. But looks very informative.
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Re: Investment Banking Recruiting [#permalink] New post 02 Feb 2009, 13:33
jb32 wrote:
Kellogg Mock Interview Questions

http://www.kellogg.northwestern.edu/student/club/finance/docs/Mock%20Interview%20Questions%20v2.doc

Also, from a different PPT. The number of Kellogg Alumni at each investment bank, circa 2005.

160 at Merrill Lynch
118 at Morgan Stanley
94 at Lehman Brothers
73 at Citigroup
63 at Goldman, Sachs & Co.
59 at JP Morgan Chase
45 at HSBC
38 at Deutsche Bank


I'd like to see those numbers updated for 2009. Sadly, I can't imagine it'd look too pretty.
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Re: Investment Banking Recruiting [#permalink] New post 02 Feb 2009, 16:17
Thanks dj!! Great writeup. Wow, IB recruiting looks really, really tough. Extrememly time consuming and so many different interactions where you need to really be on your game. I knew it was tough, but to be honest it sounds like it might even be a bit tougher then I was expecting. Oh well, you gotta do what you gotta do.
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Re: Investment Banking Recruiting [#permalink] New post 02 Feb 2009, 19:13
Great write up and thanks!

I would also be interested in how your career changing counterparts did during the IB recruitment.

IB recruitment does sound tiring though exciting. :lol:
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Re: Investment Banking Recruiting [#permalink] New post 03 Feb 2009, 11:42
Life After a Bad Bonus: The Next Wall Street Jobs
So WSJ spoke with Gary Goldstein, founder of Wall Street recruiting firm Whitney Partners, to find out where investment bankers can seek their fortunes if they want to stay in the business. Here are three options:

* Capital-markets boutiques
* Advisory boutiques
* Alternative-investment houses


http://blogs.wsj.com/deals/2009/01/29/l ... lenews_wsj


Investment banks 'top for finance IT jobs
According to a new survey, investment banks are the busiest recruiters of IT workers as they go back to the drawing board to address flaws uncovered by the financial downturn.

http://www.jobsnewswire.com/article/inv ... 03153.html
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Re: Investment Banking Recruiting   [#permalink] 03 Feb 2009, 11:42
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