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Any Success Stories?

The thing about networking events is that they are for people with no network. People who are already plugged in never go to those. So it makes you wonder what the point is at all. I think direct contact with some kind of value add (like a stock write up) is a better way to network in this business.

Slimnyc wrote:

Persistence is one of the greatest quality.

This is like a movie lol.

I had no idea what these events would be like. It was my first one. Probably won’t be going back to one unless there are free drinks.

^ you can forget about free drinks.  Although at the NYSSA office which is open to members anytime, they do have free soda, coffee and tea

Hope. It is the quintessential human delusion, simultaneously the source of your greatest strength, and greatest weakness.

numi wrote:
I had no idea what these events would be like. It was my first one. Probably won’t be going back to one unless there are free drinks.

I’m going to my alumni association networking event this month just for the free drinks. That and its the only week this month I’m not traveling so I’m probably going to be too bored to not go.

Here goes.

I also graduated from an OK school with unexceptional grades (5/2005).  Started out as an electrical engineering major in college (throwing this in because it becomes important later in the story), took a few years off to pursue other endeavors, came back and couldn’t hack engineering while working full time.  Switched to Econ and found out why all the liberal arts kids partied so much.  I had no clue what I wanted to do but finance seemed to be interesting after a professor in one of my econ classes showed us ”The Trillion Dollar Bet” in class.  I thought working as a banker would get me into the field.  I applied to all the entry level banker positions in my state after graduating.  I finally got a job at a major US bank 6 months later.  I was super excited and thought I was breaking into the world of high finance.  I should have known better when the hiring manager was more concerned about my retail sales experience than my degree.   

The banking job was okay at first.  I had a chance to learn about home equity loans, demand deposit accounts (fancy way of saying checking account), and other retail banking products.  But soon after training, the heat got turned up and they wanted me to produce – opening new accounts, bringing in loan dollars, making partner referrals.  My retail experience ended up being more important than my academic background.  It was definitely not the type of professional job I was expecting.  It felt more like selling used cars - trying to wring every last product from each customer that was at my desk.  At the same time, I was just happy to have a job and worked extremely hard.  I ended up meeting all the top production metrics within a couple of quarters. 

My hard work also got my foot into the licensing program which was a sweat deal.  I basically got paid for five weeks to study for the 7 & 66.  I felt like I had finally arrived after getting my licenses.  However, I soon became disenchanted and realized I was still just a sales person.  But again, I put my head down and plugged away. 

The licensed bankers paired up with brokers and I became good friends with mine.  He knew I wasn’t happy with what I was doing and suggested I talk to some people in the wealth management group.  He knew the head of the trust department and got me an information interview with her.  After our meeting, she thought asset management was the place I needed to be.  She in turn got me in front of the regional manager of the portfolio managers.  Within a month of these information interviews, a fixed income analyst position with the money market alternative/liquidity group opened up.  I wasn’t sure about it because I perceived bonds to be boring (silly assumption).  However, the broker I worked with, the trust department head, and the manager of the PMs thought it would be a perfect job for me.  I applied and all three of them put in calls to the hiring manager.  I later found out that some high level business bankers I had worked with also put in calls.  Needless to say, I got an interview.  The people in the department at the time say that I got the job because the hiring manager nearly wet herself when I was able to hold up a conversation about differential equations with her.  The manager didn’t care about previous finance experience but wanted someone highly analytical.  So the couple of years I spent in the engineering college really paid off.  I was hired in September of 2007 and flying to New York within a month to talk to ABCP dealers.  It was just the start of many fire drills to come.  Bonds are definitely not boring.  I’ve since moved into the research team covering industrial issuers.

The advice I have is to work hard at whatever position you’re in, never burn a bridge, and network as much as you can.  It’s funny that I’m the one giving information interviews now and more than happy to do them. 

“Research is what I’m doing when I don’t know what I’m doing.”  Wernher von Braun

numi wrote:
rawraw wrote:

spunboy wrote:

I have a similar story with that of Supersadface’s but I’m probably a lot luckier.  Let me know if anyone is interested in hearing it.

This forum is usaully a really depressing place regarding jobs.  Of course you should share!

If you think this place is depressing, you should have been to the NYSSA social event in New York son Thursday! So many job seekers, a bunch of folks in back office trying to network in any possible way and one guy that was doing wealth management at Morgan Stanley who kept bragging about how he needs to know so many different stocks and financial instruments for his job. Askes him what his view on gold was and why he was long Apple and he could barely eke out an answer. It was really painful….for him. I would hate to have this guy as my money manager.

I didn’t realize you were there as well. 

NO EXCUSES

bpdulog wrote:

numi wrote:
rawraw wrote:

spunboy wrote:

I have a similar story with that of Supersadface’s but I’m probably a lot luckier.  Let me know if anyone is interested in hearing it.

This forum is usaully a really depressing place regarding jobs.  Of course you should share!

If you think this place is depressing, you should have been to the NYSSA social event in New York son Thursday! So many job seekers, a bunch of folks in back office trying to network in any possible way and one guy that was doing wealth management at Morgan Stanley who kept bragging about how he needs to know so many different stocks and financial instruments for his job. Askes him what his view on gold was and why he was long Apple and he could barely eke out an answer. It was really painful….for him. I would hate to have this guy as my money manager.

I didn’t realize you were there as well. 

Nice!!  Well bpdulog, if I was there and if numi was speaking to me, I would barely “eke” out an answer because I don’t follow Apple that closely.  They don’t issue debt.  I would be pretty speechless about gold too.  I might have rattled something off of worrying about the printing press at the Treasury but would not be able to intelligently argue a position.  At the same time, I’m specialized in the credit arena so I wouldn’t brag about all the different financial instruments I knew about. 

I was just sharing my story because I thought it might give some folks inspiration knowing a plain bloke like me ended up as an analsyt.  I consider myself extremely lucky and feel like the stars were perfectly aligned when I got my job.

“Research is what I’m doing when I don’t know what I’m doing.”  Wernher von Braun

I have no problem with people not knowing about this or that – there are many things in this world I don’t know anything about. It’s just that if you’re going to go to a networking event and act like you’re the Big Kahuna on AAPL stock (or any other security for that matter), you might as well make sure you at least have a basic 30-second pitch about why you like the company, and one that doesn’t involve how much your wife loves her new iPhone apps.

numi wrote:

I have no problem with people not knowing about this or that – there are many things in this world I don’t know anything about. It’s just that if you’re going to go to a networking event and act like you’re the Big Kahuna on AAPL stock (or any other security for that matter), you might as well make sure you at least have a basic 30-second pitch about why you like the company, and one that doesn’t involve how much your wife loves her new iPhone apps.

I completely agree.  You better be able to back up what you’re talking about especially at an event like that.  I was just responding to bpdulog since he was insinuating that I was the chump you were talking to at the networking event. 

I’m curious though, is there some sort of negative stigma working in a wealth management group?  I work at one of the top US banks.  We manage a little over $50 billion in fixed income assets and there’s about $2.5 billion in the companies I cover.  I have feeling some people on this board would kill for my job.

BTW numi, interesting side job.

“Research is what I’m doing when I don’t know what I’m doing.”  Wernher von Braun

I don’t think bpdulog was insinuating that at all. All he was saying was that he was at the event too. Unfortunately we didn’t have the chance to meet, but hopefully next time.

Regarding stigmas, I’m sure everything out there has a “stigma” of some kind. I can’t speak for what that would be for wealth management since there are a lot of different functions under the wealth management umbrella. There were times when I was in sell-side research and whenever a stock traded against us, some people would say that our research was useless. Then I went to private equity and I’m sure there were people that thought all we did was raid companies and fire people. My view is that as long as you enjoy what you do and you see some positive motivation in how you contribute to the rest of the world, it doesn’t really matter what other people think. People will always find some reason to “stigmatize,” some of those reasons being informed and justified and others being totally ignorant. One can’t please everyone.

numi wrote:

I don’t think bpdulog was insinuating that at all. All he was saying was that he was at the event too. Unfortunately we didn’t have the chance to meet, but hopefully next time.

I’m an idiot.  Nothing new.  Sorry bpdulog if you ever read this.

I’m probably the one that has an unconscious negative view of working in wealth management and a little sensitive about it.  I’ve been looking to move towards the institutional side with little luck. 


“Research is what I’m doing when I don’t know what I’m doing.”  Wernher von Braun