Undergrad seeking career advice!

Hi everyone. I’m an Economics major at Univ of Michigan and will be a senior this year. I had/have hopes of breaking into the investment banking industry because I feel it’s a good stepping stone to other fields in finance and/or a MBA program down the line. The big issue I had was getting a summer internship this past summer. I was unable to get an internship and found myself with nothing lined up for this summer. I decided recently to sign up for the CFA program and take the Level 1 exam this December. I figured I would learn a lot and at the very least, I would have something to do this summer (even though I realize there is no substitute for experience). I know that recruiting starts up in the fall, specifically September, and I’m incredibly worried. I feel I just don’t have the experience to even be considered for an interview. I’ve tried to make my resume look as professional as possible and tried to sell the limited job experiences/extracurriculars that I do have, but if I couldn’t get an internship this past summer, what chance do I stand to land a full-time job during this next recruiting cycle? I realize the environment is very tough right now, and that’s why I’m flexible when it comes to my job hunt. Whether it’s a bulge bracket or boutique, location, research position, M&A, etc. etc., I’m open to just about anything, but it seems like the same story regardless, “no experience, no chance”. Any advice? Should I look into a different finance related field where my lack of industry experience won’t be as much of a hindrance? Should I just keep studying for the Level 1 exam in December, and then apply to as many banks as possible in the fall and just hope something sticks? I’m really at a loss for what my gameplan should be at this point, and would really appreciate and and all suggestions, advice, personal stories, etc. etc. Thank you very much.

Focus on finding an analyst gig at a boutique. With no experience or very good ECs it is highly unlikely that you will be interviewed by a BB. Be aggressive and start cold calling all the boutiques that you can find. Express your interest and see if any one of them would give you a chance.

My friend landed a job by cold calling boutiques with alum from his school by using google. It’s tough for sure, but attainable.

My friend landed a job by cold calling boutiques with alum from his school by using google. It’s tough for sure, but attainable.

You go to a school with an incredible alumni network. As long as you are social and not too awkward, you should be fine. Find an alum to be your mentor and that can introduce you to other people that can help you out.

Feel free to e-mail me if you want to talk about recruiting at all (e.g., what to expect, how to prepare, etc.). ctsgoblue@gmail.com Background on me: I graduated from U of M two years ago and I work in finance in Metro Detroit.

I was in the same position in college. Top-ranked state school, non-finance background, and no summer internship experience. Ended up working for a consulting firm after college which was basically a 1.5 year detour towards where I wanted to get to, but I eventually made it here.

Forgot to mention that I applied to about 30 Wall Street and boutique investment banks and got exactly 0 interviews for investment banking positions. In retrospect those were the 30 best rejections that could’ve happened to me.

farley013 Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > I was in the same position in college. Top-ranked > state school, non-finance background, and no > summer internship experience. Ended up working for > a consulting firm after college which was > basically a 1.5 year detour towards where I wanted What did you do in here? If you had no finance background, took a detour (for almost 2 years), what did you do to end up where you eventually ended up? Aside from the 30 rejections… > to get to, but I eventually made it here.

Thanks for the replies, everyone. It’s reassuring to read, at the very least, I still have a chance even without the working experience. The best method seems to be alumni network and aiming for smaller banks (middle market/boutiques). Question is how do you go about talking to alumni? As in, do I specifically look up a database of alumni and contact Economic majors; or just google around trying to find Michigan alumni who happen to be working in banking? Also, once you figure out who to contact, what is the most polite way to email them and ask them essentially if they can help with my job search?

I would also like to know how to tap into your alumni network… I went to UC Berkeley and there are plenty of Cal grads working in finance but what are the specific tactics? kp824 pretty much sums up my questions.

Not sure what the question is.

farley013 Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > Not sure what the question is. I think they are looking for more detail as to how you went from consulting to the position you are in now. What was the catalyst?

Hey KP, Maybe I can help a bit on your last question. I assume your school has a good career planning center, and if that is the case they should have some kind of database of where alumni are working and how you can contact them. You should be able to search actual companies on the database, since IB’ers may come from a few majors. As far as communicating with them, if you can find their email, that may be better since I am sure they are very busy. Use tact and common sense, be polite. Explain that you are a current student of their alma mata, your situation, what you find interesting about IB or specific area of it, and if you can talk to them about what the career is like/ ask questions. I would not ask for a job or contacts off the bat, it is not the right thing to do. But if you are able to talk to them further, it is your job to at least show enough passion and interest so that the alumni is kind of led to assist you if he can. As members of the same school, in most cases they try to do what they can to help. Also- I’ll be honest. I panicked going into senior year and decided to sit for level 1 in December and it was the most foolish decision I made. Not only is it too much w/ classes and looking for work, but if you have no definite goal in mind in terms of a career that needs a CFA, there is not much motivation there. Best of luck w/ the alumni! kp824 Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > Thanks for the replies, everyone. > > It’s reassuring to read, at the very least, I > still have a chance even without the working > experience. The best method seems to be alumni > network and aiming for smaller banks (middle > market/boutiques). > > Question is how do you go about talking to alumni? > As in, do I specifically look up a database of > alumni and contact Economic majors; or just google > around trying to find Michigan alumni who happen > to be working in banking? Also, once you figure > out who to contact, what is the most polite way to > email them and ask them essentially if they can > help with my job search?

Got a junior-level job on a trading desk at a top investment bank, then parlayed that into a hedge fund job and then my current job. Got the first one through sending an unsolicited resume, the second through an internet job posting, and the third through a headhunter.

When you say sending unsolicited resume, do you mean that you used the resume distribution services? I thought that they would not work…

No.

Thanks for the answer, Theo. Farley, I also did not get an interview for an internship from any of the investment banks I applied to/cold called/etc. (bulge and boutique), and that’s a big part of my concern going into this next “recruiting cycle”. You mentioned working for a consulting firm after college, would you say that the consulting field is slightly easier to break into (especially considering no internship experience)? I’ve read that it’s also a difficult field to break into, and before I head back to school in a few weeks, I really want to get things cleared up and focus on a finance field that I realistically can get a full-time offer in for post-grad. Also, I’ve read that Texas currently is relatively better in terms of hiring for ibanking. Are there any sites that could help me find investment banks in Texas so that I can target calling/emailing them inquiring about job opportunities? Thanks again.

Consulting is generally easier to get into than finance from my experience. I got a ton of consulting interviews out of college and still get solicitations every now and then for consulting gigs (which by the way would involve a major pay cut).

Credit Bubble has popped - IBs downsizing big-time - better to get a gig in research