Monday, September 15, 2008

Prepare Today For Where You Want To Be Tomorrow

With today's fall of Lehman Brothers, the acquisition of Merrill Lynch by Bank of America, and the recent bailout of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Bear Stearns by the Fed, and with AIG looming on the edge of demise...now is not a great time to be getting a job in banking! The markets are taking a bloody beating and the job forecast for upcoming college graduates is dark and dreary.

I have been affected in my own way by this market turmoil. I previously had a job offer to work at Bear Stearns in New York in their investment banking division before their fall. Regardless of this I was able to find a great job in finance (outside of investment banking), with a company where I help deploy capital, and working on deals, all while partnering with investment banks, private equity funds, and institutional investors.

As you know look to your future and prepare to exit college, I would like to give some advice.

1) Just because the markets are bloody, doesn't mean there aren't great jobs in finance. Consider working on the corporate side of a business in accounting or finance. This is a great way to build your accounting and finance skills in a specific industry.

2) Look for companies who could benefit from the demise of the investment banks. Remember, where there is a loser there is a winner and vice versa. In this case our loser is Lehman Brothers, their shareholders, et al. The immediate winner(s) might include short sellers, hedge funds, and others. There will also be long term beneficiaries because assets of Lehman's will be sold for a discount. For example, Lehman Brothers has a massive commercial real estate portfolio that will most likely be put on the block for sale. Thus, working for a solid real estate investment group with a proven track record would be a great strategy.

3) Be open to working in different industries and cities than you had previously considered. Right now Texas is one of the strongest economies in the nation (although hurricane Ike just ravashed its coast line), it is still a great place to look for a new job.

4) Plan on working in an industry and in a job that will help you get into business school. Markets go up and they go down. Right now the market is down....really down, but it will eventually be back up. In the crash of 1987 the markets were also in a dire situation and the job outlook in the financial sector also was ravished by the effects of the crash. But the market eventually turned around. Prepare yourself now for a market turn around.

5) Look for a job that will help you get into business school. Use the most recent events in your future story when you interview for business school. Talk about how when you were graduating Bear Stearns crashed, then Fannie and Freddie were bailed out, the credit markets were terribel, banks were falling, then Lehman Brothers went down, Merrill Lynch was bought by BofA, and AIG was in dire straits, thus with all of these conflicts in the market you started your own company doing ABC. Who knows, but show how in this market you were able to turn lemons and into lemonade and capitalize on the situation.

This might be the perfect opportunity to work for a startup and gain a ton of entrepreneurial experience. Or if you want to go a more corporate route, look for companies that have alumni from the MBA program(s) you want to enroll in.

Take this situation, capitalize on it, turn it into a story, and prepare yourself for the next phase of life: either graduate school, a future job, further career advancement, etc... It doesn't mean you have to take your eye off the prize of being an investment banker, instead prepare today for where you want to be tomorrow.

3 comments:

IT Recruitment said...

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Cititec IT Recruitment said...

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QUALITY STOCKS UNDER 5 DOLLARS said...

Sounds good to me.