Monday, March 16, 2009

Business Week Blog: First Jobs - For Young Professionals

I'm always on the look out for new resources and want to pass along this new blog I found on Business Week called First Jobs. It is a blog dedicated to young entry-level professionals. It has a few interesting posts, of which I have listed below. To learn more check out their site.
  • Layoff Coaching 101
  • College Grads Facing Worst Hiring Climate Since 2002
  • Dressing to Impress: More Important Than Ever?
  • Relevant Work Experience A Must, Say Employers to Recent Grads
So you might be asking yourself 'How does this relate to me and how to get a job in banking?". The answer: IDEAS. If you haven't caught on yet, finding a job in investment banking this year, especially if you are from a 'non-target' school, is next to - if not - impossible. (If you are from a 'non-target' school and did get a job in banking please respond to this post listing the name of the school, bank or type of bank, and how you landed a job in banking) As the title of the second blog post above clearly states, "College Grads Facing Worst Hiring Climate Since 2002"!!!! This means, as I have mentioned so many times before, to start thinking outside of the box.

I have listed a few ideas in the March 6, 2009 blog post and want to reiterate a few key principles and ideas.

If you can't get a job in banking.......HOW CLOSE CAN YOU GET TO A JOB IN BANKING?

First, try to get a job in banking. Network and try to get interviews with all the main bulge bracket and middle market banks. Also try to network your way into boutique banks. Next, offer to work for pennies or for FREE (ie. an unpaid internship) at an investment bank. If you get in and do a good job it will lead to bigger and better things, such as a full-time job or a job with another firm. So maybe you have to get a second job because you do not make any money, so what! MAKE IT HAPPEN! You have to trust and realize that working for free is the solution to the great dilemma, 'How do I land a job where you have to have experience to be hired, when I do not have any experience?'. Also, notice (if you haven't already) that the fourth blog post specificially states 'Relevant Work Experience A Must, Say Employers to Recent Grads'.

The next key principle is:

Be Willing To Work For Free*
*Even if it means taking a second job and multiple other sacrifices

This job market is terrible, but let's say you finally pony up and offer to work for free and still cannot find a job in banking, now what?? The next question to ask is 'How close can I come?'. How should we arrive at the answer to this question? If you refer to the blog post First Things First: The Big Five, it lists some key skills to illustrate when interviewing, such as being analytical, quantitative, a team player and a hard worker. If you are working for free and holding down a part-time job, what a great story to illustrate your dedication and hard work in a job interview and an MBA entrance interview.

To illustrate your quantitative, aka financial modeling skills, get a job working for at a bank - regional/merchant bank, for the government at the FDIC, or a private company. As I have mentioned before, take a class from one of the Wall Street training programs or pass your CFA Level I,II, & III. There are many opportunities in today's market place to prepare yourself to get a job in banking. Will it be easy? No, of course not, but with prior proper planning you can prepare and position yourself to be in the right spot to land a job in banking!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Creativity In Times of Crisis!!

This is a funny video, so I hope you like it!  Keep working hard to get the job you want and think outside the box.  If you have a goal to get a job in banking then create an action plan to help you get there and then stick to it!  Do not be afraid to take alternative paths to get there.  Make it happen!


Friday, March 6, 2009

Full-time Jobs & Internships

With U.S. unemployment at its highest in 25 years, it is going to be a difficult and competitive hunt for your next full-time job or internship.  Investment banks are under heavey scrutiny and reform and the credit markets are frozen.  Businesses in all areas of our economy have been and are being effected.  Right now, more than ever, you need to be proactive in your networking and take full advantage of every resource available.  

Here are some links to important resources and some pieces of information I hope you already use, but in case you don't or have forgotten, I hope you begin to take full advantage these websites.  I am also going to list some alternative ideas that you might want to consider.

Job Websites

Make sure you are signed up and actively using the following websites:

1) - I recommend signing up for their Premium Job service.  They typically have a lot of great jobs and internships posted for undergrads or grads just out of college.


Use the websites LinkedIn and Facebook to your advantage.  When you see a job posting you are interested in, type the company name into these websites and find out if you know anyone at these companies or if you know someone who can make an introduction for you.  Just sending your resume in will not cut it in today's job market.  You need a personal connection or in to really be considered.  Plus, Facebook groups typically have a lot of group chatter and posts that might be helpful.

3) Contact your college career center in order to get in contact with alumni

Investment Banks That Are Hiring

Here is a list of investment banks I have seen postings for recently:

- Iron Capital Partners, San Francisco
- Accordion Partners, New York City
- Kaufman Bros., San Francisco
- Fox-Pitt Kelton Cochran Caronia Waller, New York City
- Sonenshine Partners, New York City
- Energy Merchant Bank, New York City
- Leerink Swann, Boston
- Grisons Peak, London
- Taylor-DeJongh Inc., Washington, DC
- America's Growth Capital, Boston
- ThinkEquity, San Francisco
- Bentley Associates, New York
- Clayton Capital Partners, St. Louis, MO
- Lazard, San Francisco & New York City
- Rothschild, New York City & Washington DC
- Financial Technology Partners, San Francisco
- Arbor Advisors, Palo Alto
- Gemini Partners, Los Angeles
- Callisto Partners, West Palm Beach, FL
- Demeter Group, San Francisco
- Credit Suisse, San Francisco

Alternative Ideas

Here are some alternative ideas for entering the investment banking field.

1)  Get into a top MBA program a few years down the road and come in as a full-time associate.  There are many ways to get into a top school.  You just have to make sure you clear the hurdles of having the GPA requirement, 700 GMAT, write great entrance essays, and an interesting story to tell

2) Work for the US Government and the FDIC or another financial regulatory group, such as the SEC.  FDIC is hiring as the Federal Bailout continues to take off .  The government needs to hire more people to manage different processes and programs that are going into place to manage their investments.

3) Work for a merchant bank.  Keep up your finance skills by learning the art of financing.  These jobs can require some travel, but are typically a 9-5 type of job which would allow you time to study for your CFA, Series 7, 63, GMAT, GRE, etc.....

4) Apply and begin studying for additional certifications and tests such as the CFA, Series 7, 63, etc..., GMAT, GRE, or any other designation or certification that could help you get a step ahead of your peers.

5) Get international experience by living abroad for a few months and learning a language.  Or if you already know a language get an internship working abroad.  This always makes for an interesting story and the experience is worth it!

6) Sign up for a class like Training the Street or Investment Banking Institute or another local program to learn advanced financial modeling.  You can also sign up to do the Swiss Finance Academy.  

There are many options in today's world.  Although the world is different today then it was the previous few years, there are still plenty of opportunities and jobs to choose from.  Work hard, network, and be prepared for the opportunities when they present themselves.

Feel free to post alternative ideas or feedback to this post.