Wednesday, April 22, 2009

First-Year Students: Banking Tidbit (Part 2)

Congratulations class of 2011 on your admittance to the Consortium. You should be extremely proud of yourself to be admitted to such a prestigious program. Now it is time to focus on setting those goals you would like to accomplish before attending OP and beyond.

On this blog I would like to share a few tips on how to set yourself apart from the crowd during an informational interview or networking session (Banking). I learned very quickly that asking good questions can definitely set you apart from the crowd.Below are some suggestions to get you started, but by no means the only questions you should consider asking.

The basics:

  • Acknowledge whom are you talking to. It is not the same to talk to an associate than to a Managing Director.

  • Don’t push too hard with the questions.

  • Do not try to “impress” the audience with a “smart” question: keep it simple.

  • Do research, including actually reading the website and news runs and base questions off of what you find.
  • Specific questions could deal with topics such as what banks are doing to re-evaluate client needs in the current economic situation.

  • Please attend all events.

  • Don’t talk/ask about salaries.

Here is a list of questions depending on the audience

1) When talking to “recruiters” (human resources staff):

The main theme is “Logistics” questions about the internship program

  • How the summer program works?

  • Rotational, generalist, specific assignment?

  • How many summers are you taking?

  • Do you have a mentor program for the summers?

  • How is the decision process run for final offers? Mid-summer + final reviews? One final review? Who runs the process? Who is the decision maker?

2) When talking to associates in Industry Groups:

The main theme is the normal day in the life of the associate

  • How much level of involvement you get as an associate in the execution of transactions in your group?

  • Please describe your interaction with the product group’s seniors and associates.

  • How is the deal flow in your group?

  • How is the deal flow affected in your group by the current market?

  • What’s the client exposure of associates in your group to clients?

3) When talking to a VP or a Managing Director:

The main theme is Strategic/ Firm-specific related questions

  • How is the deal flow in the current market?

  • What are the industries or products most affected in the current market?

  • What are the industries or products most benefited with the current market?

  • How do the current changes in the banking industry affect your firm?

  • What’s the strategy of the firm towards a particular market (geographically wise, top Fortune 500 firms or middle-market clients, etc)

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