With the amount of students who receive credit or other "middle-office" internships, we realized that we needed to create a journey to help those who fit in this category (or really anyone trying to get into banking). For this week, we interviewed Jonathan, who interned in the credit department of a bulge bracket prior to transitioning into investment banking for his full-time position - check this out!
1. What was the recruiting process like? How did you network? Did you do anything non-traditional?
After working for the credit department of a bulge bracket firm, I realized that I wanted to do something on the coverage side. That is when I recruited again, this time for investment banking. After a few months of hard work, I received the generalist full-time offer around late October/early November, and will be starting in July.
For the recruiting process, although the credit role was through school, the full-time banking position was on my own. One of the tricks that I would do was that I would go on Indeed.com or Monster.com to look for jobs since I realized a lot of investment banks would pull their candidates from these places. Whenever I saw an opening, I would immediately go to LinkedIn and add as many people as possible to see if they could connect me with HR.
Getting in front of HR through either LinkedIn or email (if I was lucky enough to get them) was key for me. For my current offer, I was lucky enough to get the email of the current HR manager. I sent her an email with my resume, basically stating that I worked in credit previously and was wondering if he/she had some time to speak about this opportunity that I saw on XYZ website. This method usually got my foot in the door, and was a process that worked well for me.
2. How did you prepare for the interviews? What kind of resources did you use?
Besides practicing the technical and behavioral questions 100x over, I would go more company specific and see what the company is like – to see if there are any articles or descriptions of them – and I would tailor some of my answers towards that. Some of these companies are completely different from each other. I would say that you have to try to tailor your experience for those company-specific differences. In terms of more technical / behavioral questions, I think IbankingFAQ and Mergers & Inquisitions are really helpful.
3. In terms of the interview process itself, what was that like? What kind of interview questions?
At my bank, I had three phone interviews – one with HR that was behavioral, another with an analyst which was also behavioral, and a third one which dove deeper into my credit experience and a little bit into technical questions. Super day was four back-to-back interviews. They gave me traditional investment banking questions – very accounting focused. Examples included “walk me through if there was a purchase of $100 of inventory and how that flows through the three statements”. Since a lot of the stuff that I did over the summer was LBO focused – they also asked me those types of LBO questions. Beyond that, it was just more industry specific and the current trends and topics in it.
4. Do you think that your credit role over the summer played a part in you getting your investment banking position?
Regarding the investment bank that I am going to, it is a growing bank so it worked very well. There were a few people there that came from credit at a larger bank. Ultimately, I think you can do it if you really hustle and sell the role for what it is – since you do learn quite a bit in it. Just as in life, it is what you make out of it.
5. Many of our viewers are trying super hard to get an internship or full-time job – any advice that you have for them? How do you deal with rejections?
I think it is hard; since it is a lot of grabbing coffees, phone calls – regardless of whether you think it is productive or not at the moment. That and of course applying a lot online and using the online platforms and any other means to push my resume through and get in front of the people at these banks. When you’re sending cold emails, it can seem daunting just from the fact that if you actually get through, what would you say? However, you have to be confident in your approach, which includes an email approach that you feel confident with, a resume that you’re confident in, and answers that you comfortable going to. In terms of rejections, they’ll come, and you just have to keep putting your head down and work harder. Ultimately, your goal is to just get that one or two people that’ll get you into the role that you want.
*This article was written without any collaboration or affiliation with third-party universities / corporations.
If you have any specific questions for this person, feel free to email us at Jason@brainceek.com (and we'll pass along the question).
Like posts like this? Want to see different questions or posts? Have a story you want to share? Let us know all about it below!