Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Dis’es, Dings, Zings and Investment Banking Bling ….

Firstly, thanks to you, my readers, for your comments about my blog and about LBS. I usually suppress them to maintain confidentiality and so I can tell it like it is in my response -- but feel free to email me your questions at sbuxespresso@gmail.com. I'll try to respond within the week.

By now you've figured out that Milkround is an artifact of British uni recruiting. A week of 9 to 9 corporate presentations and schmoozfests. My networking season started much earlier, during week 3 of the fall trimester, and a career change to banking in this economy meant having had 30-minute coffee chats with 4-5 bankers per bank, times 7-8 banks, times as many trips to Canary Wharf or The City.

Prepping for finance interviews means studying every major story in the Wall Street Journal and Financial Times EVERYDAY, having your point of view on credit default swaps, and knowing where US, UK and ECB interest rates, 10 year bond yields and currency futures are headed. You need to know what the Dow Jones closed at and what the FTSE opened at, and why. Additionally it's a given that you know your garden variety Valuations, WACC, DCF and LBOs in and out and can speak knowledgably about major M&A deals, providing both a strategic and transactional perspective

whiteknight takes king financed by stock swap, cash on hand and debt … endgame!

Knowing that the absence of a finance background made switching careers difficult, I had to hedge bets with consulting. This doubled the interviewing pain. Between prepping for i-banking interviews AND practicing consulting cases, I threw my resume into the ring and got a few Dis'es (when your application is outright dissed). But then, I got love from the usual suspects: McKinsey, BCG, Roland Berger, ZS Associates, Accenture, Deloitte, Parthenon Group, Deutsche Bank, Nomura (Lehman Brothers EU), Mubadala (PE/Sovereign Fund)

A few Dings (when you get a post-interview f@#k off email) later – I have a Zing that counts, an offer from Nomura IBD and I'm taking it.

Thus ends a month and half of hardcore prep, sleepless nights and daily back-to-back interviews (My personal best was 3 interviews in a day for a total of 7 hours). I am so pooped and emotionally spent, having had 5 hours of sleep in 2 days and a fat looming finance exam on Saturday – but I had to burp out this post to let ya'll know "All's well, I'm back in business and I finally have my life back. My B-school bet paid off – I'm at the numero uno B-school and finally, I'm an investment wanker!"


Anonymous said...

Great work dude! Must have been tough in this market. Do students always apply for finance, consulting & Private Equity or do they suggest more focus? Must have been a handful! Well done again

N.A.S. said...

Focus is key, but this year many people hedged. Consulting and Finance interviewing are full time gigs in their own right. And PE/Sov Funds are tough without the 2/2/2 mix (2 yrs BB IBD analyst + 2 yrs PE analyst + 2 yrs MBA). I was lucky to have had consulting experience, so cracking cases came easier. And Mubadala was a pleasant surprise.