Showing posts with label investment banking group. Show all posts
Showing posts with label investment banking group. Show all posts

Saturday, February 15, 2014

A Day-In-The-Life: Investment Banking Interview Edition

First-year Jason Arican recently (and successfully) wrapped up recruiting for an investment banking summer internship.  One of the great strengths of Booth is the number of investment banks which recruit on campus for summer internships and full-time positions all over the US and the world.  This gives Booth students incredible access to firms and a one-stop-shop for internships, with the ability to interview at a number of firms all in one place over the course of a week in January.  Jason shares what the interview experience was like in one of his busier days, and reflects on the great preparation he got from his classmates, the Investment Banking Group, Career Services, and coursework at Booth.  For more on Jason's investment banking recruiting experience, check out his post on his Bank Week recruiting trek to NYC last quarter.
--Matt Richman

4:35 am: Unlike during Bank Week, I will not be hitting the snooze button today. Today is the first day of on-campus recruiting and, as much as I want to, there is no way I can go back to sleep.

4:50 am: I'm out of bed, so that's a solid start. Except now I am I just pacing back and forth across my living room, asking myself the same interview questions out loud and practicing my anticipated answers. I try to outsmart myself by asking a slightly different question, or challenging an answer with a tough follow-up. I pause and laugh at the thought of the proverbial fly on the wall observing a man who has seemingly been driven to madness.

6:56 am: I get a ride today from a fellow classmate who is also recruiting for banking. If all goes well, I will be invited back for final round interviews that take place either this week or next. For as much as this process has been a marathon, now we sprint.

7:50 am: My first interview is not until 9:30 am, so I set up shop in a group study room that a few friends and I have reserved for the day. When we arrived at Booth, students had the option of selecting a second-year student as a mentor and my mentor has been a tremendous help. Last week when we sat down for a mock interview, she gave me a ton of useful tips, including the importance of having a quiet space during interview week as a home base to decompress.  

9:15 am: I arrive at the Career Services wing of the Harper Center. The check-in desk is a bustling central nervous system of Career Services staff, some of whom are directing traffic, while others are doing last minute reviews of resumes and cover letters. I have always been so impressed with just how well-run Booth is. All the details matter, even down to the fact that interview rooms have reverse peep holes on the doors (yes, just like Seinfeld) so that you can look inside to see if an interview is currently in progress before knocking. Maybe I'm just easily impressed but I find that so cool.

9:30 am: For all the nerves that build up in the moments just before the interview, there is a calm and confidence that sets in as I get started. The stakes are high, yes, but we have spent almost a month in formal preparation and informally, we have been preparing for this moment since we arrived on campus in September. This interview in particular is case-based and it requires me to take everything I have learned about valuing a company and apply it to a theoretical scenario – the type of questions for which Booth classes prepare us so well. 

11:20 am: After my first interview, I go back to the study room to hang out with a few classmates and cram in some additional last-minute prep. As I head upstairs for my next interview, I feel the need to pick my energy up so I impulsively slap myself in the face. It gets the adrenaline pumping, but I slap myself a little too hard and now my ears are ringing. I am also worried about now having a red hand mark on the side of my face. This is bad, but I suppose I will be lucky if this is the worst thing that happens to me today.

11:40 am: Mike Tyson once proclaimed, "Everyone has a plan-- until they get punched in the mouth." My next interview is going wonderfully, until I am knocked off guard by a tough finance question. I go blank. I have to pause for a moment and remember that these technical questions are not about getting the right answer, but more about showing how you reason through challenges. I think back to all of the technical mock interviews I had with my classmates, compose myself, and give it my best shot.

1:15 pm: My last interview of the day kicks off and ends up being a breeze compared to the others, and I’m thankful for that. 

1:45 pm: Afterwards, I walk out into the Winter Garden and chat with classmates. People are visibly relaxed at this point and the conversations are a lot more laid-back. We share notes, joke about our slip-ups and regrettable answers, or just try to talk about anything but interviews.

6:03 pm:  My heart jumps as my phone rings with an unfamiliar number on the screen.  I pick up and one of my interviewers from earlier in the day calls with the good news that I’ve been invited to a final round tomorrow in their Chicago office (the nice thing about attending business school in Chicago is that whether you are recruiting for Chicago or other cities, many of the interviews happen here). Can I drop everything to join them for a few hours downtown?  Absolutely.

In retrospect, I thought the day went well. As a class, we have spent hours and days together getting ready for this important phase in the business school time line. This has truly been a team effort in all aspects, ranging from second-year students who have been generous with their time and guidance, as well as the world-class team in Career Services. I am certain that, on the whole, we will all find the best internship for our goals.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Speakers, Networking, and Tiny Crab Cakes: Just a Normal Day During Bank Week

Chicago Booth is a major recruiting target for Wall Street investment banks. For most of the recruiting process, banks come to Chicago for networking events, but right after finals, we make a trip to New York to visit them on their turf. This trip is known as "Bank Week". This year, about 80 first-year students from Chicago Booth's Investment Banking Group (IBG) made the Bank Week trek to visit potential employers and make a final recruiting push before interviews for investment banking summer internships. The trek is meant not only for those pursuing a career in New York, but also those who are recruiting for Chicago, West Coast, or even global offices of NYC-based firms.

First-year Booth MBA Jason Arican just finished up his trek, and offers a glimpse into his experience with a “day-in-the-life” diary of Bank Week. As Jason shows, recruiting is a tough process for anyone, but the key to Booth students’ success in landing investment banking internships comes from a combination of strong relationships with an active alumni base in banking, a supportive and collaborative environment among the first-years (as well as between the first-year and second-year classes), and great support from Booth’s Career Services.
--Matt Richman

7:50 a.m.: The alarm on my phone goes off. I have an informational interview with a firm at 9 a.m. and figure that I can eke out a ten minute snooze and still make it on time. The nights during Bank Week are late (with some events that are scheduled by banks and others that... are not), so right now ten minutes seems like an eternity.

8:54 a.m.: After a brisk twelve minute walk, I arrive to the building. All of the banks are in skyscrapers that require you to show ID when you arrive and I am stuck waiting in line at the security desk. I did not budget enough time for this and am starting to sweat knowing that I might be a few minutes late.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Diary of an Investment Banking Intern in the Big Apple

While some students come to Booth to transition into finance, others use their MBAs as a platform to take their finance skills and careers to another level. One such Booth student, Yvanna PĂ©rez Morel, worked in M&A advisory in the Dominican Republic, her home country, before business school. This summer, she interned both at BofA Merrill Lynch (Investment Banking, Consumer & Retail) in New York and at Mesoamerica (Private Equity, Food & Beverage Portfolio) in Colombia. This coming year, Yvanna will participate in the exchange program with London Business School as part of the International MBA that she is pursuing at Chicago Booth. During her free time, she enjoys going to the beach, playing squash, and horseback riding in the mountains. 

Below, Yvanna recounts her whirlwind summer internship in banking in New York, and how Booth equipped her with the skills to succeed.

--Matt Richman

After ten weeks as an investment banking intern in the Big Apple, I can fully understand why people say that New York never sleeps – I didn’t! Here’s a quick summary of my busy days (and nights) since my last day at Booth – searching for knowledge in finance and a full-time offer.

As an investment banking intern my life revolved around the blinking red light on my corporate Blackberry, but in my experience, every minute was a new opportunity to learn on assignments including Hudson Bay’s acquisition of Saks Fifth Avenue, a high yield debt issuance for Carter’s, and a not-yet-public IPO. I honed technical skills such as modeling, got deeply immersed in industry-specific dynamics and strategies as a Consumer & Retail coverage banker, and observed the way senior bankers managed their client relationships.

Those interested in pursuing an investment banking track will find that Booth provides all that is needed for a successful summer:

1) Academic courses: Booth’s unique flexible curriculum allows students to choose courses such as Accounting and Financial Statement Analysis I & II (“Footnote Accounting” and “M&A Accounting”), Cases in Financial Management, and Cases in Corporate Governance, that prepare them for a great summer and a successful career in the financial services industry. YOU chart your learning path. While I had some experience in finance prior to Booth, taking advanced finance and accounting classes in my first year made me confident I could tackle anything technical that came up during the internship.

2) Career Services: This team works day and night to manage the relationships with the different banks and to make sure everyone is well-prepared for interviews through events such as weekend modeling courses by Training the Street (TTS) and “wInterview,” and facilitated some great sessions to give us the tools to be successful during the summer, once we landed the internship offer.

3) Investment Banking Group (IBG): A student-run group which works closely with Career Services, the IBG coordinates different initiatives for first year students to learn from second years’ experiences, from the industry-wide and bank-specific cultures to the dos and don’ts of getting a job in banking. I spent countless hours chatting with second years to get prepared for any challenges which might arise during the summer.

The summer was intense but also fun. Corporate events such as attending a Yankees baseball game with clients, having breakfast or lunch with senior bankers, playing kickball in Central Park with the team, and watching a Cirque du Soleil performance with other interns were a lot of fun and offered an opportunity for the firm to evaluate interns on interpersonal skills. Taking Professor Wortmann’s workshop on networking with senior executives showed me the implicit rules of the game, and allowed me to focus on having fun and asking the questions that I was genuinely interested in.

Of course, after an 18 hour a day, 7 day a week marathon, going out for a night was a must. Meeting Boothies working at other firms who understood my schedule (and probably had the same one) was just amazing! It was great to see some familiar faces and relax for a bit!

By the end of the summer, I got exactly what I wanted: I learned a lot, had fun, and, in case you were wondering, was fortunate enough to be extended an offer to return next year for a full-time job after graduating! Whether it was working, attending corporate events, or meeting friends for drinks in the Big Apple, the term “24/7” showed its true colors this summer. Here are some pictures of my personal experiences:

From top to bottom: Yankees game with clients, kickball with the team, Cirque du Soleil with interns and night out with other Boothies.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Booth Career Trek Opportunities: Investment “Bank Week”

The second perspective on Bank Week is from Matthew Richman, a first-year student and member of the DSAC Communications team. Although it sounds like Matt had a very busy week attending events, he still had some time to enjoy New York and to get to spend time with classmates!


Matt Richman is a first year MBA student at Chicago Booth concentrating in finance and accounting. Prior to Booth, Matt founded and managed the federal government and defense contracting division of a company which provides foreign language services. He came to Booth to make a transition to investment banking, and is recruiting for a Summer Associate position.

For MBA students interested in investment banking, Chicago Booth provides top-notch opportunities. Because of Booth’s reputation and the relationships that Career Services builds with employers, our MBA program is a recruiting target for all investment banks, large and small. Booth Career Services and student groups organize a variety of career treks after finals are over. Booth students pursuing investment banking spend “Bank Week” in New York attending formal events and cocktail receptions, conducting informational interviews with bankers, and networking.

My experience during Bank Week was the culmination of all the networking I had done during the recruiting process. Beginning in September, Career Services and the student-run Investment Banking Group (IBG) organized about 50 events with many different investment banks. These events gave us an opportunity to get acquainted with all of the firms looking to recruit Booth students, and to begin the networking process.

During Bank Week, I began most days at 8am with a walk uptown for a breakfast networking reception hosted by one of the banks. Wanting to focus on the networking part and not the breakfast, I usually ducked into a deli on the way to pre-game with a bagel and lox. The days’ subsequent receptions and office visits were set up back-to-back, so I strategized with classmates who had lived in NYC previously to figure out the best way to hustle to the next event without being late or looking too undignified running through Midtown Manhattan. Bank Week evenings featured cocktail events and dinners hosted by individual firms.

After the formal portion of the week was over, I rounded out the trek with a couple of last minute meetings that I’d managed to schedule and happily, but exhaustedly, flew back to Chicago in time for the holidays—and to begin preparing for interviews.

One thing that prospective students may hear about Booth is that apart from the LEAD course, we don’t have a strict cohort system for our first year’s studies. While formally true, Booth’s flexibility provides us the ability to form our own cohorts. During investment banking recruiting, I’ve developed close friendships and camaraderie with many of my classmates, whether sharing good news or frustrations. You might think that students pursuing finance jobs would be competitive with one another, but I’ve found that most Booth students are well-versed in game theory, and have reasoned that the optimal outcome for each of us comes from cooperating. We often share emails or business cards from people we’ve met, information about each bank and its process, and pass on all manner of rumor, speculation, and innuendo to help each other strategize through the process.

Here are a couple of great (non-finance related) experiences with my classmates from Bank Week:
  • Spending an evening off the grid with a few of my classmates at a Korean BBQ, chowing down on an experience called “Meat Mania.”
  • Arriving to a Starbucks in Midtown to prepare for meetings I’d organized with bankers in the neighborhood, to find it filled with fellow Boothies camped out for the same purpose.
  • Relaxing at the end of the week at a Booth Fusion happy hour event, where I ran into friends from the Banking Trek, the Retail Trek, and Investment Management Trek happening concurrently, and some alumni based in NY.

The success of my time in New York confirmed that Booth was the best choice for me for business school. Bank Week was the perfect mix of structure and flexibility. Booth provides access to top firms in finance through formal programming, but gives us enough room to customize the recruiting process to our own needs and goals. On top of that, I’m building a great network of colleagues and friends for the future.
Matt Richman Matthew Richman UPenn TCNJ Booth

Monday, January 7, 2013

A December Tradition on Wall Street

The Career Trek Series continues with double-feature coverage of Bank Week in New York City. The first post is from Felipe Marin, who provides us with an update of his investment banking recruiting experience.


As the deal flow and corporate meetings diminish around Wall Street and bankers prepare to enjoy the December festivities, Chicago Booth aspiring bankers flock to the Big Apple to participate in a long-standing tradition known as Bank Week. The week’s events are organized by Booth’s Investment Banking Group and more than twenty top Wall Street firms participate. By attending corporate presentations and personal meetings with bankers, Bank Week serves us the ultimate opportunity to showcase our interest and proficiency as potential bankers.

The fall quarter comes and goes, and somehow it seems to fly by faster than a thirty second time-lapsed photograph. At last, after a rigorous fall recruiting process and despite the intensity of final exams, future bankers must swiftly recoup and begin their pilgrimage to America’s finance epicenter. Essentially, Bank Week allows us to establish new relationships and fortify those that have been cultivated since early fall; it has served generations of Boothies as an effective conduit to catapult ourselves into the coveted interview list.

The truth is that the fall quarter investment banking recruiting process and Bank Week provide insight into the reality of what being a banker actually means. For as harsh as this may sound, this industry is quite intense and, therefore, appealing to many of us but certainly not to everyone. One must have a strong conviction, aptitude, and discipline to be successful in the recruiting process and, eventually, as a banker. After all, life on Wall Street will have many more intricacies than anything one could experience in an ephemeral week in New York City. Frankly, if the process were easy, obtaining an offer would not be nearly as rewarding as it will be after months of persevering.

I, of course, am biased. After all, I decided to come to Booth because I felt that this institution provides its students the best chances of success in investment banking recruiting, and I have not been disappointed. Bank Week has only reiterated what I deduced beforehand: banks know that Chicago Booth produces excellent bankers and they are not shy to display their excitement towards us. From CEOs to newly minted Associates, we were greeted with enthusiasm as we heard time and time again why we should choose to join their respective institutions.

Perhaps this might sound a bit masochist, but I actually enjoyed Bank Week’s frantic and energetic pace. Despite the busy schedule, the New York weather, and even how nerve-racking one-on-one informational chats with bankers can be, Bank Week has taken us one step closer to our professional dreams. Not surprisingly, Booth’s leadership has exceeded our expectations by organizing Bank Week. Someone once said that luck favors the well-prepared, and the administration at Booth seems to live by these words; we all embraced Bank Week and our level of preparation showed. But, it isn’t time to celebrate just yet. Investment banking interviews will take place in a couple of weeks and Wall Street will no longer be a distant dream. For now, it is time to continue our preparation for those challenging interviews and uphold the great Chicago Booth tradition of banking success.