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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-25-2004, 06:48 PM Thread Starter
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Investment Banking Careers

Hello everyone,

I am writing for advice in regards to careers in investment banking. Being a Mercedes-Benz owner, I thought the MB forums would be a great resource on this subject since some of you are very successful and may (or may have) worked in this field.

Let me first give you some background on myself:

I am a college student graduating in April 2006 from the University of Pittsburgh, College of Business Administration. I am double majoring in Finance and Accounting and presently hold a 4.0/4.0 GPA.

While school is important, so is work experience. I started off with internships in the music industry in NYC (Universal), spent three summers with MBUSA and presently intern for a venture capital firm, iNetworks, in Pittsburgh.

It has been tough to get face time with firms. Fortunately, I have been able to network my way into a few firms from my previous work experience. I am confident I am going to have a few interviews next month with some very large investment banks in New York City.

I was wondering if anyone had advice on the interviews. I know the interviews are extremely difficult and I am fighting an uphill battle since I am not from a typical targeted school. That being said, Pitt is a great school, I feel I am getting a superb education and I am confident I can surpass my competition.

I have been spending my time reading a few books:
• Fast Track: A Guide to Careers in Investment Banking and Management Consulting
• Damodaran on Valuation: Security Analysis for Investment and Corporate Finance
• New Options Market

I am hungry for this opportunity. I have sacrificed so much to get here. These interviews have the potential to be life changing.

I am imagining I am going to be asked some technical questions. Does anyone have advice on material to brush up on before the interview?

I appreciate your time and thank you for reading.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-25-2004, 09:00 PM
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RE: Investment Banking Careers

Your college should provide an interview program. Check with placement services. Also go to the job fair on your college. With a 4.0 you should have no problems getting a job. Most companies consider University of Pittsburgh a select college and will recruit heavily at select colleges. I think hiring top jobs from a select college is a form of racism, but that is another topic. You should not have any problems of getting a minimum of $40K in my area and about 80K up north or in California.

Just practice your interviewing skills. Study all the basic interview questions and have a good answer for each question. You need to be smooth with your answers in your interview. If they asked you a question that you never did, just think of a similar life experience and discuss that. Need to study for the job that you are intervening. Sale yourself.


Most finance firms really want to hire someone with a MBA in finance. If you do not have a MBA, get a series 5, 6, and 7 licenses or got go get a MBA.

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-25-2004, 10:15 PM Thread Starter
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RE: Investment Banking Careers

Tiggerfink,

Thank you for the response. I have had a lot of interview experience over the last three months and I can be a pretty good salesman. I also have practiced interviewing relentlessly with friends, read books, made interview scripts, etc....

I am more concerned with technical questions: What is the put/call parity equation? What's 4.5 million divided by 8? What do you think of the price of gold?

I am pretty convinced knowing different valuation methods will come up. I also try to read the Wall Street Journal as often as possible to stay up-to-date.

The analyst positions do not require an MBA. MBA's go for the Associate job. All my interviews next month would be for the Summer Analyst position, which would be a pre-cursor to full-time employment.

I am fielding advice because this is so important to me. I feel this is a career that suits me well: fast paced, aggressive, intelligent co-workers and the opportunity for success.

Believe it or not, major investment banks do not recruit at Pitt. For example, Goldman Sachs, Bear Stearns, Morgan Stanley, McKinsey, Bain, etc...do not come to Pitt. We do get some good firms (all 4 accounting firms, regional banks), but it's not Wall Street.

Thanks again for your advice.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-25-2004, 10:42 PM
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RE: Investment Banking Careers

You are incorrect as to this being a forum of successful MB owners. What I have found is that for the most part, it is a forum of blue collar and low level white collar workers, who fancy themselves as shadetree mechanics. They have an appreciation and love for MB autos, but can really only afford a previously owned one. Also, they seem to balk at paying over eight cents per year on maintainance, worrying more about wringing out another 2 more mpg out of their cars. I mean, who really gives a damn whether your yearly fuel consumption is $2000 or $2500? Not me. Try the ferrari forums for investment banking. No pikers there.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-25-2004, 11:52 PM
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RE: Investment Banking Careers

Jsloan01,

I am engineer and have to use a calculator just to add 5+5. The first job interview for college students are gear more for interpersonal skills, because they know you have no experience.

Just know what puts, calls, and other Wall Street terms. They might ask you a general question like is it a good ideal to place a put at x on this stock. Because the question is so general, there are no right answers to this question. They just want to see how you think and communicate in Wall Street terms. There is one question that you must answer correctly or you will never have a chance. The question; if you had the money, is it a good idea to pay off your house or invest the money. My investmant banker told me that at lunch last month.

I will ask my wife to ask one of her family members that is a partnered of WORLDCO, LLC for advise. I will also ask my broker at UBS for any help for you. Goto the UBS link and apply. Go to all the investment firms web sites and apply in the graduate programs.

http://graduates.ubs.com/career/servlet/SearchResultsPage?status=grad&loc=uk_en&bg=ib&role =Investment%20Banking%20Analyst

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-26-2004, 06:25 AM
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RE: Investment Banking Careers

Tikket may be right most of the time but personally I have been down the Private banking road (UK) but the "cool" got real boring real fast so now I work in the oil and gas field. There is not that much money in banking unless you are right at the top.

BTW - All my cars except the E280 were brand new,.... paid in full.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-26-2004, 10:33 AM Thread Starter
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RE: Investment Banking Careers

Tiggerfink,

Thanks for the message and going out of your way to speak to your investment banker.

I imagine the answer to the question you posed would be:

"Interest rates have been notoriously low for the last few years and I hopefully took advantage of these rates and re-financed my mortgage. For example, let's assume I pay 3% a year on my mortgage. The S&P 500 has a history of returns around 11%. If I invest in the market, I will recognize an 8% nominal return ignoring trading fees".

To note, I looked at my last message and I know McKinsey and Bain are in management consulting; not i-banking. I mentioned both because I applied to both firms, but have not been successful in getting any voice time with a recruiter.

I did apply to UBS online a ways back. I just updated my information (this semester’s grades, some of the new things I am doing on campus, etc…).

I have applied to a lot of firms online, but have never seen any results. I have been more successful by going through networks (past employers, job fairs, etc…).
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-26-2004, 06:12 PM
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storm please send me an email

storm.

please send me a personal message with your email address. I would like to ask a question about your wheels and would appreciate your advice. I cannot seem to pm you.


thanks.

wagon man

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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-26-2004, 06:44 PM
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RE: Investment Banking Careers

jsloan01,

Broaden your horizans...apply worldwide. There are places like Dubai or even Australia...who would have better career oppurtunies, job security & lifestyle to offer. Remember that lifestyle counts as much as job packages. If you can afford to...take some time to travel and see what the rest of the world has to offer. And yes...I agree that interpersonal skills, dynamism and personality growth/ attitudes are as important as knowhow of the S&P500 forecasts. I personally know of top execs. friends of mine who tell me how they chose candidates with " X- factor" over Ivy league 4/4 GPA candidates...with ease.
...and remember that personality growth should continue for life. Be a lateral thinker!!...Take it from a Psychiatrist who has worked four continents.

Best of luck!
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-27-2004, 07:13 PM Thread Starter
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RE: Investment Banking Careers

Ashar,

Thanks for the advice. Are you familiar with Bond University? My school, University of Pittsburgh, has a joint business program with Bond. I have been entertaining the idea to study abroad there for a semester in September 2005.

I wanted to go abroad this spring semester, but was too busy securing and preparing for interviews.

I should know more on my interviews in the next two weeks.

Thank you everyone for the input thus far.
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