Careers in Investment Banking: The Inside Scoop

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Choosing to pursue a career in Investment Banking is an endeavor that requires steady concentration, relentless determination and an ample dose of business sense. But for those who are willing to put in the work, this professional track provides an immensely satisfying opportunity to exercise one’s natural strengths and abilities.

Kyle Schroeder found an outlet for his ‘affinity for numbers’ in a career as an investment banker. His story is proof that with hard work and razor-sharp focus, talented young professionals can achieve the same level of fulfillment with an occupation that will make good use of their skills, and keep them challenged on a daily basis. We asked Kyle how he leveraged his own academic and professional interests to prepare for his ‘dream’ job as an Associate at Citi Group.

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Navigating the Finance World with Kyle Shroeder, Citi Group Associate.

Tell a bit about your background: What led you to finance?

I grew up in Wayne, NJ and have an identical twin brother Matthew who is an attorney. I was fortunate to have both a strong academic and athletic career in high school and was sought after by many institutions of higher learning including all eight Ivy League schools. I decided to attend Dartmouth College because of their excellent academic reputation, their access to professors and their winning football program.

Even as a child, I always had an affinity for numbers and attempted to place values on things such as baseball cards. I was the guy who ran the fantasy football league before the advent of the Internet and took much joy in adding the statistics after each game to figure out which team won. When I was introduced to the stock market, a passion for finance developed. The markets seemed like a natural place for me to turn a hobby and talent into a career.

How did you get your first job?

My senior year at Dartmouth I interviewed with multiple Investment Banks. However, it would have been impossible for me to pursue a professional football career as an Analyst, as they typically work 80+ hours a week. Therefore, I decided to look into proprietary trading for a firm in which my hours would be limited by the market, thereby allowing me to continue to train and work out for professional teams. A former classmate and friend was working for a proprietary trading firm at the time. When I asked them if they would let me take a sabbatical to join a professional football team if given the opportunity, their response was very positive. The decision to join a firm that would be that supportive of me was easy.

Why did you join a start-up company? What was the upside and downside of the experience?

I joined the start-up company after applying to and getting accepted to Tuck’s MBA program. While my motivation for attending business school was to land an Associate position in M&A, I felt that given the lack of access to programs for pre-MBA interns, the next best option for me would be to acquire additional experience in a field unrelated to trading where I could develop a skill set that was sought after by Investment Banks.

The upside was huge. I was able to acquire a diverse skill set such as modeling, time management, and the ability to work on multiple projects at once. In addition, I was surrounded by brilliant, passionate people working together to create a business that had previously not existed. The downside was the pay. I earned $500 a week as an Operations Associate. Although the firm offered to pay for my business school education if I stayed with them for another year, I declined in order to pursue my passion for banking.

How did working in operations prepare you for your next job (e.g., lessons learned, skills gained)

As I have stated, the hard skills I developed such as modeling, time management, and project management were critical in preparing me for a role as an Investment Banking Associate. I also took away the ability to successfully interact with highly intelligent, motivated people.

What prompted you to go back for an MBA, and how have you benefited from it?

My desire to obtain a career in investment banking was the main motivation in acquiring an MBA. There was no other way to transition into an Investment Banking Associate position without the skill set and network acquired through an MBA program.

The MBA program exponentially increased my ability to think critically and strategically as well as enhanced my skill sets and time management capabilities. In addition, I have gained an invaluable network of colleagues. There is no shortage of Tuckies who are willing to help out, in any way they can, other Tuckies.

How does Mergers & Acquisitions compare to equities trading?

There is no real comparison between M&A and equities trading. They are two totally different beasts. As an M&A Associate, you need to be exceptional at communication and meticulous at understanding the numbers that are driving valuation. In addition, you must totally understand the strategy behind the proposed combination or divestiture. On the other hand as a trader, you must be able to quickly calculate odds in your head and have the wherewithal to place your money on your calls.

What advice would you give our community members who want to do what you do?

Do your homework. You cannot be over prepared for any professional endeavor. Figure out what skills the job requires and be prepared to articulate how you have gained those skills and how you can apply them to whatever position you want. If the job requires skills you do not currently have, figure out a way to acquire them. Also, network with people in the industry and job function you are seeking. They will provide valuable insights into the job and may be aware of openings.

Among your peers in the industry, what do you see as the secret to their success in finding and keeping good jobs?

The most successful Investment Bankers are those who add value to their team and continually attempt to learn more so that they become an indispensable part of the team. The great thing about M&A is that no two transactions are the same so there is always the opportunity to educate yourself and provide unique insights into a potential transaction.

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Regardless of current economic conditions, there will always be opportunities for talented young professionals to put their skills to use.

By challenging yourself to attain even greater achievements, you can find a career that will give you access to the means with which to pursue your passion.

Whatever path you choose, Doostang can put you in touch with hiring managers along the way.

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Doostang Success — 2 Jobs at Private Equity Firms

Daniel

Columbia University 2006
Associate – Windjammer Capital Investors

“After several months of searching for a new job using various recruiters, I decided to give Doostang a shot. I was initially skeptical of purchasing the Premium membership, but I soon found that it gave me access to a lot of job openings that recruiters were not able to offer me.

I have been a member of Doostang for over 2 years, and during that time landed 2 separate jobs at private equity firms.

Searching for a job can be a stressful process, and Doostang enabled me to land interview after interview, which kept my spirits high. I knew that sooner or later I would land the ideal position that I wanted.

The beauty of Doostang is that you are able to apply for jobs that traditional recruiters may decide not to show you, because they pick and choose whom they show the openings to.

I was pleased to see many top quality job openings on Doostang that I soon interviewed for.

Doostang is a great tool to have when searching for a new job. From a strategy perspective, I chose to maintain contact with select traditional recruiters as well as browsing the Doostang website every few days to review new job postings. The website is very well organized, with effective filters that allow you to focus on the industries you are interested in.

Now that I have landed my ideal job, I no longer need the Doostang membership. However it is one of the first websites I recommend to my friends and colleagues who are searching for new jobs. I would certainly use Doostang again if I ever needed to search for another job.”



Did you get a job through Doostang? Share your Doostang success story and get a $500 Signing Bonus from Doostang!

Here’s a small sample of the great jobs you’ll find on Doostang:

Hedge Fund Analyst – Hedge Fund of Funds Investment Firm, Los Angeles, CA

Vice President of Sales & Marketing – Leading Special Care Provider, Philadelphia, PA

Associate/Sr. Associate – Top-Tier Global Bank, Dallas, TX

Junior Analyst – Leading Sustainability Consulting Firm, Stamford, CT

Investment Banking Analyst – Publicly Traded Investment Bank, San Francisco, CA

Search jobs on Doostang

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Doostang Success — Private Equity Internships and Venture Capital Jobs

Aki

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN – ROSS SCHOOL OF BUSINESS, 2007
ASSOCIATE – OPENVIEW VENTURE PARTNERS

“I left a position in consulting in June 2010 to move into buy-side investing: I wanted to work in either private equity or venture capital. This was an extremely difficult undertaking, especially recruiting ‘off-cycle’ in a down economy, but I was confident that I could pull through.

Within a month of my departure from consulting, I came across a private equity internship through Doostang. Thinking that this was the perfect opportunity, I applied… and got the internship!

While working at my internship, I continued to search for full-time jobs and applied on a weekly basis. I used every resource available to me: multiple headhunters, trade publications (Private Equity Digest, PEHub), career search engines (Indeed, E-Financial Careers) and, of course, Doostang.

Four months into my search, I came across the perfect opportunity in venture capital… again through Doostang! I interviewed and got the job within a week.

Now, I’m looking forward to starting my dream job — and it wouldn’t have been possible without Doostang.

So, thank you, Doostang! You’ve literally helped me turn my career around. I’ll certainly recommend you to all of my friends in the future.”




Share your Doostang success story and get a
$500 Signing Bonus
from Doostang!


Here’s a small sample of the great jobs you’ll find on Doostang:

Equities Trader – Industry-Leading Equity Trading Firm, New York, NY

Assistant Paralegal – National Immigration Law Firm, Boston, MA

Wealth Strategy Associate – World’s Leading Financial Services Firm, San Francisco, CA

Consultant – Sales Management Consulting Firm, Stamford, CT

Associate – Prominent Boutique Financial Advisory Firm, New York, NY

Search jobs on Doostang

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Jobs in different area codes, area codes

Sweet Premium Jobs

Jr. Equity Trader, Goldman Sachs, New York, NY
Associate, Corporate Strategy, Hewlett-Packard, Palo Alto, CA
Private Equity Principal, Alcuin Capital, London, UK
Investment Banking Summer Analyst, Lazard, New York, NY
Quantitative Researcher, Booz Allen Hamilton, Mclean, VA
Private Equity Fund of Funds Analyst, Hamilton Lane, PA

We’re one day closer to the weekend and, judging from this week’s news, we all need it. Between Dow Jones disturbia and hip hop celebri-relationship disturbia… Remind us again what those problems were exactly when there was mo’ money?

The good news: we’ve got thousands of excellent opportunities on Doostang to keep you inspired, both here in the US and around the world. Today we turn our glances to international job markets to get perspective for those considering a move elsewhere. A friend of Doostang, who went from U of Chicago to Credit Suisse in SF to London, offered his thoughts.

Relevant Thoughts from a Venture Capital Associate, London

So, you’re in finance. What’s the word in London? Are there good opportunities there?

Definitely. Both in London and elsewhere in Europe there are plenty of businesses looking to expand and pull in more business. Speaking other languages – e.g. French, German, Spanish – is a huge advantage that will serve you very well here.

How did you end up doing VC in London? What’s that been like?

I knew what I wanted to do, found out this firm was hiring and was just really proactive. I talked to friends in VC in London and got a referral, which helped a lot.

The interview process was pretty rigorous (phone interviews, in-person interviews in the Silicon Valley and London, lots of back-channel references, etc), but well worth it. The fund is relatively insulated to the crisis since we raised money pre-crash, so we’re doing well. In general investors have an American bend because of VC’s roots in the Silicon Valley, but business is way more formal.

How about your lifestyle there?

The city is a blast – full of creativity and culture. It’s also easy and inexpensive to travel on the weekends. London’s is even more expensive than New York, so I can’t have a large apartment and car like I did in SF, even though you’re making more money. But the lifestyle and travel is well worth it.

What about opportunities beyond finance?

I have friends in entertainment and publishing. There are definitely opportunities in those spaces in London. Soft skills are super valuable, especially in media/entertainment.

Outside of Europe, from what I’ve seen China is the easiest place to get a job as an English-speaker. My brother went there and got a job at Hewlett Packard in marketing really quickly, and my other friend just got promoted VP of Business Development at a solar company – he’s been there less than a year and spoke no Chinese when he arrived.

Finally, what did you think of this interview? Honestly.

Just like a freestyle rap session. Seriously though, enjoyed it very much and hope that it has been helpful to those who read it.

Do you have unique experience to share? Don’t be shy!
Let us know.

Doostang comes to Wharton

In other news, we are proud and excited to announce a new partnership with the MBA Career Management Center. Starting soon, all Wharton MBA candidates who are still on the hunt will receive complimentary Premium Memberships courtesy of the MBA Career Management Center. We look forward to helping Wharton students broaden their access to the great opportunities they deserve.

Do you want to bring Doostang to your school? Let us know.

And if the world’s got you down, try this trusty hip hop standby from days past: Pop. Lock. Repeat.

The Best Team Doostang around

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Has George W. gone Premium? And other questions of import

Our Premium Jobs have generated a lot of interest from our members (not to mention Businessweek), and a few questions. Whether you’re on the market and curious due to the recession or term limits, we wanted to take a moment to answer them:

Is Premium right for me?
You’re really the best judge of this, if we had to characterize our Premium Jobs here’s what we’d say: several thousand elite opportunities, about half in finance and half in other industries (consulting, media, entertainment and technology are big), mostly in major metro areas (New York, San Francisco, LA, etc), and from the internship to VP level, with a sweet spot at the 2-6 years of experience range. It’s no coincidence that mirrors our community demographics ;). Here’s a quick taste:

Once I Go Premium, can I see the names of the hiring companies?
Absolutely. You’ll have access to the full description of every Premium Job, and can apply to as many as you’d like for the duration of your subscription.

What happens when I submit my application? Where does it go?
ALL of our Premium Jobs go to REAL PEOPLE, i.e. hiring managers. Why should you care? A lot of jobs posted online aren’t advertisements for real openings. If you’ve ever encountered postings tied to generic company inboxes or, worse yet, fake postings by a recruiting agency that’s just collecting resumes, you know how frustrating this is. Not on Doostang – our Premium Jobs are real jobs, with real people and a real inbox behind them. Beat’s a black hole, right?

These jobs are great, but it would be nice to save some money right now. Any discounts?
Damn straight. There are two ways to Go Premium and save. First, all members of our preferred alumni networks are eligible for exclusive discounts up to 40% so, join your school network today. Second, once you go premium, you can refer your friends to Premium and have your membership extended for free every time one of your friends upgrades. And get this – your friends will get a 50% discount, something they will likely appreciate in light of, well, the “R” word.

So, has George W. gone Premium?
Either that or the guys with wires in their ears in an unmarked van outside our office are just the future of bluetooth.

That’s it for now, but please keep the questions coming! That’s how we make Doostang better for you.

Happy Tuesday,

Team Doostang

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Job Search Secret Sauce

Finding your dream job in a recession is like shooting a fish in a barrel. It’s tiring, your target’s a damn fish, and you have to listen to advice-givers around you use empty business clichés like “fish in a barrel.”

We’ll spare you watered-down career e-vice and talk of “recession-busting” until we run out of things to do. For now, we’d rather spend our time finding the really great opportunities out there and bringing them to our exceptional members.

That’s a medium way of saying, if you haven’t checked out our Premium Jobs yet, it’s about time:

Go Premium on Doostang to get unlimited access to jobs just like these. Even though they rarely make it online, we’re working hard to make them yours.

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