Doostang News December 27: New Year’s Resolutions for Your Job Search

Research Associate, Washington, DC
Sr. Business Analyst, San Diego, CA
Equity Research Associate, New York, NY
Internet Marketing Consultant, Chicago, IL
Business Analyst, Toronto, Canada

More recent jobs you might like…

The New Year signifies a shot at a New You – a chance to hit the reset button, so to speak, and realign yourself in a direction that leads to better health, more exercise, or greater knowledge.  The problem is, junk food tastes so much better than Brussels sprouts, you don’t have the time to keep up with all the daily news sources and stay on top of the New York Times Bestseller List, and that one-year gym membership loses its shine in February.  It can be hard to stay on top of your goals, but if you make the effort when it comes to your job search, it really will pay off.  Moreover, if you set short-term, concrete milestones for yourself, you’ll be more likely to stick it out.  Here are some ideas:

  • Resolve to build out your professional network.  Hold yourself accountable and vow to meet a certain number of people – say, two – per week.  You could also decide that you will attend one to two networking events per month.  Picking a number and sticking to it is important, and it’s also a helpful way to track the people you meet and when you met them.
  • Promise to yourself that you’re going to really make your job search a full time job, and set a goal for yourself as to how many jobs you will apply to each week.  If it helps to break it down to a specific number of jobs per day, do that; just make sure you set a goal and don’t fall below it.
  • Decide to have a happier, healthier year by taking up a hobby or volunteering.  It’s hard to sit in front of a computer all day and search for a job, so commit yourself to an activity or join a group that meets once a week, and make it a part of your routine.  It’s important to get out and remain social, so that you don’t get too worn out by your job search and lose steam.
  • Commit yourself to learning a new skill or subject matter.  Use your free time to broaden your mind, and consider taking up something that will allow you to bring more to the table at a new job, so that you can become a more attractive candidate to hiring managers. Were you always hoping to one day learn Spanish or HTML? Now is the time to do it.
  • If 2010 was a rough year for you as far as job search goes, consider seeking the aid of professional services that will look over your resume or coach you on how to perform in an interview.  Perhaps this is something to add to your holiday wish list for those who have no idea what to get you.
  • Make a resolution to build your online presence and leverage social media channels to get a job.  Sign up for various social and professional networking sites, and craft an image that you want employers to see.  Consider starting a blog that serves as an online portfolio of work or as a further networking tool, and make sure that you update it once a week.
  • Perhaps the most important resolution is to find a way to stay positive, even though you may be feeling anxious about not having a job.  A positive person will be more productive, will exude enthusiasm and confidence to hiring managers, and will be more likely to land a job that they enjoy.  Do what you can to keep your head up, whether it’s yoga, a weekly movie night, time with your kids, or anything else that relaxes you and keeps you happy.

Staying on top of New Year’s resolutions isn’t always easy; but if you really think them through, establish small milestones for yourself, and follow a set course, you’ll effectively end up where you want to be!

Happy New Year,

The Doostang Team

An Insider in Trading

Investment Analyst, New York, NY
Managing Consultant, San Francisco, CA
Mergers and Acquisitions Manager, Boston, MA
Director of Marketing, New York, NY
Research Analyst, Los Angeles, CA

More jobs we think you’ll like…

wall-street-fallen-bullAs a recent graduate from Stanford University, I often hear friends of mine lament the downfall of the finance world. What was once such a hot industry – one many of us strove to join as bright-eyed underclassman – suffered serious setbacks in the past year, forcing hordes of Economics and Business majors to set their sights elsewhere. One friend of mine, a Finance major with previous internships in investment banking, decided to start a company promoting art museums when his job offer was rescinded. So for some, the shortage of jobs in finance has led them to pursue more unique, if initially less lucrative, opportunities.

Still, there are others who remain hopeful in their quest for capital gains, risk arbitrage, and absolute returns, holding on to the mantra, “Wall Street or bust!” Recently I sat down with James, a friend of mine who works for a hedge fund. I asked him questions about his work and about the sort of skill set required of an individual who is looking to break into the finance realm in such an unstable job market. Here is what he had to say:

What does your job entail?

I am an analyst for a long short equity hedge fund. My main responsibility is to advise my portfolio manager on investment decisions. This involves forecasting earnings and valuing companies based on my primary research.

Do you have any specific areas of focus?

My sector of focus is technology, which is extremely broad. Within technology, I’m currently focused on Internet and telecom companies, as well as alternative energy.

Did anything draw you specifically to Tech as a sector?

Definitely. Tech is a sector in which the United States is still very much a leader, and there’s always exciting stuff going on at the margin – new disruptive technologies turning whole industries upside down. Being a tech analyst requires you to stay on your toes and achieve a very comprehensive understanding of industry players. In some ways it is like being in college again – because you are often learning about these companies’ products and the science behind them, not just their financial statements. However, the workload is much more significant than in college, so I would recommend getting some recreation time in before you graduate if you do choose to work at a hedge fund.

What skills are emphasized in the work that you do?

I think it’s very important to be a good listener and a fast learner when you are ramping up – or learning the ropes. You have to be resilient as well – sometimes you will spend quite some time learning the ins and outs of a sector or the particulars of a company before you can really get an edge. But I think that in any finance role, diligence is probably the most important attribute for any candidate, particularly at the entry level. It’s very easy to lose the trust of your superior by messing up some minor detail, and once you’ve lost that trust, it can be hard to move back into a position where you’ve had the same responsibilities as you had before. That’s something I learned as an intern a couple years ago.

How did you land a job at a hedge fund in this job market?

I wish that I could say that I was just an exceptional candidate who could have gotten a job anywhere, but that’s probably not the case. The truth is, I essentially got to where I am now from my internship two years ago. I made certain to stay in touch with the people I worked with, and one of my coworkers from that summer ended up taking a job as a portfolio manager where I now work.

I would advise any undergraduate who has held internships before to try to stay in casual contact with their coworkers, because it makes things a lot less awkward if the time comes to follow up in search of a job. If you do fall out of touch, then it still won’t hurt to ask. Most people like to help other people out, so just be humble and confident and throw out a line.

How is your fund fairing in this market?

We recently passed our high watermark, which means that we can now start earning fees again on the money we make from this point forward. Last year the fund got hit pretty hard, but fortunately we’ve rebounded very well.

Is this unusual?

I think that many funds have fared well this year, but I would say most funds are still under their watermark. Last year was the worst year in history for hedge funds.

Do you have any thoughts on the recent political controversy surrounding bonuses in finance?

I guess I can understand why some people are bothered by the bonuses being paid out at firms like Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan. These firms benefited a great deal from a government backstop, were really on the cusp of a liquidity crisis and now are in as good shape as ever. At a time when most people are suffering, that kind of prosperity in the sector that is blamed for the recession is going to hit nerves.

What is going on in the industry with hiring?

With hedge funds specifically, there is a glut of experienced talent in the market right now because so many funds shut down or were forced to downsize last year. That makes it very difficult for people without experience in hedge funds to enter the industry. However, many funds have said they will pick up hiring next year, and some funds are even hiring right now. The outlook for next year has gotten much better over the past six months. However, my fund is still not hiring right now.

What is your view on the job market in general?

The number of Americans who are either unemployed or no longer in the workforce has been increasing each month. It’s true that we are no longer seeing an acceleration in the rate of new unemployment claims, but it’s hard to see that as much of a positive. My outlook on the job market is that, while things should begin to improve next year, unemployment will not immediately revert to pre-recession levels, and I am concerned about the overall health of the economy going forward. I’m concerned about the job market as a result.

At this point in time, would you discourage people from entering finance?

I think now is actually a great time to get involved in finance, at least in certain areas. I think that the capital markets have been so depressed recently that, for bankers in leveraged finance, M&A, or any field that’s seen massively reduced activity, there will certainly be a bounce-back. And with head count lower, the compensation per employee might actually be higher down the line. I also think finance is a great place to be for young, driven professionals in search of a challenge, and I believe that there will always be room for the talented to succeed on Wall Street.

What steps could someone take to secure a finance job at the entry level right now in this climate?

Be exhaustive in your approach. Don’t be afraid to make phone calls to people who you barely know, or even don’t know, if you are certain that you want a job on Wall Street. My first internship in finance I got through a cold call to an alum of my school. He agreed to give me an interview and a chance to prove myself. If you are persistent and smart, something will stick. But the advice on being detail oriented applies to the application process as well – you can’t afford to make any mistake that will make it easier for people to shut you out.

In addition, a website like Doostang is a great tool for anyone looking for a job. Because there are such a limited number of available jobs out there at the moment, and because many of these jobs are kept within individual firms, it’s often difficult to find the positions you might want to apply for in the first place. It’s crucial to make use of every available resource you have at your disposal, and a job board that lists exclusive jobs at top firms certainly qualifies as a valuable resource.

So take it from the insider, if you’re considering entering the finance field – now is the time! And if you’re not sure where to begin, Doostang is there to help get you started with exceptional finance openings at all levels.

Happy Monday!
The Doostang Team

Accounting – Finance at a Second Glance

Top Premium Jobs
Junior Analyst, Top-tier investment advisory firm, New York, NY
Strategic Marketing Intern, Exciting Internet Startup, San Francisco, CA
Fund Accountant, Leading Blobal Financial Services Firm, Dallas, TX
Economist, Medium sized, London based investment boutique, London, UK
Project Manager, Major Department of Public Health, Chicago, IL

More jobs we think you’ll like…

When many young professionals seek to break into Finance, they often focus solely on careers in the Banking sector. However, there’s much more to Finance than that. So Doostang spent some time with Sara Glickman of Ernst & Young LLP in order to learn a bit about the wonderful world of accounting and financial services firms.

Read on for refreshing, first-hand insight from a professional who knows this career track inside and out.

What were your reasons for choosing to pursue degrees in Finance and Accounting? What path ultimately led you to Ernst & Young?

I started college about as far away from the business school as possible, as a cell biology/genetics major planning to go into genetic research and counseling. However, once I had taken a class in the Smith School of Business at UMD I was hooked! The access to seminars and other learning opportunities with some of the most successful companies and entrepreneurs around (and potential future employers!) was wonderful, and really made me look forward to a career in business.

After Freshman year, I acquired my real estate license and began working as an agent just to help a family member sell their property, but I ended up sticking with it, and learned a lot about investing and the real estate market. It was the combination of the desire to learn more about investments and how businesses worked from the inside, along with the realization from school that many of the great jobs out there at the time were in the fields of Accounting and Finance, that made me pursue those two majors.

I had seen Ernst & Young giving presentations or at career fairs on several occasions, and also of course as sponsors of different charity and sporting events outside of school. I had an opportunity to intern at the firm over the summer, and I learned so much in just two and a half months!

Although I later applied for and obtained offers from several other accounting and financial services firms, I came back to E&Y after graduation because of the people, and the opportunity to work in many different fields and learn about many different companies–from the Fortune 500 to the smallest start-up–from the inside out.

Tell me a bit about your role at that company. What does any average day look like?

I’m not sure if there ever really is an “average” day here! I work as a Senior Auditor, so I plan and oversee the engagement, delegate the work that needs to get done, and review work from the staff while helping those Managers and Partners above me with whatever tasks they need assistance on, such as writing memos, technical research, or “tying out” the financial statements of the Company. We work on everything from testing internal controls to making sure the Company’s 10-K is accurate, supported and ready for filing on time.

There are also other project opportunities here and there, such as working on a bond deal or IPO for a client going public. I have several clients that I split my time between, depending on what time of the year it is.

The hours fluctuate as well–there’s a good amount of flexibility during the summer months normally, but the main audit busy season of January 15th to March 15th requires minimum 55 hour weeks; fortunately, the time usually flies by pretty quickly under the tight deadlines!

How can candidates without previous experience in finance differentiate themselves when applying for these opportunities? Can you offer any advice for young professionals that are interested in your field during these difficult economic times?

If you are looking to apply for a role in auditing or tax at one of the Big 4 accounting firms, you will need an accounting background–or willingness to work towards acquiring the classes and 150 credits required to sit for the CPA exam. However, there are other opportunities at the firms, such as in IT audit (testing and providing feedback on the systems of the Company), or advisory services that assist clients in finding business solutions to issues they may be facing, that do not necessarily require a background in accounting or finance.

My advice is, make sure your resume reflects how you may have contributed to improving upon a club/activity you were a part of, any leadership roles you have taken at other jobs or volunteer activity, and anything else about you that makes you stand out from the next candidate. If you speak another language, are an award-winning writer (good communication skills) or successfully planned your current company’s holiday event (shows leadership and ability to work well with others to meet a goal), don’t brush it off because it’s not directly correlated, just put a positive spin on it and make sure your resume is tailored towards the job you want! We all know these are tough times, but there are definitely jobs out there, especially with the good educational background you all have already.

How can well-educated, motivated young professionals take advantage of this moment? Where are the opportunities and what types of career paths are showing promise?

Unfortunately there’s been a lot of lay-offs recently, especially in the finance industry over the last few years, but I think motivated young professionals should take this as an opportunity to start again in a field they always wanted to try–take it as a second chance to follow a dream. Find out what you have to do to get there–go back to school, take a lower paying position at a different type of company, etc.–and do it.

There are definitely opportunities in the accounting field, as every business needs someone to keep track of the finances, and I don’t see that career path going away anytime soon.

If you’re looking to move into the field but don’t have any experience, start by applying for bookkeeping type of positions at a smaller company–you will learn a lot more about how the company works than if you take a job doing one specific task at a larger location, and will be much more marketable to other potential employers in the future.

So take it from the expert, if an accounting career interests you, now is a great time to explore everything that field has to offer. And if you never thought about accounting as a career path, give it some consideration now – it just might be a great fit.

Sounds interesting? Then make sure you check out some of the exceptional openings in accounting and finance that Doostang has to offer.

Until next time,
The Doostang Team

Doostang News: Job Search Oasis – Achieving Career Success in a Tough Market

Summer Intern – M&A Restructuring, New York, NY
Marketing Specialist, Los Angeles, CA
Strategy Consultant, Washington, DC
Private Equity Intern, San Francisco, CA
Business Development Specialist, Boston, MA

More jobs we think you’ll like…

Whether you’re set in your field or just aiming to break into a particular industry, moving forward in your career in this job market is no easy task.  Fortunately, there are resources out there that can set you on the right career path and guide you along the way.

And here at Doostang we’re bringing you some insider tips from one of these.  Read on for some career wisdom about finance, online businesses, resumes and more.

Doostang News October 26: Q&A with Patrick Curtis.

Doostang has recently partnered with Wall Street Oasis, an online community for finance professionals and those trying to break into the industry.   We got a chance to speak with its CEO and Founder, Patrick Curtis, who singlehandedly combined two seemingly unrelated industries – finance and web 2.0 – and created this informative resource.  And he has some invaluable insight on how to achieve success in today’s tough job market.

1) Tell us a little more about Wall Street Oasis. What inspired you, what is it’s purpose and what were you trying to accomplish with this site?

WallStreetOasis.com is an online community of finance professionals and students trying to break into Wall Street careers.  Our main purpose is to provide a place where young finance professionals can plan their next career move, let off some steam and help give advice to college students trying to follow in their footsteps.

I was inspired to start the site because I didn’t see any social networks that specifically addressed my questions when I was an investment banker.  I was looking to jump to private equity after two years and all the information I got (whether that was a list of recruiters, a compensation database or interview tips) was 2nd hand through co-workers and hearsay.  I felt that if I could establish an online community that took a more lighthearted and fun approach as well as start publishing guides that were more specific to this market, that I could fill a need.  I also knew from experience what some of the young bankers were going through (working 100hr weeks, a lot of stress and an uncertain future) and enjoyed providing a platform for them to speak their mind.

The community has continued its strong growth since 2006 even through the financial crisis.  We’ve built a loyal community that gives great career advice and insight into specific firms.  So far, we’ve released nine guides aimed at investment banking, private equity, venture capital, sales & trading and general career advice.

2) You have extensive investment banking and private equity experience. Why did you decide to shift from a more traditional finance route and focus on running an online community? What has this experience been like?

I made the shift from a more traditional finance route with the help of the entrepreneurial community here in business school.  I knew I really enjoyed running Wall Street Oasis but without the help from my classmates at Wharton and the entrepreneurial programs here, I would not have been able to make this a full time job.  I’m really excited to be able to work on the community full time when I graduate this May.  I was working on WallStreetOasis.com full time (without a full time job or classes) this past summer for the first time and we made a lot of progress — so I am confident that we can keep improving.

3) What were some challenges and what helped you along the way? What recommendations do you have for someone who wants to start a successful online community?

The primary challenge was finding the time to keep the site alive when times were tough and finding the right people to outsource some of the work.  There were several botched launches / upgrades, many attacks on the site and growing pains I had to manage while working 70-80 hour weeks.  I had no background in social networks so every day was a learning process.

If someone wants to start a successful online community I would give three main pieces of advice:

1.  Start early, stop planning.  What I mean by this is you don’t have to have all the bells & whistles that other more mature community sites have.  You can save yourself a lot of time and money by making sure there is enough interest first…most niche communities will be happy there is a place for them to go and will cut you some slack early on.

2.  Always Get Feedback and have an open dialogue.  I always try to get feedback from my users and they are brutally honest with me.  But that is what I want because a lot of our best ideas have come from my users.

3.  Find a Hook.  For Wall Street Oasis, the primary hook we used was a Compensation Database.  We keep this free but require a visitor to register to see it.  It is one of the ways we grow our community and I think it was one of the primary reasons we were able to achieve a critical mass early — which is crucial to any social network.

4) Wall Street Oasis claims that its ultimate aim is to inform. What would you say are the key points that someone with an interest in finance needs to know?

I think a lot of college students get wrapped up in rankings and prestige of Wall Street when they should really be focused on the type of job that will suit their personality best.  Yes, brand names have value on Wall Street like everywhere else in life, but if you come from a “non-target school” or don’t end up at Morgan Stanley or Goldman Sachs straight out of undergrad your life will go on and you can still be very successful.

It’s tough when you’re 22 and you see all of the talk about compensation and exit opportunities and X group vs. Y group.  I think sometimes this leads to information overload for these students and they have a skewed perception of what the industry is like.  I think in any highly competitive field people will occasionally romanticize the reality.

Other things being equal, obviously a high GPA and strong extra-curriculars will give someone an advantage in recruiting, but I would argue that finance is no different than any profession — those that learn how to network effectively and are the most persistent will ultimately rise to the top.

5) One of the services Wall Street Oasis provides is resume reviews where you personally review and give feedback on people’s resumes. Having seen thousands of resumes, what would you say are the most common resume mistakes people make and what are some ways to fix them? What makes a stellar resume?

We actually have a very famous discussion on our forums related to this exact topic titled More Classics from Resumes and Cover Letters. While somewhat harsh, this is the reality of the resume screening on Wall Street.  Analysts are often in charge of the initial screen and overselling, over-embellishing, or trying to “sound smart” can push your resume to the trash pile very fast.  Sometimes, in an attempt to impress, students cross a line and actually hurt their chances.

Other common mistakes are simple formatting / spelling errors.  Every resume needs to be printed out and reviewed several times in hard copy to make sure everything is aligned (just like a banker would).

A stellar resume is when the candidate is strong (high GPA, target school, good scores, relevant classes) and they also get involved on campus and hold a few leadership positions.  It is more important to have a few extracurricular activities that you excel in rather than being a member of 10 clubs where you play less of a leadership role.  Another attribute of a stellar resume is that each and every bullet should have a purpose and communicate an accomplishment or a responsibility held by the candidate with concrete facts / numbers / figures.  Come interview time the candidate should be able to elaborate on each of these bullets comfortably.

6) Many Doostang members are seeking a career in finance. What advice would you give to someone looking for employment in the financial sector? Can you provide some insight into the industry or the hiring process?

This is THE most difficult year I have ever seen recruiting wise.  So my main advice this year is to be patient and look for a backup.  It is important to realize that a lot of firms have a hiring freeze on or are only hiring a few candidates.  Even at target schools, where investment banks and consulting firms traditionally hire most of their work force, the competition this year will be fierce.  If you don’t get something immediately make sure you keep working your contacts, the alumni network and think of creative alternatives.  Can you go back to school for another degree?  Can you do some work abroad?  Can you work on a family business or try a start-up?  I would also highly recommend using services like Doostang to expand your network and stay up to date on opportunities that are a match for you.

And there you have everything you need to make your career prosper in this economy – some exceptional inside advice on achieving success in today’s market and Doostang to give you the best career opportunities.

Now go out and get them!

Team Doostang

Doostang News Sept 15: Career Insights from the Pantsmakers – What Constitutes Success.

Top Premium Jobs
Field Ninja – Sales Professional, San Francisco, CA
Investment Banking Intern, New York, NY
Human Resources Generalist, Chicago, IL
Portfolio Strategy Associate, Boston, MA
Director of International Expansion, New York, NY

Fall is here, meaning it’s time to put away those beach shorts, put on some dress pants, and get back to work. But if achieving career success seems as challenging as finding a pair of good fitting pants, we have great news.

Don’t despair – thanks to a fantastic new partnership with Bonobos, we’re able to offer you some much-needed career wisdom from inside an innovative, successful company…and even a discount on some amazing pants!

Here at Doostang we’re big fans of exceptionally well-run businesses with quality products, outstanding service, and an entrepreneurial spark – and Bonobos embodies just that. Started as a small project by two guys with a big vision, Bonobos has grown into a global online clothing brand.

We spoke with Dave Eisenberg, Director of Growth at Bonobos, who offered some career wisdom on what makes a successful company and job candidate. So if you’re looking to start the next exceptional business, or just want to work for one, believe us, it’s in your best interest to keep reading.

Career Insights from the Pantsmakers – What Constitutes Success.

On its site, the staff at Bonobos asserts that they are trying to build “a different kind of clothing company?” Can you share a bit about how Bonobos got started and what the initial goals were?

Bonobos got started the way a lot of companies get started: with a good idea and a lot of persistence. Brian [Spaly - founder] wanted to make pants that fit better and were more flattering, made from the world’s best fabrics. Andy [Dunn - founder] wanted to get guys out of retail stores! For Andy, retail shopping is a frustration, and he knew there was a better way. We put those two ideas together: selling premium trousers with a direct-to-consumer model online with fantastic customer service. The fashion world is full of companies where it’s all about exclusivity. Bonobos is more inclusive–you don’t have to live in New York or Paris to enjoy Bonobos. You don’t have to be a rail-thin runway model or a millionaire. We have customers in every state and about four dozen countries abroad. That’s a new thing for a premium brand.

On that note, how did founders Brian Spaly and Andy Dunn go about accomplishing these goals? Which factors were most crucial to the early success of the company?

The factor that was–and continues to be–most important to our growth is word-of-mouth marketing. For the most part, guys love the pants, and they enjoy shopping with us because we keep it hassle-free. Then they tell their friends. We have a very loyal following because we’ve grown in a grassroots way. Our team actually grew in a similar fashion. Over the past 18 months we have been searching for other bright, enthusiastic people to join our team. So while we now have a company of about 25 individuals, we haven’t lost that spark of entrepreneurial energy that got us going in the beginning.

Moving forward, how has Bonobos evolved? What have you, as a company, done to build upon the early foundation from which you rose?

I think the most obvious places that we have involved are with our products and our technology. We now offer about 40 different trousers across many fabrics–cotton twill, two weights of corduroy, various wools and wool blends, seersucker. Not to mention shorts, and soon polo shirts. We’re expanding to become not just a trouser company, but a true men’s lifestyle brand. We’re a long way away, but we’re thrilled to be working toward that goal.

With technology, we still aim to be the world’s first 100% web-driven premium men’s brand. Now, though, we have a team to help make that vision a reality. We have been able to recruit four phenomenally talented developers and designers to help create the best shopping experience on the web.

From the perspective of a Doostang community member, what do you think can be learned from “the Bonobos example?” In other words, do you believe that there are any lessons or overarching themes that motivated, young professionals might draw from Bonobos’ story?

We try and hire people who can come alive in a certain role. It is our belief that businesses succeed when the people who work on them on a daily basis are fired up about their jobs! When you pour a lot of genuine passion into a project, you tend to be more successful, because you bring a real authenticity to bear around your final product. If you’re an entrepreneur, you have to be willing to take your product or service right out to people. We sold pants out of the trunks of our cars in the very beginning. Make your product or design your service, get it out in the field, make some mistakes and learn from them. Keep your customers involved in their iterative processes and never stop learning how to make your company better.

Getting more to the point, what stands out among candidates that are seeking to be hired by Bonobos? Which qualities would the ‘ideal new hire’ need to possess?

The best candidates that we see are those who have taken the time to learn about our business before they show up for an interview and who turn a thoughtful, critical, eye to everything that we have done and bring some great ideas for what we can do to become more effective. We look for enthusiasm, humility and great listening skills in all of the people who we seek to bring onto our team! Take a look at our open opportunities here and let us know if you’d like to be a part of our team!

And there you have your recipe for success. All you need is the winning combination of enthusiasm, persistence, entrepreneurial spirit, and insight. And a good pair of pants, of course…

So visit Doostang to start investing in your career. But first make sure you invest in a pair of good fitting pants. Trust us, you’ll need them for that dream job…

Wishing you a well-tailored career,

Team Doostang

This week, Doostang users can get 20% off their Bonobos purchase. Just enter coupon code “Doostang” at check out. But hurry, this special offer ends September 21st.

Doostang News Aug18: Cleantech Careers

Top Premium JobsBusiness Consultant, New York, NY
Private Equity Analyst, Los Angeles, CA
Junior Research Associate for Startup, San Francisco, CA
Marketing Associate, Boston, MA
Hedge Fund Intern, New York, NY

Lately, the trend to go green has skyrocketed. From recycling to alternative energy, our increasingly environmentally conscious society is trying to raise awareness and mend the damage – and is offering a whole new subset of exciting career opportunities in Cleantech to prove it!

We spent some time with Field Pickering of CooInrg International, who dazzled us with the many wonders of Cleantech.

Tell me a little about CooInrg International. If you had to assign it to a particular industry, where would it fit?

Coolnrg International Pty LTd (“Coolnrg”) is an Australian company that designs and delivers energy efficiency and greenhouse gas abatement projects around the world. Our project model is based on going into markets that put a value on energy savings or carbon abatement, and distributing millions of energy efficient products to residents in a day, weekend or week, connecting that distribution to a large media event, and then valuing the energy/carbon savings to sell into a market or to a partner utility company.

The products we distribute will create real and verifiable energy or carbon savings which will allow us to create a “permit” or an “offset” which we will then sell. The media event surrounding the program creates excitement, drives participation, and enables us to create a high profile buzz that will allow us to sell our permits at a premium.

We operate in an industry that can loosely be defined as the “Global Carbon Markets”, and we also have a foot in the “Green Energy” or “Renewable Energy” industry by virtue of the fact that we create energy savings, which is a source of energy (an unused unit).

What is your role there? What does an average day look like for you?

I run the North American markets for Coolnrg. So, I am in charge of keeping my hand on the rudder of our business operations here. Based in San Francisco, I look for opportunities for us to deliver projects across the United States and Canada. Very simply, I identify opportunities, look to make contact with key stakeholders, structure partnerships, and once we have stitched up a project, I hand things over to my project delivery team.

On a typical day, when I am not traveling, I am up early checking emails that might have come in over night from the Australian office and possibly having an ichat/skype video conference with someone from the London office (we have offices in Melbourne, London, Mexico City, and San Francisco). Then I will usually get a bit of exercise and have a look at the papers. I typically try to read 4 newspapers a day (NY Times, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, SF Chronicle) and in particular I am looking for any news on energy efficiency, carbon markets, or renewable energy. I am also looking to see if any of our project partners (current and future partners) are mentioned.

Once I am in the office I spend a lot of time on the phone, trying to reach the right people at power companies, or government offices. Ideally, for one of our projects to get approved, we will need the CEO at a utility company and a Governor (or high level staff member) to endorse the project. Once we obtain those, we need approval from a state regulatory commission. I spend my days on the phone and blasting out emails trying to navigate various channels to get through to the right people at those three camps. If I can be successful (which will take multiple trips to that State to meet in person over 6 to 9 months), then we must secure relationships with various other partners to pull off an eventual project. At this final stage, there is a lot of paperwork going back and forth to create a partnership with all of the parties, as well as regulatory documentation that must be submitted.

How did you become involved in this industry? What path ultimately led you to CooInrg?

Before Coolnrg I was an M&A attorney, and from the day I entered law school I was looking for an escape route from being a lawyer. I practiced law for over 2 years. I have also been extremely fascinated by markets, and how you can effect change (like acid rain, and now climate change) by implementing a market based system whereby change occurs in a for-profit and commercial setting. While in college (University of Colorado – Go Buffs), I took an environmental economics class and became enchanted by the market that President Bush created to combat Acid Rain.

Then, in 2005, the developing nations signed a global treaty (Kyoto Protocol) to create an international market for combating climate change. At the time, still reading 4 newspapers a day, I kept reading about companies coming to the US to set up operations for this nascent “carbon market” industry. Whenever I would read about a company I would look for a website and send an email to someone, usually the CEO, saying I was a young M&A attorney looking to get into their industry. Largely I was ignored, but a few did agree to meet me for coffee, lunch or a beer, while I was next in New York, or DC (or wherever). Through this process I got in contact with Coolnrg as they were looking to open a US office. In the beginning, while still working for a big corporate law firm, I would jump on conference calls for the Australians to provide an American accent, and I slowly began to understand the business model, meet the extended team, and I realized that I was ready to take the entrepreneurial leap and leave the law practice.

That was October of 2007 and we had enough funding to get us to June 2008. Here I am 22 months later and we are still going strong.

What advice would you give to a young professional who is interested in pursuing a career in CleanTech, or the ‘Green Sector’ more generally?

I think the “Clean Tech” or “Green Sector” is still trying to fully define itself and I think with the current economic crunch/crisis, many people see this industry as a safe harbor, a good place to weather the current financial storm. And those of us in this industry really see this. So I would say if you want a career in this industry you must have passion for it, you must believe in the philosophy behind it, that of effecting behavior change around consumption and wanting to make a difference around climate change. I am not saying you need to drive a VW van, wear Birkenstocks and eat tofurkey sandwiches, but you must demonstrate to a future employer that you are there talking about a job because you have the passion for the fundamental philosophy which drives her/his business. You must also be able to articulate what that passion is, and how that passion has germinated within you. If you have it, it will come easy. If you don’t have it, try the tofurkey sandwich route.

Related to the above question, what would you identify as the key qualities that are most closely involved with a professional’s viability and overall success in this industry?

This industry is so broad that it will really depend on where within the industry one is looking to land, and what sort of a role they may play once there. I think the first thing that comes to mind for me is persistence and resilience. Much of this industry is doing something for the first time, and in many instances it means battling an incumbent company that has been around for generations and generations: whether it is electric cars competing against mainstream autos, or small solar companies fighting to compete with the large investor owned utility companies that burn coal, one must be resilient and be able to grow from each set-back.

That patience might also mean working for a company for three months without receiving a salary and working “for equity”. We are very much still in an embryonic phase of the “Clean Tech” or “Clean Energy” industry, and because the credit markets are somewhat frozen and investment money is not flowing as it once did, many start-up companies with great business models are not growing as fast as they would like, and many are asking employees to work without a salary. In many cases it is not an easy sell. Or an easy ask.

With that said, there are places for all kinds of professional qualities that will succeed in this industry, from bankers and traders, to scientists and engineers, and lawyers to roofers and basic craftsmen. Every day new companies are creating new ideas for doing old things in a more environmentally efficient way. Innovation is driving the industry and it will take people who are willing to take a leap and leave a safe career plan to a more uncertain one. It is certainly much more exciting, fulfilling and fun!

What are your future career plans? To what extent has your experience with CooInrg affected these plans?

For me, my time at Coolnrg has been extraordinary. It has allowed me to play at a much higher level than I ever would if I was an associate lawyer; I call on utility CEOs and go in to see the Chief of Staff at Governor’s office. This is only possible in an incipient industry like the “carbon markets”/”clean energy” space. I have also learned about how markets must function to effect change around an issue like Climate Change.

The next step for me is to move into an area where I am investing in companies and projects (like Coolnrg) that will be creating environmental commodities (or carbon credits) and structuring deals within that space. The problem is that this industry does not really exist yet in the USA, although it is very active internationally. So, in the meantime I have to sit tight and wait for the next wave of this industry to hit. I expect it to come in January 2010.

From a career standpoint, the potential in Cleantech is easy to recognize. But remember: ‘To the victor go the spoils’. Provided you’re ready to roll your sleeves up and get to work, this industry might just be the next big thing you’ve been waiting for. To find out more about how you can get involved in Cleantech, visit Doostang!

Have a wonderful day!

Team Doostang.

Doostang News: Private Equity & Hedge Fund Jobs in Focus

Top Premium JobsSenior Equity Portfolio Manager, San Francisco, CA
Private Equity Analyst, Newport Beach, CA
Portfolio Associate, Chicago, IL
Hedge Fund Research Assistant, New York, NY
Venture Capital Associate, Boston, MA

Private Equity and Hedge Fund positions can be extremely rewarding – but difficult to come by at the moment.

Where are the jobs? What if I only have an operations background? How should I think about my search? Read on as Samantha Cerone – an NYU grad with a background in restructuring – helps us tackle these tough questions.

Making it Happen in Finance with Samantha Cerone.

How did you first become involved in Finance? What path ultimately led you to Private Equity?

I graduated from NYU in 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in Finance. Prior to beginning my full time career, I worked hard during my undergraduate years to secure various internships. I had always known that I wanted a career in Finance. Following graduation, I started my career in Private Equity at Houlihan Lokey Howard & Zukin’s Financial Restructuring group. For those unfamiliar with the term, Private Equity involves making private investments in portfolio companies and managing them actively so as to generate value within each portfolio company. The ultimate goal of the private equity investor is to generate enough cash flow from each of its portfolio companies to pay off leverage and make a return on each equity investment.

Tell us a bit about your experience at a hedge fund. What did an average day look like?

As a hedge fund analyst, I was responsible for staying abreast of several companies within select industries, including gaming and chemicals. I would study each company within my industries in great detail, focusing on its operations, its balance sheet and financial earnings projections. To do this I relied on resources such as public filings, earnings calls, industry consultants and conversations with management teams.

On an average day I would come into the office at 7:00 AM and catch up on the morning news. This could take anywhere from 1 hour to several hours. During the day, I would have set up several phone calls with various research analysts, industry consultants and managers to discuss different companies or investments that I would be looking at. Quiet moments during the day were valuable time for reading financial statements, earnings call transcripts or information on an industry that I covered.

I would meet with my team a few times a week to discuss global macro-economic trends and things that might impact our portfolio of investments. During these meetings I would bring to my team’s attention anything I noticed in my industries that might impact another industry or any investment ideas that I might be thinking about. There was not a lot of variation in my role on a month to month basis. The biggest challenge as a hedge fund analyst is time management. No one really gives deadlines. The analyst is responsible for idea generation and for managing her time and her portfolio manager’s expectations. My portfolio manager never checked in with me so it was important to be self-motivated and proactive, always being in communication with my portfolio manager about what I was working on and how my work was progressing.

At this point in your profession, what do you consider to be the largest comparative advantages and disadvantages associated with choosing to pursue a career in private equity?

The largest advantage would be the ability to actively manage a portfolio investment. As a hedge fund analyst, I am often looking at an investment as a public investor. Many of my questions go unanswered and much of my work involves doing lots of research in order to make very educated guesses. Private equity involves a more formal due diligence process with the assistance and support of the management team in place. Also, when I have ideas for a company as a public side investor I don’t always have access to management so it’s not easy to get ideas implemented. Lastly, I have come to prefer transaction-based work and its emphasis on strategic negotiation and relationships. One of the biggest disadvantages of private equity is that it is very cyclical. The abundance of credit in the market enabled private equity to flourish up until 2008. Now that there is not ample liquidity to get deals done, it is harder to be as dynamic in PE. Investors are seeking more liquid investments and shorter term market plays. There is definitely more opportunity within hedge funds whose mandates are more flexible than those of a traditional PE fund.

How can candidates without previous experience in the finance sector differentiate themselves when applying for these opportunities? Can you offer any advice for young professionals that are interested in become involved in finance during these difficult economic times?

If someone is creative and has experience with strategy and operations he should try to communicate to interviewers how he can relate that experience to a financial statement and why this is valuable. For example, though most of my work day involved sitting behind a computer reading news feeds or other information, on occasion I would visit a company. My first time on a plant tour, I didn’t really know what to look for or what I should be paying attention to. I remember visiting an aluminum smelting facility and being so impressed by the sight of bubbling liquid-hot aluminum that I failed to notice how inefficient the plant was set up. It takes a discerning eye to understand how these inefficiencies show up on an income statement. A candidate should do his best to convey that he brings a fresh perspective to a team of financial experts who might overlook operational or strategic nuances.
How can well-educated, motivated young professionals take advantage of this moment? Where are the opportunities and what types of career paths are showing promise?

There are lots of entrepreneurs and startups that are building businesses from scratch. I think this is a tremendous opportunity to get one’s foot in the door and grow within a potentially burgeoning organization. I started my career in financial restructuring. I think that restructuring is a promising career path right now. There are a lot of insolvent companies and financial meltdowns that require a very special set of skills that only restructuring bankers and legal advisors possess. Experience in restructuring would provide a young professional with a solid real-world education in what makes a business falter. It is a great opportunity to learn how to rebuild businesses and identify potential pitfalls.


What are your future career plans? What advice would you offer to someone with several years of industry experience who is currently trying to navigate the tumultuous job market? (What strategies have you employed?)

I am applying to business school for fall 2010 and concurrently looking for employment. If I am fortunate enough to secure full-time employment then I intend to participate in a part-time MBA program. Should I attend a full-time program, I will be actively seeking a private equity internship because I ultimately want a career in PE. I am also interested in careers in restructuring. My experience in restructuring was a very satisfying intellectual challenge.
Networking is crucial. It is important to communicate that you are unemployed and that you are still looking. People are busy and not always thinking about your career path if you have been remiss in communicating for several months. The one good thing about this economic downturn is that people are more willing to sit and chat than before. I have been setting up informational interviews with various professionals, some of whom are even quite famous. I am very frank in communicating to someone that I desire to emulate his or her successes and I desire mentorship or at least some pearl of wisdom. Most people are very pleased to help a young professional like myself land on her feet once again after this tumultuous period in our economy

I am very gregarious. I make a memorable impression on people and I use this to develop a network. No only do I benefit from the people I meet; I also do a good job of introducing people within my network to each other. I seek to create an exchange of ideas amongst the people in my network rather than establish a one-way flow of information from my mentors to me. This demonstrates that I am conscientious of other people’s objectives and people are very appreciative of this and perpetually willing to support my goals.

And there you have it. Relentless commitment to a goal in conjunction with the proper resources create a critical foundation for achieving your professional goals.

Though we can’t make you more driven, we can provide you with the tools that will help take you to the next level of your career. If you’re ready to take the initiative, visit us at Doostang for more info.

Team Doostang

 

Doostang News June 23: Making an Internship Click

 Jr. Hedge Fund Analyst, New York, NY
M&A Intern, San Francisco, CA
Private Equity Intern, New York, NY
Venture Capital Analyst, Boston, MA
Investment Banking Intern, Hong Kong, China

Interns are on the recruitment fast-track. Employers take them for a test drive and, if they’re suitably impressed, make them an offer they can’t refuse. In a down economy, getting on the inside track is even more important.

“Our studies show that in a poor economy, when employers do have jobs, they often look first to their own interns and co-op students”,” says Marilyn Mackes, executive director of National Association of Colleges and Employers. In the past, employers have extended offers to nearly 70 percent of their interns, and more than one third of the new college graduates they hired came from their own internship programs.

We talked with former JP Morgan intern Abena Opoku-Acquah about how she got the job that led to a job offer. A native of Ghana and graduate of Smith College, Abena overcame the odds of being an international student in search of a job and an H-1B visa. After a summer internship, she was hired as an analyst in the Credit Risk Management Group covering the Retail/Consumer/Healthcare sectors..

Abena has since returned to Ghana, where she is doing Credit Risk Management for Zenith Bank Ghana. Here’s how Abena got on track to a career in financial services. Read on…


From Intern to Analyst with Abena Opoku-Acquah, Zenith Bank Ghana

Tell us about your move from Ghana–What brought you to the U.S.?

School. I had a choice between the U.K and the States. I got into Smith College, and the financial package was great. Even though I knew I wanted to major in economics, I also liked the idea of not having to make a firm decision until sophomore year. Funny enough, once I got into school, I started studying economics from day one.

What was it like for you–going to college, then looking for a job–compared to your classmates?

It was much more stressful. International students only have 12 months on their OPT (optional practical training), so my internships had to count. I had to apply for OPT before I heard back from potential employers; but if I didn’t get a job, my OPT months would be forfeit. There was a huge risk involved in looking for internships. The field was also much narrower, because I couldn’t afford to take a non-paying internship, and the jobs had to be related to my major. Those
jobs also happened to be the most competitive.

My employer list was also much shorter. I had to apply to a company that would be willing to apply for an H-1B (non-immigrant visa) for me. That list of companies is a lot smaller than you’d think ,especially if you didn’t do IT or engineering in college.

How did you get your position at JP Morgan? What credentials do you think made you stand out from other applicants?

I did an internship the summer of my junior year and, frankly, I think I got lucky, because I was competing with kids who had set up businesses by the time they were 19. I do know that I was curious: I didn’t hesitate to ask questions about things outside the scope of my assignments, I took time to get to know people, and I did my work well. I think it’s really about the fit and the culture. One day I walked in the door and felt this “click.” I guess they felt it too.

Unfortunately, I got unlucky in the massive lottery / game of chance that was the H-1B visa application process last year, and I had to leave the country.

Why did you decide to go into financial services?

I was already into Economics. Figuring out how markets work, how business and government are interconnected, how industries react to certain stimuli—that really got me excited. So when I was thinking about my career, I looked at an industry that would allow me to continue on that path of discovery. I wasn’t ready to get my masters or a PhD (the other path economics majors can take), so I went into banking

What do you wish someone had told you before you left Ghana about living and working in the U.S.?

I wish somebody had told me that everything I thought I knew and everything I thought I would experience would be completely wrong, and that I should go into the experience with no expectations and an open mind. Of course, I probably wouldn’t have listened.

If you could map your career for the next 5-10 years, what stops would you make along the way?

Business school for sure. I don’t believe you can fully serve businesses without really understanding what motivates them. You can’t structure debt or propose a merger, for example, without understanding how the business works, what the long-term strategy is, how different divisions work together, etc. I think an MBA will help me understand that better.

After that, maybe a foray into the fashion industry or the entertainment industry, where financing is a little more risky, more uncertain. Then I may end up in a venture capital firm or running my own firm. Ten years down the line is a little nebulous. I think this market has taught us that nothing is set in stone, and everything can change when you least expect it. So I’ll just continue to build my skill set, keep my mind open and cross my fingers for luck.

—-

Results from NACE’s Student Survey show that 73 percent of the 2009 grads who have landed jobs had completed an internship at some point in their college careers.

The Doostang job bank lists more than 350 internships across all industries—and more than 40 in finance alone! Check out the opportunities and apply via Doostang or the company website.

Do a Doostang Q&A and get one month, Free. Email us today with your interest.

Team Doostang

Doostang News May11: A Monday walk down to electric avenue

Senior Business Analyst, Leading Solar Company, Santa Clara, CA

Sr. Associate Manager, Fortune 500 Utilities Firm, Ann Arbor, MI
Solar Energy Intern, Solar Provider, San Jose, CA
Energy Analyst, Consulting Firm, Washington, DC
Market Development Intern, Carbon Generation Firm, New York, NY

It’s hard to miss the chatter about energy jobs right now — whether in traditional sectors or renewables. At Doostang, it’s been just as hard to miss a growing trend among our Premium members: energy and utilities is currently the fastest growing career interest among them.

So, this week we talked to Pedram, a USC Marshall MBA who now works in Strategic Planning for Southern California Edison, the largest subsidiary of Edison International. Listen up, folks, Pedram’s consulting-like role within this dynamic industry may open your eyes to new ways to engage your skills and interests.


How did you get your current position at Southern California Edison?

A lot of times you hear that the best way to find a job is through networking. Well, that turned out to be the case for me as I found my current position by networking in my Business School classes. One of my classmates was working for Southern California Edison at the time and he helped introduce me to the hiring manager.

Describe a day in your life in your current role.

In my current role working in the “Strategic Planning Group” at Southern California Edison, my work is similar to working as an internal consultant. My group takes on large strategic projects that have a significant impact to the corporation. The work is project-based so that means there is a lot of variety in my day-to-day activities. Depending on the nature of the project my daily activities may involve team meetings, working with Excel models, interacting with external parties or updating senior management. Examples of some recent projects include evaluating the financial impact of legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, assessing the effect of electric vehicles on electricity demand over the next decade and working to integrate renewable energy into the electric grid.

Where are the career opportunities in energy right now?

I see a broad array of opportunities in the electric sector ranging from positions with utilities, consultants, regulators to renewable energy start-ups. Also, the electric sector currently faces an aging work-force with a large percentage of employees at or near retirement age. This age bubble will likely create a lot of new opportunities for younger professionals. For example Southern California Edison has created two Analyst Rotation Programs to help fill the talent pipeline. One rotation program is in our Power Procurement Business Unit which involves purchasing wholesale electricity and natural gas through contracts and energy markets. The second rotation program is in our Customer Service Business Unit which administers customer programs such as energy efficiency, customer owned solar panels and the roll-out of second of generation electric meters. Both programs are geared towards recent grads (within the last year) and are two year programs with 4 to 6 month assignments through different departments within each Business Unit. Interested applicants should send an email to CollegeRelations AT sce.com.

What are your longer term career plans? How does your current job fit into them?

Longer term, I plan to continue working in the energy industry, in particular the electric industry. Given the world’s increasing demand for sustainable energy sources I see electricity playing a key role in meeting those needs. The electric sector, which has been relatively stagnant for the past several decades, is currently on the cusp of a dramatic change. I think legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increased demand for renewable energy, second-generation electric meters, continued population growth, the nuclear renaissance, and the fruition of the electric car are all powerful market forces that will create significant long term opportunities in the electric sector. There may be a few losers along the way, merchant coal generators seem to be the most at risk, but all in all I’m very bullish on the electric sector.

Learn more about Southern California Edison. What other companies interest you? Drop us a note.

MBAs on Doostang

Last week, we welcomed Northwestern’s Kellogg School and INSEAD to Doostang’s family of MBA partners. If you are an MBA candidate from one of these schools, might we urge you to upgrade your membership FREE to access thousands of relevant opportunities in a time of scarcity.

Or, perhaps you’ve already landed a job or internship. Word on the street is that, compared to previous years, more MBAs are returning to their pre-MBA careers rather than switching to new ones. What’s your story? Help out your peers by telling us about it.


Happy New Week,

Team Doostang

Doostang News Apr23: The Ins and Outs of Consulting

International Consultant, New York, NY Summer Intern, Consulting & Strategy, Boston, MA

PE/HF Business Consultant, Washington, DC

Hedge Fund Internship, New York, NY

Senior Manager, Strategy & Business Development, Miami, FL

Venture Capital/Private Equity Associate, San Francisco, CA

According to our numbers, about 63% of you have indicated consulting as a career interest. That’s more people than live in Pittsburgh, so we took a break from finding over 400 awesome new Premium Jobs this week to do some homework.

Let’s be honest: hiring targets at consulting firms are down, but do take a moment to check out the nearly 1,000 consulting jobs on Doostang. Focus on small pockets where hiring is happening, for instance, Energy, Supply Chain and Healthcare consulting.

Then read our interview with Mada. Whether you’re transitioning into or out of consulting, we think you’ll find her story relevant. After completing her Master’s at Stanford, Mada moved onto Deloitte and then a start-up, Yola, and she was kind enough to speak with us about her path.

From Consulting to a Start-up with Mada Seghete

How did you get into consulting originally? What motivated that choice?

In grad school, I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do after I got my degree or what type of business would be the best fit for me. I knew I wanted to try many different things, and consulting seemed like the best choice for that.

What do consulting firms look for in a candidate?

Consulting firms are really looking for just a few basic characteristics. First, they want to be confident that the candidate would represent the company competently in front of a client. You can’t underestimate the importance of people skills. Secondly, they want to know how well the candidate can analyze a problem and whether that person can easily adapt to different projects and environments. And finally, they are looking for someone who fits the culture of the company. 

What are the most valuable experiences/skills you gained in consulting?

The best thing about consulting was the diversity of things I was doing at any one time. I got to work on strategy, financial, and pro-bono projects, led activities in recruiting, and got papers published. I most valued the projects that I did for smaller firms. Overall, I feel like I gained very good analytical skills, and I learned a lot about delivering a good presentation. Overall, it was a great experience, and Deloitte was a great place for me. 

What has the transition from consulting to Business Product Manager at a start-up been like?

I’m not going to lie, it’s been very different. I see the same people everyday, I don’t travel, I feel like I get things done rather than simply advise. I must say I have loved every minute of it. Yola is such an amazing environment — I can bring my puppy to work, and although we all work very hard, we always have a really good time together. It’s almost a paradox. It feels a lot more laid back than consulting, but at the same time, my work is a lot more intense. I know everything I do has a direct impact on our goals and that kind of responsibility is great.

What do you think gave you an edge over other candidates when interviewing at Yola?

They were looking for someone with enough technical experience to understand the product, but also the business acumen to manage big projects. I had worked as a developer before Deloitte, so that took care of the technical experience. Consulting really helped me on the business side. Also, it helped that I was really passionate about the product — I put a lot of work into buidling my own website, I followed Web 2.0 trends, and I really did my research.

Why did you decide to go to grad school and how has that choice impacted your career? I decided to go to grad school mainly because I knew I didn’t want to be a developer (http://www.doostang.com/search?search_query=software+developer)  in the long term (my undergrad was in electrical and computer engineering). I loved coding, but I felt that it wasn’t what I really wanted to do.  Grad school changed my life. It propelled me into a completely different direction, and I learned I loved business, strategy and design. I use things I learned in school every day at work, whether it’s a marketing framework, a way to approach our users, or a presentation. What role had being an international student/job candidate played in your career?

It has always been harder as an international person. I always felt I had fewer choices, and I had to find jobs earlier. I think as I have gained more experience, things have become easier, but I definetly had a hard time in the beginning. The worse time was when I didn’t get my H1B visa with my first company, Siemens, and I had to leave when my OPT (Optional Practical Training) expired. Fortunately, I was accepted into Stanford, so I just took the summer off and travelled for a month around the country. What advice do you have for international students/employees in the present job market? Start you job search early! Make sure you know your options, talk to your school’s international students office as much as you can. Go to workshops, and tell your employers about your situation early on. Do lots and lots of research and for every form that you are asked to submit, make it your top priority to send it out as soon as you can.

See Mada’s profile. Learn more about Yola.

How can we help you out with your career transition? Submit your questions and we’ll answer them.

Class of 2009 – Your Number’s Almost Up

Graduation is coming and all you keep hearing is that hiring is down by 22% for graduating students. For those of you who are interested in consulting, the good news is the majority of consulting recruiting happens on campus – for graduating seniors and MBAs alike. The bad news? Well, that stat we won’t repeat makes every industry all the more competitive these days.

Whether you’re set on consulting, or looking for an alternative, allow us to step on the soapbox for approximately 30 seconds.

You’ve invested in your education and you deserve the best. Know that, take a deep breath, and please do let us know how we can help.

May your day trend upward and to the right,

Team Doostang