A No BS Guide to Getting a Finance Internship

 

I’ll be blunt. The finance internship recruiting process is tough, it’s long, it’s draining. But not if you’re prepared. I know I present myself as a fun-loving person who’s herself in the big, bad finance world. That is me. But make no mistake. I knew exactly what I was doing during the entire recruiting process. From day 1, I set out to hack the system, figure out every trick in the book, and win at the game. And now, I’m sharing my insights with you (mostly so I don’t need to keep rewriting this over and over again in a million chat boxes).

I’ve broken this guide into 6 sections:

  1. The resume, the 1-page paper that shouldn’t define you but does
  2. The cover letter, the letter no-one ever reads
  3. Networking and how to not suck at it
  4. The big, bad interview
  5. Final Samaneeisms
  6. Resources you can ask me for/I recommend

You should be able to scroll through whatever is useful to you. This post will be long but it’s everything I personally think you need to know if you’re starting from zero. Why on earth am I doing this? Cause my parents raised me too damn well. But the other reason is everyone deserves a fair shot and equal access to information.

If you don’t think you can get this internship on a level playing field, then frankly, I don’t think you deserve it.

This is my attempt at leveling out the playing field. If after reading this, you have more personal questions, need a specific opinion, reviews, message me. But if you ask me anything that I’ve covered here, I will send you back here. I’m not charging for this shit but my time is precious.

Now, on to the fun stuff. Hopefully you enjoy my sense of humor. #NSFW


Resume

Get this wrong and you’re out of the game. Recruiters spend less than 30 seconds on one. Let’s make sure they look at yours. I’m going to break the resume down to what actually matters.

  1. Format
  2. How to write a bullet point
  3. Quantifying the shit out of your bullet points
  4. The additional information section: do’s and don’t

1. Format

Your resume should look something pretty close to what I have below. This template is also available courtesy of me through this dropbox link. It’s been Morgan Stanley partner approved so rest assured, it’s good.

Key formatting stuff:

  • Don’t go fancy. Boring looking resumes are good resumes for finance
  • Margins no less than 0.5 inches
  • Font no less than 10pt. Don’t you dare use Comic Sans. I will hunt you. Times New Roman is always a safe route.
  • White space is your friend
  • Get right tab stops so everything on the right is aligned. Watch this videofrom 1:05–1:30 to see how to do it on Word or use my template as I’ve already set it up
  • Just set it up like mine/use my template to make life easy. It’s self-explanatory.
  • Education section: Finance resumes need all your scores (SAT, GPA, ACT, AP). Don’t forget to add them. Don’t round up. It will get you in trouble.

2. How to write a bullet point

First rule in general:

NO SPELLING MISTAKES. NO GRAMMAR MISTAKES. EVERRRRR.

Glad we got that out of the way.

The best way to write a bullet point is using the formula:

Accomplished [X] as measured by [Y] by doing [Z]

Courtesy of Laszlo Block, Google. Read his article for an AMAZING explanation!!!!! I’ll show you one example of how this formula works from his article.

Case Study: College student who is a leader in her sorority

  • Managed sorority budget
  • Managed $31,000 Spring 2014 budget and invested idle funds in appropriate high-yielding capital notes
  • Managed $31,000 Spring 2014 budget and invested $10,000 in idle funds in appropriate high-yielding capital notes returning 5% over the year

It’s pretty obvious. Basically write what you did and the result/impact of what you did. The emphasis is on the impact of your action. It’s the so what of your bullet. Why should I care?

2nd and 3rd and REALLY IMPORTANT 4th rule (They’re all important)

  1. Don’t fucking lie. They will know. They run background checks. Don’t fucking do it.
  2. Resumes are 50% truth and 50% not lies. Don’t lie. But get creative with your wordage.
  3. Tailor your resume!!!!!!!!!!! What does this mean? Get the job description and show how you have the requirements they’re looking for through your bullet points. Heck, use the same words even. They want team work, show you worked on a team.
“Samanee, what if I’ve never done anything finance/business related?”

Totally okay! There’s a fun fancy word we use called transferable skills. When you read the job description of a finance internship, usually 1 out of 10 says “interest in markets/investing”. Everything else is very…uh, normal-ish skills.

Here’s an example of a Goldman job description:

  • Demonstrated interest in the markets
  • Record of academic excellence
  • Strong analytical and communication skills
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and desire to work in a team-based environment
  • Creative approach to problem solving
  • Ability to work under pressure
  • Proven leadership ability

Wow would you look at that. Only one bullet point on the markets/finance. Everything else, I’m sure you can find an experience and show how you have the skill they’re looking for. For example:

  1. Ability to work under pressure: You’re apart of the South Asian Students Association and planned the formal under tight deadlines and limited budget
  2. Creative approach to problem solving: You figured out a way to engage your BRYTE student to promote greater efficiency in their learning through sports
  3. Proven leadership ability: You led your pole dancing team to victory. Okay, maybe don’t write about pole dancing. Proceed at your own caution. But sports is great.

3. Quantifying the shit out of your bullet points

Finance people LOVEEEEE numbers and percentages so give them freaking numbers and percentages. Numbers give context. See Laszlo’s article again.

“But wait Samanee, what if I didn’t work with money values, invested returns, percentage increases, etc etc all this boring finance shit”

You can still quantify! Quantify team numbers, participation rates of events, audience numbers, anything you can remotely attach a number to. Here are some examples from my resume:

  • Managed team of designers to produce IFJ magazine vs Managed team of 7 graphic designers and 3 photographers to produce 4 IFJ magazines that reached 95,000 viewers.
  • Organized social hackathon vs Organized ChangeFest, a 1-day social hackathon which saw 60+ attendees, mentors, government officials; approval ratings of event averaged over 93% with 100% of students feeling more confident in their ability to create a project.

Man look at those #NUMBERS

4. The additional information section: do’s and don’t

You should include:

  • Computer skills (Microsoft Suite doesn’t count. Really it doesn’t. Only coding languages such as C++, Java, Matlab counts too). If you have none, just skip this. Save space on the paper
  • Languages (and actually speak that language). Again, if you don’t, skip this line
  • I include diversity recruiting events I’ve attended here but that’s my personal choice. Tends to get less lost in the paper by being near the bottom
  • INTERESTS!!!! OMG YOU’RE A REAL PERSON. NO FUCKING WAY.

Interests

Please have a little fun in this section. This is honestly what most recruiters enjoy reading. Don’t be bland and write:

  • Economics, food, TV. Seriously wtf does this tell me?

My personal interests are:

  • Education reform, Game of Thrones, Hiking (climbed the Himalayas), Traveling (21 countries), Amateur karaoke

You can give a little context to your interests like I have. I’ve built in a question that can be asked. For example, I’ve had people:

  • Ask me about my experience in Nepal
  • Ask me what my go-to karaoke song is
  • Say, “OMFG YOU’VE BEEN TO 21 COUNTRIES?” ya.

End with a Bang.


Cover Letter

Nobody really reads this. It’s a formality. But still do it right. This section will cover:

  1. Formatting
  2. What to write for each paragraph
  3. How to streamline the process

Cover letter hacks courtesy of color coding hahaha.

1. Formatting

The basics of cover letters, which you can use the template above through this link is:

  • No more than 3/4 page. 1/2 is ideal.
  • 3 paragraphs. 4 max where 2 would be focused on your previous experiences and how it relates to the job.
  • Needs the date, address, and contact details on top
  • Ya that’s it. Margins can be around 1 inch I’d say even though I have smaller margins. Your choice

2. What to write for each paragraph

Paragraph 1

The intro is very generic: what job are you applying to and where did you find the job from?

Next, what’s your personal relation to the firm you’re applying to? Here you would mention networking event, diversity event, something. Also good place to name drop from your networking, but in a classy way.

I always take the do-good angle but find something you like about the firm. Make it personalized though.

Tie it back together to you.

Paragraph 2 (and 3 if you want. Not needed)

This is where you talk about YOU. Basically expand on a couple bullet points. And only talk about 1 experience. Max 2. Helpful hints. Copy paste the job description and required skills, and then use the exact same words to show how you have those skills from your previous experience.

For example:

  • Job requirement: Excellent interpersonal skills and a desire to work in a team based environment
  • Line from my cover letter: During my tenure as IFJ head of design, I was able to develop my interpersonal skills through acting as liaison between the design and editorial team. Additionally, managing a team of 5 members showed me that I thrive on a team based environment. (okay made this totally up but you get the point)

Paragraph 3

It’s basically a conclusion. Just rehash some words from the job description, summarize your previous paragraph about how you’ll fit into the job and include your personal details at the end.

See, not that hard.

3. How to streamline the process

If you see my template, I color coded parts that I have to change depending on the firm I apply to and so I don’t make the mistake of forgetting to change the name of the firm. Do not make this mistake. I repeat. DO NOT MAKE THIS MISTAKE.

I suggest doing the same for yours. As a result, it takes me 10 mins to rewrite a cover letter each time. Feel free to use the template! Link above (below the cover letter picture).


Networking

So you’ve got the perfect resume and cover letter but it means shit if you can’t network right. 9 times out of 10, networking is the reason someone got an interview. Going to a place like Brown, hate to break it to you but you’re all not that different from the other app-math econ major who does BIG, Bryte and saves puppies. This is where you make a name for yourself.

“But Samanee. Networking is so impersonal. I don’t like it. I’ve never done it. It’s scary. Blah blah blah”

Ya get over it. Boo fucking hoo. If you’re not able to talk to your fellow alumni who are just a couple years older than you, how do you expect to talk to clients triple your age and convince them you know your shit? Don’t claim to want a client facing role if you can’t even do this.

I do promise you though, the more you do it, the easier it gets. They’ve become second nature to me now. I hated them back in freshman year.

  1. How to handle recruiting/networking events
  2. The email reach out
  3. The conversation
  4. The follow-up, a how-to guide to maintain the relationship

1. How to handle recruiting/networking events

Welcome to the mosh pit. I’m just going to give my quick bullet point advice on how to handle this.

  • Go to every single one that is offered. They keep track of your name when you swipe
  • Sit at the front. Just do it. It’s easier when the herd of students attack
  • Don’t be a question hog. We all hate them.
  • Be the person that lets people into the circle
  • Don’t waste your time. I do a 5-minute conversation, collect business card, and leave. Sometimes less. It’s all about the business card.
  • The questions I ask are simple: similarities of firm and college? Why that division? Why that major while at college? Why the firm?
  • Secret. You don’t even need the business card! Just their name. Email formats are usually firstname.lastname@firmname.com. WHAT A REVELATION.
  • Eat the cookies

2. The email reach out

My first piece of advice is get Mixmax. Free email tracking advice that let’s you know if people have seen your mail. Why? Alums get bombarded with hundreds of mail a day and sometimes, they just don’t see your mail! It’s nothing personal. Mixmax helps you sleep easy.

Best time to email is usually Tuesday/Wednesday morning around 8am for cold reach outs. Right after an event for warm reach outs (Within 24 hours). Mixmax can schedule your emails! It’s amazing. I don’t even get paid for you using them cause I love them so much.

Rule of thumb: If they haven’t seen/replied to an email after 1 week, you can email again with a “just checking in again. Are you free this week to talk about xyz? Thanks”. Obviously make it a little better than that.

Sample Email:

Subject: Samanee Mahbub — Brown University | Wealth M. 101 Event
Hi *name*,
It was so great meeting you! I loved getting to know you and seeing how you were able to use your *whatever degree to MS. Fun personal fact. Mention something from your conversation.*
After speaking with you, my interest in wealth management at Morgan Stanley increased tenfold. I was wondering if you had 30 minutes to spare sometime in the next week or two for a quick chat. I’d love to learn more about your rotational program and how the interview process works for wealth management internships. Please let me know when you’re free.
Best,
Samanee

When they email back saying yes they’re available, give them a range of times and dates and give them as many options as possible. They’re really busy.

3. The conversation

Quick things to know and things that I do:

  • Never go over 30 minutes. Respect their time. End the convo politely
  • Don’t be boring. By that, I mean don’t be a robot, only asking about markets, rates, ew. Ask about them as a person, fun questions, advice questions. Make them feel human.
  • Be in a quiet place
  • I recommend using your headphones to speak. Keeps your hands free
  • Keep a list of questions in front of you. I use my laptop and type the answers as I’m hearing them
  • Relax and have fun. I’ve maintained a lot of my networking contacts and have much less formal convos now.

How do I stand out?

Easy: by asking damn good questions.

I’m pretty sure I got one of my interviews through a networking conversation because the speaker said, “You know. You asked the best questions and I’ve talked to a lot of kids today. You really stood out.”

So obviously, here are some questions I ask when networking that gives me both good information and aren’t so boring.

  1. Why this firm? Why this position over the others?
  2. What skills will I walk away with?
  3. What are you actually doing day to day?
  4. xyz firm is always talking about making an impact. How are you personally able to make an impact in such a large firm?
  5. How have your responsibilities grown since you’ve joined?
  6. Likes and dislikes of the job
  7. Advantages and disadvantages of the job
  8. How do you see this division growing?
  9. What did you wish you knew when you were in my position?
  10. Best advice either personally or professionally?

4. The follow up

Step 1: The thank you email

Just shoot them something like:

Hi *name*,
Thanks again for speaking to me! I really appreciated all your advice and wise words. Especially when you help dispelled that finance is a field where the majority of people are really doing amazing and impactful work. *more personal info blah blah blah* I’ll definitely keep in touch with any other questions through the interview process and wish you the best of luck in all your endeavors!
Also, I was wondering if you could put me in touch with any other wealth management analysts. I’d love to more about the different divisions.
Best,
Samanee

It’s important to be personal, but also have an ask. Your ask is more contacts. Which yes, means more of those networking calls. But this is your internship at stake. How bad do you really want it?

Step 2: How to maintain the contact

Through check in emails every 3–6 months.

If it’s the summer, I would send an email saying what you’re doing for the summer, how much you’re learning, and if they have advice for you on how to prepare for recruiting during the summer.

Send an email if you got an interview and ask for interview help.

Send an email with a “just checking in. School is going well. Doing this this and that. How’s work?”

It’s your job to maintain the relationship.

Wow look at that. Networking is so easy isn’t it?

Last part: The recommendation

So you’ve built a relationship with them. I struggle with this part my best advice is when you apply, just send them an email saying you did, really appreciate their help, and you were wondering if they could help push your resume through/put in a good word. However you want to phrase it.

Some last bits of advice:

  • Start early. Like right now. As you’re reading this.
  • You will lose contact with some people. That’s okay.
  • Not every conversation will go perfectly. That’s okay.
  • Just maintain that one or two good ones. They’ll be more useful than 10 half-ass ones.
  • Always be prepared for the conversation with questions.
  • Be flexible. Their schedules change. You accommodate them, not the other way round.
  • Recruiters are great people to email to ask for contacts. Email them!
  • The secret no one tells you: become friends with the incoming batch of full-time analysts when they’re seniors. Trust me, it’s a lot easier when you already have a good relationship with them.

Interview

So you did it! You had a rocking resume and cover letter, nailed networking and now you’re here. Well shit. Now things get real.

The format: First round (usually 1–2 interviews on campus or on the phone). Then a super day (usually 3 interviews back to back. I know a firm where you can have up to 9. Be prepared).

For interview prep, I created a cheat sheet (that I can pass along if you want. Message me), would watch a bollywood movie the night before interviews, and remind myself, it’s not the end of the world if this doesn’t work out. That morning, I’d check the quick stats like S&P, Dow, and macro trends if they were interesting.

We’re dividing this section into:

  1. The questions you will definitely get asked
  2. The technical, and why you don’t need to care so much
  3. The behavioral, and why you need to care more
  4. Questions to ask at the end
  5. Interview advice, how to hack the process

1. The questions you will definitely get asked

There are 3–4 questions you should know from the top of your head as well as you know the Happy Birthday Song.

  1. Tell me about yourself/Walk me through your resume
  2. Why this firm?
  3. Why this division/role?
  4. Potentially why finance?

1. Tell me about yourself/walk me through your resume

I have an easy formula to deal with this question which I’ll explain through my own answer. Feel free to follow it or not. It’s just an easy way to structure it.

And your answer shouldn’t be longer than 1–2 minutes.

1. The beginning: this is where the story starts. Usually your home/college.

I’m originally from Bangladesh where there weren’t a lot of women in business/finance (yes I played this card. Sue me). However, my mum challenged me by saying why not start my own. So I helped my brother start a noodle business while in middle school.

2. The lightbulb moment: this is where your interest in business/finance started

Over the few years, we dramatically grew the business that our school even stopped us from selling (humor points) because we had become so popular. That experience solidified my interest in business, particularly dealing with our customers and clients, and giving them the best service possible (Tying it back to the firm. A lot of their mission statements have putting clients first).

3. Continued cultivation of interest: show how you’ve been taking initiative to learn more. Then explain the connection to the firm.

When I got to Brown, I wanted to learn what finance was. I joined IFJ and it was there that I actually met a previous intern at your firm. She told me about how you’re able to use quantitative and qualitative skills, the team work, and general open culture of the firm.

4. Why you’re here today: Why are you interviewing?

That’s why I’m here today interviewing for this role. It brings together the client interaction I really enjoyed from running my business as well as the analytical rigor I found in my internship at BRAC. Additionally, I wanted to pursue an opportunity that would allow me to work with large institutional clients or multiple high-net worth individuals.

5. The future

Eventually, I want to use the finance background this would give me and become an advisor or investor within emerging markets such as Bangladesh due to the wealth of opportunities and I know this firm would give me the required skills. (Lol okay maybe not totally true with my intentions. But I used the card I had. Know why you’re doing this in general)

2. Why this firm?

You should have a personal answer based off networking. Be anecdotal from conversations. Mention names.

Just don’t be generic.

Also know the firm. Eg. Sales and trading isn’t called sales and trading at Goldman. It’s securities. Know your shit.

3. Why this division/role?

Same as above. For me, I liked that it was team work orientated, open culture, quant and qualitative. You’ll have your own answer to this question.

2. The technical, and why you don’t need to care so much

Technicals are division dependent.

If you’re IB, know stuff like DCF, LBO, the financial statements. I won’t get into details. Just ask me for one of the IBD guides I have. It’ll have everything you need to know.

Wealth management, investment management and sales and trading, technicals are markets based questions. I have a guide if you want but you really don’t need it.

  • I never spent more than 1 minute talking about the markets in a 30 minute interview
  • The most common question I got was “How do you keep track of the markets?” I would talk about apps I used like theSkimm and Market Snacks to make it more relatable. WSJ and I didn’t get along.
  • Others can include, “What’s up with the Fed, China, Oil”. Know the key macro drivers of the world. Just do a quick google on a general opinion. Nothing fancy.
  • Quick facts you should know: S&P, Dow, where the firm is trading at, chair of the Fed, CEO of your company. I was asked these
  • Stock pitches: I only had to pitch Why Brown. Other interns had to pitch stocks. Quick tips are pick an obscure one, know the basic numbers, and 3 reasons why it’s a good stock. Read up.
  • You may get asset allocation questions. Always ask for the goals and client profile. General rule is fixed income is safer. Equities more volatile. Know which sectors aren’t doing well. Or you could be me and say give 1/5 of your money to charity haha. Try your best but it’s okay to say I don’t know, here’s my best guess, what do you think? Turn it into a conversation

The best advice I ever received from an MD

  • You don’t need to develop an opinion on the markets. You don’t know anything. Just be able to regurgitate something you read and why that’s the case

How I ACTUALLY prepared (by that, I mean I really didn’t prepare at all)

So I don’t recommend doing what I did because I don’t think I cared frankly as much as I should have. I only started keeping track of the markets a week before my interviews.

How did I do this?

  • Subscribe to an email newsletter called market snacks now. It usually picks the winners and losers of the days, it gives a quick run down of macro trends, and it’s written by your drunk , frat bro. Keeps it fun. I’ve heard morning brew is also really good.
  • I would read headlines on my iphone news app as it related to the Fed, China, Oil or whatever big macro event was happening (Brexit as I’m writing this). I understood macro econ because of high school so macro trends was always easy for me to pick up on. You just want to have a general idea of what the impact of certain things will be. Or just read someone else’s opinion and understand it, then regurgitate.
  • I semi-prepared a stock pitch THE MORNING of my interview on the train. I was very lucky not to be asked about why McDonalds was doing well because all I knew was #alldaybreakfastmenu. It is luck sometimes.
  • Sound like you know what you’re talking about. Fake it ’til you make it (unless you really don’t know. Then say you don’t know). During my interview, I gave a very passioned speech about Square’s IPO being only 3 billion compared to it’s 6 billion valuation when it was private. This was an indication of a weak IPO market and more tech firms choosing to stay private. Sounds fancy right? Ya I just read that in the first paragraph of some article, and I had a little baseline knowledge of Square the company as I’m a little tech geek.

Brainteasers

Well, I got both of mine wrong haha and I still got a job! It’s not so much about the answer but your thought process. As long as you show that, you’ll be okay.

Maybe learn how to measure 4 gallons with a 3 and 5 gallon bucket. And the Monte Carlo simulation.

But really, not the end of the world if you get it wrong. Just try.

3. The behavioral, and why you need to care more

This is where I won my interviews: with my personality. The general formula for answering these questions is STAR:

Situation-What’s the context

Task-Describe the problem you were solving

Action-What did you do

Result-What was the outcome

Just the questions you should know based off my cheat sheet:

  1. Why Brown?
  2. Why your major?
  3. How does your major relate to finance?
  4. Strengths
  5. Weakness
  6. Leadership example
  7. Teamwork example
  8. Failure example
  9. Walk me through your last internship or a task in it
  10. Why should we hire you?
  11. How are you with feedback?

Ask me for a guide if you want it!!!

Know your resume by heart. Anything is fair game. Hence, don’t lie.

I tried to make a story out of every question. Insert some humor. And I always tied it back to the firm. Be it through their values, or how the experience would benefit me on the job.

4. Questions to ask at the end

You only need to ask 2–3 questions. Keep them in your back pocket. Some ones that I’ve used are:

  1. Personalized question based on the intro my interviewer gave me
  2. What sort of skills do you hope interns walk away with?
  3. What sort of projects will interns get to work on to help the firm?
  4. How do interns interact with the different people?
  5. Anything you want to know.

Don’t forget to send a thank you email! And if you said you would follow up about something, you better follow up.

5. Interview advice and hacks

So the following are some quick tips I’ve learned through my experience about how to hack the process and make it a little easier.

  1. Any chance you get, steer the conversation into something you actually like talking about. For example, when asked about my story, I actively avoided talking about my previous banking or business internships. I talked about a cupcake business I helped out with and how much people loved red velvet cupcakes.
  2. Make a conversation out of anything. In other words, don’t have an interview, have a conversation. For example, one of my interviewers was eating fruits when she dropped one. We went on a 5 minute rant about how much we hate when that happens and the importance of the 5 second rule.
  3. Be confident and sound sure of your answers. Girls in particular have a habit of finishing off their sentences in a higher pitch as if asking a question, seeking validation, or are unsure of what they just said. Be aware of it and know that you’re awesome and that you do know the answer.
  4. WASTE TIME!!!!!. PLEASE READ THIS PART. Each interview is only 30 minutes. Don’t let them get to the hard questions! Think about this thought experiment.

Say in the 30 minute interview, interviewee A and interviewee B are asked 10 questions each.

Interviewee A answers question 1–5 in full detail that follow-up questions aren’t necessary. For example, “What’s a DCF?” She answers, “It’s a valuation method to measure the viability of an investment. It’s calculated using xyz. First you do this, then you do that,…..” You get the idea.

By the time we get to question 6–10, the questions have gotten much more difficult and she either didn’t know the answer or got it wrong.

Interviewee B on the other hand, gives enough detail to answer questions 1–5, but leaves a lot of room for follow-up questions. For example, what’s a DCF? She answers, “It’s a valuation method to measure the viability of an investment.” The interviewer can now ask follow-up questions such as, “How do you calculate it?”, “Can you walk me through the steps?”, etc. Answers that she knows.

Her follow-up questions make up questions 6–10.

Now let’s compare the two. Clearly, both interviewees have the same knowledge level. But interviewee B got all 10 questions right while interviewee A only got 5 right. Who looks better? Interviewee B duh. It’s not held against her that she wasn’t asked the harder questions because she did answer all the questions asked of her correctly. She knew how to interview better.

I’ve had interviews end with, “Crap I haven’t even asked you about the markets and we need to finish soon. Quickly, what do you think about interest rate hikes?”. That’s a way easier question to answer than “Okay you talked about your thoughts on the interest rate. What do you think the implications are on oil, treasuries, the economy, etc?”.

I hope this makes sense. Basically, be cognizant of your time and craft stories to fill the time so you give your interviewers less room to ask the harder questions.


Final Advice

I’ll round up a few things that have been useful to me.

  1. When you don’t know, say you don’t know but that you’ll follow up with an answer. Prepare for those situations where you’re really lost. Then send that follow-up email.
  2. I bring in a water bottle. Helps me avoid dry mouth. And it gives me something to hold in my hand to calm my nerves. Plus, interviewing for so long gives you a headache. One firm had me do two interviews in the morning, 3 in the afternoon. Another one was 3 consecutively. Hydration is key.
  3. Don’t take it so seriously. The less I cared, the better I did. You’re not defined by this internship or process.
  4. Don’t be stupid like me and apply to only 3 banks. I got super lucky. Cast a wide net. But also be selective. If you can’t see yourself working there, don’t apply. Same thing you did with college.
  5. Practice with your friends. Get feedback on your answers. Go to CareerLAB. Use all the resources available to you including me.
  6. Help others. Seriously. It actually helps to hear how other people answer the same questions. Don’t be a bitch. Spread the love people.
  7. Know your story by heart. It’s the easiest thing to get right and wrong. If you lose them there, you’ve lost the entire interview. So really prepare your story!
  8. Have fun. Shoot the shit. If you read my last post, you saw how ridiculous I was during my interviews.
  9. Smile :)
  10. Read the people in the room. Don’t get flustered. Sometimes they’re trying to be cold. Just keep your cool, smile, do your best. I thought my first round interview with 2 wrong brain teasers, 2 very cold interviewers, and 100k to charity would be the end of me. Guess not.
  11. After a 3.5 GPA, your grades don’t matter. Yes seriously, they don’t matter. Once you cross this threshold, it’s all about networking. My friend who had a 3.9 was asked about it wasn’t a 4.0. So even something close to perfect can get questioned.
  12. Follow this one: TAKE AN EASY COURSE LOAD DURING RECRUITING. Whatever easy is to you. I avoided all exam/STEM courses and took minimally writing intensive classes. Recruiting is a 5th class. Make it easy on yourself.

Resources

Things you can ask me for:

  1. IBD/Markets technical guides for FREE WOOOO
  2. Behavioral interview guides for FREE WOOOO
  3. My own cheat sheets for interviews SHOULD CHARGE BUT ALSO FREE
  4. Resume review (but only after you’ve read my resume instructions. If I see you didn’t use the formula or not a single number, I won’t read it)
  5. Cover letter review (same story as above. Also use CareerLAB sample letters to help)
  6. Interview prep (but tell me way in advance or something. Cause I’m not physically at Brown)
  7. Any stupid question

CALL TO ACTION