“Ask us questions, we know you don’t know anything” This brutally honest piece of advice came from a Public Finance banker at Barclays during our most recent “Success in the City” trip to NYC earlier this month. Quickly the 25 students realized that they did not know a lot about public finance – and why would they? The purpose of these semi-annual visits to leading financial services firms is to expose students to the realities of what they will face if they pursue a Wall Street career.
A common theme heard from alumni at Morgan Stanley, Barclays and Willis Re this year was “be curious” and “aspire to learn”. These organizations know all students interested in Wall Street are bright, so they will look to screen out those who are not interested in learning. An eagerness to learn will propel and distinguish new hires. But learning often requires the ability to build and maintain relationships – through networking. These organizations provide the environment that invites inquiry. Surrounded by very smart, well-informed professionals, new graduates are ideally positioned to learn “on the job” after a brief training period. So the “take-aways” from this trip were:
- Learn from the many alumni who are well-positioned to assist you before the interview
- Conduct informational interviews to accelerate learning
- Stay informed
Attached is a photo of our students networking with Bentley alumni during after a lunch meeting at Morgan Stanley.