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ak2000
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Joined: May 21st, 2005, 6:52 pm

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February 28th, 2009, 6:24 pm

Hi everyone,I've been working for an investment bank for a few years now and have seen a lot of fresh-graduates / junior talent make it (or not) into banking and the wider finance industry.I am considering writing a couple of free articles to share my thoughts / experience on how to succeed - for those that still want to start their career in banking given recent events.If you are considering starting (or are working) in finance what do you think are the most current / topical issues at the moment for a complete newbie to the sector? If you could ask an investment banking veteran (15 yrs+ experience) one question what would it be?First things that come to my mind:- What are graduate hiring prospects looking like over the next couple of years for large institutions versus boutique banks?- How safe are graduate job offers for 2009 / 2010?Thank you all for your help!
 
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barny
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February 28th, 2009, 6:37 pm

Personally I think those first two questions are asked and answered to death in every investment banking related internet forum and in the popular news. Even if you do answer them, what good will it do? Just knowing that the job market is bad doesn't help you get a job. It offers absolutely no value-added. Some questions I would have liked answering when I was a real newbie were:1) What activities should I do to differentiate myself from the crowd?2) What skills will be most useful as a trader/banker/salesman etc.3) What are the most useful theoretical aspects of finance to learn before starting working in markets/corporate finance etc.This sort of thing is most valuable - you give people some information and direction and then they can go away and learn it for themselves and maybe this will lead them to other things during their natural exploration.
 
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deepvalue
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February 28th, 2009, 7:09 pm

QuoteOriginally posted by: barny(1) What activities should I do to differentiate myself from the crowd?Learn Mandarin. Your rivals all took classes. You differentiate yourself by being totally fluent in both speak and writing. In fact, you published a novelette that sold 25,000 copies in shanghai. Put that on your resume under "hobbies." Quote2) What skills will be most useful as a trader/banker/salesman etc. Political and oratory skills. You can demonstrate your special skills by serving at Mayor of your City. Then run for congress as a Republican. Apply for a bank job after you lose the election. Quote 3) What are the most useful theoretical aspects of finance to learn before starting working in markets/corporate finance etc. Take the phd program at Harvard and make sure to take the courses in rational expectations theory. Risk premiums. Market microstructure theory. Basic economics.The truth? The same skills that will make you successful in business and politics is the same skills that will make you a successful investment banker. It is no surprise that many "retired" senators, ministers, and Presidents work for investment banks. Even Clinton and Gore at some point.
Last edited by deepvalue on February 27th, 2009, 11:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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twofish
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February 28th, 2009, 7:22 pm

QuoteIf you could ask an investment banking veteran (15 yrs+ experience) one question what would it be?First things that come to my mind:- What are graduate hiring prospects looking like over the next couple of years for large institutions versus boutique banks?- How safe are graduate job offers for 2009 / 2010?I think those aren't good questions, because someone with lots of experience just isn't going to know the answers to them.A questions I'd be really interested in knowing, is1) Tell me a story about your career that you might think is useful for me to know. 2) Tell me what you did the last time markets went bad3) What are you feeling and thinking right now
 
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merev
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February 28th, 2009, 8:21 pm

QuoteOriginally posted by: deepvalueQuoteOriginally posted by: barny(1) What activities should I do to differentiate myself from the crowd?Learn Mandarin. Mandarin is not going to differentiate you from the crowd in any way. It is the first language of 60-65% of fresh PhDs in math and physics from most US universities. You can differentiate yourself from the crowd by being fluent in English.
Last edited by merev on February 27th, 2009, 11:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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deepvalue
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February 28th, 2009, 10:52 pm

QuoteOriginally posted by: merev[/i It is the first language of 60-65% of fresh PhDs in math and physics from most US universities. this is off topic. we're talking about MBA students. math/physics phds are clueless about business so are unable to use their mandarin skills to help american corporations do business in china.
Last edited by deepvalue on February 27th, 2009, 11:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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deepvalue
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February 28th, 2009, 10:55 pm

QuoteOriginally posted by: twofish(1) Tell me a story about your career that you might think is useful for me to know. It's useful to keep mouth shut and not share my secrets with strangers. Quote 2) Tell me what you did the last time markets went bad I bought stocks cheap and then made a lot of money when they bounced back 4 years later. Quote 3) What are you feeling and thinking right now Cheap cheap cheap = buy buy buy!!!!
 
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ak2000
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Posts: 91
Joined: May 21st, 2005, 6:52 pm

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February 28th, 2009, 11:59 pm

QuoteOriginally posted by: barnyPersonally I think those first two questions are asked and answered to death in every investment banking related internet forum and in the popular news. Even if you do answer them, what good will it do? Just knowing that the job market is bad doesn't help you get a job. It offers absolutely no value-added. Some questions I would have liked answering when I was a real newbie were:1) What activities should I do to differentiate myself from the crowd?2) What skills will be most useful as a trader/banker/salesman etc.3) What are the most useful theoretical aspects of finance to learn before starting working in markets/corporate finance etc.This sort of thing is most valuable - you give people some information and direction and then they can go away and learn it for themselves and maybe this will lead them to other things during their natural exploration.Thanks for this Barny - absolutely agree. The more I think about it the more I realise these were questions I was asking (sub)consciously when I was a rookie myself, especially 1) & 2).Also they are more matter-of-fact kind of issues rather than pure of opinion topics...
 
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ak2000
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Joined: May 21st, 2005, 6:52 pm

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March 1st, 2009, 12:04 am

QuoteOriginally posted by: twofishQuoteIf you could ask an investment banking veteran (15 yrs+ experience) one question what would it be?First things that come to my mind:- What are graduate hiring prospects looking like over the next couple of years for large institutions versus boutique banks?- How safe are graduate job offers for 2009 / 2010?I think those aren't good questions, because someone with lots of experience just isn't going to know the answers to them.A questions I'd be really interested in knowing, is1) Tell me a story about your career that you might think is useful for me to know. 2) Tell me what you did the last time markets went bad3) What are you feeling and thinking right nowCheers Twofish - guess you are thinking more interview questions rather than topics for a 600 - 1,000 words article...
 
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jomni
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Joined: January 26th, 2005, 11:36 pm

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March 2nd, 2009, 8:57 am

My question:Are you genuinely happy in life?
 
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bogracer
Posts: 94
Joined: February 7th, 2005, 5:35 pm

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March 3rd, 2009, 6:43 am

Question: would you want your children to become investment bankers?
 
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QuantVader
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March 3rd, 2009, 7:33 am

AK2000: probably a good point would be what are the "escape routes" for a quant.
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