3 networking with bankers mistakes students make

In Uncategorized | 5 minutes read

114 hours.

That’s how long I worked last week.

And you know what…

I even had to go attend a few campus recruiting events and press flesh with some real douche bag students!

Now don’t get me wrong…

There were some COOL kids there.

Of the fistful of cards I (was forced to) hand out, probably about 10 went to students I genuinely will meet with for an informational interview – or even answer some questions via email.

(actually make that 5…I’m working 100+ hours at the minute!!)

In today’s lesson I want to share 3 of the biggest mistakes I see students make at campus networking events…or any events where bankers are…and so by the end of this you’ll avoid being one of those douche bags I met, and instead be one of those 5 kids I’ll actually help out.

You’ll probably recognize these 3 mistakes pretty quickly and know a few of your friends who have been guilty of them before.

But above all else, I want you to buuuurn these into your memory and NEVER EVER EVER make these career limiting moves (again)!

Mistake #1 – x-Eagerness

What the heck am I talking about?

Basically, any student who is just too ‘in your face’.

They may be fast talkers, loud talkers or even Seinfeld-esque close talkers – either way they are freaking annooooooying.

Unfortunately bankers often face these parasitical walking dead in networking situations because let’s face it…many students are desperate to get into IB and some feel they’ve got a billion things to say, but only seconds to say them in.

However please please know…

Firing off 5 consecutive Qs at AK-47 speed will only land these students on the “eeeeeeeeeek” side of every banker they meet.

So when you meet a banker make sure to SLOW down, give them some distance (just some freaking personal space!) and avoid acting like that close-talker in Seinfeld.

Let me make this super clear…

The ‘almost-horny’ for investment banking vibe that some students seem to exude is in fact the #1 way to get blacklisted by bankers (not only will they never reply to these students follow ups, but they’ll actively down talk their name).

So even though this ‘I love IB mother f**kerrrrrrs’ attitude may be well intentioned, it is just too much…such a big turn off.

Seen through different eyes, students who we see desperately pawing at bankers’ cufflinks (and embossed business cards) basically look like a bunch of drunk frat dudes trying to score the last girl standing at 2am in a dive bar.

And just as poor sorority gals don’t like it, neither do bankers!

PLUS when students commandeer a banker to the detriment of every other student there who is wishing to get a word in – and try to talk about EVERYthing IB – they end up coming off in the worst light possible.  i.e. as self-interested little shits who aren’t team players.

Buuuuut, you can use this to your advantage.

Next time you’re at an investment banking information session just observe the overeager students for yourself, have a laugh, and enjoy the confidence you get from realizing they are going to make you look goooood!

Mistake #2 – Hard Talk

Have you ever seen Steven Sackur in full flight?

The BBC’s hard-man is a true dude.

He’ll perform linguistics jujitsu on the best of them with one hard hitting question after another.

UNFORTUNATELY his interrogation antics just aren’t appropriate for use on poor unsuspecting bankers.

So why do students unleash their inner Sackur on puppy-dog-eyed first year analysts?

The ONLY answer I have is that they have a burning and misguided desire for information.

Students think all the answers to breaking into banking lie in the heads of bankers and desperately want them.  Buuuut bankers SIMPLY DO NOT have the desire or the time to give these students what they’re looking for.

So remember, whatever questions you ask, just make sure they aren’t too hard for bankers to answer or put them in uncomfortable situations.

Mistake #3 – Recruiting sale

When you first meet a girl, do you talk about whether they might be interested in hitting the sheets with you?

No, of course note.

You’re not f**king Michael Scott from The Office!

You know to first warm them up, before making the ask.

Well, the SAAAME approach applies to bankers.

Sooooo don’t copy the overexcited student who at first chance tries to take the banker to bed by doing one of 3 things;

  • Asks for a business card within 60 seconds
  • Tries to setup an informational meeting within 2 minutes
  • Attempts to stuff a piece of paper (their resume) down said analyst’s jacket pocket within 3 minutes

Networking with bankers is an intricate and sustained dance you see; so slow down, strike your best Obama-pose and proceed accordingly.

P.S. This lesson was extracted straight from our very popular Inside Investment Banking Course.  If you’re serious about breaking into banking, check it out now.

Screw financial modeling…you only need 6 skills to break into banking

If you’re an over excited wannabe Excel Monkey then you’ve probably tried just about everything to break in…from studying financial modeling till 3am to trying to memorize 100s of complicated technical interview questions.

But here’s the thing…

You’re wasting your time!  If you want to learn how to impress bankers, get interviews and land job offers straight out of college you simply need 6 skills.