February 1, 2010
I know. It hurts. A lot. Clicking those little links to get here and ultimately finding out that finance bitch hasn’t updated her blog in 4+ months. I feel you. Surprisingly, my time at work shifted into warp speed (which, as we all know, is a blessing these days especially around payday). Days and nights of cranking out models, reading purchase and sale agreements, credit agreements, and coming up with ways to get paid severely diluted any concept of time I had.
Of course, this post has a purpose. Throughout the last few years, there have been so many ‘creative’ ways about going to get a finance job. Let’s face it: desperate times call for desperate measures and smart kids do dumb things. Unfortunately with the prevalence and omnipotence of the internet, there is no hiding. And, since it seems like we are in the midst of recruiting for those coveted summer analyst/associate positions, I thought it’d be helpful to aggregate some examples of what you should NOT do. A few examples come to mind:
Aleksey “Impossible is Nothing” Vayner:
Ah, good ol’ Aleksey Vayner. In my recollection, this is the first major application disaster that tore through all the investment banks. Aleksey, in his desperation to ‘stand out’ and have a leg up on his fellow Yalies, decided to put together a video resume detailing outlandish accomplishments and personal attributes. While potentially an interesting (and definitely creative) way to distinguish himself, the backlash was incredible. Within hours upon his submission to an investment bank, his creation became the biggest mockery of resume dropping in the history of banks. If you google his name today, Wikipedia, Dealbook (NY Times), Dealbreaker, Gawker, etc. all have something to say regarding the subject.
In short: please don’t send a video resume. Unless you want a floor full of bankers/traders/admins peeing themselves from laughter.
This winner is a newcomer into the scene. Even with all the tales of recruiting mishaps in the past, this UT-Austin ’09 managed to still royally fuck it up. Even having moved to the buyside, I managed to get this e-mail chain from 3 different people at 3 different banks/buy-side shops. While I feel for the kid, it’s not exactly helpful to become the premier definition of the word “idiot” when recruiting season is in full-swing.
Morals of this Story: E-mail leaves a paper trail (which inevitably, some douchebag will forward). Don’t lie on your resume. Wall Street is a small place and is now even smaller given 1) all the recent layoffs and bank collapses/mergers and 2) the obsessive use of e-mail and blackberries.
So you’re chugging along at a target school, participating in recruiting season with every other red-blooded male and female on campus (except those granola eating hippie freaks, who, btw, ultimately realize they want to make money a few years down the line and go to b-school). You realize that your GPA isn’t that great, your English skills even worse, and you probably have no shot in hell. Thus, the best option to apply to one of those ‘global’ banks with headquarters outside of the U.S. And, to make sure that you’ve kicked it up ANOTHER NOTCH (- use emeril voice -), you will create a website: “RBC Should Hire Me“. Unfortunately, the website has since been taken down, but those little “cached’ links still provide a modicum of fun.
Punchline: Keep those ethereal, bubbly feelings out of recruiting. Banks want to hire some mercenaries, not some kid who acts like a 7th grade girl professing her love for the popular boy at school.
Random UF Student
This is a toughie and way too much commentary to lay on. Dealbreaker does a fantastic job of presenting on this one. Basically, the bottom line is this: If you bring nothing to the table except a stellar GPA and lines out of a Lifetime movie, you probably shouldn’t be in banking, finance, or any job outside of the mall.
And as always, there are a few sympathizers out there who will comment about how mean/cruel it is to expose these kids, and blah blah blah. Save it. What’s done is done and I’m merely the messenger. I realize that 10 years ago, even if shit like this happened, it would be close to impossible to circulate said blunders with such force and reach. We live in an interesting and very well-connected society whether we like it or not.