Ria Jambusaria is an MBA2, specializing in finance and sustainable business and innovation. Prior to Stern, Ria worked at EY in their financial statement audit service line. This summer, Ria interned at Credit Suisse as an Investment Banking Summer Associate and will be continuing to work in investment banking post graduation. Additionally, Ria is a Managing Editor of the Stern Oppy and a Co-Portfolio Manager for the ESG Fund of the Michael Price Student Investment Fund.
Whenever I told someone I was planning on recruiting for investment banking, I would be greeted with a look that clearly said, well, you’re in for a roller coaster of a first semester!
And so it was! The recruiting process for banking is no easy task, but the Graduate Finance Association (GFA), the Office of Career Development (OCD) at Stern, and the great Stern alumni network certainly made it less intense and I could not be more grateful. Speaking with my friends who recruited in consulting, technology, or entertainment and media, I know they have also benefited from the professional clubs here at Stern as well as the expertise of OCD.
How it Works
For banking, the recruiting is quite structured – a result of Stern’s proximity to Wall Street and its great relationship with all the major bulge bracket and boutique banks. Even as an international student, I had the opportunity to recruit with a large number of banks. With Wall Street and Midtown, only a few subway stops away, I was able to visit their offices and meet the teams which allowed me to get an outsider’s view of their culture.
Recruiting involves A LOT of networking and this is made easier by Stern’s connection with the banks. Stern alumni from these banks come to campus for corporate presentations which allow students the opportunity to meet directly with senior bankers. If this sounds nerve-wracking, keep in mind that the GFA helps out first-year students with best practices so that we can be prepared when presenting ourselves to representatives from these banks. The GFA works tirelessly with these companies to bring them to Stern for corporate presentations and “Host a Deal” events where current employees talk about how some of their major deals came to be.
The OCD also has several resources that help with recruiting, and they hit the ground running before the first semester even starts. OCD begins with resume reviews and helps students figure out the best path for them. In the first semester, OCD has regularly scheduled programming aimed at helping students with their thirty and sixty-second pitches, networking, and interview skills. OCD also holds office hours regularly and students can set up appointments with its marvelous career coaches to discuss anything from resumes, interviews, offers, or even to have mock coffee chats and mock interviews. I found the appointments with career coaches to be especially helpful for practicing my coffee chat skills. As an introvert, I found the idea of networking quite daunting, so the opportunity to practice those skills in a low-stakes environment was great!
Coffee chats are the best way of getting to know the alumni and the senior bankers and I had somewhere between sixty and eighty coffee chats throughout the fall semester! It may seem like a lot, but I found the networking and the one-on-one chats were essential to help me understand how I would fit into a particular bank and whether they could offer me what I wanted. It also helped me build connections at banks and showcase myself as a candidate for them, which can be crucial when applying for internships.
Banks also have group networking events in the second half of the fall semester, which was another opportunity to meet senior bankers I had not spoken with before, and learn about their experiences in the industry, which were invaluable when I was deciding on where I should do my internship. I have found the Stern alumni to be open and communicative, always willing to share their stories.
GFA and OCD are amazing with interview prep as well. It is a testament to the strength of the community here at Stern that several MBA2s take time out of their winter break to help us by doing endless prep, and sharing their experiences and resources to get us ready for both the behavioral and technical portions of the interview. I can safely say that without the help and encouragement of my seniors as well as the career coaches in the OCD, my interviews would not have gone half as well as they did!
Apart from the internal resources that Stern offers as well as the massive help we get from MBA2s, something that was instrumental in my recruiting journey was the peer network at Stern. Just talking to people who are recruiting in the same industry or who have had experience working with companies you might want to work for can provide vital information you might need on your recruiting journey.
Overall, the Stern community made what could have been a daunting recruiting process into a memorable experience that was vital to my professional as well as personal growth.