ECs share their perspectives on internships, locations and industries
With Hell Week still fresh on your mind and interview season now in full swing, we at The Harbus know you’ve got many big decisions ahead of you and wish to provide some firsthand insight from those who came before you. Whether you’re hoping to try your hand at consulting or want to help alleviate extreme poverty in post-conflict African nations, it never hurts to heed the advice of those who’ve already been there and done that. The Harbus asked ECs from a wide variety of industries to reflect upon their job selection processes and overall internship experiences in an attempt to shed some much-needed light on the otherwise stressful months ahead. Here’s what they had to say…
Prior to HBS, I worked for five years in the financial industry (two years in investment banking and three years in private equity). Despite enjoying this experience, I came to HBS with the goal of broadening my business perspective into fields other than finance. I decided to pursue an internship in consulting and worked for BCG this summer. I spent ten weeks consulting for a large technology company on a sales force strategy case. Despite no professional experience investing in or advising technology companies, I always had a personal interest in technology, making this client particularly appealing to me.
Several other aspects of my internship made for a terrific summer. 1) The case was extremely complex and challenging, forcing me early on to move past traditional analysis and to think creatively about the problem at hand. 2) The case team environment facilitated critical thinking and brainstorming that pushed me further than I could have pushed myself individually. 3) The case was very important to the client, and the client was relying on us to solve this problem. This led to a steep learning curve that persisted throughout the summer. In short, my summer experience gave me a new perspective on how companies create value. This is a great job if you are comfortable with ambiguous questions, enjoy a dynamic, challenging, team-oriented environment, and are looking for a long, steep learning curve.
J. P. Morgan
I chose an internship with J.P. Morgan. Having worked there before as a Research Analyst, I knew that J.P. Morgan truly does favor teams over superstars and thus provides an environment where I can learn and develop much faster. The firm also enjoys an enviable position in the market www.replicaforbest.co.uk, which for me translates into more opportunities to participate in marquee transactions. Finally, the bank both facilities and encourages mobility across a breadth of geographic and product verticals, so I will never run out of interesting things to do.
I chose to work in the New York office of J. P. Morgan. New York and London used to be the best places to build a successful career and work on the highest-profile deals. Now the level of sophistication of clients around the globe is much higher and you can build a successful career in Asia or Latin America just as easily. However, New York still offers the largest breadth of clients and deals and thus makes the most sense given my career plans.
I was staffed on multiple live deals just minutes after I finished training. Knowing that my deal teams relied fully on me was scary at first, but the firm provides mentors and other resources to help you step up to the challenge. The atmosphere among interns was surprisingly collegial replica breitling Aeromarine . Unlike some competitors, J.P. Morgan structures its summer program to incentivize you to collaborate rather than compete with your fellow interns. As a result, you’re never afraid to offer or ask for help from others and you learn much faster.
I spent my summer with Deloitte Consulting as a Summer Associate. I was based in New York but my project assignment was in Lafayette Louisiana. I was on a restructuring project which gave me access to executives at the company, who listened to my recommendations. I chose Deloitte because I connected well with the consultants I met there. Even during the interview process I was having genuine fun, and that was an indication that working there wouldn’t be laborious but fun and engaging. It was also plus that they had a group dedicated to turnarounds/restructuring which is the type of consulting I want to do.
Networking was the major portion of my recruiting. I set up as many calls and chats as I could afford to in my busy schedule. Even though the companies sent their representatives to campus, I used the alumni database as well to introduce myself to other HBS alums to get my name on the lips of people at the firm. With so many talented people vying for the same jobs, subjective assessments will be used to narrow down the field. You can use this knowledge to your advantage and get yourself noticed (and I don’t mean monopolizing the company representative’s time at the network events or stalking folks). Set up one-on-one calls with HBS alums, go to the coffee chats and talk to ECs and RCs who worked for the firm you are recruiting for, this way when your resume comes up for review, several people on that call will be able to talk about you from personal interactions. And don’t forget to prepare, this is not a case discussion; this is for real and there is a right answer!
If I were to do it again, I would have started networking earlier, if that was at all possible . I would have also found the secret to cracking consulting cases replica breitling bentley 6.75, I would have been less stressed throughout the process.
The Harbus chatted with Roy Ben-Dor (Old-OF) who spent his summer as an investment associate with Bridgewater Associates in Westport, CT; Roy also spent his last summer at Bridgewater on the management side. Prior to HBS, Roy spent a couple of years with McKinsey focused on the Media & Entertainment industries but he came to HBS seeking to explore the world of investments. “Given the number of students who come from more ‘traditional’ backgrounds, it can be challenging to break into investing. Bridgewater itself is non-traditional, in a good way, and as such it is one of the few firms that looks at candidates differently.”
Roy spent the bulk of his summer engrossed in a research project on the Japanese economy. He also completed Bridgewater’s summer investment training program, which he described as “intellectually challenging and thought provoking. The class teaches you to question things you have assumed and in doing so it forces you to develop a much firmer a grasp of the underlying concepts. It’s an interactive, open and hyper-curious environment.” Reflecting on his summer experience, Roy said, “I learned a lot about markets, investing and myself…what makes me tick.” When asked why he returned to Bridgewater for consecutive summers, he answered, “It’s a very unique place. It’s not for everybody, but if it’s for you it’s addictive.”
Prior to HBS I worked in FMCG and did rotational leadership program. I worked in various finance roles (corporate finance, audit, treasury) and across nine European locations (though mostly London and Amsterdam). When I came to HBS I had the idea of transitioning to banking, so I wanted to deliver on that promise. This summer I interned in New York with Credit Suisse’s Investment Banking Division because banking is very open to international candidates and I really wanted to work in New York. Banking is also a great learning opportunity and opens many doors.
Firstly, make an effort from the very beginning. Many recruiting events are open to everybody only at the beginning. After some time, banks switch to “by invitation only” events. If you start slow, you might miss the boat. Secondly, do not try to play the game. Bankers from different banks talk, so I would advise against telling every single bank that “it is the ONE”. Instead, be honest and admit that you are looking at multiple opportunities. Thirdly, give every bank a chance. Do not limit yourself from the very beginning to bank A and bank B only. I know cases where such an approach ended up with no offer at all. Lastly, prepare. Do some research about banks and recent deals, prepare for the technical questions. Not only will it let you stand out, but also it will allow you to make more a conscious choice.
The investment banking recruitment is very structured – banks come to Boston, the process is clear and interviews are relatively predictable. However, it is also very intense. There are multiple recruiting events over a few weeks and sometimes might be overwhelming. I would advise though to stay focused (and strong) and not to miss these events. They are extremely important for the final outcome.
Career Field prior to HBS: Investment banking at JPMorgan
Position in company: Analyst
I was really impressed with the people I met at McKinsey and the diversity of the work they do. Consulting seemed like a fast-paced, exciting environment that would allow me to try new things all the time. McKinsey is a great way to build on many of the things I have learned at HBS while working with exceptional people.
I worked in the New York office. Living in New York is a pretty incredible experience! I lived there before school for three years, so going back over the summer made sense. My husband, Kyle, works in NYC so it was nice to be in the same city for the summer. There is a energy in New York unlike any other place. Plus, there are so many HBSers in NYC which made it fun – we got together often for happy hours, brunches, and dinners.
The caliber of projects I was able to work on was really incredible. I spent part of my summer on a global health study and part on a media study. For both clients we were working with the C-level managers on some of the toughest problems facing their industries. The decisions these organizations make will fundamentally change the industry for years to come. My team pushed me to present in meetings and to stretch myself as much as possible.
One of the highlights of the internship was McKinsey’s summer conference in Miami. All of the summers from across the Americas were there, as well as current consultants and alumni. Hearing about how the people they met and the skills they learned continues to influence their post-McKinsey careers inspired me to want to do the same.
Given that these are demanding clients with urgent problems to solve, it is a lot of hard work! McKinsey has several initiatives to promote balance and flexibility which definitely help, but there is no doubting that it is a demanding job!
Stephen Goldstein (OA)
Career Field prior to HBS: Consulting
Position in company: Business Analyst
I chose Morgan Stanley because I wanted to be part of a global organization that would allow me to pursue my long term aspiration of moving to Brazil. Morgan Stanley, at the outset, said that I would be able to make the move if it made sense for the Firm and for me.
I worked from the New York office since it is where the best training and networking occur.
I had a great overall experience and decided to return to Morgan Stanley full-time after HBS to join their Sao Paulo office. Hours were long but manageable, but the culture was great and very supportive.