MFin Perspectives: Advice on Recruiting for Investment Banking Careers

Originally published July 29, 2019

We sat down with Pinar Topal, MFin Class of February 2020, who conducted an Investment Banking (M&A) internship with Morgan Stanley in London. We asked her to reflect upon her internship recruiting experience and offer her advice to MFins as they embark on their own recruiting for Investment Banking careers.

Here’s her advice:

  • Do not underestimate power of networking; it is in fact the key part of the process, especially for IBD. Start as soon as possible, and let the CDO office guide you (networking session was quite useful). I personally managed the process through coordinating with the CDO very closely, and it helped me a lot. Summer Term is a great time to start reaching out to people and connecting. Connect in-person, by phone or zoom – whatever works best for them. Don’t forget that they are very busy people.
  • Always be prepared! Make sure your resume is good-to-go by Summer Term and that you have a pitch  (max 2-minutes) telling why you would like to work in Investment Banking. Questions can come around as “tell me a little bit about yourself” as well. Make sure you can twist or position your story around different types of questions. Again, the CDO office will be there to help you to review it, but I highly suggest getting the opinion of different people, especially from your classmates which I found very helpful.
  • Work together with your classmates. I highly suggest being aware of other MFins who are also looking for IBD opportunities. Don’t forget that you are in the same boat, and you are the ones who can help each other the most. Having a Whats-App group, and sharing advice and experiences with contacts would be amazing. Even just making your friends aware of deadlines is a huge help; believe me the time flies very quickly!
  • Stay organized! Don’t be late to apply for each position. Many roles are at a rolling-out basis, so the earlier you begin to apply, the more chances you can have. (Be aware of soft deadlines).
  • Practice technical questions for interviews. Start preparing for technical questions as well. You might get technical questions any time – from summer term networking conversations and even before interviews to test your interest. You can find the 400Questions book here.
  • Leverage the MFin network. Finally, please do not hesitate to reach out via email or LinkedIn…not just to me, but to all MFin graduates who are working in Investment Banking. For those who join the Investment Banking Club, club leaders will share more insights and tips once you become a member.
By MIT Sloan CDO
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