Santiago Guerrero Valderrama, MBA ’24, recently completed an internship at Goldman Sachs. Before coming to MIT Sloan, he worked for nearly five years in the International Investments Division of the Colombian Central Bank overseeing a portfolio valued at USD 56 billion.
Santiago shares four tips for navigating the highway recruiting process:
Leverage MIT network: MIT has a strong alumni network that spans across various industries, including finance and investments. Take advantage of this network by reaching out to alumni who work in companies where you see yourself. Attend alumni and company events, join MIT groups, and schedule coffee chats early on. Building connections with members of the MIT community can provide valuable insights, referrals, and mentorship opportunities.
Diversify your skill set and experiences: Investment companies look for candidates with a well-rounded skill set. While technical expertise is essential, also emphasize your ability to work in teams, communicate effectively, and solve complex problems. Consider gaining experience in different aspects of finance, such as asset management, private equity, or venture capital, to make yourself a more attractive candidate. Additionally, participating in MIT’s extracurricular activities, clubs, or case competitions can help you showcase your leadership and teamwork abilities. Highlight experiences where you’ve demonstrated leadership and made a significant impact in your previous roles. Firms are looking for candidates who can lead teams and drive results.
Seek advice from the CDO: Capitalize on MIT’s Career Development Office resources to access industry insights and guidance. Engage in meaningful conversations with professionals who understand the labor market and the industries and companies you are interested in. To help with this, utilize MIT Sloan Industry Advisors. This strategic approach can provide vital information and connections to enhance your career prospects in your industry target. Don’t forget to spend time with your peers who are also going through the recruiting process to share ideas and support each other.
Stay Informed About Industry Trends: Investment companies appreciate candidates who stay up-to-date with the latest developments in the financial industry. Read financial news, follow market trends, and consider subscribing to industry publications or research reports. I usually like to read the Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, and The Economist. Being well-informed will not only help you during interviews but also demonstrate your genuine interest in the field and can help you make informed decisions about which firms align with your career goals.
At MIT Sloan, we reference the different recruiting paths to MBA-level opportunities. What do we mean by Highway / Dirt Road / Jungle?
- Highway: MBA-level jobs with a structured recruiting process, often conducted through campus. This includes, but is not limited to, Consulting, Investment Banking, and Leadership Development Programs.
- Dirt Road: Opportunities within industries whose recruiting processes for MBAs are less defined, requiring more networking and individual outreach. This includes opportunities in Private Equity, Venture Capital, Media/Entertainment, and Sports.
- Jungle: Starting a new venture, pursuing positions with start-ups and early-stage ventures, or un-structured MBA opportunities.