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Blog posts tagged in information session

Posted by Khaled Kteily on in Networking & Reputation

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Every man should have a 'go-to' outfit (sorry, women... not exactly my area of specialty). And while Harvey Specter (above) looks like a million bucks, you actually want to go the other way. What every student needs - especially when you're recruiting - is a clean, simple, and professional combination of clothing 
that you can throw on at a moment's notice, without having to think about it. This is your go-to. 

And it doesn't have to break the bank, either. Below I outline how you can get this together on the cheap. Starting from the top...

1. Shirt (White, light blue) - $60-$100

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b2ap3_thumbnail_tie-handkerchief-and-three-piece-suit.jpgHow you think you look: suave, smooth, and like Justin Timberlake meets Johnny Depp. 

How you actually look: Like an (ahem) d-bag. 

I'd like to introduce a simple concept today: high risk, low reward. 

When you crack a joke with a consultant that you think will go over well, that's high risk but high reward. If you genuinely make him or her laugh, you've immediately won someone over. If they don't find it funny, they probably aren't going to go out of their way to ding you. 

Now high risk, low reward is the opposite. When you wear a tie clip, handkerchief, 3-piece suit, slick back your hair, bust out your best cufflinks, and flip that fedora onto your head, you are going to bring out 2 potential responses:

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Consultants are not trying to scare or intimidate you, nor are they going to be closed-off or unfriendly (well, at least not at my firm!). Networking can initially be a bit nerve-wracking, but I'd like to share something with you that will make the process a little bit easier for you: don't constrain yourself to networking in situations where you're "expected" to! Read through for an example of how a student landed an interview a top IBank.

Posted by Khaled Kteily on in Networking & Reputation

1. Firms WILL look through the attending list to see who showed up and who didn't. If you didn't even bother to come for an hour and a half (and free food!) then are you genuinely interested in the firm?

2. If you can't make it for any reason, e-mail the school recruiter to let them know! It'll leave a positive impression as someone who is organized, professional, and interested in the firm.

3. As one consultant put it "It's much easier to stand out in a bad way than a good way at an information session". During one of the information sessions I attended last year, a student asked a consultant if their firm solved problems through a "chaotic approach".

Another showed up with a cast on his arm that had "Firecrotch" written on it in big black (or was it red?) letters. Be careful about the things that you say and do as the assumption is that you would present yourself to a client the same way you are presenting yourself to a firm at their information session,

There's a long section in the '6 Steps to Success' about the information session networking process, so register to check it out (if you haven't already), just wanted to add on a couple of new tips.

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Posted by Khaled Kteily on in Networking & Reputation

Part 1 is actually not related to consulting. When I was interviewing for full-time positions, I knew who the other serious students were: they were the ones at every. single. information session. Period. From consulting to banking to sales to everything in between - we were there because we wanted to make sure we made the right career choice.

One of those information sessions was for National Bank Financial, for a number of different positions. At one point, I considered Sales & Trading, and so I registered for the event. I was absolutely exhausted, had been to 3 info sessions already that day, and just wanted to go home. Rather than stick around and 'network' (which, let's face it, is not always the most exciting activity) at the end of the talk, I got up, grabbed my stuff, and walked to the elevators - I was not alone. On the way down, I thought about what I was doing (leaving an info session for a job I was potentially interested in), groaned to myself, and stayed in the elevator as everyone filed out.

I went right back up, and walked purposefully to the lady who had presented about Sales & Trading - as fortune would have it, she was free, and we got to chatting. After confessing that I knew little about S&T (but was eager to learn more), she invited me for a tour of the NBF Sales & Trading floor the following day. Great! I got her card, left the room, and reached out to her the next day by e-mail. I ended up going on the tour with her (after reading up about NBF and S&T, of course) and we had a great conversation about the profession. Despite having almost no finance background, I secured a first-round interview, and ended up making it to the final round. I ultimately realized S&T was not for me but it was an experience that I learned a lot from, and one that I would not have had if I had not forced myself to stick in there and go back in there. I absolutely would not have gotten an interview without that conversation.

So really, part 1 is about perseverance; networking is tiring, arduous, and can feel very contrived (because, well, it is). Ultimately, however, it is what differentiates students who get interviews from those who don't. If you're a student with a strong but not stellar CV, then a personal recommendation is the single most powerful influencer of whether you will get an interview.