Important Next Steps

By Pamela Ahearn, Manager Employer Partnerships

For those of you hoping to pursue a career in Financial Services i.e. careers involving the investment, lending, and management of money and assets, it’s important for you to start the process EARLY. This is an incredibly competitive industry that typically targets college sophomores during the spring and summer months for summer analyst roles that will occur the summer between junior and senior years. Ideally a summer analyst role will lead to a full time analyst off er with the fi rm where you interned. That’s the goal. With only a few exceptions, without that summer analyst experience, you will not be considered for a full time role, particularly at the bulge bracket banks. Some things to keep in mind Major doesn’t necessarily matter but cumulative GPA does. You can major in philosophy, religion, or psychology and still be competitive for summer analyst roles. What’s important to the fi rms is that you do well academically in whatever major you choose, this typically means a 3.5 or above for most roles and a 3.7 or above for roles specifi cally in Investment Banking. If you can achieve a high GPA with an economics major, go for it, but it’s not necessary to be an economics major just because you think that’s the closest major to fi nance at Holy Cross. It’s essential to take some quantitative courses and highlight them on your resume. Alumni recommend that you take at least one Accounting class, ideally before junior year. Computer science courses are considered a plus. Showing a demonstrated interest in fi nance is important. You can illustrate this through involvement in the Finance Club/Student Investment Fund/Women in Business/Women in Economics, being the Treasurer of a Holy Cross club, participating in the Finance and Banking Certificate Program through the Ciocca Center, working as a bank teller, having a customer service job where you reconcile the cash drawer, and/or working with a fi nancial advisor sourcing leads. Athletics, work experience, leadership (through activities and jobs), and entrepreneurship are also valued by the fi rms. Finally, strong communication skills are also necessary to be competitive. The banks are looking for well rounded individuals. Interviewing Pre screening interviews are typically done via on demand videos (HireVue, Clover, and VidCruiter to name a few) where you are traditionally asked 3-5 questions with your responses timed and recorded. The next step is a Superday conducted virtually or in-person where you will interview with multiple people at the fi rm over the course of a morning or afternoon. Superdays can be intense and can include technical questions, behavioral based questions, market based questions, and questions about your resume/experience. Sometimes you won’t hear anything after your video interview or it might take months to hear back, or you will be contacted to schedule a Superday pretty quickly after your video interview. This is all normal. Skills and Networking Some of the skills the fi rms are seeking include, but are not limited to, analytical, research, communication, tenacity, confi dence, a competitive spirit, problem solving, intellectual curiosity, being teachable, smart, and having a strong work ethic. While students at liberal arts institutions typically develop and hone many or all of these skills in college, unfortunately many liberal arts institutions are not target schools for the fi rms so it’s important for you to connect or “network” with Holy Cross alumni who are currently in the industry. Do your research fi rst. You should have a solid understanding of the industry through reviewing Wall Street Oasis, Firsthand (formerly Vault), and Wall Street Prep. Identify your area of interest and your specifi c skill set. Contact alumni to set up calls, video chats or in-person meetings ideally with younger alumni fi rst. The HC Network is a Holy Cross curated database for you to identify and communicate with alumni. Furthermore, be sure to take advantage of events (virtual and in-person) that the fi rms host on Handshake or other portals and stay up-to-date on current events and the markets. Have an opinion about what’s happening with the markets and in the world and be prepared to answer questions about basic fi nancial modeling when you connect with alumni or other/family connections. Wall Street is looking to diversify their workforce and are looking for candidates to apply to early engagement programs (LGBTQIA+, students of color, women, and military). If you identify with any of these groups, you should seriously consider participating in these pipeline programs. There is typically an application process to be considered for a spot. This is a fantastic way to learn about the industry, network and receive an off er for a Superday for a summer analyst role. The Center for Career Development is here to support you as you navigate the fi nancial services industry. Lauren O’Neill oversees the Business, Finance, Consulting Career Community and will serve as the Wall Street advisor. You can schedule an appointment with her via Handshake. If you’ve worked with Pam Ahearn in the past, you can continue to work with her through the end of this academic year. Please take advantage of the many resources off ered by the Center for Career Development: Opting into the Business, Consulting, Finance Career Community to receive tailored information (My Career Interests in Handshake) Drop-ins for resume and cover letter reviews (visit Hogan 203 - Mondays - Fridays 1-4p.m.) Individual appointments (scheduled through Handshake) Mock Interviews (scheduled through Handshake) Interview Stream for practice with video interviews (in Handshake) Wall Street Do’s and Don’ts Wall Street Reading List Interview Tips 2023 Wall Street/Financial Services Spreadsheet Sample Finance/Wall Street Resumes Links for the above resources can be found on the digital print. Best of luck as you navigate this process and don’t be a stranger. We want to help you!!