How to Convert a Spring Week

Discussion in 'Get The Job' started by drunkfish, Mar 30, 2015.

  1. drunkfish

    drunkfish New Member

    Hello everyone. I am doing three spring weeks this year and I just got my first fast-track interview for a summer internship for next year at one of them. Best of luck to everyone trying to do the same - here is what I learned. Enjoy!

    How do I stand out?

    There are various ways you can make yourself stand out. One method which is most commonly overlooked is being yourself. Whilst on the spring programme, have fun, partake in sessions and ask questions. HR is there to assess your viability in the firm and banking is very much a people orientated industry. Being sociable is the quickest way to get both noticed and remembered.

    From my experience, the people who stood out are those who came in prepared too. Those who understood what the different departments did and who were able to formulate really in-depth questions. Preparation is everything and for my specific spring week, those of us who managed to get final round interviews were deemed competent enough in not just the technicals but the soft-skills: Being a leader, a team member and someone who can manage responsibility.

    Network. The week is an opportunity for you to meet people in the business, and also meet your peers who will be starting graduate programmes the same time as you. Remember the three C's: Colleagues, Clients and Competitors. Finance is a small environment and within the industry people move around quickly. You want to make a positive impression on everyone.

    How should I behave around professionals?

    Remain being yourself and don't do anything stupid. If you are fortunate enough to have made it onto a spring programme, I don’t doubt your understanding of what that means.

    Whenever you are about to ask a question, ask yourself before: 1. Is it relevant? 2. Has it been covered or discussed? 3. Am I phrasing it in a way that's appropriate?

    Don't act as if you're better than others and that it is only your opinion what matters. Everyone’s opinion should be valued and you as an individual should be the one to encourage that unity and inclusion. On the note of professionals, you’re not smarter than them. Have real humility.

    Make yourself known. You want HR/other people vouching for you when it comes to conversions. You want good feedback reports on your work shadowing placements, network events and so on. Again, this all comes down to the matter of being social and making sure you leave a positive impression on others.

    Be sure to approach people, after presentations and during your networking evenings. Collect business cards and drop them an email thanking them for their time, especially if it's in a business area you are interested in.

    As cliche as it is, be open minded. Listen to what all the presenters have to say, take notes on all the departments and express enthusiasm for learning about all the different areas of the business. It's important that you find an area in where your skill set and interests are best suited. I went into the spring programme thinking I wanted to do M&A and M&A only and I came out on the other side, very much interested in a different business area. It’s a chance for you to find out whether the industry, the role and the bank is for you.

    Some more on networking

    You want to maintain a level of professionalism, but also go in with an action plan. If you’re going to approach someone, ask yourself why: 1. What do you hope to find out? 2. Are they willing to give their time/are they particularly busy? 3. Can you answer any question you may have with a 30 second Google search?

    Make a LinkedIn, if you haven't already. You want to have an elevator pitch for when you go in, a quick 20-30 second introduction in whereby you highlight your name, university, degree subject and a very brief reason for introducing yourself. Let the conversation flow naturally and build on their responses. I wouldn't recommend going in with specific pre-planned questions, unless there's very specific things you want to find out.

    Leave any professionals you come in contact with a reason to give good feedback on you. Once the conversation is wrapping up, ensure you thank them for their time. Ask for a business card or email so you can follow up with any further questions. I wouldn't say there's any specific rules to networks, just don't do anything stupid and have fun while you do it, it's another chance to learn about specific divisions and the actualities of working for that firm from its employees perspective.

    Top 5 Must Dos:
    - Be active
    - Dress appropriately
    - Ask insightful questions
    - Include all team members in discussions
    - Build knowledge of the different departments beforehand

    Top 5 Must Not Dos:
    - Act superior to others
    - Get drunk during networking evenings (yes, this actually happens)
    - Stay introverted or quiet during the course of the programme
    - Be late
    - Be an assclown
  2. Anonymous

    Anonymous New Member

  3. Trigger

    Trigger Blessed

  4. WannabeWharfian2015

    WannabeWharfian2015 New Member

    Thanks for this! such A helpful post in preparation for my own Spring Week! One Question: When you say 'insightful questions' do you mean technical questions which show evidence of research?
  5. drunkfish

    drunkfish New Member

    Generally questions that shows that you're experessing a detailed interest. If you ask a question which demonstrates that you researched the department/area then you'll get a tick in HRs books.

    So definitely, if it also means technicals. Although, ensure that it's relevant in context, so if the guy is talking about different asset classes for a presentation, it wouldn't be relevant to ask about synergy valuation metrics on companies which are expected to merge.
  6. Martin

    Martin New Member

    Spot on! I think the crucial thing is being yourself! People forget this and, because they are nervous and stressed thinking the must convert it, actually do the total opposite and fake themselves to be someone else! This is the worst thing to do!! Be natural, be personable, be friendly and engaging and this will keep them in your mind. They're going to remember someone much more fondly who smiles and just bonds over life than someone who clearly is far too keen with scripted questions.
  7. Eigla

    Eigla New Member

    Great post! Even if you are attending campus events organised by leading firms, simple things like being friendly and asking insightful questions will go a long way in helping you network successfully.
  8. Nik11105

    Nik11105 New Member

  9. pokemongogoog

    pokemongogoog New Member

  10. azy143

    azy143 New Member

    thanks, great post
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