On Friday, March 24th, I and along with many other Queen’s college TAMID members had the amazing opportunity visit Barclays bank and to have a TAMID sponsored breakfast panel about investment banking. The visit was arranged by Max Fruchter, our Director of Fund, who will be returning there as an intern this summer. Students submitted questions prior to the event that helped structure the discussions. Some topics discussed were each panelists story of how they came to be an investment banker, advice on interviewing and being first time associates and what each panelists job consist of a day to day basis and their long term goals within their jobs.
The panel was mediated by Queens college alum Daniel Kerstein, the Global head of merger and acquisition for Barclays. Sitting on the panel were four Barclays employees who work in different divisions of investment banking (both coverage and product.) The panel was diverse; it consisted of employees who are more recent additions to Barclays as well as employees who are more seasoned and senior. The panelists started off by giving in-depth descriptions of the work dynamics of each of their divisions and their day to day jobs. This helped us in the audience better understand the differences between the different departments in investment banking and what various positions entail.
Since three of the four panelists were younger, they are just starting out their career and took it upon themselves to interview incoming interns and associates from the respective universities that they attended. Since they conduct interviews they were able to tell us what qualities and answers of an interviewee makes them a good candidate, in addition to able to give us a lot of helpful advice in respect to what that they look for in interviewees as well as networking tips.
It turns out that almost none of the panelists had finance or business backgrounds; Instead they had english, history or even psychology backgrounds. One of the best pieces of advice that I took from the panel is not to be intimidated by other first year associates and/or interns. If you feel you do not know something and other interns do. The panelist explained that there is about a 6-month learning curve, so even if you struggle in the beginning you will get the hang of it and “it all levels out”. The panel was incredibly well run, with panelists that opened up to us and shared their experiences in investment banking, which in turn allowed us in the audience to learn from their experience and receive insight on what it means to be an investment banker.
Esther Liebb is a member of the Fund on the TAMID at Queens College Chapter