It’s well known that the best way to get in a cold pool is to jump right in. For aspiring bankers at Fuqua, “Week on Wall Street” is the metaphorical equivalent of jumping into a cold pool.
Week on Wall Street is The Finance Club’s group trip to Manhattan for all first-year students looking to lock up an investment banking internship. The program takes place over fall break (yes, banking hopefuls take no days off) and includes visiting three to five banks each day, followed by one bank hosting an evening of drinks and additional networking. The purpose of the trip is to learn more about each institution, get a better sense of what industry groups you would like to work in, and arguably most important, to discover which bank is your best ‘fit.’
Before we left for our trip to New York, an anxious excitement overwhelmed our group of hopeful recruits. We walked out of our last Fall Term 1 final on Saturday and got ready to network with the professionals (many of whom are Fuqua alumni) at most of the bulge and boutique banks. Having previously come together for the banks’ on-campus presentations, we knew one another pretty well so traveling together had a comfortable familiarity.
Harris Williams, Deutsche, and Citi
On day one we were off to the races! We kicked things off at Harris Williams with a panel that delved into the nuances of working at the boutique bank. They presented what a day in the life of an associate would entail, and then opened things up to our group for a question and answer discussion. The best part was during lunch when a banker pulled a seat up to each table and spent time answering any questions we had. One of those bankers happened to be Hiter Harris, founder of the firm.
Moelis, Macquarie, UBS, and Morgan Stanley
Week on Wall Street is extremely busy and this particular day was no exception. We first visited Moelis, a boutique bank focused on mergers and acquisitions. There we listened to an executive talk about his career and opportunities at the firm. We then hustled over to Macquarie, an Australian mid-sized bank with offices in the U.S., to chat over lunch. We learned about how the firm has grown its overseas footprint in the past few years. Then we hurried to meet both UBS in the afternoon and Morgan Stanley in the evening.
All our visits had a similar format, wherein a banker would sit with five to six students for a round-table discussion and field questions about his or her industry focus. Like a speed-dating event, the bankers would move from table to table in order to talk with all the students.
Through Week on Wall Street, I found looking for an internship is quite similar to applying to business schools—it has a lot to do with finding the right fit.