Navigating recruiting with finance firms during a pandemic

Shayna Zeitlin

Shayna Zeitlin '22

The work that goes into landing a job and/or internship takes a lot of planning, preparation and patience. Now, with COVID in the mix, there are many more factors to navigate. Over the past few months, I have experienced the virtual recruiting process in pursuit of an internship with an investment bank next summer and have some key takeaways to help you stay focused, on track and in the running with a firm.

Plan early and research
Though it may seem that hiring has been delayed, many firms are still on track for the 2021 summer season. Given that I knew I wanted to intern with a finance firm, I started planning where I wanted to apply and what type of programs were of interest in the fall. Take this time now to find specific hiring timelines and deadlines on the websites of the firms you hope to pursue. It’s also in your best interest to read up on hiring trends and recruiting resources on platforms like Wall Street Oasis and other finance-focused blogs. Hiatt also has industry-specific recruiting timelines to help you pinpoint certain recruiting cycles. Having this information on-hand will help you in gaining a better understanding as to what industry is a good fit for you and why.

Meet deadlines
Many firms have a specific process when it comes to recruiting and hiring interns. Applications are typically reviewed on a rolling basis, so it’s imperative that you apply to positions as soon as they are posted. A great way to gain an edge is by completing your Handshake profile so you’ll be able to receive updates about what jobs and events are available based on your career interests and goals. 

Network
As daunting and intimidating as it may seem, networking is a key component in your pursuit of a role at a firm. When I started my search, I used LinkedIn to find Brandeis alumni that were working at the firms I was interested in. From there, I messaged them about my career goals and also inquired about their expertise and how they ended up working where they are. Remember, this is an exercise to learn and build rapport, not to ask for a job. Even if they can’t move you along in the hiring process, you will have built a strong network of professionals in the area you wish to pursue.

Discover early insight programs and diversity events 
Larger firms will have early insight events that are often very valuable. These programs are geared toward educating you about the firm and the various areas you can get involved in. 

Diversity events not only give prospective interns information into the culture and the people at the firm, but they also provide early access points in recruiting. For instance, certain firms will require applicants to be a part of a few interview rounds for an internship. At the end of the diversity event, you may have an opportunity to have a final round interview. Given that everything is currently conducted virtually, you will also want to be prepared at any time for a video interview. Some firms that currently have diversity programs include: Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan, Bank Of America, Credit Suisse, Citigroup, Barclays, UBS, Deutsche Bank, Wells Fargo, RBC, Nomura, Evercore, Moelis, PJT Partners, Lazard, Guggenheim Securities, Perella Weinberg Partners, The Blackstone Group, Stifel and more.

Be yourself
Marketing yourself to a hiring manager is essential in the recruiting process and though it may feel like uncharted waters, I can promise you that being genuine, engaged, curious and unique will be essential in making it through. Be prepared to know why you want the role and specifically, why at that certain firm. Overall, be genuine and confident and as always, SMILE!

It is critical to be prepared as possible, especially when going through various rounds of interviews. Be sure to make an appointment with Hiatt for a mock interview with a counselor.