Yes, it’s harder to find that first finance job and yes, on-campus recruiting efforts are being scaled back. But students at the top business schools are still uncovering that elusive investment banking job, especially those who broaden their search and tone down their expectations.
That’s the word from the Cornell Sun, which reports that companies that once hired into the second or third-tier of applicants can now cherry-pick from among the best of the best. But that doesn’t make it impossible for other applicants.
“There are six million employers out there,” said Bill Alberta of Cornell Career Services Center. “Look beyond the Fortune 500 companies and the top five banks. There are smaller ‘boutique banks’ that are still hiring, and some people are better suited to work at that type of work environment anyways.”
Career experts also suggest casting a wider net in your job search. Consider other banking-related opportunities, such as jobs in local banks, or in sales, trading, private wealth management, commercial banking or even public finance in government. Many of these positions will give you valuable experience and enable you to grow in maturity.
And sharpen your networking skills, because a large percentage of jobs are never advertised. Make full use of business organizations on campus, career services, faculty members with contacts at certain firms, and alumni connections.
Perhaps the most reassuring advice came from Omar Qureishi ’09, vice president of Delta Sigma Pi Professional Business Fraternity at Cornell University. “If your true passion is finance, finance will find you. You will be working for 40 years after graduation, one or two bad years in the beginning will mean nothing in the grand scale.”