From the monthly archives:

June 2011

Several major investment banks are actively seeking out U.S. veterans to fill particular investment banking jobs, reports Wall Street Technology.

Citi, Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse, Bank of America and Deutsche Bank were among the firms showing up at a job fair hosted recently by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce aboard the USS Intrepid, a historic navy ship now moored in the Hudson River and used as a museum.

Both Wall Street firms and hedge funds are reportedly trying to lure former CIA and military intelligence officers who served in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. They are in particular demand because of the new technology, research and analytical techniques they can bring to the banks’ security and risk management practices.

A former Marine Corps captain, Christopher Perkins, is now head of Citigroup’s derivatives operation in the Americas. He told Bloomberg that military personnel are being hired for the skills they develop in the military. “It’s not about charity work. It’s about making the firm better,” said Perkins, who credits his time stationed in Japan as giving him valuable budgeting, negotiation, and business skills.

The event coincided with the first ever Veterans on Wall Street (VOWS) fundraiser on June 23, 2011, also at the Intrepid Sea Air & Space Museum in New York City. The event was held to raise funds for a number of established national veterans-focused charitable organizations. More than 850 financial services, business, military and government leaders gathered to honor former military personnel and raise awareness of the value of veterans in the workforce at the inaugural event, reports Businesswire.

It’s still a long road back for many veterans. Unemployment among veterans rose to 12.1 percent in May, versus 10.6 a year ago, according to Bloomberg. And with 33,000 troops returning from Afghanistan by September, as part of President Obama’s plan to scale back war efforts, the job market will only get more crowded.

Do you have military experience and work or aspire to work in finance? What advantages does your military training bring? Add your comments below.

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Investment banking job hiring and job prospects in general have been picking up for recent MBA grads, reports The Financial Times. Hiring in the U.S. for most sectors is gradually increasing, especially in the financial services, consulting and industrial sectors.

“The mood is significantly better than even a year ago … confidence in the market is much stronger and companies really wanted to hire this year,” according to Roxanne Hori, associate dean for career management and corporate partnerships at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.

Corporate leaders invited to give the commencement addresses at B-school graduations are tempering that optimism with a dose of reality. Their overall message: work hard, add value, and embrace change, reports Businessweek. Among the nuggets of advice doled out:

“In this labor market, you might not find a job immediately, but the important thing is to get started, acquire experience, and make connections without losing sight of your longer-term goals. Whatever job you take, be the best at what you do and work harder than everyone else,” said Henry R. Kravis, founding partner of the private equity firm KKR at the May 15 commencement at Columbia Business School.

Another speechmaker praised the value of “single-tasking” and focus. “Focus your mind, time, and energy to bring the full value of what you have to offer to the task at hand, to your passions, your family and your community, to be fully present in all your endeavors,” said Barbara J. Desoer, president of Bank of America (BAC) Home Loans and Insurance, at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business commencement.

A global survey by Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC) reported in The Independent shows that MBA hiring is 5 percent higher in 2011 than last year. Starting salaries for many MBAs are up, as well. But this does not mean competition has slacked off for top jobs.

Communication skills still count as the mostly highly sought-after quality by employers worldwide. “Knowing yourself and the marketplace more than anything else means you can communicate about yourself,” says Julia Tyler, executive vice-president of GMAC. There is also so much information available online now, that investment banking job hunters must research well beyond what is available on a bank’s website, for their job interviews.

Are you a recent MBA grad in the midst of a job search? Let us know your reactions to this job market. Add your comments below.

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A recent study of men and women pursuing their MBAs show they have very different methods of reaching their investment banking job or business career goals.

The survey polled graduate students at the University of Texas-Austin, Southern Methodist, Rice and Texas A&M universities. The average age of the student was 29 and one-third of them were pursuing jobs in finance, reports The Houston Chronicle.

Men tended to be more focused on immediate goals, particularly the importance of a competitive base salary. Women tended to express less interest in money right away, but instead look to plant the seeds for future success. Women were more interested in employer-sponsored educational opportunities and programs that support their career development. In other words, they view their first job as a stepping stone.

Women are also more willing to sacrifice a higher base salary right now in return for more opportunities for training, growth and responsibility, which they feel will lead to a better position later on.

Employers and recruiters may begin to use this information to adjust their hiring messages, highlighting competitive wages for men and career development for women.

It may also explain why more men are drawn to investment banking jobs, says Deanna Fuehne, executive director of the career management center at the Jones School of Business at Rice University. Men are more drawn to the volatility and high risk environment of investment banking, and not as concerned about where they will end up five years down the road.

Women are drawn more to jobs that offer more flexibility and work-life balance. They tend to think more about family responsibilities and the opportunity to either work part-time or work from home. Or go on sabbatical for a few years to start a family and return to the workforce later on.

What about you? Has work-life balance or career development programs factored into your investment banking career path? Add your comments below.

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Why Whistle Blowing Can Cost You an Investment Banking Job

June 6, 2011

It’s a bit of an ominous warning for those in investment banking jobs, particularly if you’re starting out as an analyst. An article by Jesse Eisinger of ProPublica published by Business Insider highlights what happens to those who uncover shady dealings by the companies they’re covering … and actually report on it. He relates the […]

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