How I Got There: Citi Equity Capital Markets Associate | Brianna Crichton (College of Arts & Sciences,’18)
Posted in Student & Alumni Stories
Brianna Crichton completed a major in Political Economy and minor in Business Administration at the College of Arts & Sciences at Georgetown University in 2018. During this interview, Brianna shares about her experiences at Citi working as an Equity Capital Markets Associate. Learn how Georgetown shaped her path, what led her to her current position, and more insights regarding Citi and the financial services industry.
What did you study in your time at Georgetown? And can you walk through the process of how you got to Citi in your current position?
At Georgetown, I was a Political Economy major and Business Administration minor. My journey to Citi started after attending the firm-wide presentation, like many of you will in early February, and hearing about an event called Women @ Citi, where a group of around 30 women from schools across the US were invited to Citi’s headquarters for a day, sitting in on panels, doing interview training and learning more about the firm. I applied as soon as I heard about it and a week or so later was in New York City with Citi. After attending the event and hugely enjoying it, I applied to Citi’s Sophomore Leadership program, the firm’s rotational sophomore summer analyst internship. A few interviews later and I had an offer. Almost seven years now after that first summer internship, I’m still at the firm, still working in one of the groups I rotated through as a sophomore summer analyst, Equity Capital Markets.
What activities/extracurriculars at Georgetown did you find most valuable and why?
By far my most impactful Georgetown extracurricular activity was the Georgetown University Student Investment Fund, or GUSIF. I was a transfer student at Georgetown, so I joined GUSIF in the beginning of my sophomore fall semester. From a purely professional standpoint, being part of GUSIF allowed me to deepen my understanding of the world of finance and develop a working knowledge of key accounting and valuation topics. It also helped tremendously with resume and interview preparation, in addition to the benefits of the deep alumni network. More important than all of those things, it introduced me to some of my best friends!
What does a typical day look like for you?
I hate to use a cliché, but they generally are such for a reason, and here, it’s definitely true – there really is no typical day. I would say I think about my work in two separate work streams – pitch work and deal execution related-work. I usually come in in the morning, catch up on the news and any emails that came in overnight and then start digging into my to-do list. The balance between pitch work and execution work ebbs and flows with the market – in 2021 for example – when we were doing more deals than we’ve ever done, my work was skewed more towards execution work than it usually is. Pitch work I think of as answering client questions and proactively engaging them on a variety of topics, which range from macro/equity market updates to precedent deals to shareholder analysis and more. Execution work is actually preparing for and bringing live deals to market. It’s all very fast-paced and never boring!
What surprised you most when you started working at Citi?
The two biggest things that surprised me when I first started working at Citi were 1) how incredibly nice people were and 2) how much is taught to you on the job. I think I, like many people, had a sort of preconceived notion of what Wall Street was from the outside, and it was so reassuring to see it was a lot less intimidating than it had been made out to be, especially when you join as an intern or an analyst. I have always found the culture and community at Citi to be incredibly nurturing for juniors in supporting their growth/education, far beyond my expectations.
What skills are most needed in your current role?
I think two skills that are well developed at Georgetown and that are key for a role in investment banking are 1) attention to detail and 2) being able to manage a bunch of different tasks at once. On attention to detail, I know it’s the oldest “skill” talked about in the book, but it is truly at the core of what we do. I always say that I learned a level of attention to detail which I did not know existed when I started working at Citi. Most of that work will happen on the desk, but you can never start training your eye too early. On managing a bunch of different tasks, I think that is something Georgetown really prepares students for well. We are used to balancing classes, and friends, and clubs and keeping everything in line with managing deals, pitches and one off requests really is not so different. Key to it all is just having a system and being organized.
What is your advice to students interested in applying for a position at Citi?
Take advantage of Citi sponsored events and the Georgetown network! Citi gives you tons of opportunities to engage with our professionals, and the best way to better your chances of being chosen for a first round interview are to develop relationships with the alumni in that group or vertical. Focus on quality over quantity, but really make the most of the opportunity you are given by being a Hoya.
What are the best ways for students to learn more about the industry?
When I was in college I loved reading morning newsletters like The Morning Brew – couldn’t recommend doing something like that enough. When it becomes part of your day to day routine it’s just something you can have natural conversation around instead of being forced to cram ahead of interviews. Also, join extracurriculars related to finance! Georgetown is so special in that there are tons of different clubs that can give you a huge advantage when it comes to broadening your understanding of finance.