Finance Industry Guide
“Companies in the financial services industry are in the business of managing money. Large conglomerates dominate this sector, but it also includes a diverse range of smaller companies.
The main areas of financial services include commercial banking, investment banking, portfolio management (hedge funds, mutual funds, investment partnerships), and private equity. Other areas grouped into financial services often include insurance, real estate investment, accounting and debt resolution services.”Read more in Investopedia: What is the financial services sector? (new window)
Read trade magazines, newsletters, and popular websites in your industry area. Places to start include Mergers and Inquisitions (new window), eFinancial Careers (new window) and Wall St. Oasis (new window). Vault (new window), available to Georgetown students, is a good place to start your search. And of course, visit company websites and attend company events on campus, which can be found on Handshake (new window).
Read the Wall Street Journal. It’s a good way to learn about the industry and get familiar with some key industry terms (M&A, IPO, stock, bond, etc.). You’ll want to develop an awareness of macroeconomic themes and world events to help you contextualize financial concepts.
Visit company websites and follow them on LinkedIn to learn about culture and develop questions you might ask in a networking situation.
In no other industry is networking more important than in financial services. While networking with higher ups is fine, the most powerful people in terms of hiring at a bank are first and second year analysts. You can find Hoyas in these positions on LinkedIn (new window), the Alumni Career Network (new window) and in Hoya Gateway (new window). Consider others in your network — faculty members, family and friends, former classmates who are now working in the industry — and reach out with questions!
Come to Cawley for a drop-in appointment any time Monday through Friday between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. to get a resume or cover letter review. Visit the interviewing section of our website to review and practice general questions.
While internships are useful in landing full-time employment in other industries, participating in internship recruiting is imperative in landing a full-time position in the industry. Most firms aim to secure 85 percent or higher of their full-time class from the previous summer’s intern pool. In addition, financial services firms, and in particular the bulge bracket banks, are notorious for early recruiting. As of fall of 2018 (and still true in fall of 2019), bulge bracket firms recruit during the spring of their sophomore year for internships scheduled for the summer after their junior year, a full 14 months ahead of the internship’s start date. So how should you go about preparing for this process?
- Identify a list of target companies and apply to positions both on Handshake and on company websites.
- Review the Vault Guides (new window)for lists of top firms and overviews of culture and opportunities. Read our first destination reports (new window), which contain specific information about companies that hired Georgetown seniors. Search Handshake (new window) as well as company websites to identify organizations and opportunities.
- Learn the various parts of a bank. Many students assume that the only division of a bank is investment banking. There are many divisions within a bank that also provide excellent careers and may be a better fit for a student. Learn the pros and cons of each.
- Meet with a financial services career coach at the Cawley Career Education Center. You can make appointments on Handshake.
- NETWORK, NETWORK AND NETWORK SOME MORE.
- Practice interviewing, and be able to answer technical questions (as found on the resources above). You should be able to answer the questions, “Why are you interested in financial services?” and “Why are you interested in working for our firm?” These two questions cause many Georgetown student to stumble. You should be able to articulate the tie between your skill set and what the bank is looking for in that position or division.
Financial services firms recruit in a very specific, very rigid way. Information sessions and other events will take place during the spring of a student’s sophomore year. Students should plan on attending at least one event held by each firm the student is interested in. Follow the application instructions outlined by the firm carefully, meeting all required dates and deadlines on all web platforms (Handshake and company websites) specified by the firm.
Plan on participating in two rounds of interviews: a first-round, which may take place on campus or at the firm’s office, and a second round called a “Superday.” A Superday is a series of 30-minute interviews back-to-back, usually at the firm’s office. Firms are not only testing the candidate on knowledge but also on endurance and will solicit feedback from all of the various interviewers. You will likely know quite quickly whether or not you have secured an internship offer. For bulge bracket banks the process will be done by the start of the fall of the junior year, while small firms will complete this process deeper into the fall and perhaps even into the spring of junior year. The rule of thumb is the bigger the firm the earlier it will recruit.
Bulge Bracket Banks
- Bank of America Merrill Lynch
- Credit Suisse
- Deutsche Bank
- Goldman Sachs
- JPMorgan Chase
- Morgan Stanley
Middle Market Banks
- Piper Jaffray
- Houlihan Lokey
- William Blair & Company
- Wells Fargo & Co.
- PNC Financial Services
- Harris Williams & Co.
- BNP Paribas
- RBC Capital Markets
- BMO Capital Markets
- Robert W. Baird
- Brown Brothers Harriman
- Societe Generale
- Mizuho Financial Group
- Qatalyst Partners
- Moelis & Co.
- Centerview Partners
- Sagent Advisors
- Miller Buckfire
- Perella Weinberg Partners
- Allen & Company
- Oppenheimer & Co.
- Sandler O’Neil Partners