Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Ultimate Day

Saturday was pretty fun. I met one of my (seven?) roommates and he is pretty cool. He's doing a PhD at Georgetown in Economics so he will probably be giving me advice this semester on how to fix the economy :). We went to a park near to where we live and met up with about 10 other people and played ultimate Frisbee. I'm amazed how seriously people take this game on the east coast. I had never played until I went to college, but people out here are really good at it. They can throw a Frisbee in ways I didn't even know were possible. A few of the guys on my team were extremely good so I usually just threw them a pass and then ran for the endzone. They could pretty much always get it to me.

Washington DC is so different from New York. It's quiet and pretty. I think it would be a cool place to live if you're 30 and have a family.

So someone asked how I'm able to do this internship and still graduate from school. It just turned out that I only have one semester worth of classes left to graduate, so leaving school for a semester won't be a problem. I was planning on taking really fun classes like golf, skiing, cooking, Shakespeare, and stuff like that in my final semester, but now I'll just have to take the required business classes. I figured it would be worth it to spend a semester at Treasury at a time like this.

I am kind of sad when I think about what I'll miss this semester. We're supposed to have a really good football team, so I'll have to watch all the games on the TV instead of actually being there. All of the recruiting events where firms show up and bring free pizza and tell you why you should work for them - I love those things. I'll pretty much miss them all as well. Last year as a junior I went to pretty much every banking and consulting info session I could because it is a great way to network and meet people for when you want to interview for an internship. The same people come back to interview you, so if you can get them to remember you then you're in great shape.

Last year I met a guy from one of the bulge-bracket banks that came on campus who was out hiring for full-time in October. I talked with him a lot and gave him my resume. He called me back the next day and told me he wanted to interview me! It turned out that he thought I was graduating in 2008 (even though I told him I was a junior and my resume said "Graduation 2009"), but you can bet that when internship season rolled around, he actually called me and asked if I would be at the info session because he wanted to catch up and help me get ready for interviews with his bank.

Another guy I met in October took a look at my resume, liked it, and then told me that he would get me an interview with his bank. He then proceeded to threaten me that if I screwed up the interview he would basically kill me, but I promised him that I would destroy the interview. In the winter, he did in fact get me an interview, and I did in fact destroy it - I got an offer from that bank. I didn't end up taking the offer, but it's just another example of how important it is to meet people when they come on campus for the full-time hiring. Even if they say that only seniors are allowed in the info sessions (which is extremely rare, usually anyone can come), if you can just get some one-on-one time and hand them your resume, you will be in a great position.

This all assumes that your resume looks good. I'm going to write a post soon about resumes, but at this time last year was when I was making some major revisions to my resume. It went from having Chuck E. Cheese (my first high school job) on it to looking like a banker-worthy document. I've put over 100 hours into that resume, and I continue to update it constantly. It's one of those things that you need to get up to a certain quality level as soon as possible.

Resume post to come...

Friday, August 22, 2008

History repeats itself

I don't know what it is about starting internships, but for some reason I always end up spending my first night on the ground. I flew out to Washington DC today and this morning the guy that just moved out of the place I'm moving into called me and said that he took the bed that was there and that there won't be a bed for me. Great. Apparently he's going to help me find a bed, but it's already 9:45 PM and I'm sitting on the floor of an empty bedroom. Oh well, at least I'm inside the house instead of out on the street like in New York. I guess the last internship turned out pretty well so hopefully this is a good sign that things are going to work out.

It's a bit different being in Washington DC because I've never been here before. I know maybe 3 people in the whole city, and not even that well. when I was in New York I had been there multiple times before and knew 30-40 people. I actually just want to get to work here because I think that will help me get over feeling alone out here.

I've been reading primers and news articles on the housing markets and it looks like it's going to be a very busy time for me out here. I'm still not exactly sure what I'll be doing on a day-to-day basis, but whatever it is it will be interesting stuff.

So as far as the job search goes, I haven't accepted my offer yet and am talking to other places just to see what else is out there. It's amazing to me how different it is when you contact people and you can say, "I have a full-time offer at XX bank and this fall I'm going to do an internship at the Treasury." Whereas before they would give me some excuse about why they couldn't help me out, suddenly all these people are interested in talking to me. That's great with me, but it's interesting to see how things change when people think you might add value to their firm. It's been WAY easier to contact different banks and get opportunities to meet with people, even at firms that were not even an option before.

Well I'm going to go create a place to sleep, but the internship is getting started!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Back of a $10 bill

Hello everybody -

Just a quick note to let you know that I'll be continuing my blog! I got an internship for the fall semester working at the US Treasury in Washington DC. While I probably won't talk a lot about what I'm doing there day-to-day, I'll keep you all filled in on recruiting season and how things turn out with accepting offers and things like that. Once again, if you have questions then post a comment!

I'm going to work on the back of the $10 bill!