Insider News: 2016 Wall St Program
October 19, 20, and 21 in New York, NY
Edition 2, June 2016
What You Can Be Doing Now to be a Competitive Applicant
Address your career interest in asset and private wealth management, hedge funds, investment banking, private equity, or risk management platforms. So far, what steps have you taken to learn more about the field?
Above is listed part of the essay question, and the selection committee will take your answer under serious consideration. To demonstrate your awareness of the industry, your answer should include concrete examples. Ideas of how to expand your
knowledge include the following:
Making connections involves more than meeting someone at an event or sending a request to add that person to your LinkedIn network. To maintain the connection, invest the time to conduct informational interviews with professionals in finance careers that interest you. The task can be daunting. For ideas on how to proceed, review All About making connections on the Cohen website.
Who do you ask to be a part of your network?
- W&M alumni on LinkedIn. Since you learned of some confirmed site visits, search for the alumni who currently work or have worked there. Seek their advice on the industry and take initiative to ask questions. Review LinkedIn for Higher Education and The LinkedIn Alumni Tool for advice on how to effectively network on LinkedIn.
- Make a list. In addition to W&M alumni, think about others who work in the financial industry: family members, family friends, or even a customer you assisted in your job. Search for them on LinkedIn too and send a request to be added to their network.
- Leverage your internship. If your internship is finance-related, use the resources around you and leverage it to your advantage. Ask entry-level individuals, your supervisor, managers, the CFO or CEO to coffee or request 15 minutes of their time to learn more about what they do.
- Seek out past student participants. Know any peers who attended WSP? Ask for their advice on how to approach the essay question, the application, and their overall experience with the program.
- Additional material outside of class. As you expand your network, seek recommendations on what to read over the summer. Go back through your textbooks and reading assignments. See what literature the authors referenced in creating their article, chapter, or book.
- Follow news sources. It is important to stay current with the market. Get into the habit of reading The Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times, or Bloomberg. All have free trial subscriptions and/or discounted student rates.
Since the selection committee will not be conducting face-to-face interviews, your personal statement is a critical piece of your application. It is your opportunity to explain why you should be selected to attend the Wall Street Program. A well-written statement can tip the scales in your favor. Likewise, a poorly constructed essay can hurt your chances.
Other Points to Consider
- Follow the instructions. If there is a word count or page limit, stay within the guidelines.
- Answer all parts of the question. An incomplete answer is one of the biggest mistakes a person can make.
- Steer away from tangents. Avoid the temptation to wordiness & the need to explain everything. This approach is the quickest way for committee members to lose interest in your essay.
- Details count. Proofread. Have at least 2 other people review your essay for spelling or grammar errors.