Embarking on a career on Wall Street can be a nerve-wracking experience.
You’re up against thousands of other people during the application process, competing for a small number of roles.
And if you land a Wall Street internship or a full-time role, you’ll have to learn how to navigate complex products, markets and organizations in double-quick time.
Business Insider speaks with Wall Street recruiters, execs, and recent hires all the time, and we’ve asked them all for careers advice.
Here’s a compilation of the best insight we’ve seen:
Morgan Stanley’s Carla Harris: Be ready to hustle.
Carla Harris was a star dealmaker for Morgan Stanley before being named vice chairman of the firm’s prized global wealth-management division. Harris had to work hard to make it all happen. And it’s that kind of diligence that she now looks for when hiring young people.
“I like to call it the ‘Hustle Gene,'” Harris told Business Insider.
To gauge whether candidates have that “gene,” Harris wants to know:
• How far will they go above and beyond the job description?
• Do they have initiative?
• Do they follow through?
• Do they understand the importance of relationships? Do they deal with people in a way that people want to deal with them?”
JPMorgan’s Michelle Bucaria: Frame the experiences you’ve had, and don’t worry about the ones you haven’t had.
JPMorgan’s head of firmwide campus recruiting, Michelle Bucaria, told Business Insider that having previous finance experience is not necessarily the most important thing on your résumé — it’s all about how you frame the experiences you have had.
So maybe you haven’t interned in finance before, but you have a part-time job. That shows you have the ability to multitask.
“When I look at a résumé and I say, ‘Gosh, they were working, frankly, in the dining hall while they were getting a 3.5 GPA’ — that’s pretty impressive,” Bucaria said.
She also likes to see involvement in campus clubs and activities.
“The ones that are in officer type roles are going to stand out versus someone who’s a member of a club,” Bucaria said.
“But if you can come across and say, ‘I wasn’t the president, I wasn’t the secretary, however, here was the project that I led, ran, and created this amazing community service activity that had 100 students involved’ — that’s pretty darn impressive.”
Goldman Sachs’ Taylor MacKenzie: Don’t panic in an interview if you don’t know the answer to a question.
If you’re asked a question you don’t know the answer to in an interview, don’t panic!
According to Taylor MacKenzie, head of university relations at Goldman Sachs, the best strategy is to be honest and promise to go and find out the answer.
“I recommend saying something like “I don’t know the answer to that specific question, but I am familiar with…” Then provide some information on a similar topic you are knowledgeable about,” she said.
“Another way to handle the question is to simply say, “I don’t know, but I can follow up with you after the interview on that”. It’s very important to note that if you say you will follow up that you do so within 24 hours of the interview.”