Friday, November 16, 2007

Tick tock tick tock: enjoying student life for 9 more months

Tick tock tick tock - I signed my job offer last week, next year July I will start working again. Now it is time to travel and party as much as possible!! Well, obviously I am also planning to learn as much as possible of the things I won't have time to learn once I work. Having worked in finance for 6 months over the summer and getting the sign on bonus are helping me a lot to enjoy London fully without feeling so poor anymore. It's the first time in my life basically that I don't have financial or personal worries and it feels great. I feel grateful everyday and thank God all the time, even though I am an atheist - I have to thank someone!!

Life has been very good here, we've had the Diwali party on campus which was lots of fun. I managed to organize a Sari and get help from my friends to put it on. I am so happy we have the Indian community on campus, they are fantastic and organize a lot of great events.

I'm also quite active academically now, since I have a lot to catch up!! I noticed over the summer that I just haven't learned enough in the first year. When I walk out of the school with an MBA next year, I want to know the basics of macroeconomics and accounting, and I just don't. I want to know how exchange rates work, how global trade works and so on and so on. I know in the end academia seldom has the answer, but it will be good to at least know the theories and frameworks to know where to start. This summer I truly felt that I do not know even 5% of what I should know about accounting or finance or economics before walking out of here. This will keep me busy!

I'm very happy for some of my best friends who have gotten job offers these days. A lot of interviews are still going on, but knowing that two friends who were less lucky for the summer internship this year now have full-time offers from the McKinsey London office makes me very happy. Then, I'm spending a lot of time right now talking to our first year students to advise on job search. As so many time before, I feel the main difference between those who will be successful and those who won't is that the former know exactly who they are, what they want and what they don't want. You cannot stop someone who is determined (yet humble!) and knows where he is going! On the other hand, others are very smart but full of doubts, and unfortunately nobody wants to hire people who doubt if they will do the job for more than a year. I had the same problem last year, and I got quite a few rejections because of that (Goldman explicitly told me after the final round last year that the only reason they did not make me an offer was they didn't believe that's what I really wanted). And I think they were right at that time, I was not well prepared and did not have a compelling story when I interviewed - I am embarrassed to think about it now - I interviewed for trading jobs but couldn't tell them how to price an option and not even what factors went into pricing of an option. If I hadn't spent 4 months wondering if I should go back to McKinsey or not in the first term but had prepared for the interviews instead, the story could have been different.

So my advice as always is that you have to be honest with yourself and speed up the decision process on the summer internships, don't wait till January to decide because it is very easy to spot the difference between people who have known what they want and prepared for it and people who stumble into interviews trying to fake interest for the job, it won't work.

This is my wise advice for the day (though it's becoming repetitive, I know), now I'm off travelling for the weekend :-).


Rahul said...

This post struck a chord angie. i am applying for IB internships in M&A this summer but am not very sure if this is what I want. lets see how things turn out..
enjoy your courses and keep writing.

Anonymous said...

I don't mean to pry, but what job offer did you accept, the hedge fund or the trading opportunity?

Arun Ram said...

Congratulations Angie things are shaping up just the way you wanted I guess!!