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Moving On...

Posted by Matthew on 27 February 2008

When girlfriends have dumped me in the past, I did all that I could really do... I moved on. So, as the milk round has ended for finance, I have now moved on. I was fortunate enough to get a job, so I am excited, but the experience was a humbling one altogether. I was told by one bank that I was too competitive, and yet not competitive enough by another bank. I like that this is an industry where the yin and yang between competition and collegiality is held at such a zen-like balance. As when girls dumped me in the past, I was also told that they didn't find me attractive enough, or they really didn't like that I was flirting with other banks. Recruiting is like dating, and an offer is like their way of saying, "I love you (for a limited time of 10 weeks)."

But this blog is about advice for 2010 and beyond and not necessarily my catharsis, so my advice boils down to this... Take the milk round in stride. Stay confident when rejected. Everyone will get a job. And the best way to get over rejection is to find a better looking bank and make the other banks jealous. Because in the end, revenge feels good too.

Tien's Happy Birthday

Posted by Martha on 21 February 2008

2008_feb_21_021_4 Yesterday was Tien's birthday. She is a wonderful girl from Taiwan, with experience in P&G, and planning to join an oil major upon graduation, next July. Her birthday party took place at the Ordnance Arms pub in St. John's Wood. I could see a few people coming and going, in the few minutes I was there. Here they are - in the picture: Tien and Christoph. Christoph is a German guy who used to work at Merck and is not joining a top consulting firm. They are both really cool. I hope Tien had a great time.

More pictures of the event

DEO

Posted by Jerome on 20 February 2008

DEO stands for Discovering Entrepreneurial Opportunities. That is one of the five core courses we have in the spring term. It's pretty interesting in that it analyses the key components to make a new venture succeed. Guest speakers come and explain their entrepreneur experience after we studied how they launched their businesses. Another good aspect is the application of the tools we learn each week. We start the class thinking of an unmet need in day to day life and go out there to interview people in the street using a special technique. We then build a little feedback presentation to show the class. This week we're at the stage where we film people in their day to day life to show how we can improve some minor problem they face. I attached 3 videos of groups in our stream (you can vote for the best). We have diverted a little bit from the original goal but I thought it would be fun to share!

Brighton Half-Marathon

Posted by Martha on 18 February 2008

Brighton_17_feb_08Brighton_17_feb_08_03 Brighton_17_feb_08_04 Yesterday, I ran the Sussex Beacon Half-Marathon in Brighton in 2:05hrs. The race and the city were a great experience and strongly recommend it. Leaving at 07:11hrs from London Bridge at 0 C was odd but by the start of the race (09:45hrs), the weather was much better, even sunny. The run was pleasant: through the city and then along the beach. I stayed at the New Steine Hotel (a few steps from the start of the race and from the beach), went to the pier and ate tasty Thai food. I really liked Brighton - so different from London: small and quiet and yet, a great quality experience and only an hour away!

The last laps of the MBA

Posted by Manish on 16 February 2008

Everytime someone has asked me "how is it going?" in recent weeks, I have had pretty much the same thought. This is a great time in the MBA for most second year students. Things seem a lot more relaxed now and most of us are beggining to plan our breaks and our future months in London or wherever we are going to be working post MBA. The typical subjects are:

-start dates i.e. when we all go back to corporate life

-future housing - for those staying in London this is probably a big one because staying around school, although very attractive has the huge downside of being expensive

-the big break

I have been planning my holiday for the last few weeks and we have shortlisted a few candidates. Luckily staying in London gets you close to so many great destinations that we are spoilt with choice. We pondered over Costa Rica for weeks but then had to drop it for multiple reasons. We have now set sights on Africa.

A few of us decided to scout around some burbs for future accomodation. We ended up picking Hampstead for our first outing. Of course we ended up not seeing any flats because the ladies decided to go shopping on the high street. We were also blessed with the opportnuity to eat the best Crepes ever, See attached pic for proof. This place has been serving crepes in Hampstead for 40 years and the awards they have received are well justified.

Dsc00408_2 One other thing many of us are looking forward to is the upcoming Portugal trip. We will be going there with the Portuguese club in March. It's a shame that I missed most of the cool trips that happened in the first year. But I was determined to go for at least one such trip before graduating.

Anyways, It has already become very evident that this time is going to be severely missed and I want to make the most of it while I can.

As the world turns... we wait by the lines.

Posted by Melanie on 11 February 2008

Getting a call from "private no." has become the highlight, the climax, of the day. Watching classmates, friends briskly excuse themselves from the classroom is the excitement of the day. "Private no." is the HR manager calling to invite one to the next level in the interview process. Banks have been handing out their offers, the golden tickets to a long and prosperous career. Consulting girms have been a bit more dramatic; the added element of the wait. But thankfully it gives time to prep and decompress... sort of.

I have to agree with Scuba Don's tips  - what I've gained the last several weeks, which I hadn't expected, were friendships solidified by us supporting each other on CV & cover letter reviewing, case cracking, and morale boosting. I may not have had the invitation or offer by so-and-so firm, but at least my friends did. Awesome.

Kyle's Birthday

Posted by Martha on 06 February 2008

6_feb_2008_001_copy 6_feb_2008_002 6_feb_2008_003_copy 6_feb_2008_004_copy Yesterday's was Kyle's birthday. He is an American man with a big smile and charming personality. I remember him most with a beer in his hands, when at the pub, or with glamorous movements, when presenting in class. Stream B (made of 70+ students who shared the classroom during our 1st year) and others were invited to the event. We drank, ate and laughed a lot. Interestingly I did no take a single picture of Kyle but here are some of others.

A Tennis Experience at Regent's Park

Posted by Martha on 03 February 2008

3_feb_016 Today I played tennis for the first time, at the Regent's Park Tennis Centre, for only £6.5/hr. Not sure this is a good or a bad price but I had a great time. I also enrolled in formal tennis lessons (6x1-hr lessons for £72 for the very beginners) and will attend on Thursdays from 8:00 to 9:00pm. I hope it is a good experience while I get out of the running shoes, for a change. I took a picture with the freezing ducks in the lake.

'Crack-a-Case'

Posted by Martha on 03 February 2008

3_feb_005 3_feb_006 3_feb_010The Consulting Club continues to deliver one-on-one 'crack-a-case' training sessions, getting students ready for consulting interviews on campus. We have delivered over 700 sessions during the first four weeks of the 10-week term. The sessions, delivered to first-year students by second-year MBA students, demonstrate the commitment of our student community, career services and the Club, to help others achieve their dream jobs. Last Friday, five of us, who last year prepared to achieve a full-time offer in top consulting firms, hosted a second workshop on how to structure a case interview. This is an example of the Club's efforts and the eagerness of fellow students to help out. I am really proud of our training initiatives and hope we can continue to make a difference.

No. 2

Posted by Don on 03 February 2008

Hi all,

In the midst of milkround we were surprised by the new FT ranking. London Business School climbed 3 spots and is now number 2 worldwide, just behind Wharton. That means that at least on paper our school is now ranked ahead of Stanford, Harvard and Columbia.

While everyone can think of the ratings what they want – the international mix of students and faculty at London Business School is unrivalled. Additionally you can – within a 25 minute subway ride – meet with alumni at all big investment banks and consulting companies. This alumni network is extremely strong and supportive. Together these factors create a powerful and efficient platform for every student - it's up to us to use this platform. 

Don

Weekends - spent happy or frustrated

Posted by Don on 03 February 2008

Hi all,

These past two weekends must have been among the toughest for those students interested in finance / consulting. Friday a week ago the first shortlists came out – and quite a few hopeful students found themselves without an invitation to interviews. During the past week classes were constantly short of people – interview preparation and interviews themselves took priority. Throughout the week more shortlists came in – and the first round interviews took place. The resulting atmosphere was an interesting study in psychology – people showed all signs of frustration and panic. People who had not used the previous months to network or had not prepared during the Christmas break suddenly realized that 3 vault guides, 2 brainteaser books and the daily FT and WSJ are just too much to read. Additionally the choice of the banks – and some consulting companies – sometimes seemed rather random: strong candidates only received 1-2 invitations for interview, while others who had not been shining previously received 5-6 invitations. However, in striking difference to last year, the markets had a strong effect on the number of interview invitations extended. Finally – you get to know your friends well. As well as those people who suddenly exhibit a strong interest in – only themselves. You learn who really helps out in a give- and take- fashion and who only takes. Oh yes, my personal favourite: the people who walk around telling recruiters of their great achievements in a certain field when it is quite obvious to fellow students from the same field that they did nothing of the kind. Careful – what goes around, comes around.

So, some tips:

-          Start preparing early!

-          Try to get a head start, either by attending a trek or by getting your application in early. You will interview before everyone else (ok, you need to have your act together earlier) which gives you (in case you are successful) a strong psychological advantage: while the rest scramble for interviews, you already have an offer on the table (if things go well).

-          Have friends who apply for the same as you – helps balance the workload. Don’t see each other as competition, help each other out. Chances are you will need someone else’s help somewhere down the line.

-          Have friends who apply for something totally different. Helps get the pressure out.

-          DON’T PANIC! The most important advice.

-          Don’t question why xyz got more interviews or was forwarded to second round when you were not. Those thoughts do not help. Focus on yourself.

-          There are no easy interviews. Talk of “this guy is easier in interviews than that guy” are absolute non-sense. People who talk like that forget that each interview has its own dynamic and it is up to the interviewee to steer the interview.

This week continues with second round interviews and – offers!

Regards,

Scuba-Don