2. The Anxious M.B.A.
RESIDES: Yorktown Heights, New York
A summer stint as head lifeguard for the Yorktown Parks and Recreation Department. B.A. in economics from Franklin & Marshall College, a small liberal-arts school in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Eighteen-month financial-operations internship at Pepsi Bottling Group. In January, will obtain an M.B.A. degree from Pace University’s Lubin School of Business.
What He’s Looking For:
Entry-level role in corporate finance or investment management. But Grove’s worried there’s nothing left for him on Wall Street. “I kind of got screwed over with the timing,” he says.
Desired Salary: $50,000+
What the Pros Advise:
Jenna Campolieta, Assistant Director of Internships, Pace University
Grove might be competing with thousands of laid-off financial veterans when he hits the job market in January, so he, too, needs to rethink his résumé. He’s devoted half the space to routine academic project work when Campolieta feels he could be highlighting real-world accomplishments. “Not every student has a long-term internship with a company like Pepsi,” she says of his current job. As described on his résumé, Grove’s internship duties simply don’t sound impressive, so Campolieta says he should ask his immediate supervisor or an HR rep at Pepsi to send him a formal job description, which he can crib from. And what about that summer Grove spent as a head lifeguard? He can mention the number of lifeguards and the hundreds of swimmers he oversaw. “You’re minimizing to a fault,” Campolieta says. As far as landing a full-time job at Pepsi, he shouldn’t bother with HR. Grove should tell his supervisor that he’s interested in opportunities at Pepsi. “If you have a good relationship with your supervisor, he will advocate for you,” Campolieta says. “He knows you best.”
Vilma Schonwetter, Recruiter, Assistant Vice-President, Citi
Schonwetter says Grove’s blank-slate résumé would be vastly improved by a killer cover letter. In it, Grove needs to explain why he’s interested in a particular job despite his lack of experience, so that it doesn’t look like he’s applying for random positions. The letter should also include specific anecdotes to illustrate his transferable skills. If he’s applying for a position in new accounts, for example, he could cite his experience calling vendors at Pepsi about their accounts. Schonwetter suggests he try for jobs accessible to candidates with little practical experience: in new accounts, derivatives, or as an operations analyst. He might also look beyond Wall Street. There might be more openings at a consulting firm like Accenture, says Schonwetter. Grove could also take a high-level temp job at an investment bank to pad his résumé and develop contacts. “Citi hires a lot of temp-to-perm,” she says. Lastly, she recommends he check out Adecco, a placement agency that has a contract with Citi, or Michael Page International, a financial-services recruiter.
“I’m more optimistic than I was,” says Grove. “It’s probably more difficult to find a job than it was three years ago, but it’s certainly not the case that no one’s hiring.” He plans to implement some of the résumé suggestions and ask for a meeting with his supervisor to discuss his future at Pepsi.