R.A.I.N. Conference Call Series - February 12th Highlights

Last Wednesday, R.A.I.N. Career Institute was joined by Richard Ma on our bi-weekly conference call. Richard, a graduate of the University of Waterloo’s Mathematics program, shared stories of his diverse internship experiences and how they led him to his current role as an Investment Banking Associate at CIBC Capital Markets. 

For those who were not able to call in last Wednesday, a brief summary of the call is highlighted below:

Richard has been involved in multiple recruiting processes for different investment banking internship programs at CIBC and shared his thoughts on what makes a good candidate in the interview:

“We look for candidates who give thoughtful responses. Don’t be scared to take a moment to think about what you’re going to say before you start answering. We can also gauge whether someone truly understands the concepts behind the questions we’re asking versus somebody who has just memorized the recruiting guides. When studying for interviews try to go beyond the guides and make sure you truly understand the underlying accounting and financial concepts.”

In terms of what he didn’t expect coming into the investment banking industry:

“Coming in I had a lot of people telling me about the negative aspects of investment banking but I actually found that I really enjoy the work and especially the team I work with. Another thing that I didn’t expect to enjoy was pitching to clients. There is more freedom and creativity involved with pitching then executing a live transaction. I enjoy helping our senior team members develop and present solutions for our clients’ finance related problems.”

In the Q&A portion of the call, students had the opportunity to ask Richard questions - including what previous internship experience they look for in investment banking recruiting and tips for securing a first internship:

“First and foremost we look for people who show a demonstrated interest in finance. One obvious way to show this is internships in a related industry like private equity or venture capital. There are lots of other avenues though. I know a few people who did their first internships in accounting. One of our summer interns is from an engineering program and worked his previous internship in engineering but he was able to nail his interview. Even if your previous internships don’t fall under what people have traditionally done, it doesn’t mean you have no shot.”

“There are a few internships where the application requires you to do some extra work. Sometimes it means writing an essay or creating a research report. The large majority of people won’t bother applying to these but applying to these is a good way to get yourself into a smaller pool of applicants.”