Whilst studying Economics at the University of Cambridge, Bright Network member Max successfully applied for a position at Evercore. We recently caught up with Max to find out how he found the whole process and well as any advice he has for his fellow members.
Why did you choose Evercore?
This is an obvious interview question you should be ready to answer and I’d recommend the following structure to your answer: Why finance, why investment banking, why a boutique (vs a bulge bracket) and finally why Evercore (vs Moelis, PWP etc.)?
Once I had decided on investment banking, the biggest part of the question is why a boutique. This came down to a culture thing- the smaller banks retain a stronger sense of team and culture that the bulge brackets simply do not have anymore. Another factor is smaller team size and increased deal exposure. In the general case, at the bulge brackets, you work on a bigger team of juniors. With the boutiques, teams are much smaller so you work more closely with partners, therefore learning more and faster.
Why were you interested in this role?
I was interested in financial and business news, was reasonable at maths and am studying economics so banking seemed like a natural progression. I looked into the various divisions and liked the ‘real-world’ aspect of M&A and IPOs, especially with the Saudi Aramco IPO being big in the news.
What did the application process involve? Did you have a favourite and least favourite part?
I had to submit a CV and cover letter. After a CV screening there was a telephone interview, followed by a face to face in London. After this, I was invited to an assessment centre a couple of weeks later and following that I received an offer. I personally really enjoyed the assessment centre because this was, as much as anything, a test of ‘fit’ and personality whilst getting to know the other applicants.
What top three tips would you give to other students looking to follow in your footsteps?
- Apply to as many places as possible. These banks receive hundreds of applications per place, so you need to scatter your odds. A lot of the process does come down to luck.
- Personalise your cover letter. Obviously stick to a basic format, but tailor the letter as much as you can- it may not help for the initial CV screening, but it definitely makes a big difference when they decide whether to progress you to the assessment centre.
- Set aside an hour a week with a coffee to read ‘the economist’ and the FT- I definitely didn’t do this enough and wished I had. Having the vocab that these journals use and being able to cite bits of reading you use is a really effective way of showing that you are genuinely interested in the field.
Do you have a pre-interview ritual or lucky charm?
No lucky-charm as such, but I like to get to the location of the interview about an hour and a half before I need to be in reception, make camp in the nearest Starbucks and drink about 4 coffees whilst going over recent deals of that bank (which by the way are key to know!), technicals and financial news.