Saturday, October 29, 2005


career forum over

Overall, career forum was very good. There were many top ranked banks, consulting and pharma companies represented. It was good to hear how the banks differentiated from each other. Citigroup and Google's presentation were popular. We had a houseful auditorium during their presentations. Lehman Brother's presentation was impressive. The top Lehman guy from Spain and Portugal region gave a convincing pitch. Barclays' presentation was very good too. The key speaker was an IESE alumnus and he explained more about why we should try banking if we are really interested in it, not just for the sake of working for a big firm. His main message was that one has to have a real passion to do banking, otherwise it would be a waste of resources both for the bank and the employee. He later on pitched on how Barclays was different from other big name banks.

There were many big name management consulting companies but most of them were recruiting for countries like Spain, Portugal, Germany, Netherlands or France where you would need to know the local language. Since I do not know any of the languages of those countries, I was not really interested in them. We could apply to UK office or other offices around the world through them but I am not sure how effectively the applications get forwarded to the other offices. At least for banking, most of the recruitments are done for the UK offices, and hence langauge issue and work permit issue do not come into play. UK has a special program that lets you work in the UK with mimimal hassles if you have a MBA from a top 50 school.

There were very few companies from technology industry (not counting pharma). Google, Schneider Electric and Philips were some of the companies representing the technology industry. I was told by career services that we will have more technology companies like Yahoo, EBay on campus later in January.

We had a cocktail reception (with real cocktail) on Monday evening by Lehman Brothers. It was good to hear the experiences from the people working there. One of the representatives was a LBS alumnus. He was good in explaining different facets of working in the Investment Banking Division, especially M&A. (For those who do not know much about investment banking, Investment Banks do more than "investment banking". They have other divisions like Fixed Income, Private Equities besides Investment Banking division. They however are loosely called Investment Banks) I however was very tired from the earlier day when I had to finish my ABP paper . I wish I was not. Perhaps I could have enjoyed and concentrated more on the presentations and asked the representatives much better questions.

Tuesday was better for me. I had a good sleep. Then in the morning I had an informational session with a prestigious investment bank. I asked them why members of IBD (Investment Banking Division) have to work more hours than members of other departments like Fixed Income. I got a good and convincing answer. I also asked him whether M&A would be a good fit for my background in managing operations of a technology company.

Overall it was a good opportunity to know more about many big name companies from banking, consulting and industry.

PS On Monday afternoon, we had a "lunch" sponsored by a big name company. But that was a shame in the name of a lunch. That experience was analogous to when I learned the new meaning of cocktail a month back. The lunch was nothing more than the so called cocktail we have at times that included some nuts, tiny sandwiches, orange juice and cocacola. Since this was a cocktail organized during the lunch time, perhaps they called it lunch. And we actually had to send our resume and sign up for this lunch.

Let me stop here on commenting about minor things like the lunch. That was not my real concern in the career forum. I was there to explore my career opportunities.

What about opportunities for international students who don't know the local European languages?
Won't they be restricted to UK?
Pretty much, yes. However, it depends on the job itself. Working in areas of Investment Banking (IB) where you do not handle clients you should be fine in Europe, even in countries like Germany or France where speaking the local language in general is a must.

For Consulting (MC) it is a different story since you deal with clients a lot. However, I have heard that in the Netherlands it "can" be fine. And of course, occasionally, you always hear someone who doesn't speak the local language but this is not for generalization...

And regarding the industries: No way.
Raveendran, Huy pretty much answered your question. Thank you Huy. I aslo updated my post to clear away confusion if any.
Thanks Huy. That was to the point. It tells me the importance of learning one language (atleast spanish) well!

Thank you IESE MBA for your update too!

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