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Frighteningly impressive résumés of junior bankers in the 2nd tier

We’ve noted on several occasions that the sort of person who gets a junior job in an investment bank these days has a frighteningly impressive CV. Take the 2012 analyst class at J.P.Morgan in London, most of which has completed multiple internships, speaks multiple languages and has multiple degrees.

J.P. Morgan is indisputably a top tier bank, so you might argue that such résumé rectitude is par for the course: only the best of the best with the most impeccable banking credentials will get in. Much the same could be said for Goldman Sachs, which revealed yesterday that it only accepts 2% of the applicants for its summer internship programmes.

Sanford Bernstein is an equities research firm with a brokerage house attached.

Bernstein does, however, claim to be ‘widely recognized as Wall Street’s top research firm,’ which might explain why the résumé of its latest associate-level hire, Anojja Shah, reads like a check list of top firms, top schools, and top publishing companies.

Brad Hintz, Bernstein’s research analyst covering the securities and asset management industries, announced Shah’s arrival earlier this week. In his missive, he revealed that Shah – who looks very youthful – is in possession of:

• An undergraduate degree from Wharton.

• An MBA from Columbia.

• A stint at Dow Jones and at McGraw Hill.

• Stints at Deutsche Bank, Citigroup, and Merrill Lynch.

Shah’s depth of experience looks like bad news for anyone currently studying an MBA and hoping to skip into finance when it’s finished. She’s joining as a senior associate (MBAs join as junior associates), but it looks a lot like even comparatively junior bankers joining non-‘bulge bracket’ banks need impeccable academic qualifications and big name firms on their résumés now.

Although her CV looks spotless, Shah said non-spotless résumé owners shouldn’t be disheartened. “It’s a tough market now, but you can make it if you’re persistent,” she told us.

Comments (7)

  1. I might have thought her return to work after 5 years out of the market being a ‘Mom’ was a more relevant and encouragingly positive angle to the story? It’s all the more impressive when viewed in that context.

  2. This is a clear example of how ritualistic and inefficient the financial industry is.
    Instead of focusing on knowledge of the industry, appropriate framework of thinking in terms of concepts and ideas, intellectual creativity and wide theoretical preparation for analysis it is all about names of universities, gaps on the CV, why did you move? why did do stay here for so long? why a tier two? why a tier one? You are too much old. You are too much young.

    None of these guys would have hired George Soros or Warren Buffet 30 years ago.

    It is not surprising this industry blows up consistently every 15 years.

  3. Just to response to gekko, I think the reality is that the hiring managers are being bombarded with too many outstanding CVs. As a logical person, there is no reason to choose someone with a less known degree, at a less prestige place and experience. Supply way higher than demand, can’t blame anyone.

    Its not right to compare the success stories of previous generation to the current generation who are still fighting to get noticed. May be 20 years later its a norm that every success story came from a Ivy/Oxbridge Imperial graduate.

    If you want intellect recognition more than uni name, may be you could try the tech industry. Better move now before it gets crowded.

  4. Well, as a rational person instead on an outstanding CV the hiring manager could try to find an outstanding professional that makes an outstanding amount of money for clients. There is not too much supply of that in the market, did you notice?

    But that it too much difficult for many of them, I grant you that. It is easier to hire some kind of braindead kid whose dad paid for all those schools you mention.

  5. Absolutely right, none of them would have hired a buffet or a soros. But the Buffet’s and Soros’s of the world will still succeed.

    None of the uber HNWI/entrepreneurs that I have ever dealt with have those sort of CVs. Of course they don’t because they are life’s mavericks.

    And lets not forget that the banker is just the highest form of tradesman to the truly rich

  6. the funny thing is that when it comes to equity research, bernstein is pretty much THE top tier. From my experience anyway, neither GS nor JPM tend to have the most accomplished analysts (obv there are exceptions to this)

  7. At the end of the day this really says a lot about human nature in rather a sad way, to achieve the kind of academic results at the types of institutions that many young bankers are studying at, it takes a lot of brainpower, time and money. You had the world at your feet and now you are a spreadsheet monkey, good choice.
    All of those precious resources being used up for what? the end of poverty, the end of suffering from disease or hunger, a solution to the worlds energy needs, I dont think so. Finance is an incredibly selfish industry, you might get to make a pile of money, is that it?
    Most bankers have quit by 40, disillusioned, burned out and wishing they had something more fulfilling to do.

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