How to Ace Your Spring Week

Discussion in 'Get The Job' started by Martin, Mar 20, 2016.

  1. Martin

    Martin New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Alumni:
    Warwick
    Congratulations! You got the offer and now you want to impress to get the summer internship and, eventually, the full-time job. As someone who has gone through the process, I received some invaluable advice before my Spring Week last year and of course picked up some very useful tips during my Spring Week itself which hopefully will be useful for anyone reading this who is to embark on a Spring Week in the coming weeks:

    1) Stay aware commercially

    Often you can go into a Spring Week knowing no technical skills. This is fine, and I should assure everyone that this is fine. The caveat is that you must learn very quickly and just be a sponge to absorb as much information as you can. Having said this, try to prepare yourself beforehand and get into the habit. If you are going to go into this field, it should be natural that you follow your news and know the big trends that are going on. This is not the commercial awareness I am on about. The key commercial awareness aspect is linking it to the industry and your firm. So you know Brexit might occur, or there is a slowdown in China. You know the basic statistics and can tell everyone the current government policy. What does this mean for your firm, for your industry? You must know this aspect, or begin to enquire. The second aspect of commercial awareness that is beneficial will be to build up your technical skills. If you are going into IBD, know the technical terminology. Know how to use Microsoft Excel. Know what your job actually entails and what you will be doing on a day-to-day basis.

    2) Start building your network early

    They say this industry, more than any, is about people, but I think it is just good practice in life to know how to build up connections. Do not do it for a motive: talk to someone just because you like their presence, you share a common interest and feel you could bounce positive vibes off one another. These are the best networks. You will have much stronger connections this way and much less fake. Then you can enquire more about their job – once you have built that personal connection – and see if that leads you anywhere (if you want to do this), but certainly for a Spring Week the key thing is to know people and leave strong impressions on people, and this is done by seeking conversations and being open about yourself rather than treating it as your 30-second shot at interrogating someone about their life.

    3) Be friendly and put yourself in the other person’s shoes

    Ultimately nerves will play a part in your Spring Week but remember why you are here and crucially remember what got you here, because those were the skills that clearly the recruiters looked for. So do not lose any of those traits! If in the interview you feel you were particularly good at smiling, or being friendly, or knowing the technical skills, then harness that and continue it. Continue smiling, continue being friendly. Also consider things from the other angle (life advice too): what would you want in a Spring Week candidate? You want someone eager to learn, someone friendly, someone who you ultimately think you could work with if they give you the full-time role. Once you know this, just be yourself, do not force it and try to demonstrate these qualities, because everyone has what it takes.

    4) Don't be arrogant to learn

    It links to my first point, but however much existing knowledge you go in with, do not get complacent. Even if you do the most financial of degree, the theory will be nothing like applying it during the week. This is your chance to learn from the best people so respond accordingly. Pay attention, make notes, listen and just absorb. You do not need to get too bogged down in the details – after all this is just an introductory Spring Week, but show that you have capacity to learn and that you have actually learnt something, else what was the point of being on the Spring Week? Use this as your chance to learn from the smartest minds, and yes there will be challenges above definitions etc but have an open mind. I mean “learn” in a very holistic sense too, and not just the technical. Learn about life. Learn how to interact professionally. Learn how to live the life in the financial world. There will be long hours, so learn that lifestyle and use this Spring Week to see if it is for you. Ultimately this is what I mean about learning. You’re still a student and this may be your first real chance to witness this “real world”. Embrace it!

    5) Do not stress; just enjoy the experience!

    This leads nicely to this. Use the Spring Week as an opportunity for growth. If it does not work out for you, what is the worst that can happen? At least you knew before you were tied down into a full-time job contract. So give it a taste. You will have many networking events, many social events, many group-work events, many work shadowing events. Embrace it all; each firm goes to great length to put on the events of the week for you so live it and appreciate the opportunity the firm gave you to be one of the lucky ones to get a taste of that they gave you. Do not over-think it; yes you may be overwhelmed that people are smarter than you, but you’re equally smart too in the eyes of the firm if they gave you both an offer? Be confident, absorb information and go for it – make yourself proud.
     
    Canary Wharfian likes this.
  2. SmallCapPM

    SmallCapPM New Member Professional

    Messages:
    10
    Alumni:
    US college
    Well said. I particularly agree with your comment about making genuine connections. The best strategy is definitely to connect through similar interests and to have fun with it. The most successful teams in this industry tend to use banter to solidify their relationships. The people most suited to this environment will be able to laugh at themselves and along their team mates. It really is all about building relationships...
     
  3. Martin

    Martin New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Alumni:
    Warwick
    Hello, thanks for your message! I think people over-think, and therefore put way too much pressure on themselves, on building connections and that can then come off as far too forced and desperate. Totally agree that a common interest will stimulate the conversation more and leave a stronger longer-lasting connection, than any generic "What do you like best about your job?" type of standard question.
     
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