HOME Reader Q&A

Below is a list of all previous Reader Q&A articles on Mergers & Inquisitions.

These articles were far more common when the site first began – we moved away from them over time because the information is too difficult to find when presented in Q&A-style articles like this.

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2016 Mid-Year Reader Q&A: Sticking vs. Quitting, Summer Silliness, Off-Cycle Recruiting, Online Hatred, and Impending Doom

Welcome to the end of the world. By which I mean “the second post-Brexit week of the year.” The sky has still not fallen, but there are six months left in the year. Think of everything disastrous that could still happen: What if there’s a Frexit, Nexit, Italexit, or even a Texit? What if Trump […]
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2015 End-of-Year Reader Q&A: Trump Edition

For this edition of end-of-year reader Q&A, I decided to focus on the most important story in the world. No, not ISIS, terrorism, the slowdown in China, the refugee crisis in Europe, or even Star Wars. I’m referring to Donald Trump. I made it to all six inhabited continents in the second half of this […]
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2015 Mid-Year Reader Q&A: Interview Trends, the Forest (f)or the Trees, the Perfect Candidate, Summer Internship Upgrades, TV Shows, and More

So it’s already one day past the midpoint of the year, which can mean only one thing: time for another question-and-answer session. Even though I wrote about how interviews have changed less than a year ago, I’m already seeing a few new trends worth noting. One of the big ones is that many candidates fail to […]
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2014 End of Year Q&A: Reneging on Offers, Deciding on Offers, The Next Big Thing, Email Etiquette, and Whether or Not Adnan Did It

So, a few things happened this year. The Middle East somehow got even more violent, as did Ukraine Malaysia Airlines became officially the unluckiest airline ever And then there were elections in major countries, and a few other minor issues like ebola You could add more financial/economic/geopolitical events to that list if you wanted. But something more […]
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2014 Mid-Year Reader Q&A: Accelerated Recruiting, Private Equity Recruiting, Story Makeovers, VP-Level Recruiting, and More

The last time we did a Q&A, Bitcoin was worth… actually, about what it’s worth right now. Surprise, surprise. Since we’re back to that level, it seems like a great time for another round of questions and answers! Among other topics, we zip through: How to position yourself for full-time recruiting, coming from a lackluster internship. The […]
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Will Bitcoin Displace the US Dollar? And More Reader Q&A on Networking Overseas, Degree Programs, Responding to the Haters, and More

I was recently back in Korea and found myself in the same exact coffee shop where I wrote 100+ articles, edited 100+ hours of video, and also answered hundreds of reader questions “back in the day” in 2009-2010. It was so nostalgic that I said, “Hmm, well, it’s been a year already – might as […]
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2012 End of Year Q&A: Storytelling, Networking, Plans for Next Year, Responding to Criticism, and More

So we’re at the end of another year, and you know what that means: no, not holiday parties, not New Year’s celebrations, and not even making fun of AJ or consultants (though all of those sound more fun than being buried in snow – my current state). I’m talking about reader Q&A, which makes its […]
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Reader Q&A 2012 Edition: Networking Gone Wild, Strangers in Strange Lands, Deciding on Offers, Personal Updates, and Responding to Critics

After another long absence, reader Q&A makes its return today. It seems to come around once a year by this point, so I’m labeling this the “2012 edition” (there, a partial date before you leave another comment complaining about the lack of dates). Today we’re going to talk about networking gone wild (no NSFW photos, […]
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The Return of Reader Q&A: World Domination, Mermaids, the Meaning of Life, and Plans for 2011

After a long absence, reader Q&A makes its return today. Read on to learn all about job postings on Craigslist, whether or not you learn anything useful in banking, the meaning of life, and more – plus my next destination now that I’ve been deported from Asia. Q: So, why haven’t you done one of […]
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How to Spin Your Way Into Anything, Unhelpful People When Networking, Living the Dream, and More Questions and Answers

I’ve seen a lot of “creative” comments and ideas in response to the articles on spinning your way to success in investment banking and networking – only problem is that some of these ideas are just plain bad. While others could potentially work… if you spin them the right way. Meanwhile, read even more about […]
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How to Get Into Investment Banking If You Were a Male Escort in Tokyo in a Former Life

Just how old is “too old” to get into finance? If you want to work in distressed investing, do you need to start at a bank’s Restructuring group first? What if you’re a serial entrepreneur? Oh, and what if you were a male escort in a former life? Today we’re going to take a look […]
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Bottle Service, How to Become a Guest Star on Entourage, Buy-Side Lifestyle, and How NOT to Be a Tool When Networking… and More Q&A

With summer internships drawing to a close and another round of full-time recruiting about to start, I’m getting a lot of questions on last-minute networking, how to prepare for interviews if you’ve had an internship, and what to do if you’re not getting a full-time offer. And then there’s the usual bout of bottle service, […]
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All About the Back Office, Recovering from Networking Mistakes, and How to Find the Right Kind of Yerba Mate… and More Questions and Answers

Ok, so is the back office actually a 9-5 job? What about going to the back office vs. starting your own investment fund? What if you’ve made a horrible impression on alumni when networking – is there any way to recover? Oh, and most importantly, what brand of yerba mate will allow you to pull […]
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Breaking Into Private Equity from Business Development, Getting Into Finance from the Military, and More Random Questions… Answered

One question I’ve been seeing a lot lately is how to move into finance if you’re not just out of undergraduate or business school – if you’ve been working for some time and have built up a track record and network. It’s very difficult to make that type of move these days, simply due to […]
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Reader Q&A: Financial Modeling, Breaking In No Matter What, Venture Capital and Crazy People (No Relation)

This week, we cover financial modeling, what to do if you’re still looking for internships or jobs at this late stage, how to decide on offers if you actually have them, a bunch of questions on venture capital (and private equity), and then the usual roundup of nonsensical questions (always my favorite part). 1. Do […]
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Teaching English in Asia as Your “Plan B”, Superdays, Finance in India, Private Equity Recruiting, and More Questions and Answers

I arrived back in the US this week (and was already bored within 48 hours, maybe I should just accelerate this move to Asia) and realized we hadn’t done a reader Q&A in quite awhile. This week we’ll cover a broader set of questions than usual, on everything from your backup plan (if finance doesn’t […]
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How to Achieve an 8-Figure Net Worth, Banking in Asia vs. NY, Business School, and More Questions… and Answers

In this edition of New Year’s Q&A, we cover everything from the ever-persistent questions on pay and fashion to banking in different regions, business school, different strategies for breaking in, and even some more questions on the new interview guide. Some of the interviews and other content planned for 2009 will address these questions in […]
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How to Enter Into a Futures Contract With My Products and More Questions and Answers

As you might expect, there are many questions about my new interview guide as well as all the usual topics this week. Feedback has been very positive so far, so we’re thinking of expanding into other areas as well – details are below. 1. Your guide is really cheap right now, I was expecting at […]
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If You Don’t Like Brick Breaker, Can You Still Work in Finance? And More Questions (and Answers)

In an earlier article I wrote about my “favorite question ever,” but I might have to take that one back because one reader managed to top it recently. With a topic near and dear to our hearts: Brick Breaker.  I guess since Leveraged Sellout featured it I should have expected some questions – I just […]
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How to Interview with a Broken Leg, Picking Offers, Grades and Why I Won’t Do Your Homework: Reader Q&A

Economic doom-and-gloom has not been on peoples’ minds quite as much lately, at least according to the questions I received this week. Maybe when another bank fails we can get back to discussing ways to avoid the back office or McDonald’s, but for now we’ll focus on more relevant topics. Like what to do in […]
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Light-Speed Q&A: Sick Days, Marriage and Yerba Mate, Interviews, Military, Resumes, Financial Meltdown, Prestige and Public Speaking

In this week’s edition of Q&A (we’ve had Rapid-Fire, Lightning, 100-Meter Dash and now Light Speed… suggestions for new names are welcome), I once again compress as much information as possible into as few words as possible. Surprisingly, this week we cover some questions that aren’t related to economic collapse / the end of investment […]
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100 Meter Dash Q&A: Shaving, New Layout, Book Recommendations, College Majors, Breaking Into Banking, Best Cities For VC

What would you do if I told you your facial hair affected your chances of getting into finance? Some of you might nod, knowingly, while others might be reluctant to believe me. For those who are reluctant: go shave, right now. And then read the rest of this week’s Q&A below. 1. Must investment bankers […]
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Lightning Q&A: Placement Agencies, Live Deals, Age, Racism, Lifestyle, Recruiting, Day Trading

The reader questions continue coming in, and we’ll take a similar approach to the most recent Rapid-Fire Q&A. Lightning Q&A, Round 2, now commences. 1. What do you think of paid placement agencies? I’m about to write a check to one, since they promised they could get me an internship at any bulge bracket bank.Don’t […]
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Rapid-Fire Q&A: Restructuring, Relationships, Bonuses, Offers, Regional Offices, the CFA, and Summer Housing

Today we’re going to try something different: I’m going to answer each of your questions in 100 words or less. Why write 500 words when 50 will do? 1. Can you elaborate on restructuring recruiting? Yes – it’s highly selective and typically limited to the top “banker” schools such as Wharton and Harvard, at least […]
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Reader Q&A: Relationships Vs. Investment Banking, Accountants Breaking Into Finance, Do You Have Any Jobs For Me?

Let’s jump right in – relationships vs. investment banking, accountants breaking into finance, and even a direct request for jobs. Relationships Vs. Investment Banking “I have a question that I don’t believe I’ve seen addressed on your site. I’m interested in pursuing investment banking, as it sounds like it gives you a lot of good […]
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Weekly Reader Q&A: Early Interviews From Summer Offer, Analyst Recruiting Post-College, And Was It All Worth It?

After a long absence while I was on vacation over the past few weeks, reader Q&A returns this week with another good set of questions, including perhaps my favorite question ever: Was it all worth it? But before we get to that question, let’s look at a few other interesting inquiries I’ve received recently. Early […]
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My Last Day (Plus – Reader Q&A: Middle East Banking, Types Of Recruiting Teams And My Own Resume)

So it’s my last day in investment banking and what better way to celebrate than with a reader Q&A post? How about a Q&A post with commentary and other reflections at the bottom? Investment Banking In The Middle East “I’m a rising junior seeking a career in finance/consulting. I’ve worked in private wealth management, strategy […]
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Reader Q&A: VC Internships, Private Equity In China And Visits To Firms

Reader Q&A is back with a vengeance this week. With many Mergers & Inquisitions readers having just started their summer internships or preparing to start soon, everyone is focused on getting the most out of their experiences and getting ready for full-time recruiting in the fall (I wish I was half this prepared when I […]
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Weekly Reader Q&A: The Age Factor, Finance Internships Abroad, And Fall Analyst Recruiting (And More Summer Internship Tips)

As the end approaches (I’m a few short weeks away from finishing up my investment banking “career”), I keep receiving interesting questions every day.   My email volume doubles each week (or at least it seems that way), and while that’s bad for my free time, I could now do endless Q&A columns and never […]
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Weekly Reader Q&A: Diluted Shares Outstanding In A DCF, IT To Investment Banking And Fortune 500 Corporate Finance

Weekly (or maybe this should be bi-weekly?) Reader Q&A continues this week, and I prove that I can indeed answer technical/finance questions as well (one of the benefits of working in an M&A group is that I know all sorts of obscure finance/tax trivia you never use 99% of the time), so if you have […]
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Weekly Reader Q&A: Law School Student To Finance, How Summer Analysts Are Judged And Turning Down Summer Offers

With summer internships approaching, there are 2 topics on everyone’s mind: 1) how to get the full-time offer and 2) how to get an even better internship, even at this late stage. Meanwhile, the questions on breaking into investment banking from other fields continue to roll in. Law School Student To Finance “I just read […]
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Weekly Reader Q&A: Elite Boutiques, Moving To The Buyside Early And How To Dress For Success As A Summer Intern

Another crazy week at work (pending deals and, you, know, everyone getting laid off and leaving me with all their work to finish) and another weekly reader Q&A while I find time to write more 3,000 word articles… Elite Boutiques “I had multiple full-time bulge bracket offers but instead opted to go to a recently […]
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Weekly Reader Q&A: Investment Banking And Ego, Just How Male Dominated Is Finance, And Excel Mistakes In Front Of The MD

Rather than focusing on one coherent theme in this week’s session of reader Q&A, I decided to pick some of the more interesting questions I’ve received recently and address them here.  Completely random questions on unrelated topics always make for spectacular writing. :) Investment Banking And Ego “One question I’ve always wondered about whenever I […]
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Weekly Reader Q&A: Hedging Your Bear Stearns Summer Offer, Who Really Reads Resumes And The Value Of A Master’s Degree

After last week’s Bear Stearns debacle, it seems that readers took my advice and hedged their offers appropriately, shopping them around and focusing on boutiques in particular. While this is a great strategy for reducing risk, it carries with it an additional challenge: how to decide on an uncertain offer vs. a certain but “lesser” […]
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Weekly Reader Q&A: Summer Internships vs. Study Abroad, Low GPAs, Going International AND Local

Yes, you read that headline correctly: this post is NOT about Bear Stearns. I’m not sure there’s much more to say on the topic at this point in time, but as the situation evolves you may well expect another installment in the saga (I think Episode 3: The Return of The Offer would be appropriate, […]
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Weekly Reader Q&A: Nonprofit To Private Equity, The Role Of Accounting Firms And Startup vs. Marketing Internship

Here we are in March and, as expected, investment banking summer internship questions continue to roll in.  In addition to more guidance on how to decide between different summer internship offers, I also cover the transition from the world of nonprofits into private equity, as well as the role of accounting firms in investment banking […]
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Weekly Reader Q&A: Investment Banking From Ph.D., Boutique Summer Internships, Informational Interviews

In this week’s edition of Mergers & Inquisitions Reader Q&A, the investment banking summer internship theme continues to run strong. Offers have already been handed out at most bulge bracket banks, while middle-market and boutique banks will continue recruiting year-round. I continue to receive many questions on breaking into banking from other industries, so I […]
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Picking An Investment Banking Summer Internship: Equity Research Vs. Trading

One common question I’ve been getting lately is how to decide on a summer internship when you have multiple offers. For those lucky enough to be in this position, how do you pick which internship to accept and which to turn down? Since this varies quite a bit for each person, I’ve anonymized and listed […]
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Reader Q&A: Sales & Trading Resumes, Finance From Pharmaceuticals And The China Angle

In this week’s edition of reader Q&A, I cover questions about tailoring an investment banking resume for sales & trading, breaking into finance from pharmaceuticals and the relative importance of international experience, in this case experience in China. I continue to receive many investment banking summer internship questions as well as lifestyle and “breaking in” […]
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Weekly Reader Q&A: Low GPA, Internships For Freshmen And Saving As An Analyst

This week’s weekly reader Q&A covers a few of the questions I’ve received from readers and answered in the past week. With summer recruiting season in full-swing, everyone is very focused on their investment banking internships ahead and getting the most out of their time, and this week’s set of questions reflects that. How To […]
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Q&A On Investment Banking Topics

Continuing this week’s theme of other people generating content, today I’ll post a few of the questions I’ve received so far from readers. Hopefully these will be applicable to many of you out there looking for answers on investment banking, getting into finance, or changing careers. More original content next week when I (hopefully) don’t […]
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