Tired of struggling alone to win finance interviews and land the job offers you
desire and deserve?
“Here’s How to Get the Exact Answers to Your Most
Burning Career Questions, Overcome the Biggest
Obstacles in Your Path… And Land All the Finance
Interviews and Job Offers You Want”
Read on to discover how to truly stand out from the pack and position yourself at
the top of the interview call-back list – and give yourself an unfair advantage over
From: Nicole Lee
Senior Investment Banking Coach
If you are looking for some seriously customized help with your finance job search or career advancement…
…help with working through the frustrating challenges of getting your foot in the door…
…getting all your finance industry-specific ‘insider’ questions answered…
…breaking the cycle of endless networking and informational interviews with no call-backs…
…then you need to at least explore a private coaching or consulting relationship with a finance interview expert.
All super-successful finance industry professionals who have made it to the top have one thing in common: a network of great insider contacts and people they can confide in.
They consistently network with people who have the knowledge, contacts, and connections to help them get ahead.
And when they need some serious help, they’re not too proud to seek out genuine experts who can add a dose of insight and re-alignment, in order to reach their goals more quickly.
It’s like going to a specialist physician for a “second opinion” after you’ve seen your family doctor – only this will get you results a lot faster, and with a lot less pain!
The Problem with Finding a Job In Investment Banking Today…
Ten years ago, before I successfully broke into the finance industry, I was stuck in limbo.
Career-wise, I was spinning my wheels… here’s where I was at:
- I had stellar grades… so far, so good…
- I had solid, relevant experience – the type they’d be looking for…
- And I applied to over 200 jobs…
- Got around 100 interviews over multiple rounds…
- And made it into 7 final rounds, winning 2 full-time offers.
Not a bad result, right?
See, plenty of friends who had worse grades and less experience than me had a MUCH higher success rate.
Some people simply applied to the exact jobs they wanted and got them – often with success rates of close to 100%.
But I was sitting there “fighting over the scraps” and working way too hard for the results I was getting.
Oh, and here’s the punch line: this was back when the market was good.
This was when things were far less competitive, when there were more spots open, and when banks were still “expanding aggressively.”
If I were to follow this same strategy today, I wouldn’t have made it to any final rounds.
In the end, things worked out OK: I worked at banks like JP Morgan and Credit Suisse in roles ranging from investment banking to sales to private banking.
But I made things far more difficult on myself than I had to.
Helping Smart People Break Into Banking
The good news is that you don’t have to suffer through any of that…
See, there’s a big difference between the way the “average person” goes about looking for a job, and the way a smart person does it.
The smart person isn’t shy about getting help from mentors, coaches, and those who have been through the entire process before.
Since breaking into the industry, I’ve interviewed hundreds of candidates – and spoken with even more students and professionals worldwide who want to break in.
And there’s a good chance you’re struggling with the same exact problems right now that they’ve also faced:
- You’re not getting the quantity OR the quality of interviews you need to get your first “big break.”
- You don’t know how to pitch yourself effectively, tell your story, and market yourself – or how to set yourself apart from everyone else going for the same jobs.
- You don’t know how to network effectively and build relationships – without making networking your full-time job, or feeling like you’re “stalking” your contacts.
- You’re not answering interview questions effectively, and you’re not quite sure what they want to hear… or how to position yourself as the best person for the job.
After my struggle to break in, I got to thinking: there had to be some kind of service out there for helping with all of the above…
But there wasn’t.
Don’t get me wrong: I found dozens of “career coaches” and resume writing services – but nothing that focused specifically on finance and investment banking.
Let’s be honest: generic career coaches are useless in this industry because “the standard advice” just doesn’t apply.
Here are some of the hilariously awful things they’ll tell you if you ask them for “advice”:
- Always include a “Summary and Objectives” section on your resume / CV! (Horrible idea, unless you’re very senior with 10-15+ years of experience)
- Make sure you touch on everything in your resume / CV when introducing yourself (Completely false… it’s called “telling your story” for a reason – it’s a story, not a recitation of your resume)
- Always do something for others before asking them for anything in return, like referrals or career advice (This doesn’t work well when you’re first entering the industry – how can you really help a pro? Nice idea, but it doesn’t hold up in practice)
- Always “ping” your contacts with links and articles and anything else you can think of just to stay in touch every few weeks (People in finance are busy and don’t have time for this – yes, stay in touch, but ask something specific and be direct)
- Your technical skills and knowledge of financial modeling don’t matter that much – they’re looking for “soft skills” (Maybe this was true in 2005… not so much anymore. Yes, soft skills matter but they WILL grill you on the technical side as well)
So you can’t bother with the generic coaching services – unless you also want “generic” results, AKA no job offers.
The 5 Critical Skills You Must Master Before You Can
Land a Great Role in Investment Banking
If you want to break into finance, you must master 5 critical skills.
It’s not just “knowing” what these skills are – anyone could “learn” about these skills just by reading the hundreds of articles and case studies on this site.
But as Morpheus might say, “There’s a difference between knowing the path and walking the path.”
With our coaching services, you’ll learn exactly how to apply these skills in real life and get practice doing so.
Here are the 5 skills you must master:
- 1How to build industry contacts and network your way past gatekeepers and into the boardroom – even if you don’t see yourself as a “natural networker”. These are specialized, learn-able skills for building the key connections you need.
- 2How to position yourself in information sessions and informational interviews in order to stand out. There is an art and a science behind presenting your background as unique and desirable to an employer, and you must strike a delicate balance between being “interesting” but also appearing capable and hungry for the job.
- 3How to market yourself so that overburdened investment bankers take the time to read your e-mails and take your calls – even when Crazy Client A and Crazy Client B keep calling them repeatedly at 2 AM to request changes to the font size on page 197 of the Board presentation.
- 4How to tell your “story”, ace your interviews, and start your career on your own terms. If you don’t get your “story” right, no interview will ever go on past the 5-minute mark… and all those networking efforts will amount to nothing.
- 5How to present to interviewers if you are shy, or if English is not your first language. If you don’t get feedback on your “pitch” and “presentation,” especially if English is not your first language… all those rehearsals will amount to nothing.
Mastery of these 5 foundational skills lies at the core of our coaching programs.
There are many ways you could learn these skills… or try to learn these skills… and there are lots of “career coaching services” online.
But all of these services have one big downside:
They’re not specialized, and they’re not focused on the finance industry.
And that’s probably why you’re here reading this right now.
You’ve tried those alternatives… or you’re not getting the traction and results you want, and you’re not sure why… or you just want to cut to the chase and fast-track the whole process.
If that’s you, then I invite you to consider applying for our investment banking coaching services.
Why The M&I Investment Banking Coaching Services
Provide The Best Value Around…
Here’s what you get after you sign up, and why our services are a whole different ball game from everything else out there:
- Our coaches are all investment banking industry veterans, and are now FOCUSED on coaching full-time.
This means you’re not dealing with high school career counselors that are completely clueless… you’re working with real people with industry experience across investment banking, private banking, capital markets, sales & trading, and more.
And at the same time, you’re also NOT working with professionals who are working 80+ hours per week and simply “forget” about you when it’s no longer convenient because coaching is just a “side project” for them. You get the best of both worlds, because that’s what gets YOU the best results.
- Step-by-step finance interview methodology:
We have a proven, step-by-step methodology for breaking into investment banking and the finance industry that has worked for hundreds who were in the exact position you are in right now. This is what you’ll get in our “Action Plan” document if you sign up for one of the package deals we offer.
Breaking into the industry is not some mystical art with voodoo and magical powers required – it’s all about following a proven process rather than flailing around without any direction. And you don’t need top grades from Harvard or Oxbridge or multiple internships at Goldman Sachs to pull it off – it’s mostly about how badly you want to succeed.
- Straight talk and tough advice you need to hear:
If we were doctors, we’d have horrible “bedside manners” – because we tell it like it is and are extremely blunt with you, especially when you won’t like what we have to say.
Many career coaches are all too eager to pat you on the back and tell you how well you’re doing… but fail miserably when it comes to confronting you and challenging you to push yourself higher.
In other words, we act the same way bankers interviewing you will act: we ask the tough questions and give you honest assessments about how well you’re doing and what you can or can’t do. You’re signing up to get results, not to add another Facebook buddy.
- Hundreds of satisfied clients:
Just read some of the client testimonials on this page, as well as the detailed testimonials and stories elsewhere on this website and our sister site, Breaking Into Wall Street. We have the most extensive record of results with clients in the finance industry of anyone, online or offline.
- Potential ROI of 100-200x or more:
While our service isn’t “cheap,” it does offer extraordinary value to the right applicant. Entry-level jobs in finance pay at least $100,000+ USD, and from there the pay quickly rises to $200,000 or more once you’ve been on the job several years.
So your investment in our services will pay off many, many times over – the ROI over just 1 or 2 years might be anywhere from 100x to 200x, and it only goes up over time once you look at your earnings over the next 5-10 years after you’ve broken into the industry.
Ask Us Anything You Like About How to Land
Your Ideal Role in Investment Banking or Finance…
Maybe your questions are similar to those asked by our previous or current clients? Here’s just a small sample of the types of questions we routinely answer:
- How do I “spin” my non-finance experience to make it sound relevant for a finance role?
- I have great grades and a top school on my resume or CV… why am I not getting interviews (or job offers)?
- My grades aren’t all that great… but I have other strengths and think I would be a good fit for the industry. How can I put my best foot forward?
- Which roles would fit my interests, desired lifestyle, goals, and aspirations?
- How do I start networking? What do I say to “break the ice”?
- Should I focus on certain roles to increase my chances of breaking in?
- How can I best position myself to move to a PE/HF shop?
- I have a gap of a few months/years on my resume – how can I explain that to interviewers?
- How do I go about networking if I don’t want my colleagues to know I’m looking for a new job?
- Why did I get dinged by the dream firm I just interviewed with? What went wrong and how can I do better next time?
- How can I network aggressively without seeming like a stalker?
- How can I make a major career change into a finance or business role if I have no previous experience?
- Why do people with worse educational backgrounds and less work experience than me keep landing more interviews and offers? And how can I compete more effectively?
- How can I stand out and become more than just another face in the crowd? What can I say to get bankers to know, like, and trust me and then hire me?
It’s very, very unlikely you’ll have a question we haven’t heard and successfully answered before. You’re tapping into a vast reservoir of finance interview knowledge when you use our service.
Hear What Some of Our Previous and Current Clients
Have To Say About Their Experiences…
Note that our clients typically sign up for package deals, so these comments refer to both our coaching and resume / cover letter editing services.
“By the Third Week, I Was Spoiled by Choice; I Had About Half a Dozen
Callbacks and Even Received an Interview Request from a Firm I Hadn’t Even Applied to!”
“For the Latter Part, I Can Confidently Say That Had I Not
Undergone Your Coaching, I Would Have Made Some Serious
Networking No No’s and Awkward Conversations.”
“I Recently Just Landed Two Offers, One at a Boutique, One at a
Canadian Bank-Owned Dealer. A Big Shout Out to Nicole for Her
Help Over Resume, Cover Letter, and Interview Tips!!”
“I Would Definitely Recommend This Service, Particularly to People
Looking to Break Into the Industry from Non-Finance Backgrounds.”
“This Was the Best Career Investment I’ve Ever Made. I Had No
Idea What Investment Banking Was in October, Submitted My Resume
Online (!) in December, and Got an Interview with a Major Bank in February.”
“M&I Helped Me Think About the Specific Impact I Had On All My
Deals and Projects, Which Resonated with Employers. Now I Have
a Dream Job at a Leading Cleantech Private Equity Firm.”
“The Improved CV Indeed Landed Me More Interviews and I Have
Recently Landed a Job at a Private Equity House Which Specializes
in Real Estate Investment.”
“I Would Like to Express My Special Thanks to Ms. Nicole Lee. With
Her Profession, Efficiency and Intelligence, She Really Changed My
Messy Resume and Cover Letter Into Interview-Winning Ones.”
“The Overall Effect is That My Resume Now Looks Far More
‘Banker Appropriate’ Than Before, Despite the Fact That I Have No
Previous Experience in Investment Banking.”
“The Coaching Service Was Fantastic! Try the Service, It’s a Small
Investment for the Huge Payoff Potential – I Highly Recommend [It]!”
“The Resume You Helped Edit Was So Great, and I Got Several
Interviews with Several Big Banks.”
“In a Matter of Days, She Helped Me Break Through Weeks of
Second Guessing Previous [Resume] Versions and Focus on the
Areas of My Background That Really Matter, Very Impressive!”
“I Found the Resume Editing Service Helpful, and Am Currently in
the Process of Two Interviews, One for a M&A Analyst Position at a
Boutique Investment Bank, and the Other at a Real Estate Private Equity Fund.”
“My Initial Expectation Was Just to Craft a Pitch Story, But I Got
Much More Help – Networking to Exploring Other Functions. She
Provides Detailed Insights, Step-by-Step Guidance, and Even Support!!”
“She Will Upgrade Your Pitch Story to the Next Level Where You
Will Have a Real Chance at Landing That Position.
By Far the Best Return on Your Investment.”
“I Decided to Take a Chance and Get M&I to Edit My Resume
and the Results Were OUTSTANDING.”
“The Service of Mergers and Inquisitions is Simply Awesome.
People Are So Helpful Here and the Coaching Really Works No
Matter [If] You Are Applying for [the] EMEA or APAC Region.”
“Now I’ve Landed 3 Offers Including One from a Bulge Bracket.”
“The M&I Team Were Complete Professionals and the Coaching I
Got from Them Along with the Cover Letter / Resume Editing
Helped Me Secure a Private Equity Internship.”
As you can see from the examples above, when there’s a fit between us and our clients, the results can be extraordinary.
With all that said, this coaching service is NOT right for everyone.
We’re not going to sugar-coat this and spin some BS about how “everyone from high school students to seasoned industry professionals can benefit from our services!”
The truth is only a relatively small and exclusive group of candidates is a fit for our services.
Client fit is very important to us, and we only want to work with people we know we can help.
Eight Important Things You Need To
Know Before You Apply
- 1While we promise to give you our full expertise and attention, we cannot guarantee your success, because there are so many factors beyond our control. However, we CAN help you to put your very best foot forward and achieve your goals much faster than you otherwise would.
If you have a 2.0 GPA from an unknown school with 0 internships and expect us to magically get you an offer at Goldman Sachs Investment Banking in New York or London, then keep dreaming. In this situation, we would actually recommend NOT signing up at all because our services would not be terribly helpful for you.
- 2Do NOT apply if you’re a university student with no previous work experience.
We focus on helping 3 main categories of candidates only:
- iUniversity or Master’s students with previous internships who are now seeking full-time employment (sometimes we can help with internships, if you’ve had solid previous work experience)
- iiCurrent investment bankers who are now looking to move to the buy-side at a private equity firm, hedge fund, or venture capital firm
- iiiCareer changers who want to break into finance at the MBA level or post-MBA level
If you are NOT in one of those categories above, please do NOT sign up for these services.
Yes, there is a chance that our strategies might still help you… so if you fit slightly outside the categories above, you could contact us first to get our thoughts before you commit to anything.
But in most cases, these services will be FAR more helpful if you’re in one of those 3 categories above.
And please, whatever you do, do NOT sign up if you’re currently a 1st or 2nd year university student with no previous internships or work experience, because these services will not help you at all.
- 3You have to do the work. We will deliver value in a number of ways, including editing your resume, helping you to perfect your pitch, explaining exactly how to network, practicing interview questions with you, and so on. But you still have to do the work. You have to be 100% committed to landing your dream job and be 100% responsible for your results. This isn’t a “pay the money, automatically get a job in investment banking” deal. This may seem like a ridiculous statement to make, but we’ve gotten some odd requests over the years…
- 4There are NO REFUNDS and NO DISCOUNTS for this service. Here’s where we’re coming from: we are investing a significant amount of our own personal time into working with you – often days or weeks. Our time can never be replaced. We’ll play full on, and we expect you to as well, working “without a net”, just like in the real world.
But please be assured that if we don’t feel there is a fit, we will immediately refund what you’ve paid. However, once we do accept your payment and we both decide to proceed, there will be no refunds granted.
- 5Only apply for this program if investing in it would NOT be a financial burden for you and your family. We do not want you taking on credit card debt or any other type of debt to pay for this – and if we find out that you’ve done that, you will be refunded immediately and we’ll cancel the services.
- 6This program is ONLY applicable if you’re interested in investment banking, private equity, hedge funds, sales & trading, private banking, or asset management. Please do NOT sign up if you’re interested in working at a normal company, going into law, applying to medical school, becoming a circus performer, and so on. Yes, this may seem silly to state here but you’d be surprised at the questions we’ve gotten over the years…
- 7We edit resumes and cover letters based on our official templates (Example Resume Templates and Cover Letter Template) and the advice given on the site, and we only provide one-page resumes and cover letters. Please review the templates before you sign up to see if these templates suit your needs or not. If they do not suit your needs, do NOT sign up for these services. Yes, of course we’ll work extensively with you to customize these documents to reflect your own experiences – but these templates represent the starting point for everything else we do.
- 8We ask that you be respectful and give us 10 hours of notice when cancelling any coaching session with us. Please note that the coaching session will still be counted if there is a no show or less than 10 hours of notice was given before the session commences. Again, we invest a lot of time into working with you, and the relationship has to work both ways for it to be mutually beneficial.
So you’ve read through everything here now…
Including this list of 8 important points to keep in mind before signing up.
If you thoroughly understand everything and you’re convinced that these coaching services are right for you, then here are the sign-up options we offer:
Investment Banking Resume / CV Editing Service
A line-by-line edit of your resume / CV to attract the attention and interest of investment bankers and private equity / hedge fund / other investment professionals, and present your academic and professional history in the best light possible.
NOTE: We will ONLY edit ONE version of your resume / CV. If you have multiple different versions and you require editing for all of them, you’ll have to pay an additional fee for each version.
NOTE: We use our own resume / CV template as the starting point for this process. Please click here to see several examples of this template. If you do NOT want to use this template or you are looking for a resume / CV that is longer than this, please do not sign up for these services.
Diagnostic Phone Call
You’ll speak directly with our Investment Banking Resume and Coaching Specialist, so we can better understand your unique background and provide you with a strong direction for your resume and cover letter.
NOTE: This is NOT a coaching call or mock interview. Instead, this is a brief call that lets us understand your background and how we can best position your experience. So it does NOT include extended feedback on your pitch, your story, your networking efforts, and so on – all of that is offered ONLY in the coaching calls.
60-Day Expiration Date
Once you sign up, you MUST submit your resume, cover letter (if applicable), and other documents within 60 days, and you must respond to our edits and email requests and arrange your diagnostic call and coaching calls (if applicable) within that time frame.
Please do NOT sign up for these services if you’re planning to wait several months to use them. We will not be able to accommodate you, and will instead immediately refund your money if you do not submit everything that is required within 60 days.
# of Rounds of Editing (Each round is 5 business days apart)
Getting your resume and cover letter “just right” is the goal. We’ll provide several rounds of editing (5 business days apart) to ensure you get a result you’re thrilled with.
NOTE: We will ONLY edit ONE version of your resume / CV. If you have multiple different versions and you require editing for all of them, you’ll have to pay an additional fee for each version.
|2 rounds||3 rounds||3 rounds|
2 Business Day RUSH Service (Optional)
If you’re in a hurry, we can guarantee 2 business day turnaround of your resume and/or cover letter.
You must pay the rush service fee for each document you submit. For example, if you need rush service for both your resume / CV and cover letter, you will have to pay the fees listed on the right twice.
|$150 per document||$130 per document||$100 per document|
Investment Banking Cover Letter Editing Service
If your cover letter is no good, your resume will never even get noticed. Our industry experts will edit your cover letter to pique the interest of bankers and make them eager to read your resume.
NOTE: We use our own cover letter template as the starting points for this process. Please click here to see the template. If you do NOT want to use this template or you are looking for a cover letter that is longer than this, please do not sign up for any package that includes cover letter editing.
Our experts will be on call to answer any questions you have about putting your best foot forward in networking and interviews and achieving maximum success.
NOTE: This email Q&A expires in 30 days after your initial sign-up. You MUST ask your questions within that time frame, because personalized Q&A expires at the end of this period. If you want to commence your Q&A later than your sign-up date, please let us know your reasons and your time frame in advance, and we may make exceptions depending on your case. Please note that we will not be able to answer individual Q&As after the 30-day period.
NOTE: To see exactly what is included in this email Q&A and the questions we can and can’t answer, please read this document that describes the support services. We CANNOT answer questions that are listed under the “What is NOT Included in the Support Services” category.
|30 days||30 days|
Revision of Emails
We will also revise and edit emails of your choosing, including follow-up / thank you emails, interview request emails, introductory emails, and so on.
NOTE: This only includes revisions of EXISTING emails that you have written, NOT drafting emails from scratch.
|Revisions of 2 Emails||Revisions of 4 Emails|
1-on-1 “Personal Pitch” Coaching Calls
During these 30-minute calls with our Senior Coach Nicole, you’ll get feedback and guidance on how to construct and deliver a winning Personal Pitch – and you’ll get answers to any recruiting-related questions you have.
|One (1) 30-Minute Call||Two (2) 30-Minute Calls|
Access to BIWS IB Networking Toolkit
You’ll get secure online access to our popular training program, the BIWS Investment Banking Networking Toolkit, including unlimited Q&A and support via our expert help desk.
Priority Response to All Emails
Your email questions will go to the “front of the line” for the fastest response.
Pitch Perfection Service
Following your personalized coaching call, you can submit your revised 2-3 minute pitch (a 2-3 minute audio file or a 1-page written document). We’ll provide you with feedback and suggestions to revise your pitch and make it “pitch-perfect” within 5 business days.
Personalized & Customized Action Plan
This is a 1-page document that sums up our recommended recruiting strategy for you, and gives you a concrete set of Action Steps to follow when networking.
One “LinkedIn For Investment Banking” Done-For-You Profile Creation
When considering which option is best, please remember:
- 1How much is it costing you to delay starting your career by another week, another month, or another year? Even if you consider an entry-level analyst role that pays $100,000 per year… it’s costing you $2,000 per week not to be in the role you want.
- 2Winning a lucrative investment banking job could mean that you pay off your entire investment in the first week or first month (and still have more than enough to celebrate your new career move with family and friends!).
- 3Professional job placement agencies will charge you thousands of dollars upfront and provide you with nothing more than tired, old regurgitated training materials that are completely useless. And finance-focused headhunters won’t even speak with you unless you have the exact experience they’re looking for.
For personalized, industry-specific coaching and support, you will not find better value anywhere else.
Yes, there are some standalone services for JUST resume editing or JUST coaching that may save you a few bucks.
But you get what you pay for.
If you want help from professionals with a track record – who are now doing this as their full-time jobs as opposed to “side projects whenever there’s some downtime in their 80 hour per week job” – then this is the best service around.
What we offer is certainly not for everyone…
But if what you’ve tried so far has not gotten you the results you want at the speed you want them, then we can help you gain traction and get a better outcome for yourself right away.
Choose your preferred option above, and we’ll be in touch to find out more about your situation and advise you on the next steps.
And if you decide that it’s not for you before we begin, or we decide that we can’t coach you effectively, we’ll refund every cent you paid.
We look forward to potentially working with you!
To YOUR success,
Senior Investment Banking Coach
Mergers & Inquisitions
P.S. To recap: we believe this is the most comprehensive, IB and finance-specific coaching service available anywhere, online or offline. We have hundreds of testimonials on file from finance professionals whom we’ve helped.
And while this isn’t right for everyone, we DO pledge to only take you on as a client if we firmly believe we can add value. We look forward to hearing from you.
P.P.S. Still have questions? Feel free to contact me and I will be happy to respond to any specific concerns, questions, or comments you have.