My decision to recruit for investment banking when I got to Booth was based on my excitement about a career that would allow me to couple my interest in finance with my desire to work in a client advisory function. Considering that I was pursuing a role in an industry known for demanding hours and high intensity, I recognized the importance of finding a good cultural fit and optimized for this in my recruiting process.
Along with my peers, my recruiting process was 100% virtual. This format initially made it more challenging to connect with bankers on a personal level and to get a feel for fit due to the lack of in-person social events. As the recruiting season progressed and both the banks and students began to figure out how to make the most of the situation, it became easier to form genuine connections with bankers. Some of the fun things that banks did in reaction to the virtual format included trivia, mixology classes, and frosty beverage tastings.
Fortunately, I successfully navigated the recruiting process and was thrilled to land an internship with J.P. Morgan’s Real Estate, Gaming & Lodging Investment Banking (REALIB) group in New York. In addition to my real estate background and interest in the space, I was excited to be joining the group because I had ~15 coffee chats with REALIB team members during recruiting and thought every single person I spoke with seemed fantastic. I figured that if I would be working lots of hours, it would be important to enjoy the people I was working with!
Considering all the uncertainty due to the pandemic, I was also ecstatic that my internship was fully in-person. While J.P. Morgan was thoughtful about leveraging virtual events to include interns from all over the world who were unable to travel, the firm also organized numerous in-person events for interns, including a speaker series with Carlos Hernandez (Executive Chair of Investment & Corporate Banking) and Jamie Dimon (Chairman and CEO).
In the REALIB group, there were seven summer interns – two summer associates and five summer analysts. The intern class became some of my best friends over the summer. Between eating late-night meals together and bouncing questions off one another as we worked to learn the group’s processes, I cannot speak more highly to the quality of this group or the importance of finding good people to work with during your internship.
Our internship staffer put me on a variety of deals throughout the summer, including capital markets and M&A transactions across various sub-verticals, such as gaming and homebuilding. As I was generally staffed on multiple deals simultaneously, I quickly learned the importance of prioritization and communication. When juggling numerous short-term deadlines and facing the learning curve associate with ramping up in a new job, it was imperative to regularly provide updates to deal teams regarding my status and to reach out as questions came up.
In addition to live deals, the REALIB team prepared an amazing training program, which included training sessions led by full-time team members every week, homework assignments, and a final project to solidify our understanding of the material covered throughout the summer. The program provided a high-level overview of all the different types of analysis I could come across as a full-time banker in the group. Without these trainings, it would have been impossible to cover the same breadth of material in a nine-week internship program.
In addition to this programming, the REALIB team was thoughtful about finding ways to connect with me and my fellow interns over the summer. I was assigned a junior mentor who was incredibly supportive throughout the internship, in addition to all other junior bankers on the team who constantly shared their time and experiences with me. Additionally, every managing director in the group hosted a lunch with the intern team over the summer so we could learn about their careers and get to know them better on a personal level.
I could not have asked for a better summer experience, and I hope this recap was helpful for those of you considering a career in investment banking. Do not hesitate to reach out with any questions about my internship!