Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Senior Success Stories: Dan Shapiro Says Undergrad Finance Experience Key to Position at Oppenheimer & Co.

Dan Shapiro has landed a prestigious position with Oppenheimer & Co., a leading boutique investment bank this summer. He will be working as an Equity Research Intern in the Oil & Gas sector. The analysts that he will be working for are two of the most frequently quoted experts on energy issues. 

"Although this position starts off as an internship, I saw it as the best possible way for me to learn and gain experience within the research industry," Shapiro says. 
"Early on, I knew that I wanted to get into sell-side research (focusing on less companies, meeting with management, making general recommendations) and found out about this opening through a connection I had made at my internship two summers ago."
This competitive internship should be the first step in a successful finance career for Shapiro. He shares his steps to his success for peers:

1) Narrow down your career choices and focus on what you really want to do - For me this happened in the fall of my senior year
2) Cold email/call/network as best you possibly can until you have an offer - I sent out email blasts in the winter and some led to interviews, some just gave great advice, and some never responded. Either way, they all helped me learn more about the industry and if it was really for me. Alums, previous contacts, and family friends all are good resources.
3) Use the Career and Internship Center, but at the same time know what you have to do on your own - The Career Center helped me tremendously throughout the past three years landing internships and polishing my resume and cover letters. But there was still things I had to do on my own. The research industry is a small one and difficult to break into. For me, that meant that I had to use past connections and cold email alumni more than the average finance person.

My past internships at UBS and Oppenheimer made me realize what I was really interested in and gave me great contacts and the ability to land this position. At the end of the day, getting industry-related experience is key in starting your career.

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