Fast pace, demanding hours, constant travel, challenging clients, good pay, stimulating environment, intense teamwork, burnout potential: high. These words describe the corporate culture of both consulting and finance. If that intrigues you, read on.
Competition for a spot at a top-ten consulting firm or investment bank is fierce; only a small percentage of those trying out will succeed in landing an entry-level position. Williams students, however, have done better than average in securing positions in these industries. It demands a stellar academic record, serious preparation, and extreme poise during the interview process.
It is important to learn what really happens in these fields before you begin the labor-intensive campaign to win a spot. I recommend that you come meet with me, Robin Meyer, because as Director of Employer Relations and the Business Counselor, we can explore all the options within the business world in which you may have an interest. Also, there are many employer information sessions that will help you understand what it takes to succeed. If possible, don’t wait until the fall of senior year to begin exploring consulting and finance as career options. Employers in finance often begin recruiting for full-time post-graduate positions from their sophomore and junior summer internship pools. In the meantime, read through the extensive resources we have available online.
Robin Meyer, Associate Director/Director of Employer Relations
- Case Interviews:
- Case in Point - Currently the best case interview book on the market. The Career Center has copies in the library, but they go quickly. Because it's a study guide, we do recommend that you get your own copy. (Hint: The kindle copy is only $9.99. Another idea is to put a request on WSO for used paperback copies. There are many floating around campus.)
- Case Questions Interactive - is an on-line practice program created by the author of Case in Point. This service is offered free through the college (password can be found on the Route 2 homepage).
- Consulting Case 101 - Read day in the life information about consultants as well as hundreds of on-line case interview examples indexed by industry, focus, and firm. Visit the Career Center for access.
- Bain & Company Online Practice Cases - in addition to case interview case interviews prep information, Bain has links to employee blogs and day in the life of a consultant tweets.
- Boston Consulting Group (BCG) Interactive Case Prep
- McKinsey Interactive Case Questions
- PrepLounge: A case interview community where candidates with similar career goals can get connected, practice cases and sharpen their consulting skills.
- Professional Consulting Associations:
- Case Interviews:
- Excel & Accounting: There are two main options to learning Excel, a necessary skill for finance positions. Williams OIT offers free access to Lynda.com, a site full of great training videos to coach you through Excel. If cost is not an option, trainingthestreet.com offers a wide variety of workshops geared specifically toward finance, including valuation, accounting and modeling. (Please note that the valuation workshop on campus is taught by trainingthestreet.com with a big thanks to JP Morgan for making that happen.) Accounting classes are sometimes offered over winter term at Williams, but are also offered at a wide variety of colleges over the course of the summer.
- Finance Mock Interview Guide
- Wall Street Oasis (founded by a Williams alum!)
- TheStreet.com - The latest business and financial news affecting Wall Street.
- Bloomberg.com - Breaking financial, business and economic news worldwide.
- Wall Street Journal
- The Economist
- Glass Door
- Seeking Alpha
- Mergers and Inquisitions
- Professional Associations:
- American Finance Association
- American Association of Finance & Accounting
- New York Society of Security Analysts
- Association for Financial Professionals
- Financial Management Association International
- Ellevate - Started by a group of former Goldman Sachs female professionals, this is a fabulous networking organization for women interested in finance and business. Consider taking the lead and starting a BroadtoBe chapter here at Williams!
Considering finance in the non-profit world? Check out our Microfinance resource page.
Programs of Interest
- InRoads - Places qualified minority college students in two-four year internships with corporate sponsors in business and industry.
- Management Leadership for Tomorrow (MLT) - Equips African Americans, Latinos and Native Americans with the skills, coaching and connections they need to lead organizations and communities worldwide.
- Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO) - A premier summer internship program for college students of color, with internships in accounting, asset management, corporate law. global financial leadership, investment banking and management consulting, and philanthropy.
- Starting Bloc - Partnering with top business schools, Starting Bloc is a non-profit that provides training in socially responsible entrepreneurship and business practices. Fellows attend four weekend-long training sessions in Boston, New York or London.
- Harvard HBX CORe: The Language of Business
- Tuck Bridge Program
- Stanford Summer Institute for General Management
- University of Chicago Booth School Summer Business Scholars Program
- Berkeley Haas School BASE Summer Program
- University of Virginia McIntire Business Institute
- Vanderbilt Accelerator Summer Business Institute
Post-Grad Graduate Study in Business for Liberal Arts Students (Typically 10 month - 1 year programs)
- Wake Forest Masters in Management
- Duke Fuqua Master of Management Studies: Foundations of Business (MMS:FOB)
- University of Virginia's Master of Science in Commerce
- Babson Master of Science in Entrepreneurial Leadership
- The Catholic University of America Masters in Business Analysis
- St. John's University Master of Science in Risk Management and Insurance or Master of Science in Enterprise Risk Management
- The Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Program is a professional credential administered by the American-based CFA Institute to investment and financial professionals. In order to obtain it, a candidate must pass three, six-hour exams, have earned a university degree (or equivalent) and must have four years of qualified, professional work experience. You may register for the Level I exam if you are in your final year of your bachelor’s degree program, or have four years of professional work experience, but you must have earned your degree before registering for the Level II exam. See the CFA website for more details.
Opportunities for First Years & Sophomores
First years and sophomores can be successful in the internship search when targeting small to mid sized organizations as well as corporate finance positions, as many internships in large banks are only open to juniors. There are, however, select, short term recruitment programs for first years and sophomores to gain exposure to these businesses. See a short list of these below, but also be sure to check Route 2 and UCAN.
- First Year Spring Program, Undergraduate Camps, Women's Leadership Camp, Pride Summit, Veterans Career Camp, STEM Symposium