Getting Hired at a Boutique Finance Firm

M.B.A. students may dream of landing a job with major firms like Goldman Sachs, UBS or Morgan Stanley. But as the recent recession either shutdown or downsized many Wall Street behemoths, applying to boutique investment banking firms may be a more productive route for job hunters.

NewOak Capital, a financial advisory firm founded in 2008 seeks to integrate the seasoned experience of professionals who’ve worked through several credit cycles. But it also seeks fresh and innovative minds to tackle the current issues facing companies holding falling assets with losses rapidly spreading to all sectors.

Outlining your qualifications for such boutique firms should slightly differ from interviewing with larger financial firms. For example, being resourceful and taking initiative may be more valuable skills than the ability to follow directions as a team member.

Marisa D’Vari, VP of Communication at NewOak, revealed what the Management Team seeks in recent graduates:

  • The cover letter should be brief, yet filled with salient points that will capture interest. Executives do not have much time to read email or hard copy resumes, so be certain you get to the point, highlight qualifications, and motivate the executive to call you.
  • Research the company. In addition to reading up on the executive team, visit their blog and other areas of the web site. Find a way to work your research into the cover letter. This tells the potential employer your level of interest and already positions you as a savvy candidate.
  • Candidates who come armed with a pad and pen come across as interested and motivated and appear more ‘actively’ involved in the interview. Subconsciously they seem ready to take direction, roll up their sleeves, and work toward a goal.

Josh Wirth, a Director and Attorney at NewOak who is responsible for hiring entry-level/interns, provided Wall Street Services with a memo he provides to promising candidates.

From: Josh Wirth
To: Prospective

Wear a full suit if you have one.  After you meet with each person, once they leave, jot down their name and one or two notes from your conversation so that you can reference in a very short thank you email tomorrow night.

Go over this checklist before the interview:

Click here to view the checklist