As spring and summer internships applications are opening, WinFin is happy to share with you a few tips from former students and professionals we had interactions with during this year. 

1.     Dare  

Be it at a networking event or on LinkedIn, no one is unreachable. You can’t know if someone is going to answer before you tried! You should try contacting as many people as you can, independently on their experience level or company. Who knows, maybe that BB’s MD will answer you!  

2.     Introduce yourself  

This might seem obvious, but is often forgotten!  

When you contact people on LinkedIn, they have your name and you may not consider necessary to say it again (especially when you have only 150 letters to convince the person to accept you). However, in real life, it is essential that your interlocutors remembers you. That is why when you go to them you should always introduce yourself with first and last name. “Hi, I am Josh Martin, from EDHEC”. Also true when you want to ask a question in a panel. Make sure your name is heard and remembered.   

3.     Everyone is interesting  

You may want to work in M&A and focus only on people directly related to this fiel. However, sometimes, help comes from somewhere else. For two reasons: first, you may end up having a constructive discussion and discover things that might interest you. Second, those persons no one wants to talk to might be the ones who attended your school, or will remember you  and recommend you for the division you’re interested in. That is why you should try to open you mind to new people, fields or companies, because there can be a positive surprise in the corner.   

4.     However, if someone is not, go (politely)  

This is particularly true for networking events. Let’s be honest: these events are often overcrowded with many candidates for few employees from the company. Still, you need to take the best of it. If you realize that a discussion with someone doesn’t bring you with the information you want, or doesn’t align with your expectations, you should not feel bad about going to someone else. Just say a polite “thank you for your time, I hope I’ll see you again in the future” and try to find someone that will be more interesting for you.   

5.     There is no bad question

Often, we focus on finding the best question to make a good impression. Unfortunately, this often leads us to not have the answers we need. Most of the time, people are happy to share their experience, and to meet young people who are interested in them. That is why you should absolutely not prevent yourself from asking the questions you have, be it related to work-life balance, daily tasks, how they got there or the recruitment process. This is also a good way to show your interest in the company or the persons, and to show your personality (which is the thing they also assess in the conversation). 

6.     Smile  

Again this might seem obvious but often we focus on finding the person, having the information and so on, and forget the most important thing: people want to work with people they like and can go along well with. Your smile in this is your best asset. So don’t forget it at home!   

7.     Pay attention  

This is particularly true on Linkedin. I think all of us have once sent a message to an analyst from HSBC stating “Dear,… I would be so happy to work for Barclays”.  Often it is because we rush, copy paste and lack attention to that kind of details that however are deal breakers. So just take 30 seconds to double check the message you send!  

8.     Keep in touch  

Meeting 10 persons at a networking event is good. But honestly, do you think they will keep every name in mind? On your side however, try remembering their names (and possibly jobs). Once you’re back home, send them a LinkedIn invitation. This is a good way to maintain the relationships and have potential future help! Idem when you have a phone conversation with someone: send them a thank you note and then if you get involved in the recruitment for their firm, send them an update. People like to feel they were useful for you and might be happy to further help you!