How a super-organized Goldman Sachs employee gets where he wants. When J.P. Morgan dumps you
If there's such a thing as a system for categorising and then achieving your aspirations, it may be that Zachary M. Bucheister, has achieved it.
Bucheister's system is detailed on the MBA careers website Poets and Quants as an example of how to get onto your desired MBA course (Bucheister is currently enrolled on the Oxford MBA at Said Business School). However, his system is just as relevant to job applications, career moves, or preparing for CFA exams.
Firstly, he says you need to work out what you want to do. Detail and rank the criteria that are most important to you in a business school (or new job), whether that's location, ranking, or salary. Then prioritize your applications based upon the schools/jobs that fit your needs. Don't waste time with anything that doesn't fit your criteria. Secondly, use a spreadsheet to record all the interactions you have with particular schools (or employers, or recruiters), including where you are in the application process and what you still need to get to them. Thirdly, work out the story you want to tell in your MBA application essays (or through your CV or cover letter) and use this to imagine the conversations you'll be having in interviews. Practice these conversations; rehearse them aloud. Lastly, Bucheister advises focusing on weaknesses and not strengths. This is particularly the case when you're preparing for tests like the GMAT (or CFA). "Focus on studying your weak subjects over-and-over again, as that is where your time will pay the highest dividends (for me, probability! I’ll never know if I’m going to pull a red or a green marble out of the bag…)," he says.
Separately, you do not want to incur the rancor of J.P. Morgan. Like Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan caught some of its analysts cheating in the exams it runs for juniors in New York. Seemingly unlike Goldman Sachs, however, J.P. Morgan then cut said employees loose immediately: a J.P. Morgan spokesman told the Telegraph that the culpable juniors were made to pay for their own flights back home.
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Photo Credit: Matt