Flyin’ Solo

This past Sunday and Monday I took a trip to New York City to network and visit with contacts. The trip started out well with timely flights and a decent Philly cheesesteak in the Philadelphia airport. After 5 hours of travel, I arrived at Grand Central Terminal and decided to call my family back in Florida and finally tell them about my trip (prior to that, they didn’t know I left Columbus). I came with one bag that contained my suit, laptop, and a few research samples. The point of the trip was to meet some of my contacts in person, buy them some coffee and connect with them.

The trip was a resounding success. I had the opportunity to talk with researchers at Barclays, Goldman Sachs, and KeyBank. They gave me insights to the industry that I had not thought about and shared their story with me. Hearing how others got to where I want to be is exciting. Every person has a unique journey, and I can relate to most of them in one way or another.

Besides researchers, I sat down with someone in FX at JP Morgan. I met him on my last trip to the city and wanted to hear his story. We seemed to bond over the fact that he was from a non-core school and made it to where he is now by seizing one opportunity. He reassured me that while it is hard to get to New York from a non-core, it is possible if you work hard enough and impress the right person.

Overall, the trip was worth it and it’s time to start planning my next round.

The Job Hunt Begins: New York City

It all started back in December when I took a trip with Dan Oglevee and several other Fisher students, both graduate and undergraduate, to New York City. On that trip, we visited J.P. Morgan, UBS, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and several others. We heard from several investment bankers about their jobs, life on the street and about their journey. Unlike many others on the trip, I was looking more into equity research than investment banking. Even with meeting only 1 researcher, I learned 3 things:

  1. Networking in person is key
  2. Mock interview with an alum exposed me to how much I know and don’t know
  3. I no longer want to do research on the street, I need to do it

With this I have now narrowed my focus and increased my drive. Since coming back, I have done several phone calls with sell side analysts and networking with people here in Columbus in the buy side to give me greater exposure and knowledge of what I’m striving to achieve. The next step is to book my flight to New York and network in person in February.

1 Day trip to New York

On the next day after my interview with Samsung, I had 6 hours until the return flight back to Columbus. I decided to take a short, but intensive tour of Manhattan because I didn’t know when I would have another chance to come here.  I planned a very detailed schedule and route for the 6 hour tour. I was very tired because of the interview, but I found myself becoming excited with my upcoming short New York tour. The next morning, I rushed to not miss the bus since I didn’t want to take a taxi which would have cost me a lot! It was cold out there, but fortunately I did not wait that long until I got on the bus. Sky was beautiful and clear. It was such a great day in December to take a tour.

I went to famous Murray’s Bagels which I found referenced on the internet. Some blogger introduced the store saying that many New Yorkers go there for their breakfasts and it is known for delicious fresh-baked bagels with morning coffee. To be honest, I was not a big fan of bagels but it was awesome! I had an onion bagel with freshly-brewed coffee, and that was one of the best breakfasts ever! I say, ‘Folks, try it.’

After the bagel, I headed to Wall Street. I tried to smell money, but not really. 🙂 There were dense tall buildings all around. All of sudden, I wondered how Wall Street workers could work in this place? This place, I believe, is just full of uncountable number of tourists making noises and taking photos. If I were one of workers, I would not work here because this atmosphere could be nothing but distracting.  Looking at Brooklyn with Brooklyn Bridge in the foreground from the Wall Street pier was really nice – the view was quite beautiful. I sat on a bench and rested a few minutes while appreciating the clear sky over Brooklyn.

I turned myself to the Times Square, which was the final destination of my tour. On my way to the Times Square, I went through SOHO (a small district in NYC), and I felt like I was in Seoul (Korea) because there were many shopping stores and people on the street. Time Square, as I expected, was filled with tourists of various nationalities. Just like what I saw on TV, many commercial LED boards fascinated the tourists, several street shows were on the go. I was excited with other people’s excitement, LED splendor, and party-like atmosphere!  I really wanted to spend more time in Times Square, but time did not let me.  However, all the time back to Columbus, I was happy and satisfied with my very quick tour of New York City.

On the airplane, I saw the night skyline of New York and it was perfect as a wrap-up of my trip. Maybe I will have a chance to visit New York again; I want to come back in the summer and enjoy more brisk and energetic New York. I’d like to suggest something to someone planning a Manhattan tour:

1. You can utilize well-organized public transportation (e.g. buses and subways, etc.).

2. You can stay in inexpensive lodging in New Jersey. Spend some time on researching your options.

3. Many bloggers post useful information about New York. Make use of that information.

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Winter Warning

There is no doubt about it: the Columbus winter is harsh.  For the past seven years I have taken great pride in my ability to survive the winters of New Haven, CT and New York City.  When I decided to move back to Ohio, I never thought twice about the Ohio winter.  I clearly underestimated its potential.

Since the beginning of the month it has snowed pretty much every day.  Although the accumulation has not been too heavy, it has been an obnoxious amount capable of covering my car, which inevitably delays my departure for class by 15 minutes every morning.  Not only is it constantly snowing, it is absolutely freezing outside.  It is so cold, that I succumbed to driving to the gym a few days ago.  Although this might not sound bad, you should know that the gym is about 300 meters from my place and is clearly visible from my apartment.