A Day in the Life: Consulting

Sara Fleisher
Sara Fleisher

Read Sara Fleisher’s archived tweet feed here: http://www.vpul.upenn.edu/careerservices/SaraFleisher_Feed.pdf

A popular career of interest here at Penn is consulting.  Tuesday, September 21st is your chance to learn more about life as an Associate Consultant when Sara Fleisher, WH ’09, tweets for @PennCareerDay.

Sara Fleisher has been working at Rosetta, an interactive agency located in Manhattan, as an Associate Consultant since August 2009. In her first year at Rosetta, Sara has worked with two clients on several different projects. The first client is a major international Pharmaceutical company based out of Asia and the second is a large Canadian telecommunications company. Her projects to date have included performing qualitative and quantitative research in the United States and in Canada. Additionally, at Rosetta, she is involved with the Charity Team, Culture and Engagement Social Team, college recruiting, and currently ranked number two in ping pong at the New York office. Sara earned her B.S. in Economics from the Wharton School in May 2009, with concentrations in Marketing and Management. While at Wharton, she was President of the Wharton Retail Club her senior year and also worked at the Daily Pennsylvanian for two years in the Marketing and Production departments.

A Day in the Life: Early-Stage Venture Firm

Read Ben Siscovick’s archived tweet feed here: http://www.vpul.upenn.edu/careerservices/BenSiscovick_Feed.pdf

Ever wonder, what’s it like to work at an early-stage venture firm? Follow @PennCareerDay (twitter.com/PennCareerDay) on Thursday, September 16th when Ben Siscovick (CAS ’04) of IA Ventures tweets about his career and his day.

Ben Siscovick, CAS '04

Ben Siscovick has been working at IA Ventures (and previously IA Capital Partners) since graduating from business school. Prior to joining IA Ventures, Ben was a junior investment banker at Allen & Company and Barclays Capital. Ben began his career as a web entrepreneur and founding partner at D202 – a full service web development and consulting firm focused on online communities and social networks. In addition to his role on the IA Ventures investment team, Ben assists with select operating and strategic projects at Kinetic Trading Strategies, an IA Ventures incubation focused on extracting tradable intelligence from unstructured and alternative data. Ben earned his B.A. in Philosophy and Economics from the University of Pennsylvania and his M.B.A. from Columbia Business School, where he was the Early Stage President of the Private Equity and Venture Capital Club.

To learn more about Ben, visit http://www.iaventurepartners.com/team/ben

Advice from a Penn alum on finding an internship in UK (guest blog)

By Mark Pasha, 2008 Wharton alum who concentrated in Finance and Real Estate, now at Real Estate UK Asset Recovery, RBS

My Recruiting Experience for an Internship in London

Recruiting for a position overseas can be a very fiddly process especially as an undergrad in the US. Most overseas companies focus their resources on the markets closest to home, and so opportunities can seem sparse. Moreover, there are usually fewer positions outside the US advertised through PennLink, which means that one must take a slightly more proactive role when conducting a job search.

My principal recruiting experience was for an internship in the finance / consulting world in London for the summer of 2007 and I was fortunate enough to be able to accept a position at RBS.

From my recruiting experience, a few lessons stand out.

1. Using PennLink
Firstly, although positions for jobs in London (or abroad in general) are not as widely listed on PennLink, one can still use the system as a reference for what types of positions to look for overseas. Especially for internships and entry level positions, many companies listing positions at Penn for US locations will most likely have similar positions / programmes in their overseas offices. I found it very useful to be able to use PennLink as an index for potential jobs and then visit each company’s websites to learn more about the specific opportunities they offer abroad. If there was a position overseas, then I was usually able to apply for it directly through the company’s website.

2. Following up online applications
However, doing just a web application did not always cut it, as sometimes applicants from the US get lost amongst the masses of domestic applications. As there is limited scope for face to face meetings at career fairs and presentations etc, I found that the next best thing was trying to follow up an application by emailing someone at the firm, be it an HR contact, or someone else via another avenue (perhaps a Penn alumnus). I found this to be a massively important step in getting the application on the firms radar and ultimately getting an interview. The mode of contact did not have to be anything formal, simply a few questions about applying from overseas in an email, however starting a dialogue with someone always proved most helpful indeed.

3. Interviews
I did the majority of my interviews over the phone and was never asked to fly to London (although I know of a couple of people who were asked to). I did have one interview via video conference, which, whilst a bit odd at first, was probably a better experience than the phone interviews. It is easy to arrange through Career Services and I think most firms are happy to do it if you present the option to them.

The nature of interviews, depends more on the firm than the location. However, from my London experience, I found there to be a slightly more qualitative element than I had expected. There was definitely a little less emphasis on technical finance and accounting etc. based questions. I remember getting some brainteasers / logic problems, some simple maths problems, questions about the state of the market, as well as the typical resume based questions. Overall, I think the interview practice at Penn is perfect preparation as the processes (at least in the UK and the US) are not too dissimilar.

4. Timing
This is more of a London specific point, but a lot of people will say that the London recruiting timetable starts later than the US because universities go back later and so one can start recruiting later. Whilst it is true that universities start later in the year, I would not recommend putting off starting ones job search because of this. The range of application deadlines is very broad, with some deadlines the same as in the US. To avoid the pressures of meeting unknown or last minute deadlines, it is best to prepare early (even if that just means casually scoping out potential opportunities and deadlines over the summer or at the beginning of the school year). As a rule of thumb though, if one follows a similar timescale to US on campus recruiting, one should avoid any problems.

Editor’s note:  Special thanks to Mark Pasha for providing his perspective and advice! For resources and tips for working abroad, visit Careers Services’ International Opportunities page.

Top Employers for Global Business Undergrads – What Defines a Top Employer?

by David Ross

A recent BusinessWeek article featuring a survey conducted by Universum regarding the Top Employers for Global Business Undergrads is the latest example of another rankings list.  Today our lives are filled with lists of “Best of…” – best colleges, best graduate schools, best employers.  But this latest list of rankings focuses on another topic of great importance – what actually constitutes a top employer?

Any rankings list is based on specific criteria and methodology used to generate a numerical score or outcome that determines “the best.”  Regarding employers, how do we individually determine just who’s the best?  In some way, we all have our own criteria for deciding on where to pursue employment.  It’s not uncommon for these factors to include name recognition, prestige, and culture.  But besides these subjective elements are there other factors important to you?  What about intangible metrics such as collegiality among co-workers, geographic location, work/life flexibility and autonomy over projects?  Do you contemplate other things when deciding what organizations to consider for employment?  I encourage you to think critically about what you really look for in an employer.  There’s nothing like going to work at a place where you feel really connected and greatly enjoy the environment.  No rankings list can truly measure that.