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Informational Inverview

2017 May 6
by howyoung

I interviewed a Michigan alumni, Ming Dai, who graduated this semester from the Ross School of Business and is going to work full-time at Morgan Stanley Hong Kong investment banking division after this summer. I interviewed him because I am also interested in a career in finance in Asia. Before conducted this interview, I emailed some Michigan alumni and contacted my friends for recommendations on candidates. One of my friends recommended Ming because he had rich experiences in mentoring students for free on pursuing an investment banking career track. Investment banking is an extremely competitive job, and it is even harder for international students like Ming and me to get this job. Therefore, I knew that Ming must be an outstanding person who is good at finance and is an expert in recruiting.

My first impression for Ming is that he is a very humble person who would love to help others. Although Morgan Stanley is one of the top investment banks in the US and worldwide, Ming never mentioned the name of the bank. Instead, he straightforwardly asked if I have started networking with bankers and preparing for interviews. He told me that a crucial part in applying for an investment banking internship is networking tremendously with bankers. Then, he started to teach me step-by-step on networking at career events, with Michigan alumni, and via Linkedin. He also said that he would love to help me on preparing for interviews before and during the upcoming recruiting season.

My first prepared question for Ming was what is investment banking and why he interests in it. He told me that investment banking is basically helping firms to go to public and to merge with or acquire other firms. He thinks that this job is very fun and has a great deal of accomplishment, too. Through working at an investment bank, he got to know the operations of firms from various industries. Some of the firms he conducted research on are very big names. This is one of the reasons that he interests in this career. For the other reason, he told me about his past two internships: one at a boutique investment bank in Detroit and the other at Morgan Stanley last summer. Both of the two internships was high-intensive and substantial. Ming believes that this career is the most efficient way for him to practice financial skills that he learned from business school. In the long-term, he plans to work in investment banks only for a couple of years and then jump to the “buy-side” like Private Equity and Venture Capital.

In addition, I asked him if he plans to apply for MBA because this is one option that I am also considering. The answer was positive, but he explained a new understanding of MBA education to me. Although I was mainly expecting to learn financial skills by taking MBA, he suggested that it would be not worth to spend money on taking MBA if I only focus on learning skills, because they will be not that different from what I learned from BBA, and I can even self-study most of the skills. However, he would love to meet with people when he takes MBA at one of the top business schools, and he said that he will make good uses on the school’s resources. He emphasized again on the importance of networking and encouraged me by saying that, “it is important and beneficial for you to keep meeting with outstanding people, have good conversations with them, and learn from them on multiple levels.” (We talked in Chinese so I translated his words.)

After the interview, I think Ming is a smart student on studying, a hardworking employee who is good at financial skills, and a wise person who has a long-term perspective when planning for his life. He selflessly taught me a lot of lessons that he learned from his recruiting process and college life. I have so many things to learn from Ming, and I would love to do my best to contribute back to the community, just like what Ming always does.

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