Career Center

Business & Finance

Industry-Specific Information

Counselor's Perspective
There are a broad range of opportunities available in business. Duke students have found successful careers in brand management, hospitality, corporate finance amongst a myriad of other career options. It is important to do some research before choosing your career path or even just your first job. Research these industries thoroughly to learn about different companies, their competitors, entry-level opportunities, leadership/rotational programs, recruiting practices and requirements and qualifications. As a recent graduate at a liberal arts university, most companies will be interested in your breadth of experience from your academics, work or internship experience to activities and leadership involvement outside the classroom.

A Day in the Life
An equity research sales person at Bank of America Merrill Lynch

6:45 am Arrive at work, check email and news headlines
7:15 am Listen to/participate in morning meeting (query analysts on stock recommendations, etc.)
8:00 am Talk to analysts, traders, bankers for ideas and flow information - write daily email to clients with summary of ideas
8:30/8:45 am Send email, call clients with research ideas and information
9:30 am Market opens
9:45 am Quick Starbucks run
9:50-11:00 am Call more clients with research ideas & information, call Merrill analysts and traders with feedback
11:15 am -12:30 pm Take company management to meet with investor client, discuss company/stock prospects
12:30 pm Take client to lunch, discuss market outlook and stock ideas
1:30-4:00 pm Call more clients with research ideas and information, respond to client requests, develop trading ideas
4:00 pm Market closes
4:00-5:00 pm Internal meetings to discuss the state of the business, client results, etc.
5:00-5:30 pm Prepare for next day, go home or meet with a client for dinner/entertainment event

Based on your skills, interests, personality and values you may choose to focus your search on a particular division within an industry. For example, in Banking, some of these divisions include:

  • Investment Banking (often termed i-banking)
  • Commercial Banking
  • Fixed Income
  • Equity Research
  • Sales & Trading
  • Asset Management

It is very important to research specific divisions to learn about the work, skill set needed and culture.

Use all of your resources to research and find jobs and internships opportunities.

Research Information & Networking

Job/Internship Opportunities

Online (non-Duke resources)

Successful Communication Strategies
DukeConnect is your exclusive resource to connect with Duke alumni working in your field of interest. When contacting alumni or networking in general, be sure to follow these simple, yet important rules:

When making contact
Do your research first. Research information by browsing the web, reading print materials, or by meeting with your career counselor. Visit your contacts’ company web site to learn about their organization.

Draft a short but informative email or letter. If sending an email, it should be no longer than a paragraph but written in a professional letter-type format/tone and if writing a letter, no longer than a page. Your email should remain short so that your contact will find it easy to respond right away and not let it sit in his/her inbox. Your email or letter should always include: a brief introduction, how you found out about them, the purpose of your message, and what you are requesting.

Never ask for a job or internship in your initial contact. This is only appropriate if after having a conversation you feel comfortable brining it up.

Sample questions for informational interviews

  • How did you get into banking/finance?
  • What do you like and dislike about your work or the industry overall?
  • What are the characteristics of people who do well in this field?
  • What skills are important or required to be successful?
  • I am looking for a job/internship in banking/finance, what advice would you give me?
  • What type of entry-level positions or internships would you recommend applying for?
  • I researched the various companies on Wall Street and their divisions, could you explain xyz to me?
  • I’ve been reading the Wall Street Journal, what do you think about xyz?

After making contact

Always send a thank you note. Its appropriate to send thank you notes via email, letter, or hand written note card.

Follow-up on any promises or action steps you discussed. Take advantage of this opportunity to build rapport with your contact. Demonstrate your follow through skills.

Who comes to Duke?

  • Sample list of banking/finance companies that come to Duke
  • Amaranth LLC
  • Bank of America
  • Barclays Capital
  • Capital One
  • Credit Suisse First Boston
  • Deutsche Bank
  • Duke Management Company
  • First New York Securities
  • Goldman Sachs
  • Morgan Stanley
  • RBS
  • UBS

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