Tuesday, June 21, 2005

The second interview

Today I had the second interview for the job listed as a Research/Admin Assistant.
I met with the HR person first and had a great interview. I asked a good amount of questions, talked in depth about my resume, and it was a good interview.
Next I met with some people on the research side (who were in another building for some reason).
I first met with an Associate. The position order level goes assistant--Associate--Analyst.
The Associate and I had another good interview, but then I was realizing that this position was more of an administrative role. He looked at my degrees and internships and did ask why I was going for this role. I explained that most of these types of positions I've seen, has that admin part to the role. He was okay with the answer and we continued to have a good interview.

Then I met with the person who I will be taking over for (she was promoted to an Associate). She made the role seem more administrative than the Associate guy! She basically said for the first six months the position is all admin (answering phones, doing the travel coordination, expense reports,etc.). Then I would be able to take on other projects, but with the admin part being the most important part.

I was told that one analyst was out of the office and the other was on the phone, but if I waited a few minutes I would be able to talk to him. So I waited literally two minutes and they brought me to his office. I think that all the interviews I had so far were good, but the one with the analyst was the best so far. We talked for awhile about my resume and experience. He said the position would be about 70% admin. We talked about stocks and he asked me what I'm investing in. I talked about LB and FRO and it was a good conversation. He quizzed me on the income statement and I passed that, and I made him laugh a couple of times.

So far I've been on two interviews and I think the junior trader role would be the best option right now (or the best option might be to continue looking). The role today does seem to be really on the admin side! The job description online made the position seem a lot more research oriented. I thought that maybe I would be able to take on some more research stuff, but then they told me the timeline for this job: 2 years. So basically I will spend two years answering phones and managing the travel arrangements. Towards the end of two years I can show off my stuff by taking on more research projects. Then I might be able to get promoted to an Associate position.
I was kind of disappointed.

Other things: the hours were 630-3 and they paid over-time. It seemed like most of the assistants worked 10 hour days and when it was busy I was told the days are 12 hours long. I did think about the money for a split second. I don't know the base salary but I would guess $40k. The over-time could potentially bring in another 15-20k (they pay time and a half) -so I think it's a potentially $55-60k job.

One of the things I constantly think about is the future. I know I'm trying to get my first position, but I always try to think about the path the position will lead to.
Today's position could lead to an Associate position after two years of work, and then possible to an Analyst's position. Honestly, I don't want to be an analyst for a sell-side firm. It definitely seems more like a sales job. Basically the Associates write up the research reports, put them together, and take care of the finance models. The Analysts review the reports and then travel all over the place talking with clients. They do presentations and "sell" their research.
Back to the first sentence: I definitely try to map out how each position might lead me down a certain road. "If I take this position, it will give me experience to get this type of position, and that can lead to this other position."

Thursday I have my last interview of the week, but I have received two more phone calls today.
There's one position I'm just really interested about. First of all, it seems fishy so I will be hesitant. Here's the first two lines of the job description: "Would you enjoy playing cards in a casino setting? Yes, you'll be playing cards, not dealing."
I saw this and it caught my eye. Full-time positions will be nights and weekends. I will call them tomorrow. I'm really curious about this one.

The other one, I'm not too sure right now: I have to listen to the message again because it was hard to hear.

Tomorrow I have a free day. I'll be studying/taking notes for the CFA (the econ section is taking more time than I expected). My main goal is to also write my next post only about stocks and the market. I've been slacking off in that area and I don't want to bore too many readers with this job stuff.
I will try to find some good links about some interesting topics.