Can you get a job in investment banking simply by advertising your services on the streets of London and New York?
You might remember Joshua Perksy, an MIT graduate and out-of-work banker who trod the streets of New York in a sandwich board looking for a financial services jobs as heads were chopped in 2008 post-Lehman. Persky now works as a valuation consultant in Omaha.
But in a world where most graduates being hired into investment banking come loaded with a top degree from a target university and multiple internships, some students are still chancing their arm by trying to convince passers-by to hire them as they walk to work in major financial centres.
The latest was Aimran Alif Mohamad Abdul Halim, a law and Islamic finance graduate from the University of Exeter, who handed out CVs at Liverpool Street station in London in December.
This is brave, but has happened so often since the financial crisis that it can hardly be described as innovative. So, does it work?
One of the more recent examples suggests that it’s a good way to side-step the banks’ graduate recruitment programmes and gain vital experience that could eventually lead to a job.
In 2012, Leicester University graduates Faraaz Kaskar and Zeeshan Uppal tried to find a job by holding a placard and handing out CVs at Canary Wharf.
Four years later and both are working in the City. Kaskar is an assistant vice president at Barclays, working as a finance business partner in the financial institutions group of its corporate bank.
Uppal is working in anti-money laundering for Royal Bank of Sotland’s investment bank, while also running his own fintech firm called Yielders.
Handing out CVs to commuters might not land you a front office investment banking role, but it could lead to a finance job nonetheless.