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Playing the Game, Investment Banking Workshop members learn how to play—and win—on Wall StreetWhen Todd Richter, managing director at  Bank of America and MBA’81, recruits at Kelley, he knows exactly what to expect from students who are members of the Investment Banking and Capital Markets Workshop (IBW)

Playing the Game

“Kelley students are exceptionally trained in general, but the workshop gives students a special insight into what Wall Street is all about,” he says. “There’s no question that their skill set and knowledge of the business are head and shoulders above what other students offer.”

An Investment Banking Workshop alumna coaches three juniors in the workshop.

“It’s a fantastic program,” says Andrew Lauck, co-president of the IBW’s Class of 2007 and now an analyst at Goldman Sachs. “You can only understand so much until you try it, and the workshop is geared around putting you in touch with firms. So many banks come to campus. You get to meet different personalities and it offers opportunities to get answers to any questions you ask.”

Founded in 1998 and under Professor David Haeberle’s direction since October 2002, the IBW is an invitation-only program that admits 40 to 45 high potential juniors each year to learn how to “play the game” of investment banking. Competition to enter the program is intense: Members typically have an average grade point average of 3.75 (minimum requirement is 3.5), demonstrate leadership in scholastic and extracurricular activities, and must be seriously interested in the Investment Banking industry.

Richter, who also serves on the Dean’s Advisory Council at Kelley, believes that this competition is necessary—and beneficial—for the students to succeed in this unique field. “Young people are put in positions of great responsibility very early on in [investment banking] careers,” he says. “You don’t have to work your way up for 20 years. That’s why we look for exceptional students.”

‘Exceptional’ is right. When Richter recruits, he’s looking for students who are “very smart and strong mathematically. They’ve succeeded in competing against their peers. This means they’re typically in the upper 5th to 10th percentile on standardized tests.” They also have to be good communicators, with poise and maturity, he says. “Right out of college, you’ll be talking to CEOs, senior partners, and top attorneys. And you have to be comfortable doing that.”

The Best of the Best

Michael Goy, president of the IBW’s Class of 2008, embodies all of these qualities, and adds another to the list: resourceful. He was so impressed by the program that he knew he wanted to participate as soon as possible, so after his freshman year, he called Professor Haeberle to ask how he could get involved. They met for lunch, where Haeberle talked about the program and gave him a mock interview—and then invited him to start the program a year early as a sophomore. He was able to participate in both mock and actual interviews that year, and he secured an internship at Lincoln International for the following summer.

Co-presidents of the Investment Banking Club strategize with an Investment Banking Workshop senior.

Even though he was studying abroad in Hong Kong his junior year when recruiters came to campus to interview, he didn’t have to worry. “Because the workshop gave us direct access to recruiters,” he says, “I was able to contact the right people.” He interviewed with JPMorgan, where he landed an internship. He’s also secured a full-time position as an analyst in JPMorgan’s Mergers and Acquisitions group starting this summer.

Joe Gilliam, vice president at JPMorgan and a 1998 Kelley alumnus, leads JPMorgan’s recruiting efforts on campus. Whenever he comes to Kelley, he’s confident he’ll meet top students like Goy. “You know these workshop candidates are going to be pretty exceptional coming in because Professor Haeberle has already done the front end of the interview process,” he says. “These students are well prepared, understand concepts, and react to interview questions well. They get it. It’s why they have such success—they’re so much better prepared.”

This preparation shines in students’ resumes, which Gilliam says always surprise him. “These students not only have 3.8 GPAs, they have a full resume by the beginning of their junior year. If you put one of their resumes next to a traditional student’s resume, it’s much more thorough and accomplished.”

“Career Counselor to the Extreme”

Thanks to the IBW’s activities—lectures by visiting speakers, discussions of current Wall Street-related events, trips to New York and Chicago, extensive interview training, and classes taught by seniors who share their internship experiences and insight with the juniors in the program—recruiters like Richter and Gilliam consistently find exceptional qualities in the IBW students they interview at Kelley. For the past six years, 100 percent of IBW members have been placed with investment banking firms. Top firms that recruit at Kelley include Bank of America, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, and JPMorgan, among others.

Professor David Haeberle prepares students for the demands of Wall Street.

Richter largely credits this to Haeberle’s leadership and the organization of the program. “There is no one at any school in the country like David Haeberle,” he says. “No one works as hard at preparing students for Wall Street. Beyond his unique understanding of Wall Street, his personal involvement adds so much to the program.”

Goy says, “Professor Haeberle understands it’s not just about telling us what to do. He goes to New York with us; he e-mails us at 2 in the morning; he’s in the trenches with us. We know we can go to him for sound advice.”

Lauck calls Haeberle a “career counselor to the extreme.” “The more you get to know him, the more you appreciate him,” he says. “He’s totally committed, open, and accommodating. He spends hours and hours in his office talking to students and answering questions.”

For the Love of the Game

IBW students leave Kelley with the ideal background to succeed in the field—a strong core in finance, good communication skills plus critical skills, accurate and inside knowledge about the Wall Street culture, and almost always, a job. “The workshop does a wonderful job of placing the students,” Gilliam says. “And across the board, the students do phenomenal jobs at these firms.”

But to really play the game—and win—it’s crucial to enjoy the work. “I try to find people who really like finance and capital markets,” says Richter. “The stories about 95-hour work weeks are true. When you’re here at 2 or 3 in the morning, if you don’t like what you’re doing, it’s miserable. But if you’re here at 2 or 3, and you like what you’re doing and the people you’re working with, it’s incredibly exciting.”