I work in banking but would like to venture into corporate finance/consulting. I am interested in the industry of M&A and business valuation and have been following a specific company for a while now. I graduated with a MBA and MS in Finance in December 2013 and am currently working towards the CFA designation. I am wondering what is the best way for a relatively young professional in the finance/banking world to contact a SVP or Executive at a firm that practices the type of work I envision myself doing in the next 2-3 years. My goal is to make relationships and network while gaining knowledge of what I can do now to achieve my ultimate goal of breaking into the industry. My thought is that a senior level manager would perhaps be willing to take the time (about 30 minutes to an hour) to discuss how best to prepare myself for their industry. Does anyone have any pointers as to how to make contact and start cultivating this relationship within my market of the DFW area?


katehorstman's picture
Admin Role Badge

Have you listened to our casts on the Basics of Mentoring and Positioning Yourself to be Mentored? These have the steps to take to get ready to be mentored and put your self in the right position for mentoring, as well as whom to ask and how to make the ask.  I have pasted the links below. Mentoring should leverage your network and allow for growth as well. Did your MBA network include anyone who might help put you in touch with the right mentor? If not, perhaps it's time to look into those relationships and invest time in that area. I hope this helps!




jamesprice1222's picture



Thank you for your podcast recommendations, I listened to those and a few others I found regarding networks. The problem I am running into is the people I wish to make contact with are outside of my organization and I don't believe I have a common connection in my current network. My next question is, would it be appropriate to cold call a few SVP's at the organization that is within the spectrum of my interest? I thought I might call a few higher level managers, and work my way down the organization until I am granted a meeting to ask questions and develop relationships.



delete_account_per_reacher_145083_dtiller's picture
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Dear James,

Unfortunately most senior people are extremely busy and would not entertain a cold call.  My suggestion is you start networking within your circle.  Network with your friends, people you went to school with, professors, business colleagues and as you build this network your network will start to broaden as others get introduced to you and you may continue to maintain a relationship with them and so forth.  You can express to all that you are interested in meeting with a SVP in the company/field and perhaps someone may have a contact and will introduce you.  This is much more preferrable and likely to be successful than a cold call. 

I see many people at business events handing out business cards and call that networking.  It's not.  You need to build relationships and this takes time.  People need to get to know you over time and assess you as an employee and person and this is how true networking occurs.  I've found my work product is the best networking I've ever done and by continuing to keep in touch with former colleagues, vendors, managers, etc. my network is good.  This is neverending and since it takes time, start now!

Good luck!