Why I am not hired by Merrill Lynch?

29 replies [Last post]
JenniferHarrison's picture
Joined: 2008-04-15

Dear all,
 
I am very disappointed at not being hired after tons of interview with Merrill Lynch branch managers. Please give me some insights if you will. Great thanks in advance.
 
I have over ten years sales and marketing experiences with multinational companies operating overseas, not in U.S. Having said that, I am not a white male. Is my race hurting my chance? Recently, I graduated cum lande in Finance major from a State University.
 
I am wondering what are the qualifications of those who are hired. Or what they have "performed during the interview". I normally said to  branch managers that I understand to get high-net-worth clients in three months right after the production number is given is hard. Maybe I should have promised to deliver the results???
 
Thanks again for any advice.

yooper's picture
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Joined: 2008-03-27

you mentioned you had a sales back ground was it inside sales? It seems the number one thing all firms are looking for now is experiance in outside 100% commission sales and not having a recent forgery conviction a plus! I am amazed when i hear the backgrounds of some recent hires one thing in common seems to be 100% commission sales.

Good luck job hunting there are plenty of places that would be glad to have someone like you. the area your in maybe has plenty of ML brokers so they are only hiring people who can bring assetts with them,just a thought

deekay's picture
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Joined: 2007-05-15

I'm guessing your lack of skills in English grammar has something to do with it.

Akkula's picture
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Joined: 2008-02-17

While deekay may have been a bit harsh, do you mind if I ask if you are a foreigner?  Some of the grammar is a bit rough in your post and I don't normally like to comment on that aspect on an internet forum but since this is your first post, I don't have much else to judge with.  With all of your work outside of the US, perhaps they thought that you would not "click" culturally with your potential clients in your area.  What would the outside American say your predominant culture is?   Not race, but culture.  There is a difference between an african american and and african, mexican american and mexican.  You need to be able to relate culturally to your local prospects. 
 
If they can teach a telemarketer from India to speak with a texas accent, I am sure there is help for everyone.  I am thinking, though, that the reason you may have not been hired may have been because they thought you may have had a cultural barrier that would be difficult to overcome. 
 
In any job where you have to deal with customers, not just sales, it is important that you can relate to them.   

JenniferHarrison's picture
Joined: 2008-04-15

Akkula, first of all, I’m not a foreigner, but just another American looking to gain a foot hole into a major financial institution. Secondly, your “cultural” type examples don’t hold any water at all. You don’t have to be born in <?: prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />America to have American culture. What you do have to have is a “business culture” type mind in order to succeed with high-net-worth clients.
<?: prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /> 
With regards to my grammar in my previous posts, I’m not applying to be a Wall Street Journal editor.

troll's picture
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Joined: 2004-11-29

No, you're applying for an opportunity to manage people's money.  If you can't spell correctly and take the time to edit your post before it's posted, what makes you think you'll take care of your client's money?
 
Now for some insight:  Did you pass the math competency?  Do they think you'll pass the exams?  Are you in an area where you don't know anybody, therefore would be very difficult to get started?
 
BTW, if "JenniferHarrison" is your real name, you really should abandon this thread and start a new thread under a different name.  People in many firms read these boards, and these boards are frowned upon by compliance departments.  So you might want to pick an anonymous screen name to begin a new thread. 
 
Compliance departments are afraid we'll speculate on stocks and that all our written communication hasn't been approved before it goes out to the masses - so this can be considered unsupervised correspondence.
 
(BTW, I would consider this to be your first test in common sense.  If you can't pass this one, there's little hope for you.)

bondo's picture
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Joined: 2007-04-15

Have you called any of the many people you interviewed with and asked them this question?

Roadhard's picture
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Joined: 2007-02-23

If your real name is Jennifer Harrison is your real name--I wouldn't hire you for very reason of using your real name!  You would be black balled by ML now!

lambda's picture
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Joined: 2005-07-20

ML can deny you for any reason.  The branch manager's wife could have ran an away with another woman the day before.  Who knows!  The firm isn't in good shape these days and considering the number of layoffs recently, they're being a lot more picky about who they hire as brokers.

BondGuy's picture
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Joined: 2006-09-21

JH, The reason you were not hired could be for a multitude of reasons. Whatever the reason, it's not race. Well, most likely. If during the interview process you made race a factor, that could disqualify you. That said, financial firms want diversity. Non-white males are sought after. And while race won't disqualify you, nor will it qualify you. At the end of the process it's all about you.
 
Here's the bottom line, ML is not going to hire you, move on. Getting through the door is a sales task. Your experience should make you well suited to find another opportunity. Break out the yellow pages and get to work.
 
On the note of not getting hired: I applied to Opco and they rejected me. I really wanted in. I wanted to work their Model Cities program. It hurt .  Still, undaunted I moved forward and applied to Lehman Bros and Bear Stearns, both of which extended offers.
 
You know the drill, one door closes another opens.

Greenbacks's picture
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Joined: 2004-12-21

Consider yourself  lucky!
ML and other wirehouses cannot manage there own firms money let alone clients $$$$

 
Wonder how much they can right off this quarter ?  Great  job 
 
How many clients got trapped in auction rate securities and how long before they can get out of those so called liquid assets?  
 
As I said consider your self lucky not to be wire house rep
 

bondo's picture
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Joined: 2007-04-15

Greenbacks wrote:
Consider yourself  lucky!
ML and other wirehouses cannot manage there own firms money let alone clients $$$$

 
Wonder how much they can right off this quarter ?  Great  job 
 
How many clients got trapped in auction rate securities and how long before they can get out of those so called liquid assets?  
 
As I said consider your self lucky not to be wire house rep
 
 
How long has English been your second language?

snaggletooth's picture
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Joined: 2007-07-13

bondo wrote:Greenbacks wrote:
Consider yourself  lucky!
ML and other wirehouses cannot manage there own firms money let alone clients $$$$

 
Wonder how much they can right off this quarter ?  Great  job 
 
How many clients got trapped in auction rate securities and how long before they can get out of those so called liquid assets?  
 
As I said consider your self lucky not to be wire house rep
 
 
How long has English been your second language?
 
Or third...

anonymous's picture
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Joined: 2005-09-29

Ferris has something here.   Looks do matter when it comes to getting hired.

shadow191's picture
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Joined: 2007-06-25

This is more true than many people know.  It's different depending on your channel, ie. what works at a wirehouse may not work at a small community bank.  But looks matter.  I had lunch with a ML branch manager recently and he specifically mentioned to me that he turned down a broker from EJ looking to join ML's POA program simply because of the way he looked.  Or more specifically, the way he took care of himself.  Apparently the guy showed up with a day old beard, no suit on, and just looked sloppy.  If someone can't be bothered to keep himself neat, how will clients perceive him?  That was the point that the ML guy made.  Other than the way he looked/dressed, the EJ guy was supposedly great.
 
I suppose that if you have a big book and your clients are ok with seeing you in jeans and a t shirt, then by all means go for it.  But our business is very driven by first impressions, and for the most part, people expect us to look a certain way.
 
anonymous wrote:Ferris has something here.   Looks do matter when it comes to getting hired.

btomba's picture
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Joined: 2008-03-08

Ferris u sound hotter

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous

I'm the sausage king of Chicago!

JenniferHarrison's picture
Joined: 2008-04-15

To put record straight, I was offered an Financial Trainee position in two branch offices in New York City. However, I was unlucky in getting hired by the branch manager here in west coast.
 
I don't have to respond to sexual comments.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous

JenniferHarrison wrote:
 
 
I don't have to respond to sexual comments.
 
 
 
You're right, no you don't...but would you anyway? 
 
JK, relax!  Seriously.

BigRed's picture
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Joined: 2007-04-15

Its unfortunate that Merrill didn't hire you. I know of an Associate Director named Paul Lehrman in the ML Pepper Pike, Ohio office who claims his office is number 2 in terms of AUM yet he hires former high school gym teachers into his POA program.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous

JenniferHarrison wrote: To put record straight, I was offered an Financial Trainee position in two branch offices in New York City. However, I was unlucky in getting hired by the branch manager here in west coast.
 
I don't have to respond to sexual comments.

You sound uptight. You should really relax. Put on some Kenny G, have half a bottle of wine, and take some tastefully artistic nude photo's of yourself.

In return, we'll send you pictures of Ashland. He claims he's getting his back waxed this weekend.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous

Ferris Bueller wrote: JenniferHarrison wrote: To put record straight, I was offered an Financial Trainee position in two branch offices in New York City. However, I was unlucky in getting hired by the branch manager here in west coast.
 
I don't have to respond to sexual comments. You sound uptight. You should really relax. Put on some Kenny G, have half a bottle of wine, and take some tastefully artistic nude photo's of yourself. In return, we'll send you pictures of Ashland. He claims he's getting his back waxed this weekend.
 

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous

update:   They ran out of wax and couldn't complete the job!

Sedona's picture
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Joined: 2007-06-02

Greenbacks wrote:Consider yourself  lucky!
ML and other wirehouses cannot manage there own firms money let alone clients $$$$

 
Wonder how much they can right off this quarter ?  Great  job 
 
How many clients got trapped in auction rate securities and how long before they can get out of those so called liquid assets?  
 
As I said consider your self lucky not to be wire house rep
 Grammar aside, HERE'S ANOTHER ONE REJECTED BY MERRILL. BTW, race is only a plus as is opens lot's of NICHE opportunities.Why don't you start at a place like Ed Jones (be prepared to sell, I mean, rent your soul for 3 years as they DO enforce the contract) that will give you chance or another regional?

zerobeholder's picture
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Joined: 2008-09-18

[QUOTE=BigRed]Its unfortunate that Merrill didn't hire you. I know of an Associate Director named Paul Lehrman in the ML Pepper Pike, Ohio office who claims his office is number 2 in terms of AUM yet he hires former high school gym teachers into his POA program. <?: prefix = v ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:vml" /><?: prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
 
I also know of what I guess is an Associate Director at Merrill named Paul Lehrman.  He used to be the man in charge of much of the greater <?: prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Cleveland area as well as the branch manager in Beachwood, Ohio for Morgan Stanley.  His replacement was a nice guy, but never quite filled the shoes.
 
You do need to be well spoken.  You need to have a natural ability to communicate in writing and make a professional impression.  Whereas you do not have to be a genius, you must appear in the more exclusive tiers of intelligence.  I can see numerous occurrences where you failed to do so.  So yes, you do need to have many of the qualifications to be an editor at the WSJ.  You have to have those personal attributes that a timid editor may never be able to claim to have and more.
 
Furthermore, just because you were successful in one arena is no guarantee that you will do well in any arena.  He may be doing you a favor by not letting you into a profession you are likely to perform at in a sub-par level.  He taught me that it is better to let a man go to possibly find a better place for himself than to allow that individual to flounder indefinitely.
 
I would hire a person with a deep network of very personal contacts.  I can see a high school gym teacher being a good candidate in that respect.  I see the potential of that individual having a network that includes other teachers with FAT pensions.  Since he is a teacher, it is unlikely he went to college by himself.  Making the assumption that the gym teacher had at least one friend then his network increases by at least one potential professional.  Additionally, I see a network of young adults that may have called the man 'coach' at some point in time and are older as well as more successful in the present.  I know he looks for the things in people that sometimes they don't see in themselves.  He saw things in me that I see now.  I assume he saw something in this individual that you do not.  That is probably why he is the Associate Director and you are not.
 
I am a well spoken monster that never accepts no for an answer.  I gently plow over people that get in my way.  I smile the whole time while I am doing it.  You never saw people so happy to be turned into road kill.  I was influenced by a man that makes men out of little boys.  Even more impressive is that he makes men out of little girls.  It is clear that the both of you do not have that special something and that you should exercise plan B.
 
Say what you like after I leave my mark, but remember to watch your back.  You never know when I'm going to grab hold of your series 7 and beat you with it like you were a red-headed stepchild in the night.
 
There are two defining moments in my life so far.  Just before I was rejected at a job interview at the ripe old age of 20, the man asked me what I was doing with my above average skills-- my life has been filled with misery and satisfaction from the toils I endeavored after that.  It happened to be at Morgan Stanley under the tutelage of none other than Paul Lehrman when I was ramping up to be the influential leader I have become.  So today I pass on these two bits of wisdom.  If you are so great, what are you doing with it?  And from Paul, don't let the bastards get you down.

tmoney47's picture
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Joined: 2008-09-17

As to your question, sometimes there is no right answer.  I work at Merrill.  I was not even granted an interview at Smith Barney?? As to whether it is a race issue, come on!  I work with 3 'african-americans', while one is only really an african-american.  Also check out Stan O'neil the former ML CEO.  Ml promotes diversity tremendously.
It took me 3 months to get an interview at ml.  You need intelligence, persistence, and diligence to get hired by them.  Ml is having a hiring freeze on most of their positions and I'm sure that has spread to most parts due to the merger.
Check out other firms.  Get hired and then have ml recruit you 5 years down the line.

newrepd's picture
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Joined: 2008-07-21

I can tell you it is NOT race. You should get that out of you mind right now. ML is very diverse. Like above poster said, look at mr O'neil. Also the sales manager at the WFC ML is black, and he obtained that position after only 5 years of being an advisor.

norway401's picture
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Joined: 2007-10-16

Jennifer......I say this respectfully and with perhaps a lot more life experience than you. You can always find an excuse : I did not get hired becuase ( fill in the blank ) and then you justify why you did not get hired.
If you have a passion and are committed to starting in this Industry then look at other options. You can sit and rehash the rejection forever but it still will not get you that job with that firm. If you are unable to take rejection then frankly perhaps this industry is not for you. Consider when spending time with a potential client and after all the work and energy expended they say " NO " , do you then say to yourself and co-workers that they did not buy from you because ( fill in the blank )?
Life is not fair nor is anyone entitled. I am not sure if you are even reading the responses from the Members but .....if you are perhaps a bit of a life lesson.

4ever21's picture
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Joined: 2008-08-14

[Recently, I graduated cum lande in Finance major from a State University]
JH,
Maybe ML didn't hire you because you lied on your application when you claimed that you graduated "cum lande."

entrylevelFA's picture
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Joined: 2006-06-05

BondGuy wrote: 
On the note of not getting hired: I applied to Opco and they rejected me. I really wanted in. I wanted to work their Model Cities program. It hurt .  Still, undaunted I moved forward and applied to Lehman Bros and Bear Stearns, both of which extended offers.
 
You know the drill, one door closes another opens.
 
Kind of funny; the difference 5 months makes.

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