• AlumnEye offers MiF students comprehensive training covering tactical, technical, and behavioral aspects of the finance job search process.
  • The workshop is strategically held at the start of the year in tandem with the finance job application cycle.
  • Students access support and exclusive interview resources throughout their MiF journey.

In his experience as a headhunter, Michael Ohana needs to hear the answer to just one question to be 85 percent sure if a candidate is a good fit for a job. But what is the answer he is looking for?

And how does a candidate get recruiters like him to speak to them in the first place?

These are questions that those vying for competitive roles in finance are bound to have, and also ones that Ohana set up AlumnEye to answer.

Founded in 2012 while Ohana was still a Master of Management (MiM) student at ESSEC Business School, AlumnEye offers training to help candidates navigate the finance job market.

Courses are priced at up to EU$3,000—but ESSEC Master in Finance (MiF) students undergo it at no additional cost at the start of the academic year.

Tactical Aspects of Job Search Success

Ohana explains that it is essential to begin the MiF journey this way, as it is ideal that finance applications are finalized and submitted as early as mid-September and before the end of October—barely two months after the program begins.

He also notes that applying is just the first of many steps, after which “you cannot wait and expect someone to call you back; you need to actively network to convert those applications into interviews.”

This is why AlumnEye’s practical training goes beyond the basics of where and when to apply and also covers how to network: who they can approach, how to come to these people, and even crucial events to attend.

Building a Strong Technical Foundation

Technical skills are also a focus, and at least 50 percent of AlumnEye’s workshops involve having finance professionals deliver training on the common questions one can expect and how one can prepare.

Ohana’s personal belief is that although excelling in this area takes hard work, it is also where candidates have the most control over the outcome.

“If you work 100 hours on technical knowledge and someone else works 200 hours, then that person will be twice as good as you,” he matter-of-factly states. “If you fail on the technical aspect, you didn’t work hard enough.”

The Art of Answering Interview Questions

He shares that what is more challenging is to tackle the behavioral interviews. This comprises questions assessing one’s fit, like “Tell me about yourself”—notably, the question that allows Ohana to instantly determine if one is suitable.

It also includes competence questions that require candidates to share specific examples to demonstrate their mettle and questions designed to identify if someone genuinely has an interest in the company and role.

This is where AlumnEye comes in. They offer practical examples and methodological tools to craft one’s own story and provide helpful information about different recruiters that students may meet.

Students practice presenting their stories and go through two rounds of feedback, one from the cohort and another from Ohana himself.

“Collective feedback is compelling because it offers a reality check. It is not just my opinion if an answer is good or not, but a consensual one,” Ohana explains, noting that more often than not, what is good or bad is not as subjective as one might believe.

“It does not depend on the person in front of you, so if you understand that and prepare good answers, you can ace your interviews.”

Exclusive Job-Search Support

Although AlumnEye’s workshops at ESSEC Asia-Pacific last just a few days, support continues throughout the year.

The team is ready to answer queries students have along the way, and students have access to an exclusive AlumnEye platform with interview feedback from candidates about their experiences with financial institutions.

As AlumnEye has served over 5,000 candidates and counting through the years, this is a treasure trove of information about companies across the globe.

“The only obligation you have when using it is to post your feedback as soon as you’ve had your interview,” Ohana shares.

Reflecting on his experience with candidates, he acknowledges that it is easy to become discouraged by the long and arduous interview process—especially if companies do not respond.

To this, he declares: “You do not need everyone to love you. You just need one company and one offer.”

And this offer will come if one is willing to put in the effort. “There are a lot of people who spend their lives making excuses, and these are probably not the ones that will get a job at Goldman Sachs,” Ohana quips.

So buckle down and start working because the AlumnEye team will walk alongside you.