It’s quite surprising how after teaching you Accounting, Marketing, organizational behaviour and even business psychology, universities and schools forget to tutor students on something they will spend a significant part of their careers doing- writing. If you go into consulting, banking or law, writing is perhaps your biggest weapon or weakest link. If your writing is crisp, so will be your communication. If sloppy, then you might suddenly find yourself responsible for the break down in a big deal negotiation because you decided to leave out a comma in an important email or forget to check up on your numbers. Remember the example:’ Eats, shoots and leaves?’
Here are the top 5 dumbest mistakes people make in business writing.
- Er…your numbers don’t add up: You could have done every calculation right and you’re probably the brains behind the entire idea, but it takes only one table that doesn’t add up to question the sanctity of your entire report. This usually happens when excel sheets are linked and don’t update properly. So don’t trust excel. Make sure your original excel sheets are not linked to anything and have no reference value issues. Two: Paste your table as a graphic if you can. That way if something changes in your excel sheet, it won’t on your document.
- Unsourced data: Business writing is not a thesis. No one is looking for original thought, we are looking for coherent analysis. Everybody knows you didn’t travel to Sierra Leone to find out what percentage of their diamonds are blood diamonds. But someone did. And your data and the following analysis is much more valuable if you make a reference to them.
- Over-reliance on spell and grammar check: Is ‘colour’ also spelt as ‘color’? Not according to my spell check. Spell check is good but doesn’t blindly accept every change. Understand the context. Sometimes Word thinks it knows better than you; it doesn’t.
- Less is more: Keep the body of your main powerpoint presentation or report as short as possible. The best business writing gets to the point immediately. Try to put all the supporting documentation in the appendix. That said, don’t put in your own personal thoughts on why the stock market is about to crash. A good appendix is a useful appendix that enhances the main study. It is not the place where you dump research just because you spent four hours looking for it.
- Passive writing: Write in the active voice.
Example of active voice: Mr Prabakar leads the team.
Example of passive voice: The team is led by Mr Prabakar.
You might think it sounds the same but look at it again. In the first instance, your focus is on Mr Prabakar. The passive voice is clunkier and leaves room for ambiguity. The active voice is more assertive and sure of itself. Only use the passive tense if you want to emphasize something in the sentence. So if you wanted to emphasize the team, you can say.
The team is now led by Mr Prabakar.
But as a rule, stick to the active tense.
Finally, get someone to read your document before you present it. This should take care of language, cross-references, acronyms that need to be expanded and odd ‘xxx%’ which will irritate your MD so much that he might take it into your consideration when paying your bonus.
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For more tips on writing, check out the following books. There is no shame in keeping a small reference library on your desk.
Make your CV effective with these 5 tips from the Imarticus Learning placement Team
Everyone wants a resume that will stand out from the crowd. But sometimes, candidates tend to go a bit too far to grab attention – Sometimes, to the extent of making some serious mistakes that can work against them. Want to ensure that your application doesn’t get thrown into the recycling bin before you’re even considered for the job?
The Placements team at Imarticus Learning chalks out 5 Don’ts for an effective resume.
Don’t Get Experimental: Using elaborate fonts and colours to make your CV stand out can be a bit of an eyesore. The more gimmicky you make your CV using different shapes and pictures, the more off-putting it will be to an employer. In terms of the fonts, you should ideally stick to Soft, gentle and modern, this is the default font of many email programs, so it’s familiar to the eye Times New Roman or Arial – remember, the goal is to make it easy to read. Also, do not include any graphics such designs or photographs in your resume.
Don’t ramble: Keep information relevant and to the point. A resume should be as brief as possible and include no extraneous information. An employer really doesn’t need or want to know all the one-day training courses or participation certificates you have received in life.
Do not exaggerate: The bigger the lies you put on your CV the worse it will be for your career. After all, your employer is bound to notice if you aren’t performing as well as your CV promised. Also, you aren’t the only one telling tall tales. Most employers these days have seen it all when it comes to embellishments and are thus not fooled. Our advice is to always keep it as honest as possible. After all, if you manage to get a job based on exaggerations you could be let go of pretty quickly. That wouldn’t look good on your CV either, would it?
Stay away from Clichés: Phrases such as “I am a highly motivated individual who works well on my own or in a team” “I love challenges” and “I live for deadlines” are dull. Employers have to read them several times a day because they are so common. Make yourself stand out with carefully worded phrasing that is factual and captures your professionalism as well as the employer’s attention.
Check for Grammatical Errors: This is the most crucial point, one that will make or break your CV. Language and grammatical errors reflect directly on your persona so be careful of the spellings and language. Use words you know, stay away from using big fancy words just for the sake of it and at all times avoid jargons and abbreviations.
Imarticus Learning has a Dedicated Placements Team to help our students understand their ample career opportunities throughout the program. Click here to see how they can help you.
Come see us for a free counselling session by calling +91 22 61419595. Or even better, click here to get in touch with a representative online.
Banking Career – Placement Scenario
Career Placement Assistance is a crucial aspect of the Imarticus Learning curriculum and the placement team at Imarticus provides 100% assistance throughout the program to guide and help navigate ample career options. Our 8-step career preparation process will ensure that candidates have access to the best opportunities the industry has to offer.
Alongside learning, the Imarticus Career Services team helps secure the best possible opportunities and provide guidance and assistance at every step. With over 15 years of experience in Human Resources, Talent Development and Sourcing, our team possesses strong established networks in the industry.
The Career Services team offers two key services:
Placement Assistance: The Imarticus Career Services team is the primary liaison between recruiting companies and students. They leverage our Industry Council and Board of Advisors to ensure that the best opportunities are provided to our students. Throughout the year, our account managers are in touch with the industry and are continually updated with the company hiring needs. They provide candidate-briefing packs (video resumes, CVs, profile) to the recruiters, and work with them in tandem to ensure that Imarticus students are placed appropriately. At Imarticus, we believe there is a ‘right job for the right candidate’ and are committed to finding that job for each one of our students
Banking Courses Offered by Imarticus
Career Preparation: Career Services will provide dedicated support to ensure that each Imarticus student is ready for his chosen career. This includes:
• Communication, Presentation, and Business Etiquette workshops
• Resume Writing: Guided resume writing practical workshops, and faculty and peer resume reviews
• Interview Prep: Multiple Mock Interviews and Video Recorded interviews (where required) with professional critiques to improve and polish each student’s interviewing skills
• Counselling: Complete assistance in all career-related decisions from experienced professionals
Check out the Banking Courses in Bangalore
Placement Process in Imarticus
Our 8-step career preparation process will ensure that candidates have access to the best opportunities the industry has to offer.
Step 1: Counseling
Imarticus Career Counselors will provide counsel and advise students in their careers keeping in mind the skill set and interest of every student.
Step 2: Unique Certification
The Imarticus certificate is unique and industry designed, and will truly differentiate our candidate from the rest of the applicants.
Step 3: Company Selection
With over 15 years of experience in human resources and talent development, the Imarticus team possesses strong established networks within the industry.
In addition, through our Industry Alliances, we have:
•Strong relationships with senior management and human resources across the investment banking industry
•An in-depth understanding of hiring requirements
•The Imarticus Advisory and Industry Council comprising of senior representatives across all firms who play an important role in the placement process
Step 4: Job Preparation
The team at Imarticus provides dedicated support to ensure that each Imarticus student is ready for their chosen career. Through communication workshops and counselling, every student is offered complete assistance in all career-related decisions from experienced professionals. Please see the blog post on our soft skills or Emotional Intelligence training.
Step 5: Interview Preparation
The career preparation team will ensure that you are completely prepared for your interviews and provide you with tools that will help you handle both one-on-one interactions and group discussions with confidence. These include multiple mock interview sessions which will be video recorded where necessary. This will be followed up with professional critiques, which will pinpoint your weaknesses and strengths and get you ready to ace the selection process.
Step 6: 100% Commitment
Students will have full support until they are placed, and we are committed to finding the right job for the right candidate.
Step 7: On the Job
Imarticus introduces opportunities while teaching you practical job skills and real-world knowledge. Imarticus will not only place you but also kickstart your career so you advance quickly.
Step 8: Alumni
During your time here at Imarticus, you will create a network that will last a lifetime. This network is a critical part of your career preparation as it will act as a support system that adds value to both your personal and professional life. We encourage you to keep in touch.
Details of placement & sector wise student placement
Despite the lacklustre job market, the last year was a successful placement year as Imarticus Learning leveraged its network and took great care in preparing students for the interview process. Students were put through almost five sessions of Aptitude test training as well as three rounds of mock interviews.
So far Imarticus has placed over 85% of its students and is in the process of placing the rest. Sectors include derivatives, Equity Research houses, Treasury Operations of bulge bracket Investment Banks, Finance & Product Control, IB Software development, fund Accounting and securities operations. Students are also being placed in the Corporate Finance divisions of large conglomerates. We do not take a cookie-cutter approach to placements. Instead, we evaluate the candidate and understand their ambitions. Salaries are offered in a range of Rs 2 lacs per annum to Rs 9 lac per annum.
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List of Institutes
Imarticus Learning has strong networks in the industry and we place across global and domestic bulge bracket investment banks, boutique investment banks, brokerage firms, equity research houses, KPO’s, and large and small companies.
Companies include Deutsche Bank, Bank of America, Tresvista, Axience, Morgan Stanley, HSBC, JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs and Northern Trust.
Interview Prep is a critical element of our course FMVC (Financial modeling and valuation), one of India’s leading programs for learning Financial Modeling and Valuation. Financial Modeling and Valuation is imperative for careers in Corporate Finance, be it Investment Banking, Private Equity, Equity Research or even start up’s.
In fact in this day and age, every start up needs to have a head of Finance that can help create business models, project cashflow and create financial models that help in fund raising. While the career options post FMVC are varied, most people find it extremely hard to crack the interview process in Investment Banking and Private Equity because a significant part of the interview is dedicated to questions on Financial Modeling and Valuation. So here are a list of actual questions that got asked in Investment Banking and Private Equity interview, as it pertains to Financial Modeling and Valuation.
Private Equity Interview Questions
- What is IRR? What is the formula and how do you calculate it? A company worth 100mn today is sold for 500mn after 5 yrs so what is the IRR for this investment.
- What is more expensive debt or equity? And why?
- How do you forecast the various aspects of the financial statement?
A leading boutique investment bank
- Run me through DCF & cash flow.
- What is Working Capital & how do we forecast it?
- If a company’s book value is 10 mn & it is been sold @ 12 mn, what would be the effect on three financial statements
- How do you calculate EV? EV/EBITDA multiple?
- Difference between the P/E multiple and the EV/EBITDA multiple.
- What is EBITDA and how do you find it?
- What is included in COGS?
- What is percentage by Sales method?
- What are SG&A expenses? Give examples.
- Is factory labor expenses a part of SG&A expenses or COGS? Why?
- What is Gross Profit? How do you calculate it?
- Difference between Gross Profit and EBITDA?
- What is operating profit?
- Explain how you do a DCF.
- How do you get to FCFF?
- How do you get to FCFE?
- Difference between FCFF and FCFE.
- What is WACC? How do you calculate it?
- How do you find cost of equity?
- How do you calculate Beta?
- What is risk free rate of return? How do get it?
- What is equity risk premium?
- In the CAPM formula how did you arrive at the market return figure?
- Why does an increase in Working capital assets reduce your cash flow from operations?
- Why does an increase in Working capital liabilities increase your cash flow from operations?
- Does an increase in debt increase or decrease the value of the company?
Our FMVC course includes actual mock interviews along with a sample question bank of
over a 200 questions to help you crack the interview process. This is in addition to a comprehensive resume writing and interview prep program and career counseling sessions. For more details please contact 02261419595/ 8108600055
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“Wall Street is the only place where people ride to in a Rolls Royce to get advice from those who take the subway.” – Warren Buffet
As the credit crisis unfolds globally, I’ve heard a lot of people asking the question “What is an investment bank? How does it differ from a regular, commercial bank?” Unless you work in finance, you may not have come across the term investment bank before the global meltdown began.Let’s begin with the basics. What is an Investment bank? Why does it have the glitz and glam factor that your commercial bank does not?
An investment bank is a special type of financial institution that caters to the financial needs of large institutions, rather than retail consumers like you and I. Investment Banks help companies and governments issue securities, help investors purchase securities, manage financial assets, trade securities and provide financial advice. Simply put, an Investment Bank acts as an intermediary between those who need capital (the demand side) and those who have excess capital (the supply side).
For example, If Coca-Cola wanted to sell $10 billion worth of bonds to build new bottling plants in Asia, an investment bank would help them find buyers for the bonds and handle the paperwork, along with a team of lawyers and accountants.
The top investment banks including Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley, are called Bulge Bracket, meaning they offer an entire gamut of services including Research, Securities Trading, Traditional M&A and IPO advisory as well as Asset Management services and even have their own Private Equity Arms. A boutique like Avendus Capital or Lazard, for instance, will only focus on Corporate Finance advisory which includes M&A and raising private equity on behalf of its clients. Slightly larger ones might even run an IPO but that means you need to have large teams that can support you on the sales and trading side.
What does an Investment Bank Actually Do?
A typical investment bank will engage in some or all of the following activities:
- Raise equity capital (e.g., helping launch an IPO or creating a special class of preferred stock that can be placed with sophisticated investors such as insurance companies or banks)
- Raise debt capital (e.g., issuing bonds to help raise money for a factory expansion)
- Insure bonds or launching new products (e.g., such as credit default swaps)
Investment banks are often divided into two camps: the buy side and the sell side. Many investment banks offer both buy side and sell side services. The sell side typically refers to selling shares of newly issued IPOs, placing new bond issues, engaging in market making services, or helping clients facilitate transactions. The buy side, in contrast, worked with pension funds, mutual funds, hedge funds, and the investing public to help them maximize their returns when trading or investing in securities such as stocks and bonds.
Key Skills to be an Investment Banker
Careers in Investment Banking can be extremely rewarding, exciting, and lucrative, but also high pressured, demanding and nerve-wracking! Because of the confluence of emotional and mental aspects required for these careers, investment firms often look for specific skills and characteristics in potential employees.
First and foremost, Investment Banks are looking for dynamic candidates who can thrive in an ever changing environment – This means they must be able to multi-task and manage their time effectively.
Strong analytical and interpersonal skills are an added advantage since candidates will have exposure to clients globally.
Interestingly, with all the rigor and structure in Investment Banking, the ability to be creative and innovation is an extremely highly regarded skill.
Ultimately, this is a high risk / high reward profession both in terms of the money you make and overall personal growth. Those that excel need to be mentally prepared to work long hours – not necessarily all the time, but yes, at least at the start of your career where you would need to focus on sharpening your skills sets and domain knowledge.
Many college graduates start or target jobs at an Analyst level and through hard work, perseverance and continuous improvement are able to rise to the levels of top management.
Job Roles on Offer in an Investment Bank
Finally, let’s look at the type of jobs that can be offered to you at an Investment Bank.
Investment Banks are segregated into three major roles:
Front Office, Middle Office, and Back Office operations where trades are booked, processed and settled respectively.
But beyond these three major departments, we need to know that clients just can’t start trading.
We need to conduct extensive research on their backgrounds hence there has to be an AML/KYC department at an IB. Hence, we see a lot of jobs offered in Anti-Money Laundering –where we understand if the source of income from an investor is illicit or not.
Know your Customer- This step makes the bank understand the type of customers they will be dealing with, Client Onboarding and Reference data Management and setup helps clients to be setup successfully on the banking platforms.
The Risk Management teams reduce the risk exposure which a client would be exposed to due to the volatility of global markets, Legal and Compliance and the regulatory environment.
All in all, working in an Investment Bank gives an end to end flavor of global markets and economic development.
Think you are up to the challenge and have what it takes? Your first step is to educate yourself. Imarticus Learning offers various courses on Finance and our CIBOP (Investment Banking Operations) course is best suited for those who want a fulfilling career in Investment Banking.
Relax yourself at your workplace with yoga
Practicing yoga in the office can be fun, innovative and relaxing with many long-term benefits. Long hours on the computer can cause strain to your shoulder, neck and the back muscles, resulting in stiffness and aggravates tension. This can also impact your ability to function efficiently and impacts your overall quality of life
Multiple organisations have started understanding the need for similar physical activities to enhance the life-style factor of its employees to ensure effectiveness at work as well.
Office yoga comprises of a sequence of simple exercises you can perform effortlessly any time and any day.
Making office yoga exercises a part of your routine can work wonders as they wipe away body pain, fatigue and tension and increase overall muscle strength and flexibility, keeping you fresh and revitalised through the day. The exercises don’t demand much time, and can be done in spurts throughout the day, sparing you from unnecessary discomfort in the long run.
Here are a few routines, which are quick and very effective
Suggestion: If you are wearing tight, uncomfortable footwear remove them before starting the stretches. You may also wish to loosen your tie and belt.
Backbend in chair :
Begin by sitting in a non-rolling chair with shoulders relaxed. The back and butt should be flat against the back of the chair. Reach back and place hands behind the chair. Arch backwards in chair but do not come up off the chair; remain seated. Hold for 10-30 seconds.
Forward fold in desk chair :
Begin by sitting in the chair with feet shoulder width apart. Lean forward, as if to touch your toes. Take a few deep breaths and return to a seated, upright position. This stretches the spine. Hold for 10-30 seconds.
Chair twist at desk :
Begin by sitting in chair with feet shoulder width apart. Cross the left foot over the right knee. The right hand should rest on the left knee and the left hand on the chair back. Twist your torso to the left and hold. This is a great stretch for the spine. Hold for 10-30 seconds. Repeat on the right side.
Seated downward dog :
Begin by sitting in the chair with feet shoulder width apart. Place both arms out in front and lean forward into the desk. This stretches the spine and arms. Hold for 10-30 seconds. To stretch the legs at the same time, bring the left foot up onto the right thigh, as shown in the picture. Repeat for the right leg.
Temple Rub :
Keep your elbows on your desk and place your hands on your temples. With small circular motions gently rub your temples first clockwise and then anti-clockwise. Do this for 10 – 15 long deep breaths.
Business Analytics online SAS certification course at Imarticus, batch launches on 8th Aug’15 at Bangalore
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