Best Places to Work: 2011 (#37)
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I have been working at Morgan Stanley full-time
Really a great place to work.
Can have a heavy workload at times.
I applied online. The process took 2+ months. I interviewed at Morgan Stanley.
After a thorough interview, and when I say thorough, I mean series of endless tests and questions, starting with
-A screening test when sending the initial application,
-An online IQ assessment from which "supposedly" they can determine your ability to pass the series 7 and 66 certifications, now if you pass the IQ, you will have to submit
-A video interview, which is another 13 questions ( behavioral, challenges encountered, problem solving and more), after that, you will receive
-A phone call from a recruiter who doesn't care at all about your qualifications or your background, he will be basically conducting a phone interview from the coffee shop around the corner(you can hear the noises in the background), this phone screening will last for 5 min max, then you sit and wait another week at least to finally qualify for
-An in-person interview with the associate complex manager who is most likely will be a senior rich person whose main interest is "your network". This word may seem usual since most companies like to know if you are involved in any activities beside your work to assess your social skills, no in this situation, they are only interested in people (family or friends) that you can use as potential clients, the interview is very casual, conversational, one of the most relaxed interviews I have been to.
In another week, if you made a good impression, you will be asked to
-Meet more interviewers, this time will be with some financial advisors who will assess the potential of "your network" and explain to you the difficulty and challenges a financial advisor may be facing, you will be then asked to
-Prepare a detailed business plan.
After another week, comes
-The meeting with the branch manager, another senior who wants to make sure your network is worth it.
I followed all the steps religiously, sent thank you notes after each interview, showed great interest in the program, not because I was sooo eager to join the company which I was in the beginning of course but I lost interest and start questioning my desire to be part of such company when I didn't receive any update after 3 weeks since my last interview.
Oh, I ended up getting an update and also a feedback stressing the importance of having a network and clients you will be working with initially.
I heard this word "network" maybe some 10 times in the process, this shows that if clearly you don't know clients you can work with initially or you fail to show them a list of potential clients and accounts you intend to bring and run the risk that these names can be used after that by other more experienced financial advisors when you will be failing to bring in 10million during the first year, please don't waste your time.
If you had some experience in another firm, and you are able to transfer your client portfolio, this could be a great opportunity with a lot of earning potential, rough and ruthless (that is not a problem if you are a business person) but rewarding.
I apologize for the long review, but I was looking all the time for input and read tons of forums to get an idea and prepare for each interview I had and I promised myself, when I complete the interview process, I will share all the details with future applicants to help them as much as I can.
An advice to hiring managers and recruiters, I understand that you are operating with many applicants every day, but you still need to respect each person's time and follow up in a timely manner and avoid bringing a person to the final stages of the process only to remind them how difficult this industry is and how important a client portfolio is.