Small Company Culture
This is my second post for my summer internship at Mid-Market Securities in New York City. I am a rising senior and my ideal career path is to pursue in the investment banking industry now and further on after my graduation.
In the previous post, I went through how I got the internship and provided some insights regarding my experiences in networking and developing skill sets for future career paths. In this post, I will briefly introduce our company, talk about our company culture with our CEO, Bob.
Mid-Market Securities is a middle market investment bank. Offering a wide range of investment banking services, Mid-Market Securities provides large firm expertise and domestic and international processing capabilities to private and public companies and their owners in the middle market to emerging growth, project finance and startup clients across a wide range of industries. Rather than a traditional structure, our firm has only one CEO and the rest of managing directors or vice presidents are all on a contract-base. This means that the more deals they close, they get most of the commission from the deal while giving Mid-Market Securities the rest for using its resources. My boss doesn’t need to pay wages and they don’t have any employee benefits. Therefore, most of the interns are following Bob and I shadow both Bob and another Vice President in Boston.
As Bob, our CEO has been working in the industry for over 30 years, who used to close more than 200 deals in 10 years, he has a pretty strong and direct character. He thinks fast, talks fast and describes himself as a result-oriented person. He gives us the feeling that he is really tough and serious in working while a kind grandpa after work. He requires us that we have critical thinking in every matter and analyze all the materials with smart questions and useful insights. Moreover, Bob used to be a law professor in New York University so he constantly gave us sessions to either teach us some necessary law knowledge in the investment banking industry or answer our questions regarding career development in the industry. It definitely feels different in a small company comparing a big company like HSBC where I had my last year summer internship. In Mid-Market Securities, I get to experience all the steps in finishing a deal in the industry. There are a lot of responsibilities because the final draft of the marketing materials that I produce could be shown to potential clients or my network could be used as potential financing sources that could help close the deals. It is really flexible in what I have to do as long as it helps close the deal, which is the final result. Whereas in large banks, it is hard to choose what I want to do because tasks are given specifically to me and in most cases, what I produced might not even be used finally. Moreover, in smaller banks, it is easier to get connected to senior management, learn from their experiences and utilize their network.
Therefore, there is a really unique company culture in Mid-Market Securities where I feel like working with my CEO closely like friends while in a professional and serious manner where we need to perform to my best and help close the deal within the time given. Although there are no specific working hours, I need to go to the office every workday and be ready to report and update Bob and my Boston Vice President about my progress in multiple deals. It is an intense industry as the number of deals goes out of control or clients are pushing hard on the deadline for locating their financing sources. However, I regard this experience as extremely valuable because the small company culture helps me develop the sense of the whole process of investment banking, shape the proper questions that need to be answered by clients and investors and accumulate valuable connections during the process.
I will talk about my particular goals for my internship and how my team encounters and deals with particular challenges in my next blog post in mid-July. Please comment below if you have resonating experiences in small companies and I am happy to discuss, share and learn.