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The Fast Track: The Insider's Guide to Winning Jobs in Management Consulting, Investment Banking, & Securities Trading Paperback – October 6, 1997


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The Fast Track: The Insider's Guide to Winning Jobs in Management Consulting, Investment Banking, & Securities Trading + Monkey Business: Swinging Through the Wall Street Jungle + Liar's Poker (Norton Paperback)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Business; 1 edition (October 6, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0767900405
  • ISBN-13: 978-0767900409
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #547,293 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"This is the book that the financial services industry has been waiting for--finally, a comprehensive guide that will give you an advantage whether you're trying to break into these industries or are already in them."
--Jennifer Rolnick, Recruiting Manager, Bear Stearns

"Excellent information--a candid, first-hand look into the daily experiences of investment bankers and consultants. Captures in one book what it takes months for students to learn on their own."
--Lance Choy, Director of Recruiting, Stanford University's Career Planning and Placement Center

From the Inside Flap

Get an Insider's Edge on Launching Your Career.

Are you thinking about working for the likes of McKinsey, Merrill Lynch, or Salomon Brothers?  Thousands of undergraduates, MBA students, and others are rushing for prestigious entry-level positions in the highly competitive and lucrative fields of management consulting, investment banking, and securities trading.  How are you going to compete?  In The Fast Track, experienced recruiter and fast-track insider Mariam Naficy helps you make the right decisions every step of the way as she guides you through the rigorous, highly specialized recruiting process.  The Fast Track includes:

Comprehensive job descriptions of consultants, analysts, and traders, explained in layperson terms.
Over twenty in-depth interviews with people in the business at every level from first-year analysts to CEOs and recruiting managers.  
Tips on preparing an irresistible rÚsumÚ, giving a great interview, and choosing the right firm.  Listen in as recruiters at a top firm review candidates they interviewed.
Profiles of the top forty firms across the country with information you can't find anywhere else, including career paths, office culture, and interviews with employees.

More About the Author

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 9, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book covers a huge breadth of topics, though seems to cater to an audience consisting of student at elite schools. While offering very interesting insights into the rigors, qualifications, lifestyles, etc. associated with these prestigious industries, it seems as if there was not enough "real estate" in the book dedicated to offering full coverage about careers in these industries.
In fact, there are books out there entirely dedicated to convering these industries. For instance, two of the better ones, Vault.com Guide to Investment Banking and Vault.com Guide to Management Consulting, cover these industries thoroughly.
What would have made Fast Track better, was to be a bit more focused in what it offered, much like the Vault.com books. Instead of covering, what I consider 3 disparate industries, in such a short amount of pages, it could have been more effective by expanding the book, or even breaking them into 3 complete books.
But alas, in addition to the industry specialty career books, this book is a good supplement to ambitious graduates (both MBA and college) to landing those prestigious financial and consulting positions out of school.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful By ConsultantsMind on March 17, 2003
Format: Paperback
This book gives a good overview of the different facets of management consulting and investment banking. For those considering a MBA as a transition to these two career paths, this is a good place to start your research. As my personal interest is Management Consulting . . .
1) The culture requires teamwork, high quality and constant change. "You are only as good as your last project." (pg 44)
2) "Most people at McKinsey don't need to be managed. It is a different dynamic - we are coached. . . managers are graded on how well they coach." (pg 57)
3) Critical skills: analytical skills, individualism, interpersonal skills and intellectual curiosity. (pg 145)
4) For interview questions concerning resume, use CAR approach:
Context: Set the stage
Action: What did you do?
Results: What was the impact?
5) Good list of interview questions (pg 199 - 200). The most interesting one I saw: "Where do you think the consulting industry is headed?"
6) Five qualities that distinguish a great case interview:
- structured response, shows you think clearly
- broad perspective, shows that you cover all the angles
- concise and linear manner of thinking and communicating
- business judgment, shows you can find the high-impact areas
- creative insights, shows that you can come up with ideas on your own
Another good resource for basics of management consulting:
...
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By MC_5 on October 11, 2002
Format: Paperback
Fast Track is a well written book about jobs in consulting and investing. It is written by a woman who has been both a consultant and an investment banker. The book is full of valuable information regarding interviews, cover letters, resumes, and basics of the jobs. But DO NOT use this book by itself.
First of all, the directory in the back of the book is full of time sensitive information. It is also recommended in the book that you go to the company's web site before you send off an application. If you are interested in consulting, get books specifically written about case questions. If you are interested in investment banking, make sure you have a strong background it what exactly investment bankers do, because the book doesn't really give you a good idea.
A few more points:
Although the book is written by a female minority, the book has nothing about minority hiring programs. If you fit the bill, it would be worth your while to investigate that.
The book is specifically written for those who have 4.0 GPA's at UPenn, Harvard and Stanford. It devotes a little time to the "non-targeted," but it's pretty clear that if you don't have the grades, and you don't go to the right school, then you don't have a chance. Talk to your career counselor about grads from your school that may have made it in the field you're interested in.
The book is trying to entice you into becoming an investment banker or consultant. Although it tries to be unbiased, it is clear that it doesn't provide the big picture. Read books like "Liar's Poker" and "Monkey Business" if you want an honest look into the professions. Your best bet, however, is to find someone who is in your field of interest, and interrogate them. Only then can you get the full picture.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Jussi Bjorling on July 13, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book does a pretty good job of explaining how these businesses work and how they recruit. However, it isn't going to be very helpful if you're looking for a job. These places look for people with the right background, the right skills, and only then does it matter how many books you've read or how many case questions you've practiced. By all means, read this book, but it's more important to work on your connections and make sure your resume's content (not its form) is strong.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 26, 1999
Format: Paperback
In additional to a number of glaring factual errors (such as including Grant Thornton in the Big Six while leaving out Arthur Andersen, the biggest of the group before they became the Big Five), the material in this book is totally useless. If you attend a "targeted school" (the author's term for the elite schools where management consultants and investment banks recruit), you should already know 99% of the material in this book. If you attend a lesser "untargeted" school, following Ms. Naficy's advice will have you waiting by the mailbox for those oh-so-encouraging postcards telling you how Dewey, Cheetham, & Howe has your resume on file and will call you when they run out of Ivy League types. The book is subtitled "The Insider's Guide to Winning Jobs in Management Consulting, etc..." Here's a bulletin for you: the "Insiders" already know the drill, and the "Outsiders" are that way because of "insiders" like Ms. Naficy, who's apparent purpose in life (and in writing this book)is to maintain the status quo.
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