Matthew Eckler has an unusual background for a Wall Streeter.
He didn’t attend a top business school, nor did he get a degree in finance of economics. The senior biotech analyst holds a BS in biology and a PhD in molecular biology. And before Eckler nabbed a position at RBC Capital Markets, the investment bank, he was working full-time in a lab studying the effects of certain foods on mice.
We recently met up with Eckler to ask him his advice for young people interested in a career on Wall Street. He said wannabes should be prepared when they reach out to Wall Streeters on professional networking sites such as LinkedIn.
“I get lots of responses to job postings we place on LinkedIn,” he said. “Unfortunately, only about 10% of applicants understand what the role is asking of them.”
According to Eckler, they’re not doing their homework.
“For example, some candidates don’t understand the difference between the buy side and sell side and will email me saying they are applying for the job because they want to invest money,” Eckler said.
“I sit on the Research team where our job is to make investment recommendations, but we aren’t a fund inside of RBC,” he added.
Eckler said reaching out to a Wall Streeter and displaying a strong interest in the field is not enough to get someone noticed. As such, he advises Wall Street hopefuls approach reaching out on LinkedIn with the same preparation as an interview.
“One PhD student reached out to me recently. He was prepared and knew the name of some of the companies we cover. He’d put together a basic model and I was impressed.”