Career Profiles: Tammie Chen, Barclays/Morgan Stanley Investment Banking

Career Profiles is a series of posts that will feature Haas students who have accepted an internship or full time job offer across various industries. This one is on Investment Banking.

Chen, TammieTammie Chen is a Haas senior double majoring in B.S. Business Administration and B.A. Economics. She currently serves as the President of the Association of Chinese Entrepreneurs at Berkeley, Liaison for the Haas Cohort Program, Student Lecturer for an LBO Modeling Decal class for two semesters now, and Mentor to Young Entrepreneurs at Haas (YEAH) Albany Middle School Program. Additionally, she also has experience as the VP of Business Operations for Sellegit.com (a student-run startup), has won and helped judge multiple internal/cohort-run finance case competitions, and was involved in the Haas International Case Competition Traveling Team. She is on the Letters & Science Dean’s Honors List and is an inducted member of the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society for Liberal Arts and Sciences students. Tammie interned as a Summer Analyst for Citi in 2011, for Barclays Investment Bank in Menlo Park last summer, and will be an incoming Junior Analyst for Morgan Stanley in New York post-graduation.

What made you decide to pursue investment banking? What makes it so interesting to you?
I was first interested in banking because of a decal I took called Introduction to Investment Banking (which was no longer offered now). I got to meet some of the smartest people in business school and decided to give the industry a try, since that’s what people I admired were pursuing. Later on, after many case competitions, I realized this was an industry in which I could learn immensely about some of the hottest companies (whether they’re powerhouses like Google and Amazon, or exciting startups like Box and Twitter) in a short period of time. As a junior staff, I could also have real impact on projects that could range from millions to billions of dollars in valuation. And I believe with some experience in banking, I could gather more networks and advance in finance more easily, especially as a female. My idols, Mary Meeker and Safra Catz, who were some of the most influential female leaders, also started their career in banking. The easiest way to see if banking suits your personality is to either do a banking case comp, cold call, or get a part time banking job in San Francisco.
You have represented Haas in multiple internal and external case competitions throughout your college career. What steps did you take to be amply prepared? Which courses/student orgs/outside resources were instrumental to your success, if any?
Case competition was my way to push myself to learn about a company inside and out in a very short period of time (usually also clashing with multiple midterms and school deadlines). Case comps help not only with the industry knowledge, but also teach a person about the importance of efficiency and multi-tasking. My advice for beginners would be to find experienced teammates and learn anything you could from them. My friend Shanna and I always team up with people with no case competition experience and we love to teach them everything we know from our experience. As long as you ask, people will help you! Two most important things in my opinion that could make you succeed in case competitions are creativity, and deep/insightful analysis beyond what other teams can normally come up with.
How is it like to teach a UGBA decal on Basic Finance and LBO Models? I think it is great that you are giving back to the Berkeley student community
I continued teaching the course which was designed by Chris Kelvie and Mathias Gydesen two semesters ago. It was a great experience passing on the knowledge I learnt from other people to students with an eagerness to learn. Sometimes, I learn more from students who are taking the class than I have ever learnt before, whether it is a shortcut or a new way of understanding the model. If you’re interested in practical finance models (DCF, comps, up to LBO), you should check out the course — it will be offered again next semester!
You interned for Barclays this summer. How was the interview process? Do you have any advice for other Haas and Cal students in general, who are also interested in investment banking?
Interview was comprised of an on-campus with one director and on-site interviews with 4-5 more professionals. Like other interviews, it tests the interviewee’s personality and technical abilities. Based on my personal experience, case competitions and part-time internships in finance are the easiest way to demonstrate your passion. But do think about what makes you stand out among all the other competing candidates who most likely have similar resume boosters. Also, it’s important to ask people who have worked in the company for coffee chats and leave them with an impeccable impression. I did not personally do any coffee chats, but looking back, I know that would have helped more. If the encounter with a company representative is pleasant and impressive, they may be able to vouch for you during the recruiting process. Or to say the least, they probably know exactly what items are on the interview score sheet.
Finally, would you recommend your experience at Barclays?
Barclays tech headquarters in Menlo Park was amazing. People in the office are extremely professional, friendly, and best of all, a lot of them were Cal or Haas alumni. I got exposure to all kinds of deals possible, which included an IPO, sell-side LBO, debt offering, convertible issuance, etc. Two of my deals were announced over summer, and I attended four client meetings. I was asked to sit in a meeting with the clients’ CEO, CFO, and the head of Barclays’ tech on the last day of my internship, while other big name banks that were supporting the deal were on teleconference call. You can probably tell how much responsibility they place on the interns. (Tammie has decided to join Morgan Stanley post-graduation for personal reasons).
Denice Sy
Class of 2014

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