Why you should reach out to VPs
Middle managers — and I mean that in a good way. VPs are managing up to Partners & down to Analysts. Associates just recently started and sometimes they’re focused on finding another gig post their 2-and-out, Directors & MD’s are too senior. So when I say ping VPs to learn more about the firm and see if they have a few minutes to chat, IMO that is your best chance to get an understanding of the culture of the firm.
A bunch of my VP friends have asked me to send over good resumes — you know what makes a VP look even better? When they attract good help.
VPs are partner-track (usually) which means that you’re speaking to a Junior Partner (effectively) and it would really give me a good perspective of the firm. If they respond and are willing to speak, good note. If they’re rude, don’t respond (now let’s not confuse don’t respond with rude, they’re obviously extremely busy), are swamped, don’t give you the time of day, would you want to work there anyway?
Casual notes “Hope all is well, saw you were at a similar investment bank — wanted to learn more about your time at TB — do you have a few minutes?” maybe follow-up a couple of days later and see if anyone bites. Who knows, maybe you loop yourself into a process.