The 2019 Harris Williams MBA Diversity Summit

Harris Williams recently hosted the 2019 MBA Diversity Summit, attended by 18 first-year MBA students representing 13 leading business schools. Attendees represented a rich variety of backgrounds, reflecting the ongoing transformation of our industry.

With a combination of social and instructional events, the Summit gave students an opportunity to meet and network with senior Harris Williams professionals, as well as develop valuable skills and knowledge.

Three main sessions comprised the instructional portion of the Summit:

  • An introduction to Harris Williams and our recruiting process
  • “How to Tell Your Story,” focused on concise and compelling presentation of key resume points
  • An interview preparation session hosted by human resources and banking professionals

Introduction to Harris Williams

Managing Director John Neuner teamed up with Vice President Jenson Dunn and Associates Shinik Patel and Anya Bahros to share the Harris Williams story, an overview of our recruiting process and the details of the associate role. 

Neuner, Dunn, Patel and Bahros described the importance of the associate role and its centrality to successful client engagements, the direct access associates have to client CEOs and other senior executives, and their accountability for high-quality work.

The team also walked attendees through “The Life of a Deal,” discussed the key qualities required to thrive in this demanding role and answered a range of questions related to client management, team composition and career paths.

How to Tell Your Story

These highly interactive breakout sessions paired small groups of students with Harris Williams professionals for in-depth, one-on-one coaching on personal storytelling. Students received and integrated constructive feedback on the ways in which they told their stories, including guidance on making connections between themselves and the hiring company, sharing personal motivations for career choices and weaving professional experiences into cohesive and compelling narratives. 

Interview Preparation

Building on the storytelling sessions, these workshops went into more detail on interview preparation, with a focus on developing differentiated and powerful answers to real-life interview questions. Attendees were encouraged to think broadly while answering interview questions and to engage in focused research and preparation that would position them for success.

Leading a Transformation

The once-homogenous world of investment banking is rapidly becoming more diverse. The challenges, excitement and satisfaction of this industry are attracting bright, hardworking people with diverse backgrounds. They are bringing new ideas and perspectives to the world of M&A and helping investment banks keep pace with the fast-moving business world.

Harris Williams is proud to be part of this transformation. Our continual pursuit of an increasingly diverse workforce helps us better meet the needs of innovative growth companies across industries and regions. Enriched by the value of different backgrounds and viewpoints, we’re helping our clients succeed in an ever-changing world.