What to know before a banking internship interview?

Research their firm and the individual's focus area.

I actively mentor college students looking to enter finance, specifically investment banking, and all too often I see students neglecting their interview homework.  If you have the luxury of knowing who you are interviewing with (it sounds like you do), then do some research and try to get some insight into where they spend their time and what their background is. 

Expectations will be low that you have a plethora of banking knowledge to draw from as a freshman, so try to put yourself in the best possible position to learn as much as possible from each interview.  Much like every other industry, if you don't "talk the talk" then it is very apparent to an industry professional.  However, you can't "talk the talk" until you've been exposed to it for a substantial amount of time.  Your ability to pick up the lingo from reading industry resources, listening to interviews, and emulating the bankers that you talk to will help you to bridge this gap early on in your recruiting process and stay ahead of the curve.  In addition, ask pointed questions about the individual's career path and their specific service area.  Do they specialize in M&A?  Ask them what deals they have closed most recently and have small snippets on the recent M&A deals that their bank has closed (usually available on their website or use your school's research services) so that you can respond quickly with targeted questions.

I highly recommend creating a "cheat sheet" for each firm that you interview with that includes all of the relevant information, such as key executives, office locations, year founded, key transactions and events, etc.  If you know who you are interviewing with, then you may want to create a similar cheat sheet for the individuals.

Otherwise, the first round interviews are very often focused on technical questions in order to establish that you know the basics.  I recommend Investment Banking: Valuation, Leveraged Buyouts, and Mergers and Acquisitions (Wiley Finance) for nailing down the valuation methodologies, but your finance professors and peers may have some other good recommendations.  There is no need to inject your "passion for valuation" into every preliminary conversation with an alum, but if the subject does come up then it will be good to punch it in the nose and prove your ambition and genuine interest in the field.  I often found that I prepared too much to combat the technical questions, when the interviewers typically wanted to quickly get by the technical piece of the interview in favor of learning more about me personally. 

For broader technical and behavioral questions, check with your career center to see if they have any recommendations on interview guides.  Often your school will have access to question guides for free.  Alternatively, sources such as Vault and Wall Street Oasis are popular among students in your position and are relatively cheap.

For market knowledge, you're doing the right thing by reading Bloomberg.  Stick to the credible news sources to stay on top of what's going on, and you might consider browsing Quora for some thorough discussions of hot topics in the news.  At such an early stage in your career, these will help you develop opinions of your own.  For example, check out discussions on the crisis in Europe and the fiscal cliff.  Interviewers may ask you which current events you find interesting in finance, and those two are good routes to take if you have solid answers in your back pocket.

The above should be enough to get you through these preliminary discussions.  I'm happy to discuss further if anything is unclear.

What are the best things to do in Lyon over Christmas period?

If you arrive early enough on the 24th, I recommend the Christmas market (the 24th is the last day).

There is one that takes place at Place Carnot, which is the biggest one. To get there, take the metro A to Perrache. Place Carnot is on the north side of the train station.

The second market is up in Croix-Rousse – to get there take metro C (towards Cuire) and exit at Croix-Rousse. It’s a smaller market but there is a beautiful overview of Lyon from there.

Otherwise, enjoy the city! You can walk around Presqu’île (the part of the city between the two rivers) and Vieux Lyon (the old historical neighborhood) with some vin chaud (mulled wine) or a crêpe, take the funiculaire from Vieux Lyon up to Fourvière, which is a beautiful church with an amazing view of the city.

Depending on what you like to do, here are some other things you might like to do:

  • Visit various museums (e.g. Musee des Guignols, Musée de la Confluence, etc.)
  • Eat in a bouchon (do some research to avoid tourist traps. Yelp is a good resource in Lyon.)
  • Go to a MeetUp or Couchsurfing event to meet other travellers or expats/locals
  • Go to the opera/ballet
  • Go skiing (nearest ski station about 1.5 hr drive away)
  • Try out the many new hip & cozy cafes in Lyon (e.g. Cafe Nuage, La Bicycletterie, Le Tigre, Konditori, Comptoir des fées, Jeannine & Suzanne)
  • Go to the market on Quai Saint Antoine or Croix Rousse
  • Admire the many murals that Lyon is known for (More info: here and here)
  • Take a day trip to Grenoble or Annecy
  • Check out the artisan shops in the Pentes de la Croix Rousse (the winding streets just above Hôtel de Ville)
  • Explore Presqu’île – make sure you visit Place des Terreaux, Place des Jacobins, and Place Bellecour
  • Try out some of Lyon’s best boulangeries (I like Max Poilane, La Miche au Vieux Four, L’Atelier du Boulanger, and O Fournil des Artistes)
  • Have a glass of wine and some cheese and charcuterie at a wine bar (Lyon has lots of good options – try Autour d’un Verre or La Cave d’à Coté.)
  • If you prefer beer, try Les Frères Berthom or Fleurs du Malt. They have a wide variety of French and Belgian beer.

Here’s a video of beautiful Lyon:

Have a great time!

Who are the owner of best voice in Rock Music World?


According to The Rolling Stone list the first rock singer I can see is Robert Plant at 15.

There are plenty of other contenders http://www.thetoptens.com/best-r…

The Top ten lists place Freddie Mercury ahead of Robert Plant and he was certainly a better showman.

I would nominate my favourite as Janis Joplin, the only white Blues musician who the world really did screw badly. All the others are just whiners with no real problems.

Although much more well known for his guitar playing I think Hendrix' vocals were distinctive.

The best rock singer that no one has ever heard of is of course Julie Driscoll


Possibly not the world's most accomplished vocalist, but no one who ever saw her live could ever forget X-Ray Spex. and Poly Styrene.

Cars in India: What is be the optimal range of the rpm while driving a ford figo diesel?

General thumb rule for Diesel car is to drive around peak torque for better mileage and power. I could't get similar power torque diagram for Ford. The below one is for Hyundai i20 Elite. You get close to full torque around 1300 and reaches peak at 1500rpm. So you change the gear around 1300–1500 rpm , the mileage will be better. Also, need drive with light pedal as heavy pedal make Diesel engines mileage worse than petrol. I own Verna 1.6l engine, it gives around 22–23.2 kmpl if I drive around 1900–2100rpm which gets around 90–120km on flat surface. Anything above 2100rpm makes the mileage go below 20kmpl.

Is Nassim Taleb's Antifragile worth reading?

If you have read my previous posts on Black Swan & Bed of Procrustes, you would know very well that I am a big fan of Taleb.  Please do pick and read Antifragile if you have not read. When I read his essays, I would feel like conversing with him. An amazing feeling. Though his books take longer time for me to read, I enjoy those moments. I spent about a couple of weeks reading his work Anti-fragile. If there is one key takeaway , it would be this key fact

There are some systems that gains from volatility , and how do we best use them in our life. Those are anti fragile , exact opposite to fragile- which gets negatively impacted  because of volatility.

He applies this concept in Fitness & Health to understand our body , medicine , business , banking , risk analysis, mother nature and various areas to show the key point that randomness and volatility has always benefited us. These variability or stressors really help the system to improve.

Its quite perplexing that those from whom we have benefitted the most aren’t those who have tried to help us but rather those who have actively tried but eventually failed to harm us  – Anti Fragile, Taleb

As I looked at my own life, there had been acute stressors in my life which pushed me to improve better. Those unexpected volatility in life definitely helped become stronger eventually. As we saw in Black Swan, there are some highly consequential , un predictable and rare outcomes can define our life. The best anti dote against Black swan is not trying to predict it , but anti-fragility. Try to reduce fragility in the system as much possible which makes us robust to black swan. The best example I can take for my own personal life first from the book are

  • Avoid debt like a sin to the best in life, debt definitely makes us fragile. Trying to take many small bets which has the optionality of limited loss but unlimited gain. Try to search for these real options, these give you the anti fragility. I know of someone, who has got into multiple business, succeeded and failed in a few. Now trying to get into a new business of granite quarrying. This new business venture he is trying to get into also happened by chance event , a total serendipity. But he was in pursuit of different things which helped him land on this. That would be his credit. The business model he is trying to get in also has the optionality I called out earlier – a known limited loss, and unlimited upside.
  • In health & fitness – My mom and I are big believers of intermittent fasting, though we came to know through our religion – but later when we experienced the  changes in our body became staunch believers of this. This intermittent fasting gives us the volatility and stressors needed for our body once in a while and that definitely makes it anti fragile up to some point

I will not go through more, but just a couple of examples to highlight, the insightful learning from Anti fragility.

South Korea: How do taxi drivers make their money?

The actual income will vary wildly by the location, type and skill of the driver.
From what i hear over the internet and such, generally taxi drivers in Seoul make 1.5-2M KRW per month (~1,500 USD). Not a very good money if you have a family to support.
FYI there are two types of Taxis in Korea –

  1. "Owner-Taxi (개인택시)" This is my own term so it might officially be called something else. Simply put, the taxi is wholly owned by a person (usually the driver) and whatever income this car produces becomes the income of the driver.

There are some caveats – the license required to own a whole taxi is a difficult one to get, and strictly controlled by the government. At this time (2013) there are no new licenses being handed out by the city and municipal governments. The only way to get a "owner-taxi" license is to buy the right from someone else who is willing to give up his own. The market price of this license is in ten-thousands of dollars (in US$ equiv). I have heard about 40 to 50 Million KRW (30-40k USD). So you are speaking of a pretty significant initial investment before you make income.
2. Company Taxi –  you are hired as a driver for a taxi company. In this system, you are expected to submit a fixed amount of income back to the company, and you keep the rest. For example, company will take 100,000 KRW (~80 USD) every day.
i.e. If you make 300,000 KRW today, your profit is 200,000 KRW. If you only make 80,000 KRW for whatever reason, you need to make up the remaining 20,000 from your pocket to submit the daily fare. This can be a huge stress to the drivers to make up for their daily submission, and often results in a less favourable quality of service (such as those drivers who won't take you unless you are going for a long distance).

Which scholarships are available for Indian students who want to pursue MS in US?

To get scholarships for MS students is completely dependent on the University you choose. I would like to say it is a little hard for MS students.

I am aware of friends who are pursuing MS here in the US with some kind of scholarship which fall in to one of the kinds described below. There might be many, but these are the one's I know for sure:

  • Few of the universites offer certain percentage of waiver on your tuition if you choose to join them.
  • Professors in few universities offer Research Assistantship (RA) position. If your research interests are inline with the Professors interests, chances are there that your tuition is covered and there is some possibility of some stipend also
  • (I am a part of this) Graduate or Project Assistantship (GA/PA). I am not sure if all the universities offer this. The basic idea is that you are contributing to some project in some department with your skills. For example, CS students often get PA in non-CS departments for their software skills like web development, scripting, database management etc. Perks include complete tuition remission, monthly stipend, health insurance etc. This is often the best option for CS students who have enrolled only for Masters and there are in general plenty of such opportunities across departments. RA and TA positions generally go to PhD students.
  • Teaching Assistantship (TA), if you took a course under a Professor and you performed fairly well in that course then you can discuss with the Professor for a Teaching Assistantship position. ( This is usually for Phd Students, however there are cases where MS students are also offered this position)

Is your ex really like your sister/brother?

In mature relationships it's possible. Don't get me wrong there may still be some sexual desire, but a lot of times in a mature relationship the ex could know your boyfriend better than anyone and if she isn't jealous or selfish will put what's best for him ahead of anything else in the relationship.

I'm actually in that boat now where I have recently became great friends with an ex from 3 years ago. Now between year 0-3 there was still a bunch of sexual desire, but after we both matured we have a mutual caring friendship.