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Lessons From A Mentor: Johnny Ayers of EiAbroad

Johnny Ayers is the NYC Director of EiAbroad and a guest editor on career advice for Generation-Y. EiAbroad is a global leader in internship and career consulting. EiAbroad provides students with internship placement, study abroad programs and helps you in the process of becoming qualified for your dream job.

Their soup-to-nuts programs include coaching and advising; pairing you with industry-leading mentors; securing internship placement for you in the field and city of your choice; accommodations; and much more. EiAbroad has the experience, resources and expertise needed to guide you to the top of success. For that reason, we welcome Johnny Ayers' advice:

As a two-sport Division 1 athlete at Boston College, my college experience was extremely structured, day-by-day, week-by-week and season-to-season. To say my life was consumed by athletics would be an understatement. Girlfriends came and went as did victories at Death Valley, Heinz Field and Notre Dame.

I basically only had two weeks off between our bowl game and the start of baseball in January. And honestly, I wouldn't have had it any other way. As a lot of my older teammates waltzed into positions on Wall Street from 2004-2006 with ease, I began to believe it was a right of passage.

But in June of 2007, two Bear Stearns hedge funds collapsed, and as the financial apocalypse ensued through 2008 and 2009. The path to a full-time position after graduation – in all industries – was completely re-written.

After I graduated in the spring of 2008, I was invited to mini-camp with the Cincinnati Bengals with the expectation of making an NFL roster. When I didn't get signed for the year, I returned to my alma mater to finish my Master's in Finance. As a twenty-two year-old graduate student, armed with seven varsity letters and a BS from a top-ten business school, I began interviewing with a number of banks and consulting shops.

I quickly discovered that although I had a great story to tell, I lacked one glaring piece of information on my resume that all of my most astute friends had: professional experience. Investment banks, consulting firms and technology giants were now solely hiring from their internship class.

Having not interned for a top firm after my junior year (as I was playing baseball in the Cape Cod League), I was told that I pretty much had no chance of receiving a full-time offer. As I was beginning to realize in this new economy, I missed an extremely critical window for gaining relevant work experience.

As many of my friends obtained domestic and international internships at hedge funds, investment banks, law firms and technology start-ups throughout their college years, they were now turning those internships into full-time offers with some of the best analyst programs in the world.

After months of hard work and perseverance leading up to the completion of my Master's, I landed a role as a Senior Consultant at IBM's Financial Business Analytics and Optimization group. What I learned from this was that a new model in hiring had emerged within the world's best companies.

Similar to the MBA application process, where two to five years of professional experience are a pre-requisite into top business schools; now, two to five solid and diverse internships have become a requirement into top internship and entry level positions.  Without these, you will learn the same hard lesson that I did.

This isn't your grandfather's economy, and neither is it his job environment. If you were told internships are irrelevant and you now think that you can waltz into the lobby of a Fortune 500 office and leave with a promising job: you are wrong. The game of establishing yourself has become much more competitive and strenuous. Getting your dream job – or even a job that may eventually lead to your dream job – now requires so much more.

So next week I will go into further detail how the Elite of Generation Y can properly position themselves to succeed in this new economy.

Johnny Ayers | Elite.
For more info, go to EiAbroad.comor call: +1(646) 827-1187

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