In this series, M&T seniors share their after graduation plans and tips for navigating on-campus recruiting (OCR).
Name: Oliver Jenkins
Hometown: Stow, MA
Major/Concentration(s): Finance and Mechanical Engineering
Where will you be working after graduation and in what role?
I will be working at Zimmer Partners, an energy and utilities-focused hedge fund in Manhattan as a research associate. My role at Zimmer will be to research a selection of companies and maintain financial models of each of them so that I can provide background on my companies to my superiors at the fund.
What made you want to work at Zimmer Partners?
After all of my studies at Penn and my internships along the way I knew that I wanted to be in buy-side finance (particularly a hedge fund or private equity fund) in the energy space. I have always enjoyed investing for the excitement of truly understanding a company and seeing positive (and negative) attributes that the broader market has missed. Investing as it applies to energy in particular is appealing to me since rather than investing in nebulous hopes of massive growth as one often does in healthcare, tech, or many other areas, in energy one can invest in real assets with real cash flows. As someone who enjoys analysis and thinking that is more concrete and less qualitative I found this to be more suited to my preferences.
It should also be noted that I have found over the years that I prefer working with smaller companies in more close-knit groups. I find this allows me to build stronger connections with my coworkers and to learn more about the job quickly. Furthermore, smaller companies typically afford greater opportunities for advancement on a shorter timeline. As such, the opportunity to work in energy buy side at a small shop run by one of the (if not just “the”) best energy and utilities investors in the business (Stuart Zimmer) is a perfect position for me.
How did your M&T experience prepare you for this role?
First off it is worth mentioning I am not sure I would have even had a shot if I wasn’t in M&T; the partner at the firm who interviewed me in my first round and selected me for a final round graduated from Wharton 10 years ago at the top of his class so I am certain that the credibility of the M&T Program played a part in my hiring.
In terms of actual preparation, I am of the opinion that this sort of role (where my entire job is to fully understand a number of energy companies) is very well suited to M&T. I must have a strong grasp of the key finance and accounting concepts that underlie bottom-up analysis of any company, but it will also be helpful to understand the engineering limitations of what goes on in the energy business. In this way, both my finance and mechanical engineering degrees will be important at Zimmer.
I should also note that both of my previous internships (sophomore year at Arena Investors, junior year at Morgan Stanley technology investment banking) were available to me primarily due to the M&T Program. Arena recruits in M&T exclusively and MS Tech has historically focused their Penn recruiting on the M&T Program. Both of these past internships were key in giving me the experience to be a qualified candidate for employment at Zimmer Partners.
What are you most looking forward to about being a Zimmer Partners employee?
I am most looking forward to being able to learn a huge amount about how to invest in this space effectively in a short space of time. As I mentioned, one of the best parts about being at a small firm is that I will be able to learn from my coworkers much more quickly and naturally than I could at a large firm. Furthermore, the size of the shop means that I will be able to employ the best of my abilities right out of the starting gate and thus advance my responsibilities much faster than I could in a conventional corporate hierarchy.
What tips do you have for M&Ts going through the full-time recruiting process in the future?
Don’t get too stressed about it! Full time recruiting can be a stressful process since you are trying to find a place to go to work once you embark on real life. Furthermore, it may take much longer than you expect or intend (I started the process in August and signed with Zimmer in early November). However, you have to remember that as new graduates from the M&T Program you are among the most employable people in the U.S. Regardless of what a pain recruiting can be, you’ll learn a lot through the process and eventually you will find a company that is exactly the right fit for you.