Former committee interview - Tom Linthorst
Study: MSc Financial Economics at the Erasmus University Rotterdam
Current occupation: M&A intern at ING and co-founder Merch Mate
FSR position: Hosted the M&A days 2022
“What motivated you to become an active FSR member?”
I have had an interest in M&A for a long time before I started as a committee member at the FSR. I contemplated how I could maximize my chances of entering the industry and arrived at FSR. Apart from the fact that it is a valuable addition to your CV, it offers you insights into the industry on a formal and informal level. I believed that organizing the M&A days at the FSR provided the ideal combination in this regard.
“How did you prepare for your interview?”
To be honest I didn't really have a special strategy for the preparation of the interview. I was lucky to already have some previous experience in interviews so I believe that helped me quite a bit. I believe that the best way to prepare in general is to just know what you are getting yourself into. My advice would be to talk to board members, former committee members and just really dive into the position itself. If you know what the function entails and you can show that you are both suitable and motivated, I believe you stand a good chance.
“Apart from hosting the M&A days as a committee member, did you take part in any FSR events as a participant?”
Yes, last year I applied for the Financial Business Cycle (FBC), and I took part in the International Banking Cycle (IBC) last September. I participated on the days of Deutsche Bank, Barclays, Citigroup, Nomura, and Morgan Stanley. The IBC days gave me insight into the world of investment banking, an area of finance that I also take a particular interest in. The IBC was able to give a complete view of what investment banking entails, an event I would therefore highly recommend any finance student to attend.
“How was participating in an event different from organizing an event?”
As a committee member, you have to engage with the parties on a deeper level. This means understanding the practical side of their industry, knowing how the firms operate, and making sure that the companies get a group of qualified and interested students. As a large part of organizing depends on communicating with members of the companies, it offers you the ability to get to know current employees in both a formal and informal manner.
“Why did you choose this particular committee and what were some highs and lows of organizing the M&A days?”
Well as I said I have taken an interest in M&A for quite some time now, so it seemed a logical step for me to apply for this committee. I have enjoyed organizing the M&A days in general but perhaps my favorite moments were the days when we visited the offices of Oaklins and Nielen Schuman. The firms were apt in showing their deep knowledge of the industry and the unique sides of their investment strategies. Also, the spirited interactions following the presentations and case studies were something that stood out to me.
“Did you encounter any problems during the week?”
As with any event, unforeseen consequences can occur. The event took place in the infamous period when Covid was still relatively active. This resulted in a lot of last minute cancellations, and even though we had a list of additional candidates we still had to find new suitable candidates on relatively short notice.
“How do you look back at your time at the FSR?”
With great fondness. With around thirty active members in total, you get to know a lot of new faces. The FSR hosts a lot of fun informal activities such as drinks and the well-known “Actievenweekend”, but is at the same time an environment of high-performance people. You meet a lot of intelligent and competitive people who are seriously interested in the world of finance. I would talk with fellow active members about their internships or business courses and further career plans. This offered me some valuable insights as I got to hear from practical experiences. This serious side combined with the parties and the trips provided me with the perfect balance.
“Can you tell us something about what you are doing now?”
During my study Financial Economics, I set up a business called “Merch Mate” with a buddy of mine. We create custom merchandise for clients and I have been working on that business intensely for the past 1.5 -2 years. In May I started as an M&A intern at CFI and just recently started a new position as an intern at ING.
“What role did the FSR play in your current occupation?”
Well, especially the last year has been a series of stepping stones from position to position. When I look back I can trace back the start of that journey to an FSR event. After applying for the Financial Business Cycle I received a call from CFI. As a result of a good conversation with one of their analysts, I got invited for a job interview as an intern, which ultimately marked the start of my experience in the world of finance. So apart from the insights that I gained as a committee member, the roots of my career can be traced back to the FSR.