What does one have to do to land a successful job in the financial hubs around America? Many graduates dream of working at large investment firms or big banks, promising high salaries and job satisfaction. While these careers might be lucrative, it takes endless determination to get in and even harder work once you land the job. These careers sometimes demand 6 day working weeks, sometimes up to 80 hours per week during deals. We met up with one professional, David Dardashti, who has worked in the industry for over 20 years, talked about his journey, and asked for any insider tips.
The head of our interviewing team, Samuel, conducted this brief interview with David, consisting of his personal life, accomplishments, and hobbies. Below is the transcript our team provided, which took place in David’s primary Chicago office;
Samuel: “How did you get to where you are today? What is your story?”
David: “I was raised in Iran and fled with my family at the age of 12 due to the results of the Iranian Revolution. This was because of the racist intentions of people in power and life in America was much more promising. Upon arriving in Chicago as a young teen, I was inspired by the skyscrapers in the city and told myself I wanna work there when I get older. It was just hard work since then.”
Samuel: “I’ve read other articles about you and have taken notice of the value you place on your education. Can you speak about that?”
David: “Of course! I do regard my education very highly. I attended the University of California Berkeley and earned my degree in economics, graduating with the class of 98’. While I learned so much academically, I accredit my social and networking skills to UC Berkeley as well. It was an amazing place to learn and grow and I wouldn’t trade the experience for the world.”
Samuel: “How did you land a job in the financial district here? We all know it has been very competitive for decades.”
David: “I worked hard for a high GPA in college and made sure these companies knew I had a passion for finance and the drive to work hard. One resource that I see many people look over is their Alumni network. The internet was not as big of a place when I was job searching as it is now, but I was able to find Alumni at companies I was applying to and asked for interviews. That helped me meet people and tell them why I believe I was a great fit for their company.”
Samuel: “What advice do you have for recent graduates looking for a job in your field?”
David: “I believe a big aspect of landing a good first job has to do with numbers. While it is unlikely you will get hired at your dream first choice, applying to 15 different positions you can see yourself at and weighing each option is much smarter. I got rejected at multiple places before getting to where I am now so I wouldn’t be scared of rejection and would instead apply to as many places as you can see yourself grow.”
Samuel: “What do you do in your free time outside your time from work? Any interesting hobbies?”
David: “A big part of my job is being in an office or at a computer for most of the day, so when I’m not at work, I try to enjoy the outdoors. I do this through photography, golf, or simply taking walks. I love spending time with my wife and two daughters and we take trips whenever possible.”
Samuel: “Thank you for your time David, I know you are busy so we’ll leave you to your work.”
David: “Anytime, I hope that was insightful.”
What we learned about David Dardashti is that he is a hardworking family man that didn’t have success handed to him. Instead, he emphasizes networking at UC Berkeley and how he’s giving it his all at whatever he has done. As for the financial district, it’s still a great part of Chicago’s economy and David encourages new prospects to interview at as many places as they can to find the right fit for them.
Follow David on twitter@DavidDardashti_: