Welcome to the blog for the Villanova English department! Visit often for updates on department events, guest speakers, faculty and student accomplishments, and reviews and musings from professors and undergraduates alike.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Nick Miller: Interviewing at Blackstone

What you learn in English courses can be surprisingly useful in unexpected situations.  Last spring, Nick Miller, a finance major with a minor in English who was looking for job offers or an internship in the financial services industry, interviewed with Blackstone, a leading investment firm.

As Nick explains:
“I was interviewing for a summer analyst position in the firm’s alternative asset management department that would have me working with the legal team by reading contracts, documenting compliance procedures, and assessing business risks associated with their hedge fund platform.  For weeks I prepared myself for a menagerie of technical financial questions that I would surely face.  But as the questioning began, I quickly realized that I wasn’t granted an interview because of my business background; no, they wanted someone with an English background for this prestigious financial position.  In fact, I wasn’t asked one question about my understanding of financial markets or asset management.  Instead, they wanted to know my favorite authors and literary periods and took plenty of notes on my linguistic skills.  As my five interviewers later explained, the job market has become too saturated with business-minded people whose lack of communication skills bill them as incompetent employees.  In their words, it would be easier to train someone to do his/her technical duties than to teach him/her how to read, write, and speak.
Ultimately, I decided that the position was not a good fit for me and withdrew.  I cannot say whether or not I will even end up pursuing a career in finance or law.  But I am sure that no matter where I end up, all of the skills that I have developed through Villanova's English Department will certainly play a crucial role.”

Nick Miller