#35 Cheran Ketheesuran | On The Journey To Banking and Consulting Graduate Roles

#35 Cheran Ketheesuran | On The Journey To Banking and Consulting Graduate Roles

Today's guest is seriously impressive. Β 

Despite being a university student, he has worked in both private equity and investment banking.

Next year, he's starting in management consulting.

In this week's episode, we hear about what it takes to land these roles, but also the doubts and struggles that arise along the way.

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Cheran Ketheesuran is in his final year of commerce and law at the University of Sydney. He’s a former Investment Banking intern at Macquarie, current investment intern at OIF Ventures and incoming graduate at McKinsey.

🀝 Connect with Cheran


πŸ‘‡ Episode Takeaways

Cover Letter

Cheran writes terrific cover letters. He says that in your cover letter, you need to answer three key questions

  1. why this company?
  2. why this industry?
  3. why you?
if you can answer all three of those questions, to some degree of specificity and passion, then you automatically put yourself in the top 1-5% of applicants

Cheran says that questions 2 and 3 will remain very similar between companies. The biggest way to impress is to have a good answer to "why this company?".

The key is to make sure you have something very specific to share.

80% of candidates will look on the website, they might cite the mission of the company, which is still a lot more than a lot of candidates do, but finding a really specific reason why you want to work at that company is super important.

To get good results, get specific.


So we've heard how Cheran structured his cover letter. How about his Resume?

Cheran shares that he used the following sections

  • education
  • professional experience
  • leadership and extracurriculars
  • skills and interests

Within these sections, he mentioned two principles that we should follow.

1/ Quantify Everything

Anytime you have a number for something, use it.

if you've screened companies, don't just say "screened companies across the e-commerce sector in APAC" say, "personally screened 50 companies or a hundred "

Using numbers in your resume is powerful.

2/ Personal Impact

Make sure to state what you actually did as part of teams you've worked in.

teamwork questions aren't about the team they're actually about you and how you work in the team. So you need to focus a lot on what your specific role is

Uncover your personal impact and make sure this is clear both on your resume and when you are asked behavioural questions in your interview.

3/ Interests: The Most Important Line

Cheran shared that the line of interests in your resume is the most important. He shared with us a story of how in his final McKinsey interview, he ended up speaking about one of his interests, Longevity, for 15 minutes.

It's important to make sure that you are confident speaking at length about whatever you put on your resume, even your interests. Β 

Decision Journal

Something that Cheran mentioned that I really liked was the idea of a Decision Journal.

Cheran's process of choosing his graduate role was very comprehensive. He took six weeks of speaking to current and former employees to make his decision. All of his work was documented in his decision journal.

Keeping records like this is a fantastic way to keep track of why you made certain decisions and provides a great resource to reflect on if you feel differently about that decision in the future.

There's Always Someone Better

This idea is something that Cheran and I spoke about, and something that's been on my mind recently.

When you look at impressive people, it is very easy to feel down about your own accomplishments.

If someone is able to achieve so much, what does that say about me?

Seeing someone doing things better than ourselves shines a light on our smaller and seemingly less 'good' accomplishments.

It can be hard to deal with these feelings.

What is comforting, is knowing that everyone deals with this. Even high performers like Cheran.

In these moments, I have found it helpful to keep in mind that we are all on our own journeys. None is better than the other. We all come from different backgrounds, do things in different ways, and have different goals and desires.

It's difficult to stop comparing yourself to others.

One quote I love and that helps to ground me in situations such as these is:

Comparison is the thief of joy

Don't let comparison ruin your day. Let us be grateful and joyous for the things that we have.

πŸ“ Content Timestamps

00:00 Cheran Ketheesuran
00:44 Cheran's Intro to Finance
04:23 The Finance Job Process
07:46 Cheran Missing Winters
11:06 How to prepare for IB Internships
20:01 How did Cheran prepare more for Summer
27:16 Importance of your Network
33:27 The value of university clubs in creating connections
35:46 Common areas in job applications that people get stuck on
40:10 Cheran's Biggest Learning
44:49 Cheran's failure that ended up being a success
51:23 The Post Interview Decision Process
58:53 What questions did Cheran ask in his post-offer decision process?
1:02:40 What drives Cheran
1:06:24 Cheran's Advice
1:10:33 Where to contact Cheran
1:11:34 Outro