3/9/11

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Comments (49)

Best Response
3/9/11

You never give up, but you have a Plan A, Plan B, etc lined up. At some point, you start devoting more energy to Plan B, Plan C, etc and less to Plan A.

Life is a game of Manhattan Paths. If a light doesn't change for you right now, you can always go in the perpendicular direction and make progress.

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3/9/11

Where is Jimmy Valvano when you need him

3/9/11

You should never really give up, just do something on the side that pays the bills (like your current job) until you're able to get something you like.

Regarding biz school, I read an article that was posted here a little while ago that discusses how the adcoms like to see people who have done ordinary jobs in an extraordinary manner...so you shouldn't count yourself out. And since you're working BO, must mean you have nights & weekends free, so use that time very wisely to buld a good story.

  • gnicholas
  •  3/9/11
In reply to Buster McGillicudy
3/9/11
Buster McGillicudy:

Where is Jimmy Valvano when you need him

haha seriously, when I hear that guy today it still gives me a shiver...awesome stuff

3/9/11

When you die.

Valor is of no service, chance rules all, and the bravest often fall by the hands of cowards. - Tacitus

Dr. Nick Riviera: Hey, don't worry. You don't have to make up stories here. Save that for court!

In reply to El_Mono
3/9/11
El_Mono:

When you die.

That's the mentality.

3/9/11

I was in a similar position but with a much shittier job. I was working for the Local government making absolute dogshit money ($15.61/hr to be exact) and I had many days when I felt that I was never going to get another job. I had a few interviews with I banks and some other firms and felt I did well but nothing ever panned out. Finally, two weeks ago I accepted an offer with a boutique consulting firm. While not my ideal position it certainly beats the hell out of what I was doing.
Bottom line: Never stop believing. The only way you won't be able to leave your current job is if you up hope and quit trying to get another job. I know it sucks now but giving up will only solidify your position in the back office. Don't let your age or anyone else hold you back from doing what you want to do.

3/9/11

When I feel like giving up, I stop feeling like that and be awesome instead.

True story.

I was going to preface that with something insightful, but it has all been said.

Time is the most important commodity. Use it wisely.

- Bulls make money. Bears make money. Pigs get slaughtered.
- The harder you work, the luckier you become.
- I believe in the "Golden Rule": the man with the gold rules.

3/9/11

BankerC159
One thing that I think helped me a lot throughout my search was I put less and less importance on each interview. At the beginning of my search I would get really excited and do all the things they tell you to do: read the guides, look at the website, etc. etc. I think placing the extra emphasis on it didn't allow me to really come through as myself in the interview and ultimately led me to getting rejected an awful lot after the phone interview/2nd round interview. I noticed when I loosened up and let my personality come through I was able to get a lot more final round interviews and I finally got an offer after searching for the better part of 2 years. Believe me I know it sucks. Feel free to PM me if you want to discuss further.

3/9/11

"Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplacable spark. In the hopeless swamps of the not quite, the not yet, and the not at all, do not let the hero in your soul perish and leave only frustration for the life you deserved, but never have been able to reach. The world you desire can be won, it exists, it is real, it is possible, it is yours."

Hang in there bro, you'll get there.

People like Coldplay and voted for the Nazis, you can't trust people Jeremy

3/9/11

some of the best senior bankers I know couldnt make the street before they eventually got in

keep your head up and keep going

its a marathon not a race

3/9/11
In reply to Ske7ch
3/9/11
Ske7ch:

When I feel like giving up, I stop feeling like that and be awesome instead.

True story.

I was going to preface that with something insightful, but it has all been said.

Time is the most important commodity. Use it wisely.

How I Met Your Mother: Love that show, no matter how cheesy it may be

Jorge:

"Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplacable spark. In the hopeless swamps of the not quite, the not yet, and the not at all, do not let the hero in your soul perish and leave only frustration for the life you deserved, but never have been able to reach. The world you desire can be won, it exists, it is real, it is possible, it is yours."

Hang in there bro, you'll get there.

Ayn Rand? Great quote

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IB Templates, M&A, LBO, Valuation.

Wall St. Interview Secrets Revealed

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3/9/11

There are 4 of big 4. If you haven't already, try talking to the other 3. If you were good enough on paper for one, I assume you could interview with the other three (since they're all the same). By your fourth interview I'm sure you'll be relaxed.
Although, structured finance is probably a tougher niche to get into with them. However, they seem to all be hiring right now for various advisory positions in big markets, i.e transaction services, M&A, etc. Perhaps one of those gigs would be step in the right direction out of the BO. Or at least it could help your case for better B school after two years. I am in a similar boat in that I chose the awesome career path of public accounting which regulates most to a life of BO. I am planning my escape to be through transactions services.

In reply to metalmoses
3/9/11
metalmoses:

some of the best senior bankers I know couldnt make the street before they eventually got in

keep your head up and keep going

its a marathon not a race

Really? if so that is truly inspiring

3/9/11
DontMakeMeShortYou:

Ayn Rand? Great quote

Yeah, from Atlas Shrugged.

DontMakeMeShortYou:
Ske7ch:

When I feel like giving up, I stop feeling like that and be awesome instead.

True story.

How I Met Your Mother: Love that show, no matter how cheesy it may be

lol was wondering why this was so familiar.

People like Coldplay and voted for the Nazis, you can't trust people Jeremy

3/9/11

When to give up? NEVER!

Dude, seriously. I graduated May 2009, no offers and only two interviews of substance in my last semester, didn't get a job until April 2010. Yes it sucks, but you got to keep pushing. I picked up a job as a financial advisor with the intent to mainly 1) pay the bills, and 2) do something while I keep looking for what I really want.

Fast forward since April 2010, I went from literally earning less than my state's minimum wage (seriously, starting as a retail advisor sucks) to now something pretty decent (same company), and I've had informational interviews with MDs at high-end boutiques (think Greenhill, Sandler O'Neill, Evercore kind of level), met monty09 and those guys in person at Energy Rodeo--by the way, definitely go to that if they do another one--and had a for real interview not too long ago.

I don't say all of that to brag, since I have a lot more still that I need to accomplish, but just to show you that failures in the past have absolutely no bearing on what you can do tomorrow. At least you have a job, where I had to start unemployed. I am thinking about doing the MBA route myself; that may be a good option if you can slay the GMAT.

3/9/11

don't sweat it, sometimes the long way there is the better way there

3/9/11

Yeah just building on what I said previously I was the same way. I thought one job would completely change my life and who I am. I think over the course of the search I realized jobs come and go and they don't really define who you are as a person. We put all this pressure on ourselves to compete against our friends and classmates and people on these boards but in the end if that defines you as a person, you are in a pretty sad state of affairs. I think its hard to put things in perspective but I'm sure 5-10 years down the road you will look back and realize you got all worked up over nothing.

One thing I struggled with was just remaining confident in myself. There were several times I questioned why I even tried and thought maybe I was just not good enough. I know its tough but if you don't believe in yourself who will?

3/10/11

I was in the same position as you till eventually a personal contact who is a banker in an emerging market local bank with an IBD helped me get an unpaid internship, which eventually led to a paid full time role. Despite all the above disadvantages I enjoyed it alot more than my BB BO job in London. Just been accepted to a top tier international MBA and sitting CFA level I in June. I'm sure my experience will pay off and help get me where I want. You have the right approach with Plan A,B,C....X.
Your timing is unforunate, nothing you can do about that. The next bull is just around the corner, and you'll look back on these days and be glad you didn't stop trying. Perhaps most importantly you already know what you want to do. It took me a few more years and a couple of career switches to figure that part out.

3/10/11

You might not like your current position, but you can always adjust your sail to reach your destination.
Pal, you need patience and perseverance to succeed. Nothing beats perseverance. You don't give up in the fight for your "future", just change your strategy and the way you approach things. At home we like to say " we have lost the battle, but we haven't lost the war." If you don't have perseverance in your vein, you will soon lose the war, but you don't want that to happen. Do you?

Oui!oui!oui! Money Gives Power, Power Buys Positions

3/10/11

Never give up. Just take something else in the meantime, if need be.

3/10/11

Never give up, never surrender! Keep doing what you're doing, get those interviews lined up, prep as you've done before and with more practice you'll gain that extra edge that will keep you cool when you're interviewing. Just think, the worst thing that can happen is they say no... they're probably losing out if they do.

Just do what I did when I was looking for a job out of college last year... before I walked out the door to go to the interview I would practice my opening line (the first crucial 10 seconds) in the mirror until I felt very comfortable saying/looking it (the smile, the handshake, the facial expression etc.). When I got into the interview, I usually answered all the questions well but then tried to steer the convo in another direction, make it a true conversation, not a Q&A. What's the difference? You find things that are relatable to discuss and unless the other person is from Mars, you will find one topic you can explore together and go down that thread until something else pops up. Look around their office and see anything that is interesting that you'd like to know more/ask about.

Bottom line: confidence is key! If you believe you will get the job, chances are, the interviewer will have an easier time believing it too. Good luck!

3/10/11

I'm in a similar situation (minus knowing if I actually want to work in finance, but I was going to post something very similar to this last night ). All i can say is definitely don't give up if this is what you really want to do. If you know this is where you wanna be I don't think there is anything that should stop you from moving forward.

In reply to Jorgé
3/10/11
Jorge:

"Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplacable spark. In the hopeless swamps of the not quite, the not yet, and the not at all, do not let the hero in your soul perish and leave only frustration for the life you deserved, but never have been able to reach. The world you desire can be won, it exists, it is real, it is possible, it is yours."

Hang in there bro, you'll get there.

Relevant to this thread... I went from an FO job at a crappier BB to an MO job at GS (they kind of tricked me, made it sound like it wasn't MO, but oh it was). I thought I was F'ed for life at that point and stuck in the MO. I used to carry this quote around with me in my wallet when I was there to keep my spirits up when I was working the soul crushing GS hours but I knew I didn't have an FO bonus coming to me. I eventually got out of that rut, and you will too. Just keep at it, and you will prevail. I didn't get to where I am (at a hedge fund) by the traditional route either, and you know what? I got to enjoy most of my 20's, and I wouldn't trade a lot of those memories for ANY amount of money in the world.

In reply to Jorgé
3/10/11
Jorge:

"Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplacable spark. In the hopeless swamps of the not quite, the not yet, and the not at all, do not let the hero in your soul perish and leave only frustration for the life you deserved, but never have been able to reach. The world you desire can be won, it exists, it is real, it is possible, it is yours."

That's an Ayn Rand quote? That's beautiful, so why do people keep saying she's a "horrible" writer/stylist?

In reply to econ
3/10/11
econ:

That's an Ayn Rand quote? That's beautiful, so why do people keep saying she's a "horrible" writer/stylist?

The same reason some smart kids get Bs in English. Because she isn't in favor with the literary critics. (Likely as a result of her political views.)

In reply to IlliniProgrammer
3/10/11
IlliniProgrammer:
econ:

That's an Ayn Rand quote? That's beautiful, so why do people keep saying she's a "horrible" writer/stylist?

The same reason some smart kids get Bs in English. Because she isn't in favor with the literary critics. (Likely as a result of her political views.)

That's exactly what I figured. I just wanted someone to say it. Thanks Illini.

3/10/11

I'm in a very similar situation to you OP and I've felt the same way before. Like everybody else said, don't give up. You'll regret it for the rest of your life.

In reply to econ
3/10/11
econ:
Jorge:

"Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplacable spark. In the hopeless swamps of the not quite, the not yet, and the not at all, do not let the hero in your soul perish and leave only frustration for the life you deserved, but never have been able to reach. The world you desire can be won, it exists, it is real, it is possible, it is yours."

That's an Ayn Rand quote? That's beautiful, so why do people keep saying she's a "horrible" writer/stylist?

Well... that was the gem of that 1300+ page beast, and if I remember right, that was part of an 10 page speech given by the main character (John Galt) in the story that was pretty much the climax of the book.

I don't know if you have heard this quote: "Take a million monkeys, have them poke a typewriter long enough, and Shakespeare will come out." So yeah, over 1300 pages, some gems did get in there.

I don't dislike Rand, I just feel that her books would have been twice as good if they were half as long. Atlas Shrugged, in particular just became repetitive after awhile.

In reply to Jorgé
3/11/11
Jorge:

"Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplacable spark. In the hopeless swamps of the not quite, the not yet, and the not at all, do not let the hero in your soul perish and leave only frustration for the life you deserved, but never have been able to reach. The world you desire can be won, it exists, it is real, it is possible, it is yours."

Hang in there bro, you'll get there.

awesome quote.... + 1 SB

3/21/11

well while it is nice and encouraging to hear the words... don't give up / keep going, shouldn't he re-strategize? I am also in a similar boat and have been looking with no luck. With 2 years out of undergrad, seems exponentially unlikely that companies will look at us 'non-seniors' for analyst positions.

I've also heard a lot about applying to b-school. But realistically, schools take students who have 5 years of exp on average and only having 2 or 3 years of exp doesn't look phenomenal. Besides slaying the gmat, also need to get good recommendations and activities that make you stand-out.... sounds just as hard / maybe harder than getting into an ibank.

don't want to come out as a debbie downer but just encouraging for people, esp who have been in such gutter, to share their gettaway from quicksand

3/21/11

I almost feel like giving up too
I don't even know where to apply anymore
There are only a handful of consulting firms with a line of business that I'm interested in and financial firms don't look at me seriously
I'm stuck in this dead end job, not sure what my career path is

3/21/11

Well, if you want to do IBD, you are kinda screwed without an MBA. But if you want to do trading, the cool thing is that anyone who saves up $500 to open a brokerage account and is not restricted by their firm's compliance policies (ironically, you have a huge advantage if you don't work for a bank) can trade.

I would recommend focusing on being the best you can be in your existing line of work, thrifting like crazy, and saving money up for a brokerage account. If you can really get the 5-10% alpha it takes to be a good trader, you'll see your invested assets grow a lot faster, until one day you find yourself needing a Bloomberg machine and then traders to help you manage your book. Then you can tell all of us that we were idiots for not hiring you and that we can all go to hell. :D

In reply to runthetown
3/21/11
runthetown:

I almost feel like giving up too
I don't even know where to apply anymore
There are only a handful of consulting firms with a line of business that I'm interested in and financial firms don't look at me seriously
I'm stuck in this dead end job, not sure what my career path is

If you can save 25% of your income, there is no such thing as a dead end job. Cash in a democratic capitalist country (which IMHO, despite all of the rhetoric, we still are) is the purest form of freedom that exists. It's the freedom to take risks on the market. The freedom to stop working or switch jobs.

Don't get depressed- just keep working hard and saving money and one day, your job will matter less than your dividends.

In reply to IlliniProgrammer
3/21/11
IlliniProgrammer:

Well, if you want to do IBD, you are kinda screwed without an MBA. But if you want to do trading, the cool thing is that anyone who saves up $500 to open a brokerage account and is not restricted by their firm's compliance policies (ironically, you have a huge advantage if you don't work for a bank) can trade.

I would recommend focusing on being the best you can be in your existing line of work, thrifting like crazy, and saving money up for a brokerage account. If you can really get the 5-10% alpha it takes to be a good trader, you'll see your invested assets grow a lot faster, until one day you find yourself needing a Bloomberg machine and then traders to help you manage your book. Then you can tell all of us that we were idiots for not hiring you and that we can all go to hell. :D

How doable is it to do something like this and succeed? Are there lots of people out there who've just successfully traded their own money and made a small fortune?

In reply to econ
3/21/11
econ:

How doable is it to do something like this and succeed? Are there lots of people out there who've just successfully traded their own money and made a small fortune?

Check out Zealllc.com. You've got some pretty darned smart market technicians there who never worked in banking and have made a lot of money on their own.

IMHO, this is a much better example of success than most of what you find in banking. They have nobody to answer to but the markets and their readers. They get to incessantly promote their political and religious values at work (just read the signature of any newsletter). They get to do their jobs from wherever the heck they want.

But the catch here is that getting to this point starts with hard work and thrift. If you can get 10% alpha, the market returns 6% net of inflation, and you can save 25% of your money every year, it is a mathematical certainty that you'll have 10 times your income saved up in 15 years.

Of course, the market's rate of return is never certain, but the point is that if the market continues to post returns like it has for the past 80 years, it's definitely possible.

6/28/11
6/30/11

Jimmy V would be proud!

In reply to Mzz
12/1/11
Mezz:

You should never really give up, just do something on the side that pays the bills (like your current job) until you're able to get something you like.

Regarding biz school, I read an article that was posted here a little while ago that discusses how the adcoms like to see people who have done ordinary jobs in an extraordinary manner...so you shouldn't count yourself out. And since you're working BO, must mean you have nights & weekends free, so use that time very wisely to buld a good story.

I'm so glad to find this post as I totally see myself currently in the same situation of getting stuck in BO. I wasn't lucky enough to get FO interviews but as you guys said, I should and will keep sending resumes.
Just wondering one thing though... I heard that the longer one stays in BO, the harder it's going to be for him/her to make the move as the BO label is already on his/her profile. It sounds like a dilemma... I definitely don't want to get stuck for too long (I graduated late 2009 and have been on my current job at a big custodian bank for almost 2 years), but I have my bills to pay too. My question is, should I take the risk and quit now, so that I can spend time networking and studying financial modeling, instead of being a 9-to-5 macro-runner? I would really appreciate your advice...

12/1/11

I graduated in 08 and worked in a big custodian bank for 3 years. I'm currently doing an Msc in Finance in continental Europe. I've had three first round interviews for SA positions in S&T but so far, no beans. I would advise against simply quitting. The gap on your resume won't look good and you have time to build skills on the side. My advice would be to network and/or go to grad school to get a do-over. M7 MBAs are a tough nut to crack coming from custody and 5 years in that field would make most people lose their minds.
I'm hoping I can start a 'Thanks WSO' thread soon but the reality is I've been looking for an FO position for 4 years and it's been brutal. But I'm never giving up on this, never. Good luck dude.

In reply to GoodBread
12/10/11
GoodBread:

I graduated in 08 and worked in a big custodian bank for 3 years. I'm currently doing an Msc in Finance in continental Europe. I've had three first round interviews for SA positions in S&T but so far, no beans. I would advise against simply quitting. The gap on your resume won't look good and you have time to build skills on the side. My advice would be to network and/or go to grad school to get a do-over..

I'm drunk as shit, and my advice should be taken with a grain of salt otherwise -- but you need to ask yourself: What do I want to do long-term?" If your only goal in life is making it into IB, then I have complete confidence that you will make it. If you are willing to continue networking, go back to school, etc., then you will all make it happen. The real question is whether being an i-banking analyst is worth it in the short-term, given your long-term goals and preferences. At 22, you might want to be an IB partner -- but is that what you imagine wanting to be at 42? That's a key question to ask yourself...

In reply to econ
12/10/11
econ:
GoodBread:

I graduated in 08 and worked in a big custodian bank for 3 years. I'm currently doing an Msc in Finance in continental Europe. I've had three first round interviews for SA positions in S&T but so far, no beans. I would advise against simply quitting. The gap on your resume won't look good and you have time to build skills on the side. My advice would be to network and/or go to grad school to get a do-over..

I'm drunk as shit, and my advice should be taken with a grain of salt otherwise -- but you need to ask yourself: What do I want to do long-term?" If your only goal in life is making it into IB, then I have complete confidence that you will make it. If you are willing to continue networking, go back to school, etc., then you will all make it happen. The real question is whether being an i-banking analyst is worth it in the short-term, given your long-term goals and preferences. At 22, you might want to be an IB partner -- but is that what you imagine wanting to be at 42? That's a key question to ask yourself...

Wow, being shitfaced should be a prerequisite for posting on this site, at least for you. Good stuff.

12/10/11

Never, ever give up. MSc Finance -- Europe. MBA. It's your friends and advocates who will give you your dream job, not a resume drop or OCR.

12/10/11

My long-term goal isn't IB, but running my own global macro fund. Short of that, trading my own money would do but getting to the point where that's enough to feed me is the issue.

In reply to MP80
3/30/15

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3/30/15
3/30/15

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