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-poor recruiting
-have to explain my choice of uni in interviews
-relying on grad school to help rebrand myself
-morons at my school think because i worked at GM in the summer I was assembling cars.........really. i was an analyst for one of the depts

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Comments (79)

  • stc's picture

    Its not a big deal. Why do you care what your friends think? My good friends have no idea what I am going in to. Yea it absolutely sucks for recruiting but if you want to do banking then you make it work. If you don't get it on the first time then you graduate and network. Stop worrying about anyone else but yourself. If you know what you wanna do then go for it.

  • streetwannabe's picture

    Non-target is absolutely terrible. Not sure what is below non-target besides CC, but trust me, my school is borderline. Kids at my school (in finance major may I remind you) think that if you work at Morgan Stanley or Goldman Sachs that you automatically work in IBD.

    However, is the point of this thread to commiserate? Or what?

    "History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme."

  • ytinifni's picture

    At my school (Canada), 95% of the kids in finance (there's a couple hundred) don't actually know what investment banking is. Do I give a shit? No. Did I get an internship at one of the Canadian banks for this summer? Yes.

    You need to understand that a good firm, a profitable firm, and an attractive stock investment can be 3 unrelated things. -Epicurean Dealmaker

  • above_and_beyond's picture

    Hang in there buddy. It's hard to get into banking coming from a non target, but it is far from impossible.

    Just try to get a near perfect GPA and do as many internships as possible. The amount and quality of internships was the dealbreaker for me. I did nearly twice as much internships as all the other students I know, but ultimately it was worth the hustle.

    Coming from a non target, it is hard to get a decent first internship, hence you have to "work yourself up". I started at a regional office of a tier 2 bank in corporate banking for my first internship, then did Big4 Audit, Big4 M&A, boutique M&A and ultimately landed a gig at an elite boutique in M&A. Since a few months, I'm an analyst at this particular elite boutique and landed offers from a few BBs as well.

    In the first week on the job, it is kind of awkward when someone in the office asks you where you went to college and you're from an absolute non target while everyone else went to top institutions , but after that, the non-target stigma disappears and your performance counts.

    Good luck.

  • jktecon's picture

    Great; kill yourself then? Like seriously what the hell are you doing. I'm not going to divulge my background but I came from a "nontarget" and have done decently.

    And for all future and current nontargets, please note the paradox of nontargetry: The reason your school is a nontarget is because students (such as the OP) are too busy complaining about how nontarget their university is rather than preparing for their future. Employers hire students from everywhere. They rehire predominantly from where there previous efforts have been successful.

    Are you willing to work hard enough to make your University a target in the future? Or will you still be complaining about how nontarget it was?

    TLDR: STFU and do it yourself

  • FranciscoDAnconia's picture

    Should've worked harder in HS then. Now stop being a bitch and put in double the amount of effort to break in.

  • CountryUnderdog's picture

    You think you hate it now. Just wait till you get out in the real world / b-school and you're surrounded by Harvard degrees who look down upon you like you're white trash. It sucks.

    "They are all former investment bankers that were laid off in the economic collapse that Nancy Pelosi caused. They have no marketable skills, but by God they work hard."

  • smallmoneygrower's picture

    hey Im a junior at eastern Michigan University and I know Im going to be under scrutinization in every interview but while Im in school I think the best credentials would be to form a corporate entity manage the funds and have those records for every interview. In this position your skills are more evident and open to less debate

  • In reply to FranciscoDAnconia
    smallmoneygrower's picture

    FranciscoDAnconia:
    Should've worked harder in HS then. Now stop being a bitch and put in double the amount of effort to break in.

    Thats basically what I meant without the homoerotic tone of a frustrated and legally restricted Penn State coach like this guy yea I went there. This guy is rude and harsh like being at a b school surrounded by future drew carey middle management obsessed with keggers isnt hard enough. Chin up kiddo :)
  • In reply to smallmoneygrower
    triplectz's picture

    smallmoneygrower:
    FranciscoDAnconia:
    Should've worked harder in HS then. Now stop being a bitch and put in double the amount of effort to break in.

    Thats basically what I meant without the homoerotic tone of a frustrated and legally restricted Penn State coach like this guy yea I went there. This guy is rude and harsh like being at a b school surrounded by future drew carey middle management obsessed with keggers isnt hard enough. Chin up kiddo :)

    What?

  • smallmoneygrower's picture

    being at a standard b school where the focus is not upper management is hard. The majority of the student body is not focused on portfolio analysis and most of the classes are broad in topic with no specfic focus in an area required for out of college work. I found that even calculus is really not helpful when it comes to the analyzation of a companies stock performance hell most of the quadratics and parabola formulas have no real life applications. If you combine that with the fact that the student body will realize the closer you get to graduation that your are going to school to learn how to rule over them you might run into some weird social interactions every time people find out that what I study affects every thing from grocery prices to pension funds they either kiss my ass or hate me or both. Hell people dont even use the term stockbroker anymore because it has negative connotations. And in these days every aspect of life requires a degree so imagine if you can interecting with future blue collar wall street proteseters every day.

  • In reply to smallmoneygrower
    smallmoneygrower's picture

    triplectz:
    smallmoneygrower:
    FranciscoDAnconia:
    Should've worked harder in HS then. Now stop being a bitch and put in double the amount of effort to break in.

    Thats basically what I meant without the homoerotic tone of a frustrated and legally restricted Penn State coach like this guy yea I went there. This guy is rude and harsh like being at a b school surrounded by future drew carey middle management obsessed with keggers isnt hard enough. Chin up kiddo :)

    What?

    smallmoneygrower:
    being at a standard b school where the focus is not upper management is hard. The majority of the student body is not focused on portfolio analysis and most of the classes are broad in topic with no specfic focus in an area required for out of college work. I found that even calculus is really not helpful when it comes to the analyzation of a companies stock performance hell most of the quadratics and parabola formulas have no real life applications. If you combine that with the fact that the student body will realize the closer you get to graduation that your are going to school to learn how to rule over them you might run into some weird social interactions every time people find out that what I study affects every thing from grocery prices to pension funds they either kiss my ass or hate me or both. Hell people dont even use the term stockbroker anymore because it has negative connotations. And in these days every aspect of life requires a degree so imagine if you can interecting with future blue collar wall street proteseters every day.

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  • EtherBinge's picture

    I have a friend who just started getting serious with internships.

    He tells me his PWM internship will push him into GS IBD.

    Note: We're both seniors in our last semester.

  • In reply to EtherBinge
    smallmoneygrower's picture

    EtherBinge:
    I have a friend who just started getting serious with internships.

    He tells me his PWM internship will push him into GS IBD.

    Note: We're both seniors in our last semester.


    I cant wait till I have enough money to need someone working in Private wealth management so I can enjoy some recreation time. to need pwm does a person has to have tens of millions or hundreds of millions?
  • lasampdoria's picture

    Sucks

    "Those who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."- Benjamin Franklin

  • WellsNotice's picture

    I'm from a non-target and thoroughly enjoy telling my target school colleagues that I went to a state school best known for the party scene. The trick is to own it. Shouldn't have to apologize your whole life for not wanting to start your career massively in debt or not taking enough AP classes when you were 16 years old because you were worried about playing sports and getting to 3rd base with Emily from your chemistry class.

  • BTbanker's picture

    For the non targets who've been on here for a while, you should know the industry in and out.

    As long as you transfer to targets, and never speak of your school again, your alma mater will have no alumni and no donations.

    Meanwhile target schools get dozens of Wall Street alumni, along with hundreds of mills of their money.

  • ozymandias's picture

    Network. There must be someone from your school who has broken into the street before. Connect with them.

    Also, don't discount looking at middle market and boutique shops. If you can break in there, you can always try to leverage that for a BB job in the future. More important to do the work, get some transaction experience, and show that you enjoy it than to work for the "ideal" firm.

    "It doesn't matter where you are or where you came from: it's about where you're going."

  • In reply to ozymandias
    BepBep12's picture

    We've [non-targets] definitely all been in this place before... hating on your program for being shitty or w/e, but you can only go up from there, right?

    But don't be that douchebag [not saying anyone in this thread is] that complains about their school, but isn't really out there competing for IB 'gigs. Listen, as soon as anyone hears about IBD that's what they want to do, but if you're an idiot with a shitass GPA, garbage resume, no ECs, and only frat treasurer on there, go fuck yourself. I've heard it so many times at my UG non-target program "oh dude, I wanted IBD but since XYZ school doesn't get recruited its not fair" honestly most non-target UGs aren't even in the same fucking league as the majority of target students. Now I'm not saying that there aren't more than a few target students that get 'gifted' internships, but whatever that's not you and never will be. Just don't be the idiot that blames his/her program for not placing them when you can't even handle the most basic technicals or show up to class.

    My second point though:

    ozymandias:
    Network. There must be someone from your school who has broken into the street before. Connect with them.

    Also, don't discount looking at middle market and boutique shops. If you can break in there, you can always try to leverage that for a BB job in the future. More important to do the work, get some transaction experience, and show that you enjoy it than to work for the "ideal" firm.

    MMs and boutiques are just as challenging to break into and the interviews are more technical than BBs. Not sure why you are discounting them as an 'easier' way to break in.

    'Before you enter... be willing to pay the price'

  • In reply to EtherBinge
    MindOverMonkey's picture

    EtherBinge:
    I have a friend who just started getting serious with internships.

    He tells me his PWM internship will push him into GS IBD.

    Note: We're both seniors in our last semester.

    A BB PWM internship can get you to GS IBD from a non target. I've seen it happen.

  • nontargetPSD92's picture

    listen, it sucks. But stop bitching. Plenty of people hear have broken in out of total non-targets (myself included recently). There are a ton of success stories. If you don't break in, its not because you're parents weren't rich -- its because other kids were better than you. So get better than them, and then try again.

    every non-target should be hustling and grinding like a mother fucker. don't expect GS to come to your bumblefuck campus in Oklahoma.

    "Success means having the courage, the determination, and the will to become the person you believe you were meant to be"

  • LHDan's picture

    You need to do a 180 on your attitude. I'm sure it is very frustrating and you are frustrated with yourself for not trying harder and getting into a better school. But, at this point there is absolutely nothing you can do about that. All the energy you put into being upset and rehashing the past, saying "I wish I tried harder... blah blah blah" is energy you should be putting into making the most of your situation. You can't change the past, but you can take it as a lesson and work your ass off going forward to make up for it.

  • IlliniProgrammer's picture

    1.) Study engineering. (work)
    2.) Get hired into one of the better technology groups at a bank. (work)
    3.) Internal transfer to FO. (work)
    4.) Do a good job there. (work)
    5.) (Optional) Princeton/Stanford/CMU/Harvard MFin/MFE/MSCF/MBA, (don't forget your undergraduate roots) (work)

    I went to a state school for undergrad. It's tough. It's also infuriating to have to outwork and outperform the privileged to get anywhere. But you can't get down or discouraged about it. You have to apply that energy towards beating the system and ultimately changing the system.

    "I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us... if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently."
    -Paul the Apostle, Romans 8:18,25.
    (I am a Universalist giving a pep talk, not an evangelical proselytizing)

  • In reply to BepBep12
    ozymandias's picture

    ozymandias:
    Network. There must be someone from your school who has broken into the street before. Connect with them.

    Also, don't discount looking at middle market and boutique shops. If you can break in there, you can always try to leverage that for a BB job in the future. More important to do the work, get some transaction experience, and show that you enjoy it than to work for the "ideal" firm.

    MMs and boutiques are just as challenging to break into and the interviews are more technical than BBs. Not sure why you are discounting them as an 'easier' way to break in.[/quote]

    Fair enough. I actually had no experience interviewing/networking with BB's, but I did talk and interview with a few boutiques and MMs. My bigger point though is that it's easy to focus on trying to get a NY job with GS or JPM or Citi, but there are a ton of smaller shops that need people, often on an off-cycle basis. There are a ton of great banks out there. If you are serious about getting into the business, you have to play all the options.

    "It doesn't matter where you are or where you came from: it's about where you're going."

  • smallmoneygrower's picture

    hey no lie I have a friend who is in the investment banking profession and many of his contemporaries sold drugs and got involved with high stakes gambling while going to school. Look at Tim Sykes self made hedge fund manager all from Bar mitzvah money if I were you I might look into grouping together some local campus dealers (everyone's got em) into taking a chance on wall street with you at the helm and once youve made a decent "hillbilly bankroll' drop their asses go get all the finra liscensing you need and solicit currently employed peoples to open an IRA with you being the one with fiduciary responsibility short story start your own firm if you got the skills make a low salary have good credit a good mortgage and accept the same old boring rundown at the lowmax house every friday. Everybody isnt meant to be big time, but lets not forget before you get to small time there is a lot of medium time go and get you some of that baby and live it up.

  • Cries's picture

    legitpro:
    -poor recruiting
    -have to explain my choice of uni in interviews
    -relying on grad school to help rebrand myself
    -morons at my school think because i worked at GM in the summer I was assembling cars.........really. i was an analyst for one of the depts

    http://tinyurl.com/afdjylc
  • lasampdoria's picture

    "Those who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."- Benjamin Franklin

  • JDawg's picture

    I did my undergrad at a nontarget and am currently getting an Master's at a target. My advice to you is, take advantage of that undying motivation you have to prove yourself. Personally I was much more motivated in undergrad because I wanted it more, thought it was unattainable, and thought that it was the shit because all the Ivy League grads do it.

    Yes it's an uphill battle and a lot of people will give you shit for your school, but deep down you know that you're just as competent as the majority of those target kids. Life's not fair, but that's just how it is. Remember that alumni connections mean even more for you than they do for Targets since they'll understand your struggle.

    Also take advantage of not being overworked and going to a school with pretty girls.

    Most students at Target schools can be roughly categorized into two groups (1) Asian robots who've been preparing for college admissions since preschool and spent their summers since middle school doing stuff like volunteering at hospitals (for the aspiring med school students), research at universities, and interning at the Federal Reserve. (2) trust fund babies who've had everything handed to them and went to prep schools where half the graduating class went to Ivy League schools. Usually a legacy.

    Once you realize what it takes to get into a Target school, you'll no longer ascribe such high value to people who go to them.

  • coleslaw's picture

    Im in the same boat, was lazy and didnt want to work in highschool and now I am paying for it being at a non target. I have a high gpa, im working my ass off, and networking everyday and I have to believe it will pay off. Even at non-targets there are very smart people just like you, find them, stay motivated, and work hard. It will pay off.

    "Those who dare to fail miserably can achieve greatly"

  • In reply to smallmoneygrower
    smallmoneygrower's picture

    smallmoneygrower:
    hey no lie I have a friend who is in the investment banking profession and many of his contemporaries sold drugs and got involved with high stakes gambling while going to school. Look at Tim Sykes self made hedge fund manager all from Bar mitzvah money if I were you I might look into grouping together some local campus dealers (everyone's got em) into taking a chance on wall street with you at the helm and once youve made a decent "hillbilly bankroll' drop their asses go get all the finra liscensing you need and solicit currently employed peoples to open an IRA with you being the one with fiduciary responsibility short story start your own firm if you got the skills make a low salary have good credit a good mortgage and accept the same old boring rundown at the lowmax house every friday. Everybody isnt meant to be big time, but lets not forget before you get to small time there is a lot of medium time go and get you some of that baby and live it up.

    my idea is the best and most independently profitable

  • HostileTakeOver's picture

    legitpro:
    -poor recruiting
    -have to explain my choice of uni in interviews
    -relying on grad school to help rebrand myself
    -morons at my school think because i worked at GM in the summer I was assembling cars.........really. i was an analyst for one of the depts

    I'm not on this site for investment banking, so take my advice with a grain of salt. ;)

    I'm a Ph.D. student at an Ivy target, but came from a total nontarget undergrad. Having interacted with MANY undergrads at my current school, I honestly don't know what makes "target schools" a big deal. The undergrads where I am now are on par with those at my nontarget undergrad. In fact, if anything, the undergrads at my nontarget are probably better off in the long run because they actually care about learning and being great at something, whereas many Ivy undergrads I meet simply care about getting the 4.0.

    If you are getting asked about your undergrad, give them an honest answer but also show ways by which you're trying to push yourself to stand out. For example, some of my undergraduate peers participated in case competitions and not only competed against, but also beat, teams from Ivy's. Also, network, network network.

    Good luck

  • IlliniProgrammer's picture

    ^^^ Why not just borrow money from the mob instead?

  • In reply to WellsNotice
    D M's picture

    WellsNotice:
    I'm from a non-target and thoroughly enjoy telling my target school colleagues that I went to a state school best known for the party scene. The trick is to own it. Shouldn't have to apologize your whole life for not wanting to start your career massively in debt or not taking enough AP classes when you were 16 years old because you were worried about playing sports and getting to 3rd base with Emily from your chemistry class.

    Fuck yea, own that shit man.

    "You stop being an asshole when it sucks to be you." -IlliniProgrammer
    "Your grammar made me wish I'd been aborted." -happypantsmcgee

  • imnotamonkey's picture

    TL;DR play the cards you're dealt (more like dealt yourself but nothing you can do now). network, NEWORK, bust your ass, and own your interviews

    i'm from a nontarget myself and got offers from "top tier BB" NYC offices for my junior summer. i had nothing finance related during my sophomore summer, and startedwith 0 connections to anyone in finance. Networked my ass off, and leveraged my strengths.

    what are your strengths as a nontarget? find alumni in banks and realize they'll be willing to help you out because they probably went through the same thing. (obviously, some schools might not have alum in every bank/your top choice). in my case, the alums i contacted thru cold email/cold calling/meeting for coffee went to bat for me and helped push my resume through. (not guaranteed of course, but thats why i networked with people in various division, about 10 ppl per bank total)

    thats the most they can do. but now, you have the interview and have pretty much the exact same cards as everyone else that got interviews thru OCR. stop wasting time thinking about how screwed you are (because the only shot at being less screwed is by networking) and start searching for alumni email addresses. good luck.

  • In reply to ozymandias
    BepBep12's picture

    ozymandias:
    ozymandias:
    Network. There must be someone from your school who has broken into the street before. Connect with them.

    Also, don't discount looking at middle market and boutique shops. If you can break in there, you can always try to leverage that for a BB job in the future. More important to do the work, get some transaction experience, and show that you enjoy it than to work for the "ideal" firm.

    MMs and boutiques are just as challenging to break into and the interviews are more technical than BBs. Not sure why you are discounting them as an 'easier' way to break in.

    Fair enough. I actually had no experience interviewing/networking with BB's, but I did talk and interview with a few boutiques and MMs. My bigger point though is that it's easy to focus on trying to get a NY job with GS or JPM or Citi, but there are a ton of smaller shops that need people, often on an off-cycle basis. There are a ton of great banks out there. If you are serious about getting into the business, you have to play all the options.[/quote]

    Truth

    'Before you enter... be willing to pay the price'

  • Armada90's picture

    I went to a non target undergrad as well and ended up with the job that I wanted (i am currently getting my masters). My advice to you is to try and find a small, regional shop that you could finagle your way into, whether it's through finance professors that have connections in the area or a colder approach. The summer before going into senior year I decided not to leave town and network my dick off instead. Turned out to be worth it since I got a few months experience working at a small brokerage firm in multiple departments. Definitely improved my resume and revealed a lot about my character when I "sold" my story during interviews.

    One important thing that took me a while to learn is that if you don't put yourself out there, you're not going to reach anyone. You'd be surprised how quickly things can get moving if you just ask the right people.

    Obviously, this kind of depends on where you go to school (college town vs actual city).

  • Tupac's picture

    if you cant hustle you probably wouldnt do well in ibd or s&t anyways, if you can hustle its not too hard

  • In reply to Armada90
    ozymandias's picture

    Armada90:
    I went to a non target undergrad as well and ended up with the job that I wanted (i am currently getting my masters). My advice to you is to try and find a small, regional shop that you could finagle your way into, whether it's through finance professors that have connections in the area or a colder approach. The summer before going into senior year I decided not to leave town and network my dick off instead. Turned out to be worth it since I got a few months experience working at a small brokerage firm in multiple departments. Definitely improved my resume and revealed a lot about my character when I "sold" my story during interviews.

    One important thing that took me a while to learn is that if you don't put yourself out there, you're not going to reach anyone. You'd be surprised how quickly things can get moving if you just ask the right people.

    Obviously, this kind of depends on where you go to school (college town vs actual city).

    Definitely agree with you on looking at small regional shops. The disadvantage is that the deals probably won't be that big or newsworthy. There is a significant advantage though: the size of the deals means that you get to work on a ton of smaller deals and get really good transaction/industry experience. Was talking with an analyst at a MM a few months ago who had some experience working at a BB, and he told me that he would have maybe 2 M&A deals under his belt after 2 years at the BB versus 5-7 deals at the MM. Don't know if those numbers are typical, but it's illustrative nonetheless.

    "It doesn't matter where you are or where you came from: it's about where you're going."

  • Thurnis Haley's picture

    Stop crying. It's not gonna help you.

  • gvc1992's picture

    I go to a CSU and I tried to transfer out, but unfortunately i got into some personal issues that stopped my transfer. As many people said instead of bitching, why don't u think of your options. 1) network ur ass off. 2) get job as a audit at big 4, then move to transitions m & a, then go on from there. 3) get a MSF, MMS and then go to big 4 or IB, or any finance jobs. Keep your options open and god has a plan for u.

    G

  • gvc1992's picture

    and what did u write in ur resume? maybe if u explain what you did at GM then they won't think ur selling cars.

    G

  • gvc1992's picture

    finally read all the success stories on WSO, it gives u hope

    G

  • Thurnis Haley's picture

    Is this thread real?? I mean really. Between all of you with Harvard's cock in your mouth and the rest not writing in English, I don't know what's happening here. OP, start with step 1: Express your thoughts in complete sentences.

  • In reply to Tupac
    smallmoneygrower's picture

    Tupac:
    if you cant hustle you probably wouldnt do well in ibd or s&t anyways, if you can hustle its not too hard

    hustlers are great at business they know how to put off immediate monetary gradification for long term client loyalty. to translate they can live with getting minumum profit and making sure their clients are loyal happy and constantly know how to stroke egos in an business or private situation, that being said there is something to be said about the emotionless sociopaths the ones that ass ramm everyday at work and only care about profit no holidays matter they dont give a f*ck about your wife or how your kids are excelling in school you know the kind to one word f*ck you pay me kind either way you want both types of guys on your side because one will charm your pants off and the other will talk you into a predatory loan simply based on half disclosed facts to keep them on
  • ricky212's picture

    I'll be going to a bb S&T SA this summer. I'm from a complete non-target. Networking is your best friend.

    Because when you're in a room full of smart people, smart suddenly doesn't matter--interesting is what matters.

  • rpc's picture

    Non-target obviously makes it tougher but you make it more difficult due to your attitude and perceived work ethic. Realize you need to network + kill your classes + do finance work outside of class and you can get on the street.

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