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Hey guy's this is my first post and I'm looking for some advice on how to get into wall street via Boutique Banks. I currently am a transfer student at a non-target school with a very well respected business program (NIU) and major in Finance/Economics. My overall GPA is low because I did horrible at my previous school (around 2.0) so It currently sit's at about a 3.0. Now I have about a 3.7 for my last 60 hours and will have about a 3.9 gpa at my new school and a 4.0 in my finance/economics major. I think I'll graduate with about a 3.4 overall gpa with possibly a 4.0 in my last 60 hours.

So my question is basically how can I break into a boutique investment bank? Can I get a post graduate internship at one of the local banks or will I be a decent candidate for a job straight out? I have a long list of local banks that I plan on cold calling and trying to network myself into, do you guys think that is my best option?

I'd appreciate any help, I've made mistakes in my past but I will do whatever it takes to make up for them and get to Wall Street and eventually a top MBA.

Comments (18)

  • socola2003's picture

    Good majors, networking is your only option, cold calling from your school will get you nowhere since your school doesn't have brand with banks. Seek out alums who can daisy chain connect you with other people. You will undoubtedly need a top MBA, so also take and ace the GMAT (700+). If you still have no luck, consider a Mstrs in Financial Engineering or Mstrs Accounting programs to help build up your resume. If you want to get in and are dedicated, you will get in, it's not that complicated, and you'll be surprised at the level of ineptness and incompetence that pervades most banks.

  • aempirei's picture

    Without a IBD internship and so-so grades, you would not be a decent candidate for a job straight out of undergrad. Focus on networking and cold-calling those boutiques. Depending on how strong your alumni network is, your best bet is most likely going to be a boutique and from there trying to lateral to a MM or BB after 2 years.

    This is all knowledge I've picked up along the way reading these forums and doing my own research, so I'm sure someone else will have better info to add.

    My name is Nicky, but you can call me Dre.

  • Matthias's picture

    If you transferred in then your gpa should reset. Don't count the terrible grades you earned prior to transferring in your cum GPA calculation.

  • seabird's picture

    Firstly, this is not to knock the op. I love how people like socola recommend getting a "top mba" given that finance people who get in to top mba programs are generally from the top groups of the best banks and private equity firms, which is specifically NOT what the op is describing himself as. MFE programs are often extremely competitive as well. Really, if someone was a good candidate for a top mba program, they wouldn't be posting on how to get in to a boutique bank.

    “...all truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.”

    - Schopenhauer

  • comeBackid's picture

    Is that ok to only list my transfer GPA on my resume? I was leaning toward listing and trying to focus on my major GPA and last 60-90 hours GPA.

  • seabird's picture

    It would probably be fine to just say "expected 2012" or whatever, and list the gpa from the most recent school, and nothing related to the other school.

    “...all truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.”

    - Schopenhauer

  • illiniPride's picture

    I think its fine to only list your transfer GPA but be honest if you get questioned about it in the interview. Post up your resume in the resume forum and then start shaking the trees.

    Good Luck!

    Leadership can be defined in two words: "Follow Me"

  • comeBackid's picture

    Seabird, I would like to get into a top MBA eventually, do you think going to a boutique is the best way to go from here and how do you think I would best go about doing so? Also I am currently interning for a political campaign in which I am heavily involved. I actually created and ran most of the accounting system, for a small campaign albeit. Now this is something I have absolutely no interest in long term but how much could that bit of experience (and a letter of rec. from a state representative) help me?

    Thanks everyone for your input btw, I'm taking it all into account.

  • illiniPride's picture

    ^^^^
    Anything that shows you are willing to work hard and take a leadership role will help you. The fact that it was financial in nature is just gravy.

    Leadership can be defined in two words: "Follow Me"

  • aempirei's picture

    Maybe I am wrong here, but I was under the assumption that if your transfer grades counted as credits towards your new school/degree, they would be included in your cumulative GPA?

    My name is Nicky, but you can call me Dre.

  • seabird's picture

    Comebackkid: Depends on your goals and how you plan on getting there. Take this article for example:

    http://poetsandquants.com/2011/06/06/harvard-down-...

    Admisions went down from 32% to 25% at hbs for i bankers and private equity people. The average age is 27 and has generally been around there, meaning that most people would probably do 2-3 years banking analyst work and 2 years private equity associate or banking associate work. This just means it is more competitive for finance people. However, they do still take people from teach for america, and more people are coming in from other sectors.

    In terms of things you can control on a day to day basis, if you are a top performer at a boutique and put off a professional demeanor/work your butt off, you can succeed and make your dreams come true. Consider foregoing the finance, and going for OCS instead. You wont have to do the finance shit for four years, you can learn everything you need to in b school, have a better chance at getting in compared to many who go in to banking (of which there are many), and you get real leadership experience. Just a thought.

    “...all truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.”

    - Schopenhauer

  • aempirei's picture

    seabird, by OCS do you mean Officer Candidate School?

    I thought about that, but at 24 and with 15 months FT work experience, I'm wondering if that ship has already sailed or if it's worth doing active duty for 4 years and trying to get into a top MBA program.

    I don't think just being a 2nd lieutenent with decent undergrad grades and a 700+ GMAT is going to get you into H/S/W.

    My name is Nicky, but you can call me Dre.

  • seabird's picture

    Well, youre pretty much guaranteed to become a 1st lt. after a year if you dont fuck up royally, and something like 95% of them get promoted to cpt. after like, 2 more years. It was that way with two of my cousins who went through rotc prior to b school. In terms of whether or not the mil gets recruited by top schools, look at this

    http://poetsandquants.com/2011/08/15/top-feeder-co...

    Top 25 feeder companies -
    #11: army
    #22: navy
    #22 (tied): marines

    That kinda says it all. Army is above BX, MS, TPG, Carlyle etc., and its probably easier to get in to the army than it is in to those companies. The army is considered equally as valuable to top schools as is goldman sachs.

    And being 24 is fine - 28 and going to b school is normal, the average age is 27.

    “...all truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.”

    - Schopenhauer

  • aempirei's picture

    Thanks for the link seabird. What the analysis doesn't show is that those army people going to HBS are in all likliehood in the Top 5% of their respective graduating classes at West Point majoring in engineering or some other headie major.

    I don't think a so-so grades at a non-target --> OCS --> Cpt. in Army will have a much better shot then a similar candidate that did boutique IBD --> boutique/MM PE --> H/S/W.

    That said, my adventerous personality pulls at me constantly to give up 4 years of my life for something as badass and lifechanging as the military.

    My name is Nicky, but you can call me Dre.

  • seabird's picture

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    “...all truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.”

    - Schopenhauer

  • DaveWinkler's picture

    Suffer no fools

  • aempirei's picture

    My name is Nicky, but you can call me Dre.