Its been about a week since I got myoffer and I have been reflecting on it and trying to process it all. It was definitely an uphill battle coming from a non-target and I've been trying to pinpoint the single most important thing I did on my journey to get the offer.
I really think the best decision I made was working with a no-namefirm for free.
Obviously, if you are a rockstar and get some sort of banking internship your sophomore year disregard, but I think when it comes to working for, , (insert big name firm) vs working with even a single independent financial advisor, the no name wins hands down.
Because I worked for free with one guy, I think that I got a far more meaningful experience. When I sat down for the first time with the guy he said something to the effect of, "I cant pay you and want a serious commitment from you to boot....what can I possibly offer your." I told him that I wanted to have meaningful experiences I could talk about in my interviews next summer. He agreed and this is exactly what I got. I talked about the experience in almost every single interview and I could tell every interviewer was relatively impressed by the experience. Its far easier to talk about takeaways when you ACTUALLY had a meaningful experience (ie basic modeling, sitting in on client meetings, making recommendations that were actually implemented).
When I talked to my friends who worked ator , they said all they ended up doing was building portfolios, filling out paper work, and even doing janitorial work at times. Now obviously I am biased and this is only a small sample of people that I have talked to, but I feel like other people may have had similar experiences working with the "big name" pwm firms.
So what do you guys think? Am I completely off base when I say working for the big guys inleaves one without meaningful takeaways to talk about ? In my mind, working for free gives you the leverage to DEMAND meaningful tasks.
my 2 cents.
**My lease on campus included summer months as well which made working for free essentially cost me nothing in return**