I understand that this topic has probably been covered multiple times and I have already read quite a few related posts, but one simple thread on this forum is worth 10 hours of information networking. Besides, my situation is special, right? I graduated in 2007 and I am looking to work for a hedge fund located in either Southern California, where I currently live, or preferably in New York. The transition is proving very difficult, as expected. Any advice or even blatant criticism is appreciated.
BS in Bus Admin - Finance from a top 25 undergrad business program but not an ivy. Unfortunately, it took me a few years to realize my true passion so I have a "spotty" employment record. Since graduating I have worked in business valuation/investment banking, real estate valuation, and currently in management consulting. I also interned for Smith Barney in PWM right out of college. To be fair, my current consulting gig was not something I ever saw as long term and I made it clear to my employer that I would be continuing to search for a job related to portfolio management. With the exception of Smith Barney, all firms are considered boutique, but honestly a large part of me prefers to work in a boutique environment.
In my spare time I have tried to stay proactive by managing my personal account for the last 5 years, taking the CFA level I (June 2011), taking portfolio management courses at UCLA extension, reading just about everything I can get my hands on, and just started studying for the Series 66.
I have been focusing on networking, which has proven pretty successful but large firms seem to immediately set me aside because of my experience. Which is fine, because it's compelling to me to work for a fund that has