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Just some quick background information:

I'm a senior at a large SEC school and I will be graduating in July with a degree in accounting. My school is ranked in the top 15 for accounting but I failed to understand the importance of networking so I did not get any big 4 offers (and my gpa is slightly low, a 3.4). I did an internship at a fortune 100 food producer in accounting, which is the extent of my work experience.

I've been cold-emailing investment banks and I'm getting nothing. Even accounting firms are saying no to me? I don't get it.

My new plan is to go to Officer Candidate School (OCS) for either the Navy or the Army and then serve my 3 years. Subsequent to this, I am planning on taking the GMAT (I should get around a 700-730 as I test very well) and then applying to business schools for an MBA in hopes that my MBA will allow me to break into IB.

Is this my best bet at this point in my life? I feel like entering the military is kind of a waste of my intelligence (no offense to any of those in the service), but I seem to have no other options at this point.

Thanks for any replies.

Comments (62)

  • kjl's picture

    So why are you going to the military? It's not apparent from your post, other than passing the time for the next 3 years.

    Without a solid reason, it's hard to say whether it's your best bet. You may not be able to break into IB at this point, but I'm sure there are regional accounting firms that would be open. Not sure if that's the way you'd want to go.

    While you may not be crunching numbers, hopefully there are other ways the military could help you exercise "critical thinking." The military is also a good way to learn discipline and perhaps management if you do become an officer. B-schools are definitely open to military vets. In fact, one of my classmates was in the Navy on the bomb squad, while the other flew Apache helicopters. Both turned out to be pretty intelligent and good leaders.

  • southernstunna's picture

    The military will provide my resume with the leadership (which it currently lacks) that it takes to get into a top MBA program. I don't feel like 3 years as an auditor at a public accounting firm will be enough "solid" work experience to get me into a top 15 business school.

  • Convert Your Bond's picture

    Does military count as work experience for MBA's though? As in wouldn't they expect military as well as another job function?

    http://convertyourbond.com
    Free market commentary and trading insights to help with interviews

  • kjl's picture

    I did 3-4 years at a Big 4, got into a top 15-20 school and got a ton of cash to go.

    Military does count. Many of my classmates had done nothing but military prior to going back to school.

  • GutShot's picture

    don't do military for IB recruiting, not the right mindset

  • In reply to ideating
    southernstunna's picture

    From all the statistics I have seen a 3.4 is a pretty average GPA for most top b-schools. And accounting is very difficult here; I don't know anybody who has over a 3.8 or so. A 3.4 is obviously nothing to write home about, but it isn't terrible either.

  • Easy E's picture

    southernstunna wrote:
    I feel like entering the military is kind of a waste of my intelligence (no offense to any of those in the service)

    You are such an ignorant ass. You think being an accounting monkey is so much more intellectually challenging than being a military officer, someone who has to make life and death decisions at the snap of a finger with imperfect information and then convince his soldiers to risk their lives for him?

    Do everyone a favor and stay out of the military...you wouldn't cut it anyway.

  • MessedUp's picture

    I had a similar mindset when graduating college with no good jobs lined up (minus the wasting my intelligence thing, plenty of intelligent people in the military). When I realized all I was doing it for was to boost my resume I decided it wasn't the right choice. Granted now I'm working a dead end job (less than stellar work experience, glorified data entry) with no shot at a top 25 B-School...

  • kop's picture

    My god you want to join the military in order to break into IB? Are you retarded? IB is not the end all be all and is certainly not worth the risk of being capped full of lead.

  • blastoise's picture

    OP have you ever thought about suicide?

  • rmivalue's picture

    Your real issue is that you need think thoroughly what is that you want to do in life - your core - your path (and maybe what is that you are good at, as not everyone has the critical skills to quickly recreate, grow and learn).

    Lemmings dont get jobs anywhere, period. Some professions are overly glamorized, while others are not. you need to live your life that is your own, not live the life that others have told you to live.

    Not everyone is cut for IB, military, or any profession that deviates from "average.

  • In reply to Easy E
    cheese86's picture

    Easy E wrote:
    southernstunna wrote:
    I feel like entering the military is kind of a waste of my intelligence (no offense to any of those in the service)

    You are such an ignorant ass. You think being an accounting monkey is so much more intellectually challenging than being a military officer, someone who has to make life and death decisions at the snap of a finger with imperfect information and then convince his soldiers to risk their lives for him?

    Do everyone a favor and stay out of the military...you wouldn't cut it anyway.

    Easy E: either relax or go sit on a fist. You know exactly what the OP is trying to say. Granted, it could be more tactfully stated, especially as a 3.4 student from the SEC, but when I think of a military career I too think of it as an alternative to college, not something that most college grads back into. I don't think the OP will ever be in a position to be an officer in his three years of military service so your rant is irrelevant. I love your last quote too. I disagree, do everyone a favor and join the military because our recruiting numbers have been waning the past few years.

  • southernstunna's picture

    Actually I would go into "Officer Candidate School" and after 12 weeks I would be an officer in the US Army/Navy.

  • Sterling Archer's picture

    Sounds good on paper, but consider the fact that you would actually have to be in the military for three years. Taking orders and risking your life for something you only want to do because it might help you land a job on Wall Street. Seems pretty myopic.

  • In reply to blastoise
    JohnnyCage's picture

    balbasur wrote:
    OP have you ever thought about suicide?

    your fucking hilarioussssssssssss. you should consider suicide for being gay enough to take the time to search and upload pictures of balbasur.

  • Affirmative_Action_Walrus's picture

    southernstunna wrote:
    Just some quick background information:

    I'm a senior at a large SEC school and I will be graduating in July with a degree in accounting. My school is ranked in the top 15 for accounting but I failed to understand the importance of networking so I did not get any big 4 offers (and my gpa is slightly low, a 3.4). I did an internship at a fortune 100 food producer in accounting, which is the extent of my work experience.

    I've been cold-emailing investment banks and I'm getting nothing. Even accounting firms are saying no to me? I don't get it.

    My new plan is to go to Officer Candidate School (OCS) for either the Navy or the Army and then serve my 3 years. Subsequent to this, I am planning on taking the GMAT (I should get around a 700-730 as I test very well) and then applying to business schools for an MBA in hopes that my MBA will allow me to break into IB.

    Is this my best bet at this point in my life? I feel like entering the military is kind of a waste of my intelligence (no offense to any of those in the service), but I seem to have no other options at this point.

    Thanks for any replies.

    Roll Tide

    go to a masters in accounting program, become an accountant in Birmingham, work your way up to partner.
    you'll have a comfortable lifestyle and you'll be able to attend all of the Tide's home games down in T-town.

  • In reply to JohnnyCage
    blastoise's picture

    lehmanBROther wrote:
    balbasur wrote:
    OP have you ever thought about suicide?

    your fucking hilarioussssssssssss. you should consider suicide for being gay enough to take the time to search and upload pictures of balbasur.

    How is bankruptcy?

  • In reply to blastoise
    Affirmative_Action_Walrus's picture

    balbasur wrote:
    lehmanBROther wrote:
    balbasur wrote:
    OP have you ever thought about suicide?

    your fucking hilarioussssssssssss. you should consider suicide for being gay enough to take the time to search and upload pictures of balbasur.

    How is bankruptcy?

    lol that balbausur pic is pretty fucking gay
    i hope it was your asian sex slave and not you who decided to upload that

  • ke18sb's picture

    This has to be the WORST reason I have ever heard of wanting to join the military. The worst.

    The military is something you join because you are passionate about it, not because you think it might help you into bschool. There is nothing wrong with joining the military, in fact its probably a great career path if you are in it for the right reasons. You clearly are not. In fact you don't even seem all that interested in the military just the potential results.

    Do yourself a favor don't do the military you will regret it. There are plenty of ways to get into a top bschool that do not include the military. Not to mention that you priorities and/or interests in life may change over the next few years anyway.

    Follow your passions and play the cards as they fall. You will be significantly more happy and successful if you live your live this way.

  • EnteringRealLife's picture

    Do the office cadet school, it's better than getting a crappy job at a no-name company. While in the military prep for business school or network with current military officers. End-all-be-all you'll end up back in the south working for an energy company, optimal you'll end up at a top 15 business school.

    Accounting + military officer = pretty good

    Do it, it's not like every person at West Point intends to be in the Army their whole lives, most get out after a few years of service.

    Remember though : don't quit training no matter how hard it gets

  • slim_ibd_shady's picture

    In all seriousness, did you even attempt to apply to top 15 grad schools? or just any grad schools?

    Also, you think you're going to get a 700 on the GMAT after finishing serving in military? Why don't you take the GMAT now and make sure to get the score you want before signing the contract? You know the GMAT score can last for 5 years and your military experience is only half a ticket to go even if it can show your "leadership" skills or counted as work experience

  • In reply to Affirmative_Action_Walrus
    blastoise's picture

    Affirmative_Action_Walrus wrote:
    balbasur wrote:
    lehmanBROther wrote:
    balbasur wrote:
    OP have you ever thought about suicide?

    your fucking hilarioussssssssssss. you should consider suicide for being gay enough to take the time to search and upload pictures of balbasur.

    How is bankruptcy?

    lol that balbausur pic is pretty fucking gay
    i hope it was your asian sex slave and not you who decided to upload that

    It is of good measure to look to be vigilant with discipline and restraint that has not one becoming petty, but mindful, as a proverbial saint

  • 99isNot100's picture

    I don't understand why everyone who posts on this board talks like their whole life is "to get into IBD." There are many more ways than one to
    1. make a good living
    2. be respected
    3. work with smart people

    Your life isn't over if you have to plan B finance. As all the other people said, using a job that could potentially get you killed as a gap-filler to wall street is a terrible idea.

  • Kanon's picture

    Yeah seriously, don't go joining the forces just for a chance at BB. That's ridiculous... Can you go back to the Fortune 100 Co? If you're good, network within, offer to take on extra projects w/ the corp dev/in-house strategy team, and work your way into that job.

    Also take on more extracurric/outside activities to help build that profile for the MBA. Join some charities, get heavily involved (get the on mngt/board/some sort of exec role if possible) and etc.

    One thing that didn't seem apparent from your post... why exactly do you want to be in IB? Is it because of interest? Or is it because of money? Everyone here that's interested in IB is because of money obviously, but they've also got some interest in the field as well. You may also want to dig a bit deeper and determine whether this is a field for you before you set your sights for wall street.

  • HF's picture

    Do you Gmat now, get a job that you can use to spin your qualifications, study for the CFA.

    The Military can definitivelly get you into a top bschool but not only for itself, if you get a god GMAT, and a great application you can definitivelly get accepted.

    Just a minor detail, you can get killed while on the army...

    absolutearbitrageur.blogspot.com

  • In reply to ideating
    Dr Barnaby Fulton's picture

    ideating wrote:
    You got a 3.4 in Accounting at a big SEC school. The issue isn't your "leadership".

    You try going to a massive SEC school and being surrounded by Slampiece and pulling off a 3.4 in accounting. Definitely one of the reasons why I'm not going to a state school...

    If you really want to get into IBanking (which really, there's easier money out there than 100 hrs a week during some of the best years of your life) I couldn't tell you the best route because everyone has a different story. If you're cold calling people, call up some regional boutiques in places like Memphis, Atlanta, Jacksonville, Nashville, etc. Talk to alumni from your frat (if you were in one). If those don't work, find a different line of business. I would not risk getting my ass shot off to be an investment banker.

  • In reply to blastoise
    JohnnyCage's picture

    balbasur wrote:
    Affirmative_Action_Walrus wrote:
    balbasur wrote:
    lehmanBROther wrote:
    balbasur wrote:
    OP have you ever thought about suicide?

    your fucking hilarioussssssssssss. you should consider suicide for being gay enough to take the time to search and upload pictures of balbasur.

    How is bankruptcy?

    lol that balbausur pic is pretty fucking gay
    i hope it was your asian sex slave and not you who decided to upload that

    It is of good measure to look to be vigilant with discipline and restraint that has not one becoming petty, but mindful, as a proverbial saint

    WHY SO FUCKING LAME BRO?

  • anonymousman's picture

    I think the millitary takes you down a different career path. If you don't hit the big 4, then aim lower and work up. Cold emailing will never work - despite what you saw in 'the pursuit of happyness', the real world doesn't work that way - so don't let that knock you.
    Your best bet is to either get some further education or work experience, broaden the CV and retry
    No sweat

  • BradZ's picture

    MSc. in finance will get you where to want to be.

  • Joshua.D's picture

    Pretty awesome military quote from the UFC:

    "We're all undefeated; when we lose, we die"

  • poorengineer's picture

    Join the military if you have an urge to serve your country, not as a resume filler. As others have said, thinking you are now going to be more attractive to Goldman, isn't going to help when your ass is under fire.

  • In reply to Dr Barnaby Fulton
    Stringer Bell's picture

    Dr Barnaby Fulton wrote:
    ideating wrote:
    You got a 3.4 in Accounting at a big SEC school. The issue isn't your "leadership".

    You try going to a massive SEC school and being surrounded by Slampiece and pulling off a 3.4 in accounting. Definitely one of the reasons why I'm not going to a state school...

    If you really want to get into IBanking (which really, there's easier money out there than 100 hrs a week during some of the best years of your life) I couldn't tell you the best route because everyone has a different story. If you're cold calling people, call up some regional boutiques in places like Memphis, Atlanta, Jacksonville, Nashville, etc. Talk to alumni from your frat (if you were in one). If those don't work, find a different line of business. I would not risk getting my ass shot off to be an investment banker.

    +2 for using slampiece. Brobible baby!

  • AKnightsTale's picture

    Man don't join the military if there is no drive to serve your country. I do not think this institution should be used ptimarily as a stepping stone to the world of finance.

    People die doing this job and not because they are expecting to be paid millions in return, but because they have a firm believe in the ideals they fight to protect.

    Why don't you take some time off and think things through? Go travel, meet with people working in the finance industry, get a job that also allows you to dedicate time to learn about the game on the markets.

    I just play to win...

  • Barboone's picture

    balbausur...

    "The higher up the mountain, the more treacherous the path"
    -Frank Underwood

  • chasbo's picture

    Lets say you go to officer candidacy school and after three years in the military you leave. Get the 700+ you claim you will get (easier said than done. why not take it now) and go to B-school. You do well for 2 years and then land a BB associate position. So far you are at least ~5 years invested in this job. Three years were dangerous as shit and you could be permanently injured. And after 3-4 months you realize investment banking isn't for you. What then? Re-enlist?

  • southernstunna's picture

    Excellent question, and one I do not have the answer to. My main thing is that a lower tier finance position or an auditor at a smaller public accounting firm (my only realistic job prospects as of right now) will not be enough to get me into a top business school as they want diversity and I have zero.

  • Speculate's picture

    Whatever you do dont kill yourself, it aint that bad...hahahaaa

  • In reply to cheese86
    Easy E's picture

    cheese86 wrote:

    Easy E: either relax or go sit on a fist. You know exactly what the OP is trying to say. Granted, it could be more tactfully stated, especially as a 3.4 student from the SEC, but when I think of a military career I too think of it as an alternative to college, not something that most college grads back into. I don't think the OP will ever be in a position to be an officer in his three years of military service so your rant is irrelevant. I love your last quote too. I disagree, do everyone a favor and join the military because our recruiting numbers have been waning the past few years.

    You obviously have no idea how the military and its rank structure work. All Officers have college degrees, so the military is not an alternative to college for officers. He also was talking about going to Officer Candidate School. So he, in fact, would be in a position to be an officer.

    OP - If you go to OCS, serve your required 3 years, and then apply to top b-schools, you will be competing against Academy grads who have 5 years of service and ROTC guys with 4 years of service (that is their minimum obligation). So how competitive is your application really going to be if you just do the 3 years? You would have to serve 4-5 years just to be on par with the other military applicants (that's is who the schools will be comparing you to).

  • rebelcross's picture

    I will just tell you this, it takes a unique kind of personality to handle military life. Not that you can't handle it physically, not that you're not tough enough mentally, I'm sure you are. It's just that the complete loss of freedom isn't for everybody, and can be quite depressing even for officers. It sounds good in theory, but there will come a day when you actually have to do it, day by day minute by minute and it will be your only life.

    What I'm trying to say is, if this is your best reason for wanting to serve your country...then DON'T do it. You will regret it, you will hate yourself for it and you will never be able to justify it in your head as you are going through it. I am trying to do you a favor here.

    I forget what the minimum time of service is for an officer, but there are a lot of things you can do in 2 - 6 years time to add 3 impressive lines to your resume. And you don't want to find that out the hard way. People in the military have seen this situation a million times.

    Now if you happen to have other legitimate reasons for wanting to serve and you feel that it would bring the added bonus of beefing up your resume. Then by all means, do it. The military can be equally rewarding and wonderful provided you have the right mindset.

  • TheBenevolent's picture

    What kind of format are you using for your emails? Are you requesting to have a brief phone chat etc? If your only work experience is the accounting internship, you will probably not be able to get a FT analyst position even at boutiques. It all comes down to how badly you want this. If investment banking is what you want to do, try to get an unpaid internship at an investment bank (hopefully the obama administration is not going too crazy over the new enforcement rules). Stay an extra year or get a masters, and on the side keep networking. That will probably give you a better shot at securing FT position at a boutique. I think boutiques will like the fact that you are an accounting major and thus have a strong foundation for many of the technical aspects of the job. Perhaps your resume sucks as well, so post that here. There are hundreds of investment banks, and even more investment bankers, start emailing/calling them. I personally secured a position by cold emailing, so it can work.

  • In reply to southernstunna
    Xango's picture

    southernstunna wrote:
    Actually I would go into "Officer Candidate School" and after 12 weeks I would be an officer in the US Army/Navy.

    First off, you line about the military being a waste of your intelligence, IS an insult to the military guys. I'm very certain that there are plenty of us military guys who are better educated that you are, but I'll chalk your insult up to ignorance and youth.

    Personally, I did go to Army OCS after college. Not because I couldn't get a job, but because I actually wanted to serve my country as an officer. You are taking several things for granted in your military decision.

    1) You have to APPLY for OCS. You're assuming that you'd even be accepted to the program. The application process includes being interviewed by three officers. Given how you've presented yourself thus far, I don't think that I would recommend you to be a leader of American troops.

    2) You've got your timeline wrong. First you go to basic training, then OCS (at least in the Army). There would be a few more schools after OCS. Also, success is not guaranteed. I had plenty of college option guys with me who didn't graduate. They spent the next 3 years in the Army as an enlisted Soldiers.

    3) If you join the Army, you WILL deploy. There is no "maybe" in there. Everyone is going to Iraq and Afghanistan. Possibly a couple times in three years. Ask any of the vets on this board that have seen combat. It's scary, it sucks, and, oh yeah, you might get killed. If you were motivated to serve your country and leader Solders, that would be one thing, but it's a long way to go just to get an IB interview.

    Military veterans do enjoy a certain status in b-school and BB recruiting. That's because they've earned it. I hoped you learn to think twice before you cavalierly insult such a time honored profession such as the military. Better men than you have fought and died in the service of our country... and they didn't do it just to get into IB.

  • In reply to Xango
    Stringer Bell's picture

    Xango wrote:
    southernstunna wrote:
    Actually I would go into "Officer Candidate School" and after 12 weeks I would be an officer in the US Army/Navy.

    First off, you line about the military being a waste of your intelligence, IS an insult to the military guys. I'm very certain that there are plenty of us military guys who are better educated that you are, but I'll chalk your insult up to ignorance and youth.

    Personally, I did go to Army OCS after college. Not because I couldn't get a job, but because I actually wanted to serve my country as an officer. You are taking several things for granted in your military decision.

    1) You have to APPLY for OCS. You're assuming that you'd even be accepted to the program. The application process includes being interviewed by three officers. Given how you've presented yourself thus far, I don't think that I would recommend you to be a leader of American troops.

    2) You've got your timeline wrong. First you go to basic training, then OCS (at least in the Army). There would be a few more schools after OCS. Also, success is not guaranteed. I had plenty of college option guys with me who didn't graduate. They spent the next 3 years in the Army as an enlisted Soldiers.

    3) If you join the Army, you WILL deploy. There is no "maybe" in there. Everyone is going to Iraq and Afghanistan. Possibly a couple times in three years. Ask any of the vets on this board that have seen combat. It's scary, it sucks, and, oh yeah, you might get killed. If you were motivated to serve your country and leader Solders, that would be one thing, but it's a long way to go just to get an IB interview.

    Military veterans do enjoy a certain status in b-school and BB recruiting. That's because they've earned it. I hoped you learn to think twice before you cavalierly insult such a time honored profession such as the military. Better men than you have fought and died in the service of our country... and they didn't do it just to get into IB.

    Do you want some salsa with that chip on your shoulder, geez. Honestly, get off your horse chief & give the kid a break. The IBanking bug hits just as hard even if you are late to the dance. This kids reaching to see what options will give him the best chance to be successful, military being one of them. Lighten up.

  • In reply to Stringer Bell
    Xango's picture

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