Baking to Investment Banking with no corporate work experience at 29. Is it possible?

My background is quite different from the majority of the people on this forum. My family and I applied for asylum in the US when I was 17, and when we first arrived, we had absolutely no money. For a couple of years both my father and I worked in terrible ''minimum-wage'' jobs to avoid living on the streets. After that, I got a baking certificate because of its low cost, and I have been working as a baker for the last 5 years.

I am currently a junior at a state university, and I really want to work in investment banking when I graduate. Honestly, I don't have a strong passion or deep interest in finance but considering that in my home country, I would have earned less than $400 a month, I don't need passion to put in the long hours to make $100k-$200k. My primary goal is to provide my family with a comfortable life and support my relatives in my home country while making myself financially secure with the money I'll make. I'm very disciplined and ready to work long hours, but I'm really worried about my age and GPA. My GPA is around 3.50 and by the time I graduate, I will be 29 years old. I would like to hear the opinions of the people on the forum. Thanks!

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Get a corporate finance job at a Fortune 500 company instead... many of these still pay six figures. IB is not something you should go into when you don't like finance, you will 100% burn out.

The age really isn't a problem but your GPA is low and you're past the point where it will be easy to recruit (recruiting is sophomore year)


Yeah, you missed the train for recruiting for IB out of undergrad. Work in Big 4 or corporate finance and work your way up, or go get an mba and try to break in as an associate. 


I did you absolute nonce. I don’t know what third world country or high school computer lab you posted this from, but here in the US recruiting for banking happens in the winter and spring of sophomore year of university, which (per the post, which I read), he is already past. Considering the current FT recruiting environment where candidates that are perfect on paper (target school, multiple BB SAs) are struggling to find jobs, the chances of him breaking in FT to any reputable bank with zero relevant experience (also per the post) are about as high as the likelihood that the sun explodes tomorrow. Therefore, he has missed the train for banking out of undergrad and should consider alternative means of breaking in.

Next time, try to add something valuable instead of name-calling someone who works at a bank that you jack off thinking about and that knows infinitely more than you about the subject. 


If you really want an IB job, apply for a MSF so you have another at-bat for analyst recruiting

That being said, I'm concerned when you say you don't have a deep passion for finance. Not trying to be a dick about it, but unless you enjoy this stuff, you're going to get burnt out by the long hours. I find this stuff interesting, maybe I'm weird, but it makes the long hours not so bad. If you're just doing it for the money, there are plenty of jobs that pay well.


1) You're in a country where wage ranges are in the top 0.1% worldwide, so you're already starting well.

2) You could even make it into IB at age 65, but there's a moment when the costs & sacrifices outweigh the benefits; so read some threads around WSO to really understand the sacrifices that one requires and how IB is different at 29 when you're planning a family or some serious relationships and at 21

3) There are still plenty of options for reaching a "comfortable" paycheck, for instance, check Corporate Finance roles at F500 / Audit at Big 4 / Consulting (McKinsey, Bain, BCG, etc.). Those may have lower starting salaries, but if you're ambitious and patient, you'll rise fast to Director/Partner level and you may hit nice 6 figures or even 7 years (+15 years?). 

So, to make my point more clear, maybe IB could be a hard bet and the sacrifices may not make it worth it, but there are other careers out there that are more reachable and may allow you to have a good income to help your parents when they'll be older, sisters, etc. or generally to somewhat forget the financial stress that haunts one that is from a low-income blue-collar job 

Moreover, CorpFinance roles not so much, but Big 4 and Consulting also allow recruitment for Investment Banks / Private Equity funds, so you could move to finance if you don't enjoy your first corporate career pick (there are other guides on people that moved from Audit/Consulting to IB/PE around WSO - a quick search will do the job).

Good luck.


I know a guy in school, who has a very similar background to yours. Ski instructor and sushi chef. Started school at 30 and at the mature age of 33 will be interning with S&T of JPM. So yeah, it is possible. 


You'll realize that in developed economies, each marginal dollar loses utility beyond a certain threshold. I get it... you're from a developing economy where it costs 150k to import and purchase a basic mercedes.

It's just not the pressure stress and headache to make over a certain amount of income in the USA. The top 1 percent household income in the US starts at 500k-600k on average depending on the state. Taxes kill you also as you continue to move up the income ladder.…

If you have a good job with benefits in a MCOL, you are doing better than 99.9% people on the world. 

Plenty of corporate/consulting jobs out there with a good WLB and decent pay package, with opportunity to rise up. 

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