Based Non-Target is Paradise

The start of freshman year of college

You have never consumed so much alcohol in a seven day period. Hangover? you're 18 years old, that is not biologically possible. Bliss would be the word to describe the state of your current academic experience - you best believe those Econ classes you took in Senior year are going to let you coast through the first semester of 'education'. That's if you took Econ classes, in hindsight enrolling in 'Introductory Marketing' was the obvious decision to pump that GPA.

That didn't seem rational until the notion of 'a career' became somewhat important. For you, this was 36 minutes into your 2nd viewing of Martin Scorsese's 'The Wolf of Wall Street' at the after party of a 'Business and Investment Society' social event. The Chief Treasurer, who just passed RBCs numerical assessment last month, exclaims "This is the greatest movie motion picture of all time". His words resonate with you. Clearing "margot robbie wikipedia" from safari, you search "what job did jordan belfort have". A hop skip and a jump later, you've made a reddit account, drafted a CV for spring week internships and have borrowed your dad's shirt for all the superdays you'll be attending. It's go time.

Six months later, you're beginning to learn the ugly truth

After a devastating spring week recruiting cycle, you have quickly learnt that you don't belong in that club. For you, a model will always be Margot Robbie and not a DCF. You simply don't attend a good enough institution, you were late to the game and now an Operations SA sounds like the greatest thing possible that can happen to you. At least you'll get to brush shoulders with what you can always aspire to be - that's fulfilling enough right? 

No. And you're not going to settle for that. You think of what means the most to you.

Prestige? No, that ship sailed when you attended a college with no Nobel Prize winning alumni (honestly what on earth were you thinking?).

Money? No, your recent Econ dissertation concluded money is actually a social construct which provides zero benefit in the development of humanity. You are also not materialistic. 

Family? Yes. How proud would you make them if you landed a job with so much prestige and money. You'd earn double your parents at the ripe age of 21 working for a global name.

These thoughts alone are enough to set you on the path to become the first Sophomore from your college post 08' to secure an offer. JP or DB? It doesn't matter, your peers are 'aspiring' for Big 4. You'll be in a different tax bracket to them. 

Returning to your dorm you open your laptop. You craft a new email address so they have no chance of reusing your dreadful psychometric test data. Before a banker, you must become the architect behind the greatest Non-Target CV of all time. Equipped with Google Docs and r/FinancialCareers you engineer the most compelling sheet of A4 HR will ever see. Garamond? too pretentious for a Non-Target like you - you know this font is strictly reserved for the HYP type. You settle for a humble but sleek Arial.  

Ready to go, you watch another movie to manifest your inevitable BB Banking Career. The Big Short was far too technical, you turned it off after the Margot Robbie bath tub scene as you were disappointed to find it was falsely advertised as a Patrick Bateman Michael Scott crossover. The Pursuit of Happiness followed by Rocky 2 will do for now. 

The road to non-target glory 

It's now deep into recruiting season and you're ready as you'll ever be. CV polished, technicals down and you average 23 on Zetamac default. You're also loved by your team at your FP&A Co-op with the F500 business your college is partnered with, think WMT/JNJ/CVX. This experience has exposed how BS IB recruiting is and more importantly that you're destined for Banking. The format of the first deck you ever made was established as the standard format for your entire department and you can bang out xlookups and sumifs like nobody's business. 

You've passed every Hirevue for all 54 Summer Analyst applications, even the very few which are front office - things are looking good. After automating your FP&A team's entire responsibilities using 12 lines of SQL your 43 year old line manager, a newly promoted Senior Finance Analyst, offers for you to return as an FLDP on their 6 year rotational training program.

You scoff at the disrespectful request and respond with the Drake lyric "F*** bein' rich when I'm forty, man, I'm tryna make it now" from his 2017 hit 'Portland', you know that these 'Development Programs' are merely a way to keep you on a lower salary for longer. You counter with a two year analyst program in their Corp Dev team, 150k base and a 1% carry of net sales. They reject this. 

The Real Ending 

Every back office superday has been nailed - offers from JPM and GS, the latter of which you received during the interview. You haven't been asked one technical question in 16 interviews something doesn't feel right. You could take the offer now and call it quits, tell your self - maybe I lateral in a few years to risk, do the CFA then with a bit of luck make it FO within a few years.

Then an Outlook notification lights up your Lenovo Thinkpad, its from your college - "Breaking into finance event: speakers from KPMG, DB and more!". You squint at the email, not because you can't read it, but you are just disgusted to find that none of the speakers are actually from the front office let alone any EB/BBs. This was a problem you wouldn't have to bear much longer.  

You have one remaining superday at a BB. Citi in their Commercial Bank. Part of you is thinking yeah it's not Goldman IBD but hey, you're a non-target who 12 months ago thought BB stood for "Big Bank", which it pretty much does anyway. If you land this you're about to triple your salary, you lock in, get a clean shave and blast 'POWER' by Kanye West. You already know there is no way you cannot fail. For interview practice, you call up your HR reps for your back office offers and reject them all.  

In the Zoom reception you are oozing confidence. There's two other candidates, Stanford and Wharton, a smirk creeps across your face. As you grin in the face of adversity, you just think how you have managed to get in the same room as two people who have had access to some of the best educational resources in the world.

Are they underperforming by interviewing here? You don't care. You're a non-target, everything past the psychometrics is a win. You've made it here on pure merit, not some pretentious prestige BS. You've done your research on the role, as a non-target you have to. This offer is yours to lose. 

Based Non-Target is Paradise 

Comments (6)

excellente, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Can't believe no one commented on this

  • 1
Gucci Loafers, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I feel this is sort of an autobiography.

  • 1
bawstin, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I feel this is sort of an autobiography.

I bet 100% it is. Look at his industry tag

  • 1
  • Intern in CB

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