How could I show someone that I'm 100% into IB?

So, I've been following this forum for 2 years. I'm above average in Excel Modelling, I've been reading everything on which I could put my hand related to finance: technical (Rosenbaum, Brealey, Ross, etc.) and also non-fictional stories (Caesars Coup, Barbarians, Michael Lewis, etc.). Also, I'm following the market news religiously (WSJ, Bloomberg, etc.) and I passed all the courses on WSO/Wall Street prep. In other words, I see myselfย  gladly staying in IB until becoming an MD (not PE and not VC, but IB. I have 0 interest in other fields and exits where "grass is greener" + I'm more than comfortable with the downsides which WSO points about IB).

Though, because I'm a non-target (university in a fucking town in Dakota) and my GPA is 3.3 (I didn't showed to 80% classes due to personal reasons) I don't have much success in receiving invitations for interviews. I'm not saying that I'm a hardo which can't talk nothing beside finance, on the contrary, because I didn't showed to classes I have many shit to talk about (+ show more resilience and stamina than other 90% students appying for the job), but I'm not sure how I could sell my interest in the field and receive an internship in NYC. So, any tips on how I could sell my enthusiasm and long-term career interest when networking or applying to jobs?

Comments (21)

Jun 21, 2022 - 5:33pm
Isaiah_53_5 ๐Ÿ’Ž๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿ’Ž๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿ’Ž, what's your opinion? Comment below:

3.3 from a non-target sucks for IB recruiting. If you cared about IB more, you would have achieved a higher GPA or gotten into a target.ย 

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

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  • PM in HF - EquityHedge
Jun 23, 2022 - 1:13am

3.3 is especially damaging when paired with,ย 'I have better/more life experience because I skipped most of my classes.' Equally funny is the contention that he'll out-hustle '90%' of the applicants on the desk when he couldn't be arsed to attend undergraduate lectures.

  • Prospect in IB - Gen
Jun 21, 2022 - 5:48pm

Get a tattoo like "Banker 4 lyfe" on your forehead

  • Intern in IB - Restr
Jun 21, 2022 - 5:49pm

wouldn't that diminish even more his chances of working in FO akaย client-facing role?

  • 2
Jun 21, 2022 - 6:40pm
Isaiah_53_5 ๐Ÿ’Ž๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿ’Ž๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿ’Ž, what's your opinion? Comment below:

wouldn't that diminish even more his chances of working in FO akaย client-facing role?

no, ifย  you get 'banker 4 lyfe' tattooed on your forehead, they know you're dedicated.

and dedication is everything.ย 

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

  • 2
Most Helpful
Jun 21, 2022 - 6:37pm
Deal Team Six, what's your opinion? Comment below:

In your opening paragraph, you very much come across as a hardo, but coming from a similar background, I have a few suggestions:

1. Dont come across as too serious. I know this is difficult because youve spent a lot of time building up your skillset and you may feel like you have a chip on your shoulder due to your relatively below average GPA (from an IB perspective) and coming from a no name university. I say this because that was how I felt.ย 

2. Complementary to #1, focus on connecting with your interviewers. If you hustle hard enough, you will land interviews, and when you do, it is important to focus on making a connection. When I was in your position, I tried to show how much I knew in interviews (e.g., talking about deals I'd read about, models I'd built, even getting into LBO Senior Debt vs. Mezz debt EBITDA turns). This totally backfired. It resulted in more challenging technicals coming my way, to the point where I faced questions I didn't know the answers to. Learn from my mistakes and come across as someone who is really interested in the M&A world and as someone who is easy to connect with and someone who is supportive.ย 
3. Hustle, hustle, hustle. Hit the LMM space. There are plenty of IBs out there that few people target, start your outreach there. Reach out to all alumni (I assume there wont be many), and then target local banks in your area (or neighboring areas). It will be hard to get people on the phone, but if you cast a wide enough net, some will respond. When I was in a slow period, I would jump on the phone with anyone who asked. When my schedule was jammed, I wouldn't even be able to respond to alumni other than to let them know to follow up in a month or so.ย 

4. Learn from your mistakes. Cold networking is brutal and it really is about coming off as likeable, so do your absolute best to form a sincere connection. No one is going to hire a non-target mediocre GPA student because of your background, and even if you are extremely intelligent, you are new to the "real world" so this will be discounted heavily. When you get hit with a question you don't know, acknowledge that you aren't sure, but explain your thought process and come up with a best guess.ย 

Lastly, if you are anything like me, you don't know what the hell you want. You are too young to realize this, but I too was dead set on IBD. Then I got into the space, didn't like it as much as I thought, and have since switched industries twice. You can by no means say you want to make it to MD until you are at least a Assoc 2, because then you really have enough exposure to IBD to understand what an MD does and to have "paid your dues" to the point where you are tough enough to have made it far enough up the ladder to actually survive to MD. So many individuals state they want to make it to MD at your age and every time it sounds absurd. It is like being in 8th grade stating you know you want to major in Finance in college and then go work at a hedge fund. Yes, some people have always known what they want to do and stick to it, but the problem is that 99% of the people who say this sort of thing do a complete 180 and end up on a very different path. I don't mean to sound condescending here, but I said the exact same thing, and left IBD after a few internships.ย 

  • PM in HF - EquityHedge
Jun 21, 2022 - 6:49pm

Enthusiasm will only get you so far. The background, GPA, and wonky grammar (is English your first language? You write like a like a profane Forrest Gump) are going to be tough to overcome.

Jun 22, 2022 - 3:52am
maplesyrup334, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Have a good explanation for your gpa. Did you take difficult classes. A 3.3 GPA in electrical engineering or computer science is better than a 3.5 in economics or gender studies. Target lower middle market shops like the above responded. If you grind you can lateral eventually to a more reputable shop but you need to get your foot in the door. To show interest, have multiple sectors you could be interested in and know recent transactions that were done and the rationale for them. One way to get a good background also on a sector is to get your hands on some primers or equity research reports. There are tons available online.ย 

Jun 22, 2022 - 10:48am
Smoke Frog, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Work for a couple years and try to get an MBA at a real school and then try to break in as an associate.

I mean you say you live and breathe IB, but didn't do any of the basic things needed to get in like going to a good school and getting good grades.

Maybe you're just in love with the idea of banking, but in any case, an MBA from a top 25 college might be your best bet now.

  • Associate 3 in IB-M&A
Jun 23, 2022 - 9:10am

I don't think IB is possible for you straight out of school - maybe ultra LMM in a regional location. Realistically, get whatever finance job you can land out of college and start studying for the GMAT, try to get into MBA after ~2-3 years work experience. Obviously get out of ND with your first job.

Showing resilience and stamina is just not enough to overcome your GPA and school. There are thousands of highly qualified applicants, and IB puts a lot of weight on doing well in school. That is one of the few ways to show discipline and aptitude at a young age, and even if you are "better" than those applicants, they're not going to just take your word for it.

Also, you come off as a hardo - saying you have 0 interest in other industries when you haven't worked a day in IB and have only read about it online just sounds immature.

Jun 24, 2022 - 10:19am
BamieJimon, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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Jun 24, 2022 - 10:25am
kodi, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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