IB SA Recruiting is a Joke Now

My stats

  • Semi-Target (very strong with finance--OCR by almost all the BBs)
  • Corporate Banking Internship for 2022 at a bulge bracket
  • Student investment fund extracurricular ($10mm+)
  • IB Externship last semester
  • Networked a ton
  • Resume format is WSO format

No first rounds for Houlihan Lokey, William Blair, Baird, Barclays, and more, and they've wrapped up with first rounds. I did get two superdays, both due to alumni connections. No offer.

The point is, never tell me this is based on merit. IB recruiting is all about rolling the dice and getting lucky. I have no respect now for any recruiters, any bank, any banker, or any alum at my school now because if they won't (not can't--won't even though they can) help me get a first round then what's the point? 

But, what do I do now? The door is closing for IB.

Comments (141)

Most Helpful
  • Intern in IB - Gen
Apr 2, 2022 - 8:17am

It's not like college admissions. People have to want to work with you. You probably just came off as a hardo/weirdo to some of your interviewers.

  • Intern in IB - Cov
Apr 2, 2022 - 10:30am

This. These guys are evaluating if you'd be a good fit and someone they'd like to work with. People underestimate personality and perception. This is one of the biggest reasons many students don't get offers.

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Apr 2, 2022 - 8:54am

Tough news, this isn't anything new. IB recruiting isn't easy and those who want it bad enough find a way. It's not going to be handed to you because "alumni" or because of your semi-target name. Give up or work harder

Apr 4, 2022 - 12:04pm
UncookedBooks, what's your opinion? Comment below:

First of all, humble yourself. You come off as extremely arrogant from your post / comments. Secondly, you've gotta connect with as many bankers as you can and try to be authentic with it. Honestly, the most annoying people in this business are the ones who expect that they deserve a spot. I know it's true because that used to be me. When I was working to get an SA role I just assumed that banks should hire me because of merit. All that did was push them away and push me further into resentment.

Evaluate where you stand right now. Try to establish some real connections with those in the industry and see what comes of it. Humility will serve you greatly.

Apr 2, 2022 - 9:13am
techtyper98, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Would consider changing your attitude a bit - comes off as if you feel entitled to a banking job. If you're already getting upset over this, you're going to have a rough time down the line since on-cycle/buyside recruiting is quite similar. Reality is semi-targets get less looks (i.e. less seats) so you have less shots on goal. You weren't able to convert two superdays, and I assume you felt you did well - chances are it's a fit/behavioral thing then because technicals are binary, and you know if you missed them or not. Also have to understand that even beyond your school, a lot of firms are probably asking themselves why hire you over someone with a better resume from a target school since there's so many options at Harvard, Wharton, Columbia, NYU, etc.Everyone knows how much of a crapshoot banking is - everything is about increasing the odds of getting an interview, and I've rarely heard of anyone landing a job in IB without networking/knowing someone. So, just network more and you'll be fine.

  • Prospect in IB - Gen
Apr 2, 2022 - 9:26am

I go to Wharton, have a 4.0, and stronger resume than you in IMO and didn't get first rounds at Citi, HL RX, and a bunch of other places. In fact, I actually haven't gotten a first round anywhere. Recruiting is not as easy as everyone says it is

  • Intern in IB - CB
Apr 2, 2022 - 9:32am

That's rougher than I have it IMO. Gee whiz. And at Wharton with a 4.0--the super target of all the super targets! 

I really feel for you. You should have had at least the superdays that I did.

  • Prospect in IB - Gen
Apr 2, 2022 - 2:53pm

Same, I recruited for several months last cycle with the same stats also coming from W and diversity. I think I was just really unlucky but this just shows how hard the process is nowadays... It all ended up working out though, especially as a lot of BBs are rolling, but just might take a while

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Apr 2, 2022 - 6:42pm

how was your gpa at Wharton?  According to this site, that would be the ultimate package (top target + diversity) lmao.

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Apr 4, 2022 - 11:18am

Buddy, Did you miss on campus recruiting?? Not supposed to be that hard at a school like Wharton

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Apr 5, 2022 - 12:26am

At my target, about as many kids with 3.9+ GPAs, good clubs, and good internships, don't hear back from many banks. Its just random and I feel like a lot of non-target kids don't realize that its still a grind to break in and even get a first round with networking.

  • Prospect in IB - Gen
Apr 8, 2022 - 1:51am

I've gotten 2 so far now as of this week so it's slowly trickling in. Still, I don't know why so many people have this idea that if you go to a top target, have a good resume, and networking that you'll be showered with interviews and internships. It is not that easy.

Controversial
  • Analyst 2 in IB - Cov
Apr 2, 2022 - 10:07am

Op what is your race? Were you born in the usa?

You just listed a bunch of notoriously white and American born firms.

The fact of matter is I get probably one email a day from a kid with a completely bizarre Asian/indian name with Asian internships.   Sometimes the kids with anglicized last names who are fans of the Chicago bears beats out the thousand other Indians who list "fan of arsenal football and cricket" on their resume due to "fit"

Funniest
Apr 2, 2022 - 1:31pm
new-legend, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Honestly I never knew that putting sports teams you like on your resume was a thing people did. Also Bears fan would be an immediate red flag for me, it shows lack of judgement and that you're content with perpetual mediocrity.

Array
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Apr 2, 2022 - 3:16pm
IncomingIBDreject, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I'm assuming this guy works in the CHI office. 

Array

Apr 7, 2022 - 1:58pm
Yankee Doodle, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Being a Bears fan is fucking based. No one real in America is into soccer or cricket. 

"Work ethic, work ethic" - Vince Vaughn

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  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Apr 2, 2022 - 6:40pm

this in London office?  

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Apr 2, 2022 - 10:17am

The reality of "networking" is that it only matters if they actually end up pulling for you. You can talk to 3-5 people, but if those people don't actually vouch for you or if they are vouching for someone else already, then you're out of luck. Personally, I only talked to 1-2 people at each firm (EBs), but knew them through mutual friends or directly, and I got interviews at all of them. 

Also, if you think recruiting is a joke now, then you would have hated recruiting back in the day even more, especially since you're not at a target. 

Apr 2, 2022 - 10:17am
IncomingIBDreject, what's your opinion? Comment below:

How do you know though that the hobbies and interests don't carry more weight than the race? If you're stuck until late night with a co-worker do you really want them to be talking about cricket, when you and all your buddies follow football? Guys talk about sports a lot and if you don't watch the right ones you will suffer, plain and simple. It's not a matter of "Ding the kid because he's brown", it's "Ding the kid because he failed the airport test." I also want to point out that "merit" is a relative term in finance because most roles in finance aren't rocket science. Yes, you need to have a baseline level of intelligence but being well rounded is far more important. 

TLDR: Race card is overplayed, more nuance is usually required

Array

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Apr 2, 2022 - 6:06pm
wanttobreakin111, what's your opinion? Comment below:

You kinda proved his point… it's all about fitting into this dominant beer chugging football loving WASP frat star character. Yea sure if a brown guy is whitewashed and embraces football instead of cricket would get hired but that'd only be because he's "whiter" than the others in behavior.

TBH I hate the IB culture, personally I'd rather hire someone who has diversified intellectual interests than another generic bro who likes football and talking smack but has no substance beyond that.

This mentality you exhibited is also exactly why banks do diversity hiring quotas… if it were up to you and your "airport test" classes would literally be 100% white male. 

Apr 2, 2022 - 11:24am
oelralfrich, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I'm gonna be honest with you, but many parts of the comments above, particularly those points about banking/FO recruiting being a crapshoot, are spot on. It's very difficult to generalize that a target school with a 4.0 GPA and being manager of your student investment fund etc is necessarily the surefire recipe for success. You really just have to have luck fall your way to an uncomfortably large extent. Me, personally? I went to a Canadian "target" (I put that into quotations because any Canadian who goes to this school thinking it's going to help them get into IB, even on Bay Street, has yet to go through their rude awakening yet), always had and ended up with a super mediocre GPA (3.0 flat, though I studied math so I suppose that gave me some leeway; that's wishful thinking though so don't bank on this as it was definitely a barrier to me getting jobs), had 4 internships by my penultimate year, and eventually got an SA role… the catch? I took a lot of risks and chances that many people probably wouldn't have been willing to, including:1) I had delayed my graduation to make time for an SA role, as I figured it was basically a necessity to getting a full-time after graduation (not 100% true, but it helps a lot).2) I applied literally all around the world, and I mean EVERY major continent (ok, I digress, every one with a major financial hub, so Europe, North America, and Asia)… and where did I end up? Hong Kong, where I was pretty sure I was only one of two non-Asian kids in a class of 60+ SAs… although I didn't go back largely due to how south things really started going there afterwards at the time, politically (mid-2019, protests…), I cherished the experience and it ultimately helped me stand out for being more "worldly" or whatever when applying for full-time jobs in my final school year following.3) Not only that, I got that job 3 months after the final round after having been put on a wait list (not speaking Mandarin didn't help plus I was competing largely with others from either local schools or Ivy Leagues / LSE) when some Singaporean kid had to renege on his offer to do his military service. Point being, it was mad luck and I got in by the skin on my teeth. Leading up to this though, I had flopped at least 4-5 final rounds / superdays / assessment centres, funnily enough, one of which was at that same bank in Hong Kong a year prior, for which I had to fly out there in-person (on their dime obviously, so free trip in the middle of the school year if you don't get the offer is always fun too) on both occasions.Anyway, the way this all concluded was I ended up working at a bank in my local Toronto full-time after graduation (that was also super lucky because I ended up getting the offer a month or two away from my final exams with just one round because it was not a formal analyst program; I just happened to get along very well with the interviewer who later became my boss and had some very niche work experience gained in my HK job that he was looking for), but the point is, does this sound like a linear path to you? It took me 6 YEARS to finish my undergrad due to me switching majors halfway through 3rd year and the aforementioned delay I risked to get an SA stint, and 5 internship/co-op/temp roles that literally saw me go from working as an admin pencil pusher at a local PWM shop near my parents after my first year of school which I had to cold call my way into, to back office, then middle office, then some fintech/data provider (think S&P, MSCI, Bloomberg, Reuters, etc.) sales-type job in London in between, and then the HK job I talked about, before I got my full-time career sorted out. And I won't even get into the details of it, but my first full-time job wasn't even a permanent full-time job, it was a contract on a desk that didn't even end up having any headcount available by the time I finished it, meaning I had to find another role internally at the same bank WHILE I was working remotely at home due to COVID; so yes, I had not received any form of medical benefits or bonus before spending more than 18 months as a contractor.I'm not trying to give you a sob story here, but don't think anything of your buddies you see that are able to waltz into an SA stint as their first internship in their junior year seemingly without hindrance… Maybe they did something better than you. Maybe they played the diversity card. Maybe they taught some BSD's kid lacrosse over the summer and got hooked up. But most likely, they probably were just LUCKIER than you and were at the right place at the right time. Given luck is usually considered to be a random/by chance phenomenon like rolling a pair of dice in a game of craps, the only way to get closer to it if you haven't already is to keep rolling the dice. That may mean taking more risks like I did like switching majors halfway through your undergrad thus delaying your graduation, trying out for a job somewhere completely foreign to you, or delaying your graduation even further to have another shot at SA recruiting. The point I'm trying to make is by doing so, you'll be throwing more shit at the wall, and eventually, some of it ought to stick. :)

Did you know that JRR Tolkien stands for Jolkien Rolkien Rolkien Tolkien?
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Apr 3, 2022 - 3:51am
ManifestDestiny1776, what's your opinion? Comment below:

 I went to a Canadian "target" (I put that into quotations because any Canadian who goes to this school thinking it's going to help them get into IB, even on Bay Street, has yet to go through their rude awakening yet)

Must be the horrifically overrated Ivey that experienced a British Empire-esque fall from prestige in the mid-2010s, but has yet to have a "Suez Crisis"-like event that really reveals their fall from grace.

Apr 3, 2022 - 4:01am
oelralfrich, what's your opinion? Comment below:
ManifestDestiny1776

 I went to a Canadian "target" (I put that into quotations because any Canadian who goes to this school thinking it's going to help them get into IB, even on Bay Street, has yet to go through their rude awakening yet)

Must be the horrifically overrated Ivey that experienced a British Empire-esque fall from prestige in the mid-2010s, but has yet to have a "Suez Crisis"-like event that really reveals their fall from grace.

Nah, while I admit Ivey's overrated, they're still the closest thing in Canada to a "target". I went to the school Americans think is the University of Texas when you just say the abbreviation haha

Did you know that JRR Tolkien stands for Jolkien Rolkien Rolkien Tolkien?
  • Intern in IB - CB
Apr 2, 2022 - 10:40pm

I wouldn't know but that question has never come up in an interview

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Apr 2, 2022 - 12:04pm

Time for some tough love, based on everything I've read on this thread, you don't seem particularly likeable.

You're answers are kind of aggressive/defensive/entitled. If you didn't convert two super days that you think went well, it's a fit problem. If you're networking a bunch and aren't getting interviews, the people you spoke to didn't like you.

The thing sometimes miss is networking isn't a check the box - it is NOT "oh he spoke to 3 people give him an interview". It's "oh he spoke to 3 people - let's see what they think and decide on an interview based on their feedback"

Take a good hard look in the mirror and figure out why you aren't connecting with your interviewers. Do mock interviews with a friend, mentor, or career center. Are you sounding entitled? Are you sounding like an asshole? Do you seem like someone id want to work with?

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Apr 2, 2022 - 12:18pm

Why are you complaining, when you got 2 superdays and didn't get the offers? You dropped the ball. Nobody else. You fucked up something in the interview, so stop making excuses.

I know it blows, but if you are truly a good candidate and actually prepared for interviews, it's a numbers game and you will eventually land something.

My personal experience is somewhat like yours, but I made it work:

I had a 4.0 at a non-target, was part of my school's banking club, had 2 IB internships (like actual live deal experience), networked extensively, but don't think I got a first round at a single BB/EB (literally not a single one, and I probably networked with 50-100 people at these banks during recruiting so had extensive networks). Landed a MM SA role, grinded hard that summer, managed to switch to at a top BB group for FT, and just accepted an offer at a top MF.

Trying to give you some tough love. I probably felt how you did at some point, but I didn't even have the chance to prove myself in an interview. I know it's not an easy process but you had the superdays and you did something to not get an offer. Keep grinding your technicals/behavorals, and I would suggest keeping a better attitude (even if it is hard as shit and feels terrible sometimes). The sad reality is the universe doesn't owe you anything. Pick yourself up. There are plenty of opportunities and paths to get where you want.

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Apr 4, 2022 - 2:32pm

Hey there, I'm currently a freshman and was wondering do you have any advice on navigating recruiting? Looking back, what are the things you did you feel were critical to you landing your mm sa/ bb ft/ MFPE on cycle offer(congrats by the way)

also any general life advice is good too.

Apr 2, 2022 - 6:48pm
IncomingIBDreject, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I thought they used to be fall? Has the timeline been pushed up?

Array

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Apr 2, 2022 - 3:33pm

IB SA recruiting is a joke now

Semi target with decent GPA. Got BB, EB, MM (tons with no networking) interviews and an EB offer. We only had OCR from 2 BBs too.

Maybe it's just you dude. 

But yeah, it's also just the beginning of April

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Apr 2, 2022 - 7:30pm

if you are diversity you do not need to network (outside the diversity programs). you cannot compare yourself to other normal candidates lmao

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Apr 2, 2022 - 7:34pm

if you are diversity you do not need to network (outside the diversity programs). you cannot compare yourself to other normal candidates lmao

I'm Asian. No programs buddy. Yeah lmao. Can you read dude? You just assume only URM's say stuff like that? God damn guys, learn to sell yourselves. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Apr 2, 2022 - 8:06pm

Funny thing is you really can't see someone's personable or not irl on this site.  Sure, non-targets have a tough time getting interviews (not talking to you btw) but maybe they ran their family's pizza shop in HS and can actually sound like a charismatic human during an interview.  Once they get their foot in the door, hardos can rarely compete.

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Apr 2, 2022 - 8:29pm

I'll admit. I am a hardo. 0 connections going into college in finance. I just started networking early and just focused on maintaining relationships with the people I got along with the most. I'm also decently privileged otherwise, which I will admit, but certainly not regarding finance. 

Apr 2, 2022 - 5:37pm
anthro123, what's your opinion? Comment below:

The IB recruiting process is inherently a shitshow and there's always a certain element of chance/luck/timing/etc. But it is incredibly competitive and that's always been the case. Instead of hating on the process though, perhaps take the time to be a bit introspective. Nobody owes you anything (not even an interview) and yeah it is sometimes actually quite unfair, but you have to roll with the punches and seek to improve (rather than channel that anger towards recruiters/bankers/banks/alums whatever etc). I understand that it can be discouraging and disheartening to be rejected (especially when making a superday!) but this job isn't necessarily always inspiring either... 

Not to mention that IB SA recruiting is nowhere near over and sometimes spots could even randomly open up (reneging, etc) 

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Apr 2, 2022 - 7:11pm

Horrible mindset. You're doing something wrong, although no one here can tell you exactly what that is. Figure out what it MIGHT be, improve, and keep trying.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Apr 2, 2022 - 7:42pm

things work out weird bro, I networked super hard and got an offer at the only bank i didn't network at LMFAO

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Apr 8, 2022 - 4:37pm

Same lol. Networked everywhere and ended up getting an offer from a bank I  cold applied with no networking. It is truly a shit show, and the way you counteract that is apply everywhere. Spray and pray. At some point the shit you are throwing will stick. 

Apr 2, 2022 - 8:06pm
wonkawill3, what's your opinion? Comment below:

You had two super days it was 100% something you did or failed to do that got you dinged. Why would they have interviewed you if they had no intentions of ever potentially giving you the offer? You proved that the process isn't bs because you got the interviews lmao. 
 

Edit: is the process a little broken? Obviously. But your case doesn't prove the point you think it does. Also if you spoke with 3-5 people at a bank, did you get referred? Did they push for you? 

Apr 2, 2022 - 10:04pm
Purple9988, what's your opinion? Comment below:

My guy. It's April second. You got tons of time. Reflect on what you did at your superdays and how to improve. All you need is one offer, one firm to give you a chance. If it happened to me - a guy from a non-target southern state school who just studied technical everyday, and ran through behaviorals each morning and evening in the shower, only to sweat and freeze up in half the interviews I had - it (an offer) will happen to you. 

I totally get that you are just venting here - God knows I used WSO to do the same - but I know that fit is a major factor and based on what I can see of your personality, see if you would pass the airplane test. 

  • Intern in HF - EquityHedge
Apr 3, 2022 - 4:48pm

Believe it or not, he does not have "tons of time." A fair number of banks are done recruiting and essentially all have started interviewing. If prospects are looking rough right now it is time to start panicking.

Apr 3, 2022 - 8:49pm
Purple9988, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I'm going to give you some light pushback on this - only because I remember last year going through the process and feeling so far behind my peers from reading WSO when in reality I was on pace or ahead of my peers. Some firms might already have had first rounds and be closing the process, but there are many firms - with tons of roles - which will continue to open or remain open through the next 4 months. Hell, Citi and BAML have not started the process at my school yet (6 kids go to Citi IB and 1-2 for BAML each year). 

I fully stand by that prospects have tons of time. Of the 30 or so guys I know who placed with me last cycle, only about half were placed before mid-May, with 10 being pretty late, I.E. late summer. 

Apr 14, 2022 - 5:57pm
Mifid2, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I think this is right….it seems like everyone has moved up their process so April of 22 is like June of 21….

Apr 2, 2022 - 11:26pm
chimpnotsimp, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Pm me your answers to "tell me about yourself" and "why investment banking" if you're comfortable, or post them here. I have been successful with firms similar to the ones you mentioned and would be happy to critique if it helps. 

Apr 3, 2022 - 12:39pm
Premia, what's your opinion? Comment below:

OP are you just saying the generic "fast paced deals" bullshit when they ask you why banking or why our firm?

Array
  • Intern in IB - CB
Apr 3, 2022 - 12:48pm

I usually answer something along the lines of "I'm interested in IB because I want to be a part of the largest decisions companies make--mergers, acquisitions, capital raises--and I'm interested in your bank because of alumni from my school who work there, its (something unique about its place in the marketplace), and it's culture seems very genuine. Often many banks say that culture is something important to them but it's little more than words on a slide, but at your bank I can tell it's something genuine that employees live in." If it's a longer question I'll go into how I was introduced to IB through members of my college sports team.

Apr 3, 2022 - 2:21pm
ManifestDestiny1776, what's your opinion? Comment below:
  • Semi-Target (very strong with finance--OCR by almost all the BBs)

No mention of GPA, likely below 3.6. No mention of major too, likely humanities. Also not a strong semi, given that only 7 or 8 BBs recruit on campus.

  • Corporate Banking Internship for 2022 at a bulge bracket

Not sure how this is supposed to be impressive, CB is essentially back office.

  • Student investment fund extracurricular ($10mm+)

No mention of your position within it, likely a filler/resume fluff position that does nothing.

  • Networked a ton

Not an achievement, but a requirement.

  • Resume format is WSO format

Generic.

  • Intern in IB - CB
Apr 3, 2022 - 2:46pm

My GPA is above 3.7 in the business school. The CB at the BB where I'm interning is coupled with CIB--I don't know much about corporate banking but I don't think it's back office if they have it under the IB umbrella. Last Friday I did a pitch to sell a $400k position and it went through. I mentioned that I networked precisely because it is a requirement, and if I hadn't listed it I would have been asked "have you networked?" Likewise, to avoid resume formatting questions I mentioned my resume is in the WSO format. 

Apr 3, 2022 - 3:42pm
Risk Weighted Ass, what's your opinion? Comment below:

It's a numbers game, stop crying. Just because it's a numbers game doesn't make it unfair, it actually makes it much more fair than if connections helped more.

Just send out a bunch of applications and keep improving and you will get there. Stop being bitter and get to work

Apr 3, 2022 - 6:20pm
AnalyzeANDchill, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I went to a non target, no internship , no student investment fund extracurricular and I got hired at a bank. Have you tried not being a dick? 

I agree its not all based on merit and I think most people would too but there is a ton of people who meet the merit requirement, be creative. I know someone who bought a membership to the country club to meet one of the VP's because he knew he was hiring. Yes it might should change but this is how it currently is and its very high paying job. In all honestly I do think it is slowly changing though as banks loose more people to tech the culture does seem to be shifting a bit

  • Analyst 1 in AM - Other
Apr 3, 2022 - 8:02pm

This is the most I can offer. It's why I got the job I have today. The "fit" other people are talking about is mostly determined by your 2 minute story at the beginning of the interview and it's probably why you have struggled to connect with during networking calls and in super-days. That video is worth every bit of the 10 minutes.

Keep your head up and maybe look at some MM or boutiques. An MS Finance is a good way to delay graduation and get more shots on goal too. Getting in at any IB shop opens a lot of doors. It is much easier to move upstream from there, especially now given the job market.

Comprehensive guide:

https://mergersandinquisitions.com/investment-banking-interview-questions-and-answers/

10 minute video summary:

https://youtu.be/Yh2wBPhKAh4

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Apr 3, 2022 - 8:18pm

bro I get you're salty and I'm not even gonna try to offer a solution but just wanna say thank GOD I'm not you lmfao I can't imagine trying to pretend to care about the people interviewing me or having to brush up on college sports again just to appease to the dumb frat tard on the other end of the line, recruiting was horrible. But it def gets better or something (idk not like anything we say is gonna make you quit).

Some of my "best hits" (worst hits) was initiating a conversation that was actually interesting and talking about travel and history just to have the other person start talking about Myokonos and all the other normie ass european travel spots which are all the same (just the same islands you can visit in the caribbean or anywhere else in the world) or that one guy who goes to Cancun every year and thinks he's exotic or something, idk but it was garbage. 

Apr 3, 2022 - 8:29pm
freshman trying to figure it out, what's your opinion? Comment below:

you should have worked harder. Do you have a 4.0 GPA? If not then it's your fault for not working hard enough to get it. Stop complaining on WSO and do something to improve yourself. Luck or no Luck if you are impressive enough no one will be able to deny you

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Apr 7, 2022 - 3:57pm

Please stop trying to give advice as a high school student...you are out of your depth. NGMI 

  • Prospect in IB - CB
May 25, 2022 - 1:39pm

This x100. Had lower gpa, "worse" resume than most of my friends recruiting, and managed to snag an "EB" sa role for 23. Notice what you're good and bad at. For me, I recognized I'll never be the smartest guy in the room but I'll damn well try to be the funnest to talk to. I had no problem speaking to my interests in interviews, and always had a smile on my face, high energy, and turned the conversation to allow the interviewer to talk about themselves (hint: people love to talk about themself). The interviews that I couldn't manage to do this and were 30 minutes of technicals were the ones that didn't go anywhere after even if I nailed the questions. It's about your ability to cultivate relationships very quickly.

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Apr 4, 2022 - 1:54am

In reflection, I've found that some of my biggest life decisions were determined by luck. But I've also noticed it was a lot of my own hard work that got me 90% of the way there.

Maybe the 10% didn't go in your favor this time around, but don't forget to do the 90% if you still want to do this come FT recruiting next year. Get a relevant internship experience (I didn't get SA, instead did transaction advisory at a non big 4, got an EB offer from a non target with no connections other than networking), network and make solid, genuine connections, and try not to stress about it too much in the meantime. Life happens for a reason.

P.S. if you really don't want to leave that 10% up to luck, develop mentoring relationships with senior bankers you network with.

  • Prospect in IB - Gen
Apr 4, 2022 - 4:11pm

Hey, if you don't mind me asking, how far in advance did you network for FT recruiting?

Apr 4, 2022 - 7:11am
rickle, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Didn't read the whole thread. You'll probably be put off by this and if so, that's actually the issue. Just think for a second that the problem may lie with you. People who "can but don't" don't for a reason. As an older member of WSO, I've seen many people blow their political capital on bad decisions including vouching for others or "pulling strings." Very little positive can happen but lots of negative. So in order for them to do that, they have to really believe in you AND like you. The second part to that is HUGE! Quite frankly, your tone comes off as quite entitled and unlikeable. I would consider that and work on how you present yourself.

They don't exist to accommodate you. Quite the other way around. 

  • Intern in IB - CB
Apr 4, 2022 - 12:09pm

GPA is 3.7 and ACT is 35. My post was the way it was because I'm a bit frustrated, and I'm not like that in real life.

Apr 4, 2022 - 12:12pm
Bordan_Jelfort, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Your view of "merit" is not the idea of "merit" that banks are looking for.

From what I can glean from your post, you're evaluating merit as solely items on a resume (GPA, experience, etc.). The banks, while they are looking for you to check all of these "merit" boxes via your resume, are looking for social merit-the ability to successfully network, make people like you, engage in interesting conversation, ask the right questions, and convey your interest and talent through the networking process.

If I had to guess, your failure to get first-round interviews is likely due to a lack of networking (you mentioned you contacted only 3-5 people at each firm), an inability to make people like you (coming off as too hardo), or an inability to convey your interest/talent through your networking conversations with analysts.

When I was recruiting, I was not so surprised at the banks that did/did not offer me first round interviews. For the banks where I did get offers, my primary networking conversations had gone well, and I could have counted on those contacts to vouch for me during internal recruiting talks. For the banks where I did not get an interview, my networking calls did not go as well, and I hadn't established a good relationship with 1 or more of the analysts.

Generally, when my networking conversations with analysts at a particular firm centered entirely around banking (no talking about football, college life, vacations, etc.) I would not expect those analysts to remember or vouch for me, as I did nothing to stand out from other candidates who have robotically memorized all of the answers to the 400 questions guide.

If you think that this is a foolish way to evaluate candidates, you're not considering the industry and the skills necessary to be a banker. So you can create an LBO model in 30 minutes-nobody cares about this if you can't interact well with clients, or if you can't get along well with coworkers (who you're going to be spending 80+ hours/week with).

"Work until your bank account looks like a phone number"
  • 3
Apr 4, 2022 - 3:12pm
rickle, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I'll give you an example of valuable networking. Someone close to me was hired at a prestigious Asset Management firm (probably more selective than the banking gigs). He was one of 100 interns (firmwide across all locations and positions) out of 12,000 applications. Via networking he found a few alumni to discuss the firm, job, culture, etc. They referred him to others who referred him to others. All in all he had 7 or 8 meaningful calls with people in different locations and various levels. During his interviews he was able to demonstrate an extreme depth of firm culture by referring to those conversations (by name - yes he got their permission). His superday consisted of interviews with 9 people and they commented on how great it was that he took the time to get to know the company.  His call time with the 7 or 8 info sessions totaled approx 10hr. One of the people worked in the department of and knew one of the Superday interviewers really well and put in a good word (and actually followed up via email to say X did a good job on the interview). Another contact reviewed the major technical areas to prep for interviews. All of that was because of the level  and tone of the networking . He spent hours on preparing for the interview after all the networking. Sometimes that's what it takes for these highly competitive jobs.

  • Prospect in IB - Cov
Apr 4, 2022 - 4:34pm

Can you go into your process for landing IB last summer? I've emailed over 350 boutiques and many only want juniors. 

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Apr 4, 2022 - 4:56pm

Damn, it's almost like your resume is just like everyone else's… oh wait…

Blows me when the extraordinarily average are surprised when no one bats an eye

Apr 4, 2022 - 9:51pm
johnny-mnemonic, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I broke in from a non-target and we've had people go to HL RX, Evercore, MS, Barclays, etc. recently. All of us have done two or three boutique IB internships during freshman or sophomore year. Why didn't you pursue these opportunities and do back-office internships instead? Semi-target schools should have a few OCR relationships, did you take advantage of this? Your story honestly doesn't make a lot of sense. What do the upperclassmen in your finance club think about your interview ability? If you had superdays you definitely had a fair shake. 

  • Prospect in IB - Cov
Apr 4, 2022 - 10:43pm

Advice for getting into boutiques? I've emailed hundreds and not much luck for freshman/sophomore year.

Apr 4, 2022 - 11:34pm
johnny-mnemonic, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Of the underclassmen I've mentored that's exactly what they did. They got on the phone with every boutique bank in a region, especially banks with one or two random senior bankers who went to our school in the 80s. If they struck out they moved their search to another city. Most of them networked so much they lined up two or three IB internships covering different industries during their sophomore year. I lucked out and had a great connection at a bank local to our school. Don't stop reaching out, plenty of ten man shops take interns. It's great because there's never an expectation of them giving a return offer - just the experience, and you can send them a kid one year younger than you when you leave. 

Apr 5, 2022 - 1:23am
dafftt, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Notice the previous response? You are encouraged to get on the phone. But buried in the response is the "lucked out" factor. I am afraid that's the secret sauce if you are non-target. So, you gotta persist, but do also need an element of luck. As long as you don't quit, luck has an opportunity to knock on your door.

Apr 5, 2022 - 2:38am
Illusive Paradigm, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Well clearly you didn't want it enough. Yes, you hit the merit check box, but at the end of the day there are tens of thousands of people above and slightly below you in merit who are fighting for the offer. It doesn't matter if you think sending out 500+ emails is "worth your time" it's what others are willing to do. And frankly, that's the type of grueling work you will have to do as an analyst at times. I got into a decent MM this summer, and the best group at that MM firm with PE placements in top MFs and top MMFs networking. I go to a 1k student school and have a 3.5 GPA with no alumni ever placed in IB, but I networked with thousands of people until I got my foot in the door at a few places. Tbh you sound like an entitled prick who whines like a little bitch because he doesn't get his way. Were your raised by Karens? Guess what, the world isn't fair. You can complain about it or you can fucking do something about it. If you choose to complain about you're likely just not IB material. I hope you can learn to just keep fucking moving and grinding, otherwise, go to corporate finance.

  • Incoming Analyst in AM - Other
Apr 6, 2022 - 11:24am

Top BB AM offer:

  • Non-target
  • Audit internship
  • Some extracurriculars but nothing in a leadership position
  • Met some guy that worked in the same firm but in a MO role in a different country - yes this was my networking
  • My sister's resume format (she is an engineer)
  • 3.3 GPA

Luck plays a big part 

  • Intern in IB - Cov
Apr 7, 2022 - 1:22am

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Apr 8, 2022 - 4:26pm
MBA - SA, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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May 19, 2022 - 2:16pm
bands_bands_bands, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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May 19, 2022 - 2:15pm
bands_bands_bands, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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