Immigrant, Homeless, Broke AF but FINALLY LANDS IB at a BB.

If you can, read the whole story. Anyone out there that's gone through tough shit, heads up and never give up!

My living situation as a child

I was born in a third world country (middle east), very (and I cannot stress this enough) shitty living conditions. Dirt roads, little food, browning water. My dad was VERY lucky and got approved for his green card and brought my mom and his kids to the states. No lie, it was very shitty here too. Both of my parents didn't attend high school, had to feed three kids, and needed to make rent. It was tough. My mom washed dishes, my dad cleaned floors, I personally cleaned bathrooms to support my family. My older brother has downs syndrome and also worked at a liquor store to support our family. Some other shitty things to mention before we get into the good stuff: We lost our home and lived in a van for some time, lost all our so-called "family" and "friends" because we were too poor/ "worthless" (fuck you guys).

Originally I wanted to be a Dr

I worked really fucking hard in high school and did well academically (high GPA, clubs, etc). Why? I wanted to go to a good school on scholarship and make money to take care of my family. Originally, I wanted to be a doctor, deadass because I knew they made money and it would always guarantee a job. Yes, I didn't care about helping people, I just wanted money and I'll admit it.

Scholarship offer

I was able to receive a full 100k scholarship to a VERY NON TARGET. Lmao you def have never heard of it but it was free tuition and an almost guarantee admittance to med school (if I did well). I didn't have 2$ let alone money for college, so I was like fuck it, let's go. I went, I hated the subjects, medicine was boring af to me. Plus, I didn't know it would take so much time and debt to really make some money as a doctor, like a lot of it, fuck that. I didn't have the patience and my family needs help because our situation was getting worse by the day. I had no idea wtf IB was, I honestly didn't know much about finance, thought it was whatever. Then my buddy got a job at Barclays and told me you make a fuck ton. I was like shit and made the switch.

Transferred to a target

First, had to switch schools because no way in hell was I getting an interview let alone an offer given my school. LEGIT ZERO alum are in banking at that school. I transferred to a very good target (think Northwestern, Umich, Duke). Thankfully, the school loved my story and they actually matched my scholarship so I don't have to pay even a single dollar for tuition (very fortunate).

Secured a IB Internship

The challenge was not over. I was dumb af and still didn't know anything about finance or banking. All I knew was chem and bio given my pre-med background. Plus, being poor at this school where everyone was rich af and had connections, I felt irrelevant and didn't think I was going to make it. My first year, I bombed every interview. Reason being, didn't know technicals because I haven't taken business courses and my parents were sick (a lot of personal stress). I was able to secure an IB internship in NY at a whatever bank.

Networked like crazy

I kept grinding despite missing school to take care of my parents and working 3 part-time jobs during school to put food on the table for my family back home. When I arrived in NY, I finally understood the concept of networking and proper interview skills. Met with every person in the city, legit over 100 phone meetings/coffee chats to break into the industry.

Got the call...

I then was invited for a superday at a BB. NGL, I didn't think it went well. Everyone there was an IVY league kid and looked way more polished than me. The interview went well but not like THAT GREAT. I came out feeling OK. I went back to work and kept on networking and preparing for interviews. At around 7pm, I get a call from NY and my heart sank. It was either the mofo seamless guy or the BB. I picked up and the VP called to congratulate me, I got an offer at the BB within IB.

I DEADASS cried while talking to him and said "Thank you, my family and I really appreciate it"

I ran outside the building, facetimed my parents and NEVER FELT MORE HAPPIER. For the first time, my parents were crying tears of joy and I finally feel content for once.

All that shit that I went through is fading away. I still can't believe that a poor immigrant kid could get an offer at a BB in IB.

Lessons:

NEVER give up, always be nice to EVERYONE, stay confident, use "disadvantages" as learning opportunities, and try to find meaning to why you want something (for me, taking care of my family).

(Apologize for being dramatic or any silly grammatical or spelling errors. I'm just happy af and still can't think rn lol. All the best to you all. Happy to answer questions)

Comments (81)

Jul 25, 2019 - 12:08pm
BBEGal, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Amazing! Congrats to you :) Audibly laughed at "it was either the seamless guy or the BB". Fun stuff.

Most Helpful
Jul 25, 2019 - 1:55pm
Synergy_or_Syzygy, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Congratulations!!! Remember as you rise up the ranks to pay it forward:

  • Give advice to kids recruiting, including non-targets
  • Treat your colleagues (and future junior staff) well regardless of their background
  • Stay humble and remember where you came from and to be a good person

(For people MS'ing, it doesn't help the dialogue unless you explain why...)

Be excellent to each other, and party on, dudes.
  • 30
  • 4
Jul 25, 2019 - 1:57pm
whatsapitchbook, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Thanks for sharing your story - I really wish we had more of these. truly inspiring and motivational.

STONKS
  • 1
Jul 25, 2019 - 2:45pm
Heartcore, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Well done sir. Bless you and your family.

  • 1
Jul 25, 2019 - 3:25pm
Bullet-Tooth Tony, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Great story. I think there is something to be said about someone that hustles and scraps like this compared to other kids. I can't definitely say that you will work hard than someone from a target that grew up with advantages, but I assume someone like you will work AT LEAST as hard.

Capitalize on it and work hard, but remember that life isn't all about work (e.g., your family is important).

Jul 25, 2019 - 4:31pm
leonardo dicaprisun, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Congrats. I was raised in similar socio economic conditions and am currently at a school where majority of my friends that are interested in IB have connections and are a lot more polished than myself but i am glad to see there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Jul 25, 2019 - 5:11pm
Hamdesh, what's your opinion? Comment below:

This is amazing! Congratulations and well deserved! I also came from a poor background hustled hard with networking and am now at a reputable bank, but fortunately did not have to cross as many hurdles you did. Resonate with you a lot about extreme gratitude since we come from humbler beginnings. Congrats again and good luck!

  • 1
Jul 25, 2019 - 5:35pm
Nightman Cometh, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Fuck yeah!!! Good shit. Best of luck in the career--you earned it. Nice to see the dream is still out there

Dayman?
  • 1
Jul 25, 2019 - 7:26pm
Aspiringwearerofdealsleds, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Congratulations! what a story, I wish you all the best going forward!

Array
  • 1
Jul 25, 2019 - 10:31pm
mergersandacquisitions78, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Also an immigrant, also a non target (although never had to go through what you did). I still remember that same call, 20 years later.

Congratulations, I'm sure you will crush it. Never look back. Glad to see this country still works. PM me if you want any tips before you start the internship.

Jul 26, 2019 - 1:51am
TechBanking, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Way to go - you are just getting started, but there is no doubt you have the tenacity to do well in finance. Bravo!

  • 1
Jul 26, 2019 - 8:10am
Gumball3000, what's your opinion? Comment below:

This is very inspirational, thanks for sharing your story with us.

  • 1
Jul 26, 2019 - 12:21pm
emceedrive, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Congratulations man. I have no clue who you are, but I'm really happy for you. I hope things continue to turn up for you.

Jul 26, 2019 - 1:57pm
[email protected], what's your opinion? Comment below:

Omg, What a great story! I really needed to hear this.I am an immigrant too and going thru the same shit poor and Non-target. Didn't really know what IB is until I graduated. I am working in B.val now and trying to learn as much as I can so I can transition into IB.

Jul 26, 2019 - 2:37pm
NudnikShpilkes, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I didn't make it into banking right out of school either but like you ended up in valuation, which positions you decently because you're able to develop significant technical skills. I'm now at a top tier MM firm but making that transition took a few years. Just a shit load of networking, sending out countless resumes and not letting that rejection email or phone call deter you. It can be done, good luck.

Jul 26, 2019 - 1:58pm
InfoDominatrix, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I don't know you, because I've got the biggest smile on my face as I read the tail-end of your post. I hope you and your family enjoy the "high" of your latest achievement and of all your hard work.

Onward and upward, keep your hustle, and keep us posted on your endeavors!

Jul 26, 2019 - 2:44pm
Spike Spiegel, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I can feel OP's humbleness emanating from how almost everyone on here got a silver banana for congratulating him. Keep it up!

Array
  • 1
Jul 26, 2019 - 4:53pm
alasdihsduasdguasduadsys, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I am really happy for you and I will try do to the same (again, and hopefully this time it works out). I find networking phone calls so weird. Both of you know what you want and once you get answers to the basic questions it just seems pointless.

My question is, what exactly did you ask them? What was your approach with each one of them? What kind of things did you try to learn?

made new unrelated account - dont reply or message as i never use it. 

  • 1
Jul 26, 2019 - 6:30pm
BigTuna5, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Hey,

I was horrible at these calls originally until I crafted my story. I always start off by saying "Thank you for taking the time, how about I tell you a little bit about my self and then I can ask you some questions if that's ok with you?"

If you have a killer story, they will get hooked and will ask YOU questions, the best way to start the conversation and be well engaged. After, ask him basic stuff but try your best to talk about fun personal things he/she enjoys. For example, I asked what he enjoys about NY and he talked about this car club, I personally love cars and we talked about cars for the entire call. In the end, he said he'll get me the interview without me even asking for help. You just gotta find common ground and let things fall in place naturally.

Good luck!

  • Anonymous Monkey's picture
  • Anonymous Monkey
  • Rank: Chimp
Jul 26, 2019 - 5:19pm
Anonymous Monkey, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Congrats OP, I have a similar story! Not as difficult as your journey as my parents immigrated here and then had me but grew up lower class, went to a shit high school, community college, and then transferred to ultimately land BB IB.

Much respect and best wishes

Jul 28, 2019 - 4:07pm
Tha Game, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Congratulations!!! Truly inspirational story and journey. I am sure that you and your family will rejoice with your notable achievement. It further reinforces the notion that determination and hard work always pay off. Hats off to you and thank you for sharing.

You're walking around blind without a cane, pal. A fool and his money are lucky enough to get together in the first place. Gordon Gekko
  • 1
Jul 28, 2019 - 7:08pm
Aerfally1, what's your opinion? Comment below:

From one immigrant with a similar background to another - this is what America is all about. You focused in, you never gave up, you dedicated yourself, you worked, and you EARNED. And people recognized and respected that. And you didn't complain or demand that this country or anyone give you anything because of blah blah blah - you f*cking earned it.

Never change this attitude; it will take you far, much further than the people who bleat and moan about not being able to achieve their goals because of xyz. Yeah, you have had to (and will have to) work harder. But that's OK. Just power through it and achieve.

Jul 29, 2019 - 9:44pm
Pattymatt4332, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I dig it man. Super inspiring to hear. Makes me believe with 1/10th the effort I can do big things.

Aug 12, 2019 - 5:15pm
Okiedokie, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Love the immigrant hustle. Good luck!

  • 1
Aug 13, 2019 - 12:51am
oligarch, what's your opinion? Comment below:

WHat country ? Yemen ?

How did you have the misfortune of being Arab and poor. That's like an oxymoron.

Other than that, good job. One of the things I love about America is how warm and accepting people are if they feel you're the right guy for the job. Every other social barrier or short coming is overlooked. American's ruthlessly commercial nature in the 9-5 world has done wonders for those who can succeed on merit. It's not like that in many countries where people from a clan, caste, or region, or ethnic group are still given priority.

D.I.
  • 1
Aug 13, 2019 - 2:34am
brotherbear, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I won't lie--I hate grammatical errors in all writing. I give few breaks, but in this case, I forgive your exuberance. I find your story inspiring and wish you luck. If you need some help in a year or so after you've spent some time at the bank, I'd happily speak with you about career options. I make that offer rarely, but if you cite this post, I will honor it in a year or two when you're recruiting for associate positions. In the interim, take a breath, enjoy your success (they come less often than you might like), then center yourself and remember what you're striving for. Never lose that drive. The drive is what makes you different than all the kids you beat. That's why they chose you. It's your meal ticket whether you're hungry or not. I guess I'm trying to tell you to remain hungry.

Aug 14, 2019 - 10:13am
anonymnous, what's your opinion? Comment below:

similar story myself - well done.. feels good.. stay grounded - don't forget yourself and your allegiances

"we do not reach the peaks of these mountaints, without first learning to give up our want to surrender" - shanke koyzcan
  • 1
Aug 18, 2019 - 6:34pm
tunguyen97, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Wow thank you for sharing this though. This is very inspiring, I'm kinda in the same situation as well but I'm an international student.

Aug 19, 2019 - 12:25pm
dveltman, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Delectus consequatur officia fuga odio quaerat voluptatem accusantium. Voluptatem sit eaque consequuntur voluptates aut veniam. Alias et pariatur nulla et. Qui dolor est doloribus a totam magnam et.

Aug 23, 2019 - 9:45am
Huayu-QIN, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Nobis eum quis asperiores qui porro consequuntur aliquam. Ullam numquam fugit libero occaecati molestias. Et consequatur aspernatur dolorem animi deleniti. Perferendis velit suscipit cupiditate quaerat fugiat ut. Sit delectus qui provident tempore quod ea. Voluptatem dolor est harum quaerat esse voluptatum consequatur.

Qui maxime expedita voluptatibus illum. Veniam nemo officiis quasi rerum. Rerum velit quia distinctio vitae.

Ut molestiae in inventore earum doloribus ipsam. Possimus cumque ut voluptates harum ex. Possimus delectus fugit et dolores quia id. Itaque animi inventore expedita autem et laboriosam deserunt.

Pariatur repudiandae aut et temporibus aspernatur. Rerum ipsa illum inventore.

Feb 1, 2021 - 12:23pm
DanutsMorks, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Dolore libero aut est enim voluptatem. Quod similique et est numquam eaque voluptas quasi. Incidunt et quia occaecati. Vitae aliquid repellat voluptatem ipsum quisquam suscipit.

Sint vel quis dolorem accusamus. Facere et voluptatem omnis cumque. Doloribus sequi laboriosam nostrum nemo esse.

Dolores dolorum ut ullam et. Quam modi ipsam placeat. Nulla nihil quia eum dolorem voluptas magni rerum. Sit aut ut aperiam iusto. Iste et omnis voluptas ut et nostrum. Ut qui nihil similique rem a aperiam omnis.

Quod blanditiis asperiores voluptatum et possimus suscipit. Ducimus et eos qui omnis aut. Quia porro itaque occaecati inventore ut. Enim error eligendi est adipisci iste.

Apr 24, 2021 - 1:38pm
Light in the dark tunnel, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Et sunt sed ducimus sequi nihil omnis ipsa. Molestiae accusamus sit aut inventore. Corporis est voluptas quia cum minima necessitatibus.

Architecto sed officiis dolorem aperiam ut optio. Sit ullam et asperiores et. Temporibus quam harum qui id tempora fugit molestias illum. Sit voluptatem dolorum explicabo asperiores dignissimos sit. Odio facilis autem maxime quos sequi accusamus. Ea error velit sapiente repellat quidem nemo et.

Atque ab aspernatur laboriosam. Non aut modi sequi et quia voluptatem. Est nesciunt in quisquam ex beatae vel.

Qui vitae fugiat sed sequi culpa provident quis. Expedita et ipsum perspiciatis totam sapiente sed. At ratione aliquam quia soluta. Ex omnis consequatur et et dolorum architecto. Dolores dolores ut et soluta et distinctio consequatur.

Start Discussion

Career Advancement Opportunities

September 2022 Investment Banking

  • Jefferies & Company (▲05) 99.6%
  • Lincoln International (= =) 99.2%
  • Bank of America Merrill Lynch (▲04) 98.8%
  • Financial Technology Partners (+ +) 98.5%
  • Evercore (▽02) 98.1%

Overall Employee Satisfaction

September 2022 Investment Banking

  • Jefferies & Company (▲12) 99.6%
  • Greenhill (▲07) 99.2%
  • Evercore (▲02) 98.8%
  • PJT Partners (▽02) 98.4%
  • Macquarie Group Limited ABN (▲21) 98.1%

Professional Growth Opportunities

September 2022 Investment Banking

  • Jefferies & Company (▲05) 99.6%
  • Lincoln International (▲03) 99.2%
  • PwC Corporate Finance (▲12) 98.8%
  • Bank of America Merrill Lynch (▲05) 98.5%
  • Houlihan Lokey (▲05) 98.1%

Total Avg Compensation

September 2022 Investment Banking

  • Director/MD (10) $613
  • Vice President (38) $392
  • Associates (210) $257
  • 2nd Year Analyst (131) $163
  • 3rd+ Year Analyst (19) $160
  • 1st Year Analyst (440) $151
  • Intern/Summer Associate (83) $150
  • Intern/Summer Analyst (319) $93