Rising Junior Losing Hope and In Need of Advice

Hey all,

I'm a rising junior at a top five undergraduate business school double majoring in finance and math in need of a lot of advice, guidance, and frankly encouragement.

I'm going into a lot of debt in order to go to the school I currently attend, about 130k. I knew this when I accepted my admission offer. Despite the shit load of debt that I knew was in my future, I accepted my admission offer as I knew I wanted to live in NYC and pursue a career in finance. Given that I got into one of the best business schools in the country, I knew it gave me the best chance to make my dream a reality.

Since January I have been recruiting for IB, like many other sophomore/rising juniors. I'm still recruiting and have yet to receive an offer and I'm losing hope. There aren't too many banks left that haven't started their interview/application process and it just seems like my chances are getting slimmer and slimmer. 2 of my favorite banks that I think I've networked decently well with haven't given out first rounds yet/application hasn't opened but other than that, I have struck out with every bank I've applied to. On top of that, my parents honestly double fucked me because I just learned that they never filled out the FAFSA and other necessary financial aid documentation that I reminded them about repeatedly and now I'm looking at taking on closer to 150k of debt when I graduate because I'm no longer eligible for institutional grants this year. I literally came home on Thursday after staying at my college house with my buddies since school ended and I found out at the dinner table with my parents. It was truly a horrific conversation. I called my schools financial aid office on Friday and they said that they are very strict with all financial aid applications this year (I'm assuming because of Covid), and that my only hope is to appeal if "there are extenuating circumstances explaining why my parents didn't apply on time." I still have zero clue what the fuck I'm doing regarding this.

I'm really starting to grow concerned about the fact that I don't have an IB offer yet and I'm starting to wonder if looking it might be time to start looking at alternative career paths like consulting, jumping in straight into private equity (if possible), or something else. Again I'm a finance and math dual degree and I have a 3.55 GPA. I'm involved in multiple clubs on campus; I have a Director position in a PE club, I'm a desk head in 2 investment groups, and I'm also a member in a banking club and hopefully will be taking on a senior leadership position next week. I'm currently doing remote two internships at a boutique west coast investment bank and an east coast private equity firm. I do not see my self working full time ever at either of these as they're just too small. I know IB is what I want to do because I find it interesting, it will allow me to pay off my debt asap, I want to live in NYC, people respect tf out of it, and most importantly for me, the exit opportunities are through the roof. The last point is the most important for me because I don't know 100% what I want to do in the long term; it could PE, VC, or I could pursue a corporate position. I'm just not sure of it as of now and I found banking attractive because not only does it not close any doors, it opens a bunch as well.

All in all, I'd appreciate any advice that anyone has for any part of my situation. If you have payed off a shit ton of debt that's similar to the amount I'm taking on, I'd love to hear from you and how you dealt with it as it's really starting to stress tf out of me. If anyone has advice on how I should attempt to appeal with the fin aid office, please let me know as I have no clue what to even say other than saying something along the lines of "my parents forgot." Any general career/recruiting advice related to the topic(s) I've described will also be appreciated. Honestly, any advice in general regarding my situation will be greatly appreciated and acknowledged.



Yeah man it sounds like you are a competitive candidate. Keep going. I don’t really have much advice but just want to say I read your whole post, and I think there is a lot of time left on the clock for you, or at least more than you think. You are only halfway through college; you can still win in the 3rd and 4th quarters. Just take it day by day and keep taking shots.

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As far as not having an internship yet: there are over 3,500 hedge funds in the US, nearly 2,000 PE firms and (I think) close to 1,000 firms that qualify as Investment Banks. There are also VC funds, startup accelerators, Valuation Firms, accounting firms, search funds, and corp finance and even small businesses. There is more opportunity to gain finance experience (which you can then spin and leverage into an IB offer) than you have time to even examine them all. As long as you are truly knowledgeable and interview ready (all technicals etc. nailed), with your school and stats, there is an opportunity that exists for you somewhere.

Recruiting cycles are for the larger institutions, you have no idea how many firms don't even have any form of recruiting period. You can not wait for a job posting or a "cycle". For these smaller firms, you have to go to them, tell them who you are and why they need you as an intern. COVID is a great time to offer to work remote, and (unfortunately) for free if there are no other options.

Additionally, have you looked into many of the firms that offer 'bootcamps'?

It's hard not to get discouraged on this website when everyone whores over the most prestigious positions, but mathematically even everyone on this website can't earn those spots. Trust me, if I of all people can make it somewhere, so can you. It is all about the hustle, and how smart you make the process. With your education and resume it sounds like your worst case-scenario could be a very tiny firm in a 2nd tier city, and guess what? You spend a year or two there, then leverage your knowledge and deal experience to get yourself where you want to be, whether that be a bigger firm, different city, etc.


You'll land somewhere in IB if you stay the course; don't fret about the debt; it will seem like small fry compared to the compensation you'll be receiving in just a few years. I would start to worry if you had that amount of debt and were planning to work as an art curator or something.

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