University Grade

Just wanted to know, although the minimum requirement to work at an investment bank is a upper second (2:1), do most people at investment banks (particularly IBD) have a first class?

Do I stand a chance, in this competitive recruiting environment, with a 2:1 for ibd jobs at BBs/elite MMs?

Is it even worse to get a 2:1 in finance because its means your not 'very good' at Finance? Is it better to swap to maths or something and get a upper second or a first?

I reckon I'm going to get a 2:1 (given my grades) and I'm a finance major so am pretty worried. If I'm getting a 2:1 in a finance major, then am I too dumb to be in IBD/pursue finance as a career? (serious question)

This has made me scared:

Comments (9)

BTbanker, what's your opinion? Comment below:
A donkey isn't too dumb to work in IBD.
Yeah, but they can't do excel without using a mouse.

cujo.cabbie, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I was worried because people I see on LinkedIn usually have a first class. Also the people who study finance usually are 'the best in their class' and then land offers. Or have a Master's degree behind them and are extra extra smart. Was just concerned that my '2:1' will look 'less worthy' compared to them...

Also I was thinking that employers may look at it like this: 2:1 in Finance from a target vs First in Law from a target. First shows more potential to learn. Therefore take the Law student. Am I wrong in thinking this?

I was also thinking that a lot of the good schools want a first class for a Master's course/MBA so getting a 2:1 now may get me into IBD but I may be unable to move to PE or something because I will look less clever.

oreos, what's your opinion? Comment below:

can you get a first still? if so, do it. if not, this conversation is moot.

and to the "everyone on Linkedin has a first", that is because no one who ever got a 2:1 thought it worthy of putting it on Linkedin. much like with accounting and cfa exams you wouldn't put that you passed on the 2nd time, but people frequently put that they had first time passes.

"After you work on Wall Street it’s a choice, would you rather work at McDonalds or on the sell-side? I would choose McDonalds over the sell-side.” - David Tepper
  • 1
cujo.cabbie, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Yes I can still get a first and am aiming for it. The minimum I'll get is a 2:1 (which is more likely then a First if I must be honest). You have a good point btw regarding them not putting it on LinkedIn. Most write (Hons).

Will Hedge Funds, PE firms etc still take me with a 2:1 though? Does the degree even matter once you are working?

eyebeedee, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Of the people I know personally in IBD, most have 2:1s and in a range of different degrees, some in finance, others in subjects like history.

At the end of the day, the degree you get is only a small part of getting made an offer. If all you have is a first class degree and you're competing against somebody with a 2:1 but who is a much better candidate, they will win. It's about fit and who you want to spend 18 hours a day with ultimately.

cujo.cabbie, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Really? Thanks for this. I agree with the above. I do a lot of other stuff with my time (no excuse for getting a 2:1 vs a first) but I was just thinking they may hire the 'cleverer' person vs me. Also I wasn't sure if I would be disadvantaged in terms of PE recruiting, HR recruiting, MBA applications and so on.

basedismyname, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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