Comments (6)

Jun 26, 2022 - 11:49am
DCFmachine, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Disclaimer: I'm a summer intern, so can't speak on FT. I'd say it completely depends on your situation. A top target student with a 4.0 won't have much issue breaking into IB as long as they're reasonably competent and vice versa. All you can really do is set yourself up the best you can to maximize your odds of securing offers. With relevant experience, a good school, a high gpa, and networking, you'll likely land something-now, how good that "something" is depends on a lot of factors, luck being one of them. Obviously, none of those are required to break in, they'll just make your life easier. That's my 2 cents.

Jun 26, 2022 - 12:03pm
4.0 GPA, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Intern in IB-M&A

Disclaimer: I'm a summer intern, so can't speak on FT. I'd say it completely depends on your situation. A top target student with a 4.0 won't have much issue breaking into IB as long as they're reasonably competent and vice versa. All you can really do is set yourself up the best you can to maximize your odds of securing offers. With relevant experience, a good school, a high gpa, and networking, you'll likely land something-now, how good that "something" is depends on a lot of factors, luck being one of them. Obviously, none of those are required to break in, they'll just make your life easier. That's my 2 cents.

Completely agree. I'm at a target school, not in the target business program tho. I did a full 180 switch from the media industry my sophomore year, into the RE program. I networked well, and had interviews and SD's at top firms. I didn't land an offer due to my lack of finance experience and the candidates I was up against. However, I landed an offer at a reputable bank, and will shoot my shot with the connects I have to lateral to a better firm. If you know how to speak over the phone, get someone to like you, and send a really good cold email, anything is possible.

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  • Prospect in PE - Other
Jun 26, 2022 - 12:18pm

Even further, it all depends on how committed you are to the position. I just went through SA recruiting as well so can't speak to FT yet. However, I come from a target school, non-diverse, comparatively average GPA, non finance major with prior experience only being in public policy. Decided to 180 and pivot to private sector and began reaching out to whoever I could see working as a AN1 on LinkedIn from my school. First calls went horrible but started picking up how to talk about common technical questions and what ways to talk about a deal. Remember each conversation you have and build you skills on it, treat your first couple of calls as trial rounds (so don't have your first call be at Goldman). Keep your fingers crossed and pray to get first round interviews, in the meantime network network network, subtly try to see if people will refer you or if it's a dead end. Then, none of that matters after the first round invitation. Grind like a maniac like a fucking hormonal acne-faced 8th grader at his first school dance to learn the technical questions (400 breaking into Wall Street). Don't fucking memorize them. Understand them, kick aside your pride, and ask someone smarter to fill in the gaps if you don't know. Then play the interviewing game, obviously know your technicals but be as charismatic as possible and play the interviewer, know who you're talking to and what kind of conversation they'd like to hear. Determine whether to speak fast or slow and whether to be a technical god or a homie. Then, they'll advance and give you a SD, take it and run.

all in, obviously being from target school helps a ton but a lot of these large numbers of applicants drive low acceptance rates because kids applying for SA positions grind but then get burnt out and lazy at the last hour. Obviously non targets get the short end of the stick and can't even get first rounds without giving up their firstborn, but so many target kids can't interview because they don't even know what IB even is. Just play your game and be fucking good at it and you'll get a solid offer. 

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Jun 26, 2022 - 12:23pm

Depends on how hard you prep and on your background like others mentioned. Also depends on what kind of firm you want to go to. Generally speaking, competition is intense.

Bulge brackets and boutiques like LAZ/CVP/EVR have around 2-4% accept rates (guesstimate). In my school conference composed of mostly semitargets, ~25% of applicants got a first round at one of those boutiques and only 2% got internship offers.

Even at the private equity firm I'm interning at now, the acceptance rate was 1% out of a bit under a thousand applicants. When even those stepping stone internships have such low accept rates, it's easy to see the difficulty of breaking in.

Full-time recruiting is another matter and is even more difficult in general.

Jun 26, 2022 - 1:22pm
conrad_candor, what's your opinion? Comment below:

It depends largely on your individual situation - when I first learned about the process for recruiting and the "target" and "non-target" differences, I was worried that I (having gone to a non-target school) would have no chance of breaking in. However, I've learned that it is actually far more nuanced - different schools have very different prospects for IB, and even with regards to geography, a non-target school closer to the city you're recruiting in, obviously, has a better draw than one father away. I was lucky enough to attend college fairly close to the city I was recruiting in, so it made getting my foot in the door slightly easier. 

Besides this differentiation, the only way to reduce your disadvantage (i.e., at least get a first round) is through networking - I networked my ass off and entered a dozen processes at major banks (MMs & EBs) and industry boutiques, superdayed at ~6, and converted several offers. Though counterfactual, I think it makes sense (in my position) that without networking I probably would not have had even a first round at most of these shops, because our school is so underrepresented. 

I would also say that the technical portion of interviews vary by a wide margin, and that some banks place a higher importance on cultural fit rather that technical acumen, or vice versa. If I could've done things differently I would've been more precise with my networking efforts (not overdoing it) and figuring out more specifically what banks look for, and tailoring prep more closely to match. 

  • Analyst 3+ in IB - Cov
Jun 26, 2022 - 3:52pm

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