May 2024 Grad feeling lost and hopeless.

If Im going to be potentially doxxing myself with the details I'm about to say, so be it. I just want a shot.

I literally have exhausted every possible resource and warm lead I had in trying land a FT role for this upcoming summer. I attend a non-target state school in New England with a mid GPA (3.5). Before I transferred schools I took a gap year to establish residency in the state I am currently living in now to save up money and I spent my first year working FT in a Business Development Role at a start up and grinding school (this was during covid). 

Prior to all this, the school I am attending now was my fathers dream school before he passed away from cancer in 2020. I moved thousands of miles away from home, hopped from hotel to AirBnB with little money left. When I got the news of my fathers passing shortly after I left my home state, I was getting ready to open up the Subway I was working at 6:00 in the morning and I never felt more loss and hopeless in my life. You wanna know what I did? I picked myself up, I went to the bathroom and cried for 5 minutes mourning the loss of my dad, and I thugged out the rest of my shift for the next 7 hours. Since that moment of experiencing homelessness and losing your father to cancer simultaneously, I knew that I hit rock bottom and I was going to complete my undergrad no matter WHAT the circumstance was and never let anything knock me off my pivot. 

Fast forward to the COVID restrictions easing in 2021, I got involved in my business school, attended all my finance society meetings, built my own portfolio in which I developed a deep passion for trading. I grinded every class while working 30-40 hours a week trying to make ends meet. I was able to leverage my experience in which I landed a operations gig at a insurance carrier. A year later in 2022, I was able to land a Asset Management internship doing credit analysis and became part of the E-board at my schools finance society. I was grinding the shit out of my internship and interviewing for Summer of 2023. Finally, I was finally able to land a Summer 2023 S&T internship at Credit Suisse.

Yes, I was one of the 18 interns that Summer at what was left of CS. My first summer in NYC was one of the most amazing and humbling experiences of my life. I was very aware of the situation going on at CS and doubled down on my career thinking that I could potentially make a transition to UBS.. boy was I wrong. The only two interns UBS allowed to join FT were Summer interns at CS the year prior. On paper, it makes sense, and these kids are absolute DEMONS, so Im happy for them.

Come present day, I am now on the E-board on a student-run VC fund at my school. I am absolute struggling to find a job for graduation, this is literally one of the hardest things I have ever done next to remaining in a place thousands of miles away from home after losing my dad to cancer and not going back home because I couldn't afford the ticket back home. In my school, I tell kids my story and inspire them and I would always go out of my way to help them when it comes to interview prep, studying etc. But seeing everyone land a FT offer post grad except me is probably one of the most humiliating experiences of my life. I am consistently sleeping at 4 AM, losing sleep, losing weight, I have withdrawn myself from all my social circles. But I am still not tapping out and fighting to find something. 

All I ask for is a shot

 

Based on the most helpful WSO content and insights from the WSO Academy, it's clear you've been through an incredibly tough journey, and your resilience is truly commendable. The path you've taken, from overcoming personal loss and hardship to securing internships and leadership positions, showcases a level of determination and grit that's highly valued in the finance industry. Here are some actionable steps and advice to help you navigate this challenging time:

  1. Leverage the WSO Networking Guide: Networking is key, especially in finance. Utilize the WSO Networking Guide to refine your approach. Tailor your outreach to alumni from your school, previous colleagues, and even professionals who have shared similar experiences or interests. Your story is powerful—let it resonate in informational interviews.

  2. WSO Resume Review Service: Consider using the WSO Resume Review Service to ensure your resume best reflects your experiences, skills, and the unique journey you've had. Sometimes, a fresh set of professional eyes can make all the difference in highlighting your strengths.

  3. Engage with the WSO Community: The WSO forums are filled with professionals and peers who may have been in your shoes. Sharing your story there (while keeping personal details private to avoid doxxing) can open doors to advice, opportunities, and even mentorship.

  4. Consider Broadening Your Search: While you may have a specific role or firm in mind, the finance industry is vast. Look into related fields or roles that value your asset management and operations experience. Roles in financial analysis, risk management, or even fintech startups could be a good fit.

  5. Mental Health and Well-being: It's crucial to take care of your mental health during this stressful period. WSO might be all about finance, but the community understands the importance of well-being. Don't hesitate to seek support, whether it's through campus resources, counseling, or community support groups.

  6. Prepare for Interviews with WSO Courses: Utilize WSO's Interview Prep Courses to ensure you're ready when the next opportunity comes. From technical questions in finance to behavioral interview techniques, being well-prepared can give you the edge you need.

  7. Stay Persistent but Open: The finance industry is known for its competitiveness, but it's also full of unexpected opportunities. Stay persistent in your search, but remain open to roles and paths that might differ from your initial plan. Your diverse experiences could be a unique asset in areas you haven't yet considered.

Remember, your journey has already shown you possess the resilience and determination to succeed. This is just another challenge that you're equipped to overcome. Keep pushing forward, and don't hesitate to lean on the resources and community available to you through WSO and beyond.

Sources: What are your thoughts on people with pronouns in their signatures?, Year 1 in consulting - tips, tricks, advice, and unspoken rules., Everything I wish I knew in Banking, My Recruiting Story: The importance of reading emotions and the appearance of intelligence, Which Undergrad Classes Matter?

I'm an AI bot trained on the most helpful WSO content across 17+ years.
 

I feel you man. Was an SA at CS this past summer. I was legit depressed for a couple of months to see everything I have worked for crumbling down for something so out of our control.

You probably know better than anyone else on what you are doing right now. Keep up the good work and never lose hope! Things will work out and good things will always come to those who put in the honest work.

Apologies for not being able to help but at least bumping this will help you out a bit.

 

Same boat but '23 Grad.

All I can say is you went through hell and made the most of it. Most importantly, I'm sorry to hear about your dad. Life certainly isn't fair and we cannot control when firms stop hiring, no matter how many hundreds of people we call. The only way is continuing to build yourself as a candidate.

Also, please do not remove yourself from social circles. You need friends to keep your mind sane.

 

Heads up man!

I also come from a challenging background, having been raised in absolute poverty and being a part of a street gang during my youth in APAC.

I managed to complete my B.Sc and M.Sc with perfect GPA while working a full-time job and being on the student board in a European semi-target school. I did five internships in banking, but I couldn't land anything in BB/MM IB as I am non-white and don't speak their native language.

However, I didn't give up and started working in a small PE firm now (Nothing near to BB, but at least better than being unemployed)

I believe you can achieve even more given your experience and living in the US, you can easily start in some less reputatable shops and work your way up.

Landing a BB internship is already an excellent achievement, so don't lose hope. Good luck!!

 
Most Helpful

I feel for you man and just want to encourage you to keep searching, even for unconventional roles to get your start in the industry. In the long arc of your career you can bend toward where you want to be. You have a solid resume. I know another CS intern and he was in the same tough spot, now joining a different bank after graduation. Really rough situation you guys are in and there was no way to predict it.


I would argue that the most personal growth happens when your plan gets fucked up. I was unexpectedly let go from my IB analyst program just months in. Had to scramble to find another full time role essentially right after graduating with a really questionable resume. After a long search I finally found a place that needed an analyst with my background. Keep at it, it might take a while but there will be the one bank or fund that really needs a recent grad and isn’t deterred by current macro or other factors. This is a really tough job market and will just take a ton of shots on goal to get something locked down. Best of luck man.

 

dealing with the same stuff, as a 2023 grad, coming from a background of multiple buyside internships - ended up taking a temp strategy job at a startup unrelated to finance. pay is absolute dog water, but the hours are not too bad, so just continuing to recruit outside of my 9-5. if anyone wants to speak or needs resources, do feel free to pm.

you are not alone - depression and anxiety is something that everyone out there experiences at some point, especially during times like this. try to take some comfort in knowing that you are not alone, and reach out if you need to.

 

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