What to answer when confronted about non-target background?

Sup all,

Wondering what to say when you're being confronted because you're coming form a non-target.
I recently had a coffee talk with a VP and he told me that they usually don't take people from my type of schools, but only the top ones, etc.... Hence I shall not expect much from him/offers.

I kicked back asking him if hiring non-target represents a risk, how could I show him that I am not a bad take.. (Generally tell me what to leverage). Thereafter the chat went pretty well I think, we talked about positions, and how he could support me in other applications maybe, I'm feeling OK.
But what do you guys think I should answer when being confronted by this statement piece (which in the end is mostly true)?

I would say try and keep your head up, try not to have an immense mood swing that shows on your face, and maybe "challenge" them (in an humble and respectful way) to show that you're not just accepting your poor fate but looking forward to improve / challenge the status quo and understand how to make the bets out of your situation, I think they want strong minds who can build and support their opinions in a way(?).
I may be wrong, but I still dunno what to think, what is a mind game or a genuine sorry from their side?

Comments (4)

Most Helpful
Sep 26, 2022 - 10:19am
rabbit, what's your opinion? Comment below:

What a great response. It'll be hit or miss because there are a LOT of bankers who can't get hard unless you come from a target but I do encourage you to continue to respectfully ask that question.

That aside, there lots of reasons that speak to a good story. Mine was I couldn't afford a target school, others I know have said they were directionless and didn't know better but school/networking/friends/family sort of opened their eyes and piqued their interest in finance and they got their shit together.

Edit: Put some more thought into this. I think you'll have to come to terms with the fact that no matter the story, it just won't resonate with some people. You can't win em all.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Sep 26, 2022 - 5:35pm

I chose my non-target over a semi because of fit and I just explain that whenever I'm asked. 'I chose the school where I thought I would be the most successful.' My school ended up being the perfect fit and I have zero regrets. It's usually a positive part of my interviews because it has a nice campus and a lot of senior bankers have visited the city before. Almost always turns the conversation into questions like 'have you been to that restaurant / hike / beach?'

Sep 26, 2022 - 6:04pm
Pussy galore, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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