Dealing with Imposter Syndrome / Not Fitting In?

Sophomore at HYPSW, signed offer for BB SA 2025 somewhat recently. Lately been dealing with imposter syndrome, as I know so many other smart people who haven't gotten offers yet (or even heard back from places). Also, came from a relatively shitty public high school, and after looking on LinkedIn, I know now that so many people in banking went to the cracked East Coast preparatory schools. Can't help but feel out of place there.
It also seems that the majority of people in finance either come from extremely wealthy backgrounds, or are complete geniuses. I'm certainly neither.
Anyone with a similar background have any tips on making these feelings go away? I do have a year and change before my internship starts. LOL

 

Fr what sort of weak ass thread is that? "Boohoo I feel like an imposter" shut up lol

 

Get off WSO and out of the finance echo chambers at your school. The majority of analysts are from solidly middle class families and totally normal people, maybe a small handful went to those prep schools. It's just a job 

Also anyone who is smart/strong GPA at HYPSW and is unable to land an offer (recognize it's early still, but I mean at all) is doing something wrong, so don't get too caught up in who deserves it more... you did the work and your bank likes you, it's not that deep.

 

You'll be surprised to learn how many wall street people deal with imposter syndrome. I've had some colleagues at a megafund who I thought were incredibly brilliant, and they shared their constant fear of getting exposed and fired. And I thought to myself, if they think they are not good enough, wtf does that make me?

For where you are at, fear can be a good thing. You've just started a race, and it will keep you working hard. Use it wisely and keep up the good work! 

 

I just signed this week and I feel you. I come from a working-class background but went to a top boarding school + college on full aid. All you need to know is that you deserve it: you worked much harder than the kids who were coached their entire life. WGMI man.

 

How to combat imposter syndrome mentality:

Develop the following train of mind --- "fake it till you make it"

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee
 

Imposter syndrome is real. A weird but effective method I found for myself was taking it a step further to the “fuck you mentality” (but directed inward)…bottom line is nobody actually knows shit, we all think we do but we don’t…everyone is just figuring it out as they go so who tf are you to tell yourself that you aren’t good enough/can’t do something? If you’re really THAT bad then somebody will 100% tell you and/or you’ll be fired (there’s processes in place for that, entire HR workforces)…THEN you’ll know but until that point, operate under the assumption that you don’t know shit about fuck (bc you don’t) and send it…it’s fuckin weird and probably sounds psychotic but it’s gotten me to a lot of places I’d have never been if I had listened to myself and caved to self doubt…oh you don’t think you’re smart/good enough? Surprise, nobody does and Fuck you, for even thinking that’s your decision to make.

 
Most Helpful

Imposter syndrome is a real thing. I think especially in school you’ll compare yourself to peers through social, general interaction, course discussion, LinkedIn…etc and also compare yourself to anonymous people here and on Reddit or any other app you may look at. Generally though it’s important to remember the stuff you hear and see are likely the best aspects of someone’s life, not the worst. You’ll hear about the As and not the Cs, the offers and not the failed networking experiences. My advice is don’t compare yourself as much. Do what you can do, work as hard as possible to absorb all the information you can. You are on an even playing field with these people now, it doesn’t matter how you got there. The best thing to do is be content with what you have and realize that they picked you for a reason. These companies aren’t out there issuing pity offers.

I have dealt with imposter syndrome a lot especially in recent years. I went to a state school, started in a small local bank and worked my way up to a BB. I’ve always been the youngest on my team by about 5-10 years and felt like I didn’t belong or deserve what I got. However, people keep promoting me and rating me highly and I finally accepted that I do deserve what I got. I think there’s a point where you’ll prove yourself enough to where you no longer feel like an imposter and that will likely be way beyond any proving to other people. Ultimately, we can be our toughest critics. 

 

Est minima assumenda saepe. Quidem incidunt odit cum et soluta autem quo quisquam. Quam cum ea voluptatem adipisci autem eveniet quia.

Sequi qui quae et quidem quia incidunt ea dolore. Nobis necessitatibus dolore et in. Eos unde repellendus ut est excepturi voluptatem et. Sed quo vel sunt.

Career Advancement Opportunities

April 2024 Investment Banking

  • Jefferies & Company 02 99.4%
  • Goldman Sachs 19 98.8%
  • Harris Williams & Co. New 98.3%
  • Lazard Freres 02 97.7%
  • JPMorgan Chase 03 97.1%

Overall Employee Satisfaction

April 2024 Investment Banking

  • Harris Williams & Co. 18 99.4%
  • JPMorgan Chase 10 98.8%
  • Lazard Freres 05 98.3%
  • Morgan Stanley 07 97.7%
  • William Blair 03 97.1%

Professional Growth Opportunities

April 2024 Investment Banking

  • Lazard Freres 01 99.4%
  • Jefferies & Company 02 98.8%
  • Goldman Sachs 17 98.3%
  • Moelis & Company 07 97.7%
  • JPMorgan Chase 05 97.1%

Total Avg Compensation

April 2024 Investment Banking

  • Director/MD (5) $648
  • Vice President (19) $385
  • Associates (87) $260
  • 3rd+ Year Analyst (14) $181
  • Intern/Summer Associate (33) $170
  • 2nd Year Analyst (66) $168
  • 1st Year Analyst (205) $159
  • Intern/Summer Analyst (146) $101
notes
16 IB Interviews Notes

“... there’s no excuse to not take advantage of the resources out there available to you. Best value for your $ are the...”

Leaderboard

success
From 10 rejections to 1 dream investment banking internship

“... I believe it was the single biggest reason why I ended up with an offer...”