As a non-target who elected to go my state school over targets for financial reasons, I wholeheartedly agree with you. Can you stumble into a top banking or buy-side program like you might have from HYSPW? No. Do you have to grind? Yes. Is it harder? Yes. Is it unattainable if you’re like able and can play the game? Absolutely not. Is it as easy as going to a target? No, but it certainly isn’t as hard as it’s made out to be; I just think people don’t understand it’s a numbers game / or how to play the game. Obviously there are plenty of non-target student who try and fail but as bad as it may sound, I don’t think they would’ve made it from a target anyway. I see plenty of target kids in, let’s say, less desirable roles and I’d argue they’re cut from the same cloth as the non-target kids who just don’t get it (i.e., the club bots). Just my view, happy to hear others’.


nobody falls into top shops from ivies lmao. you’re competing with 35% of your class going into finance from any ivy and your competition is way way worse when firms have 20 superdays to give out and 400 people vying for them than when only 100 kids on your campus know what IB is

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the big fish-little-pond effect of non-target state schools plays a huge role in this too. it’s easy to be the best, and therefore, stand out during applications. At least, that’s what I think.


have seen many more mediocre kids from nontargets than targets. they definitely look at you in the context of your surroundings rather than in absolutes. also, most nontargets have way better career services infrastructure than ivies in addition to the big fish small pond effect.


Definitely easier now than it was before. It’s hard to get in from anywhere, but if you know your shit and grind, they’ll take you over the prick from Wharton who looks down at his Analysts/Aso bc they went to Penn State.

If there’s anything FTs hate more, it’s seeing that they placed a bet on someone being chill and it turns out they’re a dick (especially at regional offices (SF, Chicago, Houston that have more say)


this is just not true

source: am on a date rn with an alum and asked


UG will not stop mattering for finance until you reach the VP levels / equivalents in other sub-areas (AM, VC, etc). I can tell you 100% in AM for instance, until you make it to the Analyst level and have been there for 3+yrs after the UG will matter for jumping. There are processes I am in right now where I know the PM specifically asked to exclude anyone below T25 undergrads...

Once you are 30+ then the UG becomes a much smaller consideration but even at 35, a Vanderbilt UG will look better than a kid who went to Rutgers 


You’re pretty screwed coming from a non-target with no alumni pipeline helping you out. It’s a lot easier if you have an alum setting up interviews.

"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

This doesn't surprise me if true. A couple macro factors playing into favor for state schoolers trying to break in:

- Finance isnt the top dog for many target grads, tech has and continues to take a sizable portion of ambitious elite school grads

- More options, especially with hybrid/remote work, changing competitive landscape. There are definitely some tweeners who go to good schools who in the past who would pursue finance careers just out of peer pressure or money instead of pure ambition. Now a lot of those people can opt for something far less demanding and in different locations. Eager to do a 5 day a week in-office grind will help you stand out today, even as a state school kid

- Networking and learning ins and outs of a job, interview process, etc. continues to get easier and easier

In a lot of ways younger millennials and Gen Z have been spoiled careerwise. Things are so much better for workers than anyone who is old enough to remember looking for a job in the years right after 2008


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