I see a lot of non-targets keep complaining about lack of opportunity and how privileged those who went to target/semi target schools.Β 

Big firms prefer to recruit or do events at highly selective educational institutions because those universities already filter out a lot of students during the admission process. As a result, they get access to a talented student with high growth potential. Which makes sense for the firm. It's not economical or promising to do recruitment directly from a not highly selective school with a mid reputation. But it doesn't close the door for that student because those top calibre students from non-target will be the ones reaching out to firms, instead of firms attracting them to campus. So at the end of the day, it's a numbers game for both sides but the odds are in favour of target kids because they are given opportunities whether non-target have to create their own.Β 

Does it make sense?

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Comments (41)

May 19, 2022 - 4:59pm
Isaiah_53_5 πŸ’ŽπŸ™ŒπŸ’ŽπŸ™ŒπŸ’Ž, what's your opinion? Comment below:

uhhh seems pretty obvious bro

"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

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May 20, 2022 - 12:41pm
kkaaii, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Pretty sure everyone at non-targets understand it from a logical perspective. No need for your pretentious explanation

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May 24, 2022 - 9:02am
trustmeimanengineer, what's your opinion? Comment below:

100% it's not. The average non-target is an idiot. I say that as a former non-target. The higher-achieving non-target is probably on-par with target students though. I knew many ridiculous people at my state school. They went on to what you'd expect: Rhodes Scholar, Harvard Med, McKinsey, Tech, IB, Consulting, etc. The average student is barely paying off student loans because they are too stupid to understand compound interest and how a basic communications degree is worthless.Β 

May 24, 2022 - 10:28pm
kkaaii, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Average, yes. But when it comes to top students at non-targets, I've noticed they often perform better on the job compared to the bunch of target school kids there. It simply takes insane effort to break in from non-targets, so those who make it in despite the hurdles are often the top performers on the job.

May 22, 2022 - 9:41pm
BobKin, what's your opinion? Comment below:

So what you're saying is it's perfectly possible to land a top fo job even if you're from a nontarget, you just have to go out and find job openings instead of having them come to you through on-campus recruiting?

May 22, 2022 - 10:19pm
cup_of_cum, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Theoretically, yes. I don't think any firm will turn down someone from non-target if they have a strong profile. Furthermore, I think as a non-target you have a better chance reaching out to people in industry who were also non-targets. They are more likely to help you out because they been in your shoes and know the struggle of being in non-targets where you are less likely to have access to relevant infromation and career advice.

May 22, 2022 - 10:44pm
Sequoia, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Being mean to non-targets is the last form '-ism' that hasn't been effectively outlawed in this country so I'm going to milk it for as long as that's the caseΒ 

Even short kings are now 'in' these days

May 22, 2022 - 11:33pm
WalnutBrain, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Long read ahead:

As a non-target I agree, however the work ethic is unmatched and I don't think non-target kids should be counted out just because they don't have a recognizable school on their resume. Most non-targets did not have the resources to attend top targets for multiple reasons (worked during high school to save up for college, didn't have multiple test prep guides, couldn't afford out of state tuition etc.). So there are tons of students at non-targets with a chip on their shoulder who are eager to work hard and prove themselves. I think playing sports all my life and being super competitive adds to that also.

I'm in an organization at my non-target which has about 20-25 active members. Our placement rate the last two recruitment cycles have been 75% and 80%. Why? We do workshops every week, speaker series with industry professors every week and when we try to make contacts at the banks we don't do it to just land an internship we do it to try and build a relationship. Most people when networking I feel like think as long as they talk to x amount of bankers at a certain bank they're fine, however imo bankers see through the bs and know you are just on the phone to use their name to get pushed through (especially if you didn't do your research and sound stupid).

Additionally, I feel like the passion for banking a lot of non-target kids have is generally better than targets. I'm not generalizing here but I do feel like from reading some of these forums that a lot of target kids come from well off families and rush into banking just to fit in , in terms of money and salary. Which I think could potentially correlate to the turnover (especially if you don't need the money).Personally I tried recruitment freshman summer and was so lost. I spent almost an entire year studying, learning about the industry, deciding what I actually want to do (this is a big step), recruited for sophomore summer (2022) failed again, learned from it, landed a financial analyst internship in hopes of gaining tangible skills to help me get more interviews, tightened up my skills, gained more industry knowledge and then I got blessed. This recruiting cycle (2023) I got 5 superdays at BB/MM banks (GS,JPM,BoA,Baird,WF). Went in confident because I had been preparing for the entire year and it was my dream, showed my passion and interest as well as my personality and received 3 offers.

I don't think being a non-target puts me at a disadvantage because I believe if you want it badly enough you truly will make it happen (It is just nerve racking when you are going against people from top Ivy League's, causing you to second guess yourself a lot). So sorry for the lengthy read but hope everyone else has good luck during their journey.

Also I don't think there should be a Target vs Non-target fight, I don't envy target people I just wasn't as fortunate. I think if you are truly passionate and a genuine person, you deserve to have the opportunity to prove yourself to whichever industry/bank/job you pursue (even if you get a useless technical question wrong).


May 23, 2022 - 6:03pm
Army Monkey, what's your opinion? Comment below:

" "Never tell me the odds"

-Han Solo"

-Army Monkey - non-target guy

May 23, 2022 - 6:49pm
Lawrence3, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I think every non-target goes through a crisis at the end of their degree because they realize just how bleak their job prospects are. A lot of these schools do a real shit job of placing kids in jobs, not just IB. If you're not resilient/disciplined enough to work at the job hunt and acquiring skills, you can easily end up working retail or doing a shit tier masters program to buy time for a degree that may or may not help your chances at a decent job. The only good thing I can say about non-targets is that they're often cheap, and there is value to graduating debt free. But if you're thinking about paying $50k+ for one, just go blue collar or do a coding bootcamp

May 24, 2022 - 8:59pm
cup_of_cum, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Same shit here in the UK. My uni is completely off the radar for IB (only like 200 alumni in high finance). It has a good reputation and teaching staff for development and Econ but apart from that, I don't think people who are willingly come here think about careers before they go to university. Β 

They have the most useless career development office. They do such a poor job marketing and helping students that it's almost a joke. There are literally like 5-10 people on payroll marketing some entry position roles at companies that offer like Β£20k annually or roles that you could get without a degree. As a result, you might have 5 students max within the economics cohort who did spring week out of like 200.

May 25, 2022 - 12:48pm
dimitri.vulis, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I generally agree. Having participated in recruiting students in the past, I'd like to share some additional observations:

* most students at most schools are of no interest to the financial industry and have no interest in the industry either. Thinking about "average students" is not useful. A numbers game means that larger quasi-open-admissions state school may have more students that we do want to talk to than a smaller "highly selective" school.

* Shockingly few schools have a competent career office (or something similar-sounding) that sets up in some kind of fairs, where students walk around tables and just talk to people; some organize parties (no alcohol:) where students socialize with potential employers; allow senior people to talk to a student audience about careers in their firms, send out curated resume books to potential employers; etc.Β  If a school's career office does these things, then (some) employers come. If your school doesn't have these things, it may well be not because potential employers don't think highly of its students, bur rather because your school's career office doesn't do these things. In my own experience, calling up a random school and asking if they could put up a leaflet telling undergraduate math majors about a summer internship usually elicited a response along the lines of "We don't want our students to even think about working for evil capitalist swine like you!" and/or "You'd need to pay us lots of money to do that!". Students at a school without aΒ competent career office need to work harder to get their resume in front of a potential employer.

* Much of undergraduate coursework at all schools is rubbish. The curriculum is out of date or makes no sense. You hire talented young people and expect to train them a lot.

May 28, 2022 - 10:52am
Fjsjrjdns, what's your opinion? Comment below:

3.9+ (3.95 even better). Srs, if you go to Big Mediocre State U and you're an econ or finance major, you better be damn near perfect or I'm tossing your resume. Those majors are too easy, your competition at school is too dumb/unmotivated, and there are too many target kids with a 3.9+ to give you a look otherwise.

May 28, 2022 - 1:32pm
MonkeyNoise, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Wow thank you for explaining why a company would choose to recruit at Harvard instead of Alabama. Truly an enlightening post. None of us were aware of the difference in caliber of student body until you so thoroughly laid it out for us. Post of the year.

May 28, 2022 - 3:24pm
Harvard_GS_HBS_KKR, what's your opinion? Comment below:

If I were an EB hiring manager, I wouldn't touch nontarget schools with a 10 foot pole. I'll say it again: the worst student at Harvard is better than any nontarget student. Why recruit for a client-facing role from the gutters when there are hordes of qualified, polished, and pedigreed students at Harvard? If you didn't try in the first 18 years of your life and ended up at a nontarget, tough shit.

May 29, 2022 - 1:52am
Friedmaneconomics, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Often times it's not the 18 year olds fault for "not trying." It's really up to the parents of those children to guide them to that level. The average folk could be great loving parents but not understand or know what qualifies a person to get accepted to schools like Harvard. It starts when the child is young, very young. The earlier a child "learns how to learn" and is then guided and supported to one day achieve that level, can he only possibly achieve that. It's easier to break into Harvard having parents that went to Harvard than it is if they did not . . . for a multitude of reasons (financial resources for schooling prior to, knowledge about Harvard and the alike to begin with, parents with an understanding of the competition and how to push their kids to that level, etc.)

I'll give you a chance to reply back and amend your original statement being that your username suggests you did attend Harvard and HBS. Come on . . .

May 29, 2022 - 2:30am
Harvard_GS_HBS_KKR, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Your comment portrays academic success as some esoteric, elitist pursuit only for the privileged. In fact, academic success and the pursuit of the knowledge are probably the most accessible avenues to economic mobility in this day and age. Your comment also robs teenagers of any individual agency, as if their future potential is limited by their parents. The reality is: we're exposed from a very young age to school--to the world of knowledge, grades, report cards, exams, projects, and a world separate from our parents. If one is interested in being successful, and yet--even by high school--can't come to their senses and take some responsibility and realize the importance of succeeding in their studies and seizing every opportunity at hand, then let's just say that any amount of pressure from their parents wouldn't have helped. So unless the 18 year old chose the nontarget for financial reasons (which in this day and age is basically a moot point given the amount of financial aid schools offer), yes: it is their fault. This is not even mentioning how Harvard and other top schools review applications holistically: if you're a first-gen or rural student, obviously you don't have to be an USAMO qualifier to get accepted.

Also, I didn't attend HBS (yet)--and I'm not even from a well-off family, by any objective measure. But keep coping.

May 29, 2022 - 2:37am
WSOUSER1129, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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May 29, 2022 - 2:42am
Harvard_GS_HBS_KKR, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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