Getting ghosted 24/7
This is going to be a long one, so firstly, thanks to anyone who actually reads this all the way. I'm going to be honest with you; it's hard for me to even type this out right now because I am so utterly disappointed and just damn tired of the same thing happening to me again and again. I want to give some context before getting down to the main point.
I'm a current Junior at UCSD pursuing a Mathematics and Economics joint degree. Some of you may already know from a previous post of mine that I switched from a premed track (and Biology major) into my current major and a pre-business track. This switch occurred at the start of my Junior year, so needless to say, its been tough trying to get opportunities in the finance industry with little to no previous internship experience.
However, in the process of simultaneously researching what it takes to break into the industry and applying to a copious amount of finance internships in a variety of roles, I have slowly started to realize the value of coming across as a team player, self starter, hard worker, and always striving to achieve; subsequently, I've tried to highlight these qualities in my resume by self-learning a variety of programming languages like Python, C++, MATLAB, and completing independent projects with these languages, such as developing my own trading algorithm. I also independently studied for and passed the SIE exam and CFA Level 1 exam. I'm also studying for the GMAT and have been scoring in the high 700s on practice tests, so I expect a pretty good score when I take the actual test soon.
Anyway, why do I tell you all of that? Because despite all of this "self-development" journey BS, all 80 or so applications that I have sent out have been either rejections or straight getting ghosted. I understand that this industry is tough, but I'm not applying to bulge brackets here, I'm literally applying to start up companies, small boutique banks, etc....and all of these internships are unpaid. Meanwhile, my twin sister is making $50+ per hour as an intern at a well-known tech firm with free uber eats delivered to her everyday. Like my god, I'm literally begging to work for free!
So I've been dealing with all of these rejections, death of a close family member due to covid-19, asthma/panic attack flare ups that were last a problem for me all the way back in sophomore year of high school (and randomly decided to poke its ugly rear right now, at the worst of times), and then the final straw snaps:
I finally get a congratulatory email to me from a self-described "inaugural" private equity based in Los Angeles (and that is a spin-off a pretty successful, well-known investment bank also based in Los Angeles), inviting me to schedule a follow up interview date. So I schedule a phone interview, and when the day of the interview comes, I killed it....I knew I did well, and even the CEO that was interviewing me said he was super impressed with me and that he looked "forward to working with me", literally word for word.
As expected, I get a follow-up email inviting me to a second interview, but instead of just a phone interview, this was a zoom call. Also, he wanted me to type up a 3-5 page equity research report on a particular company that he was looking into (don't want to name it exactly for anonymity purposes....if he happens to be reading this lol). Keep in mind that all of this happened around early June, which was also when all of my Finals were occurring. So on the same week as my finals (3 upper div math classes - diff eq, rigorous proof writing, numerical linear algebra (fk this class), and an upper div econ class btw), I was expected to write up this research report and prepare for the interview, and the CEO knew this. He knew I had to do all of this on the same week, but I stayed up all night for 4 days straight and managed to finish the equity research report, prepare for the interview, and study/take all my online finals.
During the zoom call at the end of the week (2nd interview), he said he received the research report and was super impressed by the quality, layout, content, and thought put into it. He also introduced me to one of the MD's, so I was thinking...."damn maybe they really want me if theyre already acting like I'm part of the team". I mean they were saying things like "you'll be learning X and Y once you start working with us", "we're so impressed by you and would love if you joined our team, tell your parents congrats on raising you so well!", "hope to work with you soon", and all that BS. He said he would make final decisions by next week and let me know.
Well, long story short, it's now pretty much mid July, so its been a month since my last interview with the firm. The CEO and I have been playing a sort of cat and mouse game. As you probably guessed, the "final decisions" never happened the week after my interview. I thought "ok, well hes probably busy and will tell me next week". So, I send him a reminder email and he says "sorry got caught up with some business but will definitely let you know by next week", so exactly as I guessed. What happens the next week as I sit and refresh my email the entire week 24/7??? No response. Nothing. Nada. I have to email him again and give a "gentle nudge", for him to email me and say he had to deal with a "medical matter" so he couldnt get back to me.
At this point I was getting a little annoyed, but I mean if he got coronavirus or something serious, it would be douchey of me to not be a little patient and wait a bit longer. At the same time I was worried because it was now the beginning of July and I had been sitting all day practically doing nothing other than studying for the GMAT and reviewing some financial model stuff. Again this last week, no response from him. So I finally decide to just directly call him (in a previous email he mentioned I can call his personal if I ever had any questions). Goes straight to voicemail. I send another reminder email....nothing. He's pretty much just disappeared.
What I don't get is....he's obviously found a better candidate or something...why not just reject me then? Why waste my time with hope? Like holy cow, just say "unfortunately we had some great candidates this year, and decided to move forward with XYZ", or SOMETHING. Don't just disappear off the face of the Earth. What should I do at this point? Keep applying to more firms? At this point, I just don't have the heart to apply anymore. Thinking of just switching to Gender studies or something and living the peaceful life. I'll probably barely make enough to make ends meet, but at least I won't have to deal with this BS anymore. Oh and honestly if push comes to shove, I will publicly name and shame this supposedly "world-renowned" firm. If they are treating potential interns/applicants like this, they deserve all the karma they get.