Advise For A Non-Target School Student
I am a 4th semester sophomore at a public state school of around 8,000 students. I currently have a 4.0 GPA and am triple majoring in Finance, Accounting, and Personal Financial Planning. I am very involved on campus as I am part of the honors program, president of 2 clubs, co-founded a club, etc. I am a, if not the, top student in the Finance department and College of Business at my University.
I am interested in a career in IB, and have been worried about getting my foot in the door for a while now. It is far and few between when my University sends a student to Wall Street, and it is usually due to them having connections there before they even attend college. A year before entering college I lost my parents, and I have been independent in every way since then. At the age of 17 I decided I would attend this state school to make college affordable for myself, and I am truly worried about getting my foot in the door as my University is not recognizable by many who don't live within a 60 mile radius of it.
This summer, I have an internship in audit with a small accounting firm. I interviewed with a few other firms, one of them being for an IB internship at a small sized firm. I made it to the final round of the interview and was beat out by a junior from a target school due to him having more experience in the private side of finance. I was devastated, but realized a change had to be made at my University.
After this, I spent weeks conducting research, planning, speaking with every finance professor, and talking to alumni, and I developed a program to fill the gaps in our curriculum and make our students finance knowledge more well-rounded. This banking program will teach students more about the private side of finance and what opportunities are available in banking, the functions of Investment Banks (M&A,'s, 's, etc.), and how to prepare for future interviews. While my school already has an invite-only class where they manage a $900k+ portfolio, and the public markets is nowhere near enough of a background to put out students on Wall Street. With this being the basis of my business plan and proposal, and having the backing of professors and alumni, my idea was approved for funding to launch this program in the Fall and use WSO courses to better prepare our students for their future interviews with Investment Banks.
Although I don't go to a target school, I truly am trying my best to put myself in a position to succeed and gain as much experience as possible over these next 2 years to set myself up for a successful career. Even with all I have done so far though, I still am not satisfied and don't feel like it is enough to compete with those of a target school, and that my resume will get thrown away as soon as they see the University I attended.
I would really appreciate any advise you would have for someone in my shoes who is an "underdog" due to the University I attend, and what you think I could do to really stand out and land interviews in the future. I plan on taking the CFA post-graduation, but have also considered getting an MBA from a more established school with a well known finance program.
I have attached my resume to this post, keep in mind it needs three minor tweaks that are:
I will be the president of the Financial Management Association starting this fall and no longer VP
I need to add "incoming intern" for my internship this summer
I need to add a section about the program I developed at the University
Again, any advise helps, and I want nothing more than to have a career in IB.
Thank you so much for reading, have a great weekend everybody!