From No-Name College to Buy-Side Out of Undergrad

Hello all,

Long time lurker and first time poster. I just wanted to share how much WSO has helped me.

4 Years ago

I was a no-name at a no-name university and had nearly failed out of High-school. I decided one day to sit down and change my life (after receiving a LOUD wake-up call). So, I did what any money-hungry little freshman would do and literally googled, "what jobs make the most money?" My more naive self found that there were surgeons and hedge fund managers pulling in the dough, and I was not about to go to med school.

I ended up turning my life around

I lost 20lbs, getting a girlfriend, and eventually receiving a 4.0 after my first year. I applied to better schools near me (as a family member was sick and I needed to be near her). I was accepted into a semi-target in Texas.

After partying my way through Sophomore year, I decided it was time to refocus. I made another 4.0 the first semester my junior year and decided after a drunken night that Id like to enter proprietary trading. So, I used WSO's interview guide and prop shop list and applied to over 80 proprietary firms all over the United States.

Only one of them accepted me and I spent my junior summer there.

Change of Plans

After coming into my senior year I decided I did not want to do prop trading. This was a major problem as I did not have much deal exposure, or really any experience at all. I also knew I did not want to do investment banking (as many of my friends had done it and I did not think Id like it). So I went back to my roots. I applied to hedge funds.

Using one of the forums on this site I contacted as many hedge funds as I could: Cold-emailing, Cold-Calling, and speaking to numerous people. I even sent in a physical resume to over 100 different firms. I got about 10 responses. Only 3 interviews.

I eventually found out that one of the 3 funds that I thought was a hedge fund was a Family Office (~1 Bil AUM) that was invested fully in Private Equity. I really like their work, and aced all 6 rounds of interviews. They eventually extended an offer to me that I accepted. I will be working as a private equity associate.

Without WSO none of this would have been possible and I am very happy to say that I am finally on the path that I was meant to be on.

I am sure I will get grilled for this post, but if there are any questions I can answer please ask, and I will get to them right away.

Comments (27)

Best Response
Apr 11, 2018 - 2:42am
Keepondreaming69, what's your opinion? Comment below:

The Family Office interview was very long and tedious. There were 2 phone interviews that consisted of technicals. Think "Whats an EBITA Multiple?", "Whats the CAPM?", "Explain the J-Curve." Then the in-office interview was VERY behavioral. They even asked my religious preference. There were 5 interviews in the office, the final one a meeting with the fund manager, where he explained a bit of his life story. They put me through the ringer with IQ tests and other online tests of the like as well which I found very odd. They gave me an offer THE DAY OF my final interview.

  • 5
Apr 14, 2018 - 11:23am
GoingToBeAnMD, what's your opinion? Comment below:
They even asked my religious preference.
I'm pretty sure that's an illegal question to ask.
Apr 14, 2018 - 1:58pm
Keepondreaming69, what's your opinion? Comment below:

MFO* Sorry I wasnt clear. PM me for location.

Apr 14, 2018 - 1:31pm
Not Your Buddy Pal, what's your opinion? Comment below:

What will your comp be like? Curious especially since you'll be an associate.

Apr 14, 2018 - 2:00pm
Keepondreaming69, what's your opinion? Comment below:

From another one of my posts: My starting comp (in a low COL city): Salary: 70-75k Bonus: 10-40k (Highly dependent on the fund and personal performance) Full Benefits (401k and all that) Carry (IDK how much) and Co-Invest available in 2 years, when salary and bonuses are presumably up 10-20% each. I know one guy whos my age but 2 years out that has 300BP carry so take that as you will.

  • 1
Apr 14, 2018 - 2:01pm
Keepondreaming69, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Its a two year training program, then your a big boy.

Apr 18, 2018 - 12:48am
Keepondreaming69, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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