Advice for 22 YO Non-Target Recent Graduate with 3.95 GPA and Military Experience

JetsFan's picture
Rank: Chimp | banana points 5

Hello all,

I would first like to give a HUGE thank you to everyone who actively uses this forum! I recently stumbled upon it and have been reading countless threads over the past few days. I am amazed with how much helpful information I have found on WSO and somewhat upset I did not come across it earlier.

To tell you a little bit about myself:
I graduated high school as salutatorian but was unable to get into target schools at a price that my family could afford. (I come from a single family home with ~$45k annual income). This month I completed my undergrad at a small, non-target, private school in New York that I commuted to. I graduated with a 3.95 GPA in Business Administration & Management, and was the only Summa Cum Laude graduate in the business division. I won some decent awards from my school and local associations, and was invited to join a few decent honor societies.

I joined the Army Reserve my sophomore year of college because I have always wanted to serve, I received a bonus that I have since invested successfully, and because I knew it would help bolster my resume. For the military, I completed 7 months of training, and was the distinguished honor graduate and class leader of my engineer class. I started as the lowest enlisted rank in the Army and it has taught me more life lessons than I could have ever imagined.

The Cons: I do not have any internships on my resume. The only work experience I have is in retail and engineering. My school is not very renown in the business realm and does not have many connections to places in NYC despite only being a few hours from there. I was supposed to go on a deployment out of college so I did not focus on applying for any career jobs since I was supposed to be gone for a minimum of 10 months. That deployment has since been pushed back and I now do not have a "career" job lined up.

I originally did not want to work anywhere close to NYC, but I have recently realized that an hour train ride into the city is worth it because the amount of opportunity down there is endless. I have always had an interest in markets, but do not have the same level of specific knowledge that the kids coming out of Ivy-League schools do. Although I have the heart to stack-up against them.

From the age of ten or so, I have been "flipping" things on eBay to make money in my free time. I have targeted a specific market where I am able to buy items in their "off-season" and sell them several months later when they are peaking "in-season." Although this market is very small and is not big enough to make a living on, I have been able to make enough to pay off most of my student loans. The profit margins on these transactions range anywhere from 4% to 250% with an average transaction of about $200. I would love to do something like this on a larger scale but I am not sure how.

All of this said, what advice would you give me? Is there any job that you would recommend for me based on what I mentioned as one of my interests in the paragraph above?

Thank you so much for reading my post. It means alot!

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Comments (4)

May 22, 2017

Your profile seems eerily similar to a professor of mine, and the first step for him was to go get his MBA. He went on to work on Wall Street for 20+ years then became a professor for the last 20. This may or may not work for your scenario, but it worked for him.

May 28, 2017

Try to see if you can get an internship at Morgan Stanley. The US program has positions open for undergraduates with military experience. I can't link your directly as I don't have enough posts, but hopefully this works: morganstanley[dot]tal[dot]net/vx/lang-en-GB/mobile-0/brand-2/xf-3786f0ce9359/candidate/so/pm/1/pl/1/opp/3583-Opportunities-for-Undergraduate-Student-Veterans-at-Morgan-Stanley/en-GB

Edit: Looks like the position I linked is only open to undergraduates who haven't graduated yet, but I don't think it would hurt to message a few people who work at Morgan Stanley on LinkedIn to see if you get a response

May 28, 2017

I think it'd be productive to search around at different firms and find bankers with military backgrounds to both network with and ultimately get mentorship. You'd be surprised at the number of people who want to help out aspiring bankers regardless of background, and if you can draw on a common military background, I'm sure the people you talk to will be even more inclined to help.

Feel free to prompt me for more feedback. Am passing out but will reply if I get a reply notification

May 28, 2017