Advice for someone like me for SA 2019?

MajorKey's picture
Rank: Gorilla | 675

So I'm a sophomore at a HYP school, and long story short I didn't know exactly what I wanted to do, and consequently I'm a bit of a non-traditional candidate for SA 2019. Last minute, I tried my best to land a boutique investment banking internship for the summer, made it to some final rounds, but I lost out, a couple times because they wished I had more financial modeling experience.. I was definitely willing to learn and self-study as much as I could before the internship, but it didn't work out and a few of them told me that they liked my story and to reapply next year. So I've just been focusing on school and campus commitments.

This summer I'm just working a local private wealth management gig and then doing an entrepreneurship project, because I have a videography business that nets a decent amount for a college kid and I'm trying to expand my services. I'm hoping to make the most of it, so I have things to talk about in interviews. Also, I have past internship experience at a tech start up during the school year and at a local real estate firm. I have a 3.62 GPA in English, but I've taken a lot of quantitative classes this semester. I also feel good about my finals, so it might go up but not sure.

I've quickly read through the BIWS guide and have been working on the Vault. I'll just say where I'm at, because I'm not too far: I feel confident with questions about accounting, valuation, and basic questions about mergers. I can easily talk about the three financial statements and how they link with one another. I can walk through a DCF, have memorized all the formulas and know when to use the different methods of calculating discount rates.
As soon as finals are over next week, I'm planning on studying these prep guides like it's a full-time job, so I know them forwards and backwards. I'm confident for any fit questions, because I usually interview well.

Just for reference, I'm informed about the recruiting timeline and have recently applied to places and completed some HireVues. So what's the move for someone like me? I'm thinking I'll apply everywhere: BBs, MMs, and also boutiques. I realize my chances aren not good at the top firms, but I'm hoping to network as much as I can and score at least some kind of boutique IB gig. And then I was considering, after next year, maybe taking a year off, and then going through SA recruiting again with more experience under my belt.

Is this a good strategy? Any advice for someone like me? Obviously I'm not a very competitive candidate for high finance gigs, so I'm really just hoping to learn as much as I can from the prep guides, network as much as possible, and hopefully end up with something.

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May 17, 2018