Advice from an ex-IB MD - The Importance Of Failure

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Mod Note (Andy) - We're reposting the top discussions from 2015, this one ranks #9 and was originally posted 11/22/2015.

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I learnt a lot about failure during my time on Wall Street. Over the fifteen years, I felt like a failure every month. Failure did not feel good. Sometimes the feelings would get too much and I would almost quit. I had to learn to deal with failure otherwise it would destroy me. This is the story of my failures, what it taught me, and how I learnt to deal with it.

Lesson One: Failure starts early. My first memory of failing is when I was nine or ten year's old on sports day at my school (I was a fat kid), but let's skip past that, and focus on the more recent times. I applied to MIT, Stanford, Berkeley, Wharton when I was 17. My dream schools. Didn't get into a single one. I still have the rejection letters from each one of them in a file at home to remind me of that. I still managed to get into a good university, managed to graduate on schedule, even get a job I liked. But that sense of being a failure has always stuck with me.

Lesson Two: I will fail regularly. You won't believe the number of things I have failed at. Let me give you the bigger ones that come to mind. I got a D in a Math class in my first quarter in college; I only got one banking job offer when I graduated in 1999;in my mid twenties I tried to move laterally to other banks and was rejected by every bank I applied to; I was divorced before I was 30 and during the years I was married, I lost touch with all my real friends. Hope that gives you an idea of just how big a failure I am.

Lesson Three: We can learn from our failures. Nothing has motivated me more to succeed than failing and nothing has taught me more. The best bank that rejected me in my mid twenties was the one that gave me the biggest guarantee to hire me in 2006. Why ? because I had gone back and figured out why I failed and fixed my weaknesses. I re-married at age 31 and am still happily married after seven years and two kids. Why? Because I went back after my divorce and tried to understand systematically all the reasons my marriage had failed.

So here's what I learnt about failure:

What failure isn't: Failure is not about making mistakes. Allow yourself to make mistakes. Mistakes are inevitable and part of the journey. If you don't make mistakes you will not achieve anything. Everytime I feel like I have failed, I have to remind myself of a Michael Jordan quote, which goes like this: 'I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed'. I have to remind myself of that because, some days, I feel like such a failure I don't want to get out of bed. But I do.

What failure is: Failure is when you walk away from the opportunity that scares you. Failure is giving up on your dreams to do something more 'practical'. Failure is when you settle for a life that doesn't fit your dreams.

Here's how you avoid failure:

Take responsibility: This is your life, your only life. You alone are responsible for it, you alone can control it. Learn to think for yourself early. Know what drives you and makes you happy. Do only those things that you have chosen for yourself.

Take action: Once you know what you want to do, take action, move towards your goals. You will fall, you will fail. That's ok. Get up, take more steps. Don't be as Thoreau said in Walden: 'The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation'. Keep taking action until you reach your goal. It is never too late, and nothing in your life is permanent.

Think Big: Don't limit your beliefs and what you think you can achieve. Just because something hasn't been done before, doesn't matter. Why can't you be the first person to do it? So go out there and attempt the impossible, do the thing that others aren't doing, that others think you are crazy for doing. Remember the bigger the goal, the less the competition.

What to do when you feel like a failure:

There will be times when you will fall, it will hurt and you will doubt yourself and whether its worth it. Here are the techniques I use then:

Say thank you: Though failing is never fun, remind yourself of what you have already achieved, how far you have already come. Nothing makes me feel better about my life than having gratitude for what I have already achieved.

Help others: The best way I have found to feel better about myself is to help others. Something as simple as when I have lost a deal or a trade, I will take my analysts for lunch, figure out what they are going through and how I can help them on their journey.

Give yourself a hug and take a nap: We are too hard on ourselves and treat ourselves with a lot of violence. One thing I learnt from Tara Brach is this technique: look at yourself in the mirror, put your hands on your heart and say 'I am sorry for what you are going through, and I love you'. If that's too hard for you then just go to bed, sometimes your mind and body just need time & rest to heal.

Call your grandmother: Some people will love you no matter who you are and what you have done. In their eyes you were a success the day you were born. Let those people know how important they are in your life.

Good luck on your journey. I hope that your failures lead to all the successes you deserve.

I would love to hear about your failures and where they led you. If you like what you read and want to hear from me again please sign up at the top of the site to follow.

Also, check out @wilowallstreet's earlier posts:
1. Advice from an ex-IB MD on how to make it to Wall Street
2. Advice from an ex-IB MD - on how to make VP
3. Advice from an ex-IB MD - why aren't you getting those interviews ?
4. Advice from an ex-IB MD: Eight tricks to ace your 1st round interview
5. Advice from an ex-IB MD: Who succeeds on Wall Street
6. Advice from an ex-IB MD - DON'T make these mistakes

Comments (176)

Best Response
Dec 4, 2015

Terrific post.

I've never learned from a success, but have made tremendous advances as a result of failures. I attribute my success to date, to failures.

Like most, I've had my fair share of failures ("F") - a few listed below to show how they can transition into a success ("S").

1) F: Competed in weightlifting in high school and became obsessed with winning states by my senior year. At states, I took third and my total from a meet a few weeks prior would have won that day. I was devastated at the time and thought about that failure every day for years.
S: I went on to compete in olympic weightlifting in college and placed a national meets (and still compete today)

2) F: Started college pre-med with the goal of becoming a doctor. I quickly realized that chemistry was not my strongsuit - I failed my first exam and ended up dropping the class.
S: This led me to switch my major to business and allowed me to discover what I was actually passionate about. I remember reading a small anecdote in the text book of my economics class (day 1) about a salad and smoothie shop that were next to each other in a strip mall and were both unprofitable and were near closing for good. The owners got together and decided to knock down the wall and "merge", creating something new and leveraging combined scale. I closed my book, leaned back in my chair and just realized I had made the right choice - I was hooked.

3) F: My first year of banking was rough - I really struggled with attention to detail and taking ownership of my work. I was in the bottom of my class my first year.
S: This was unacceptable to me, and I continued to work at improving, every day while maintaining a positive attitude (which I think is mission-critical). My third year, I was at the top of the top bucket and am now working at a top MM PE fund.

Overall, failure is a necessary driving force to success. Failure has pushed me to achieve more than I otherwise would have, if those failures had been successes.

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Nov 13, 2015

Lifting is great, I still powerlift and find it to be a great outlet.

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Nov 13, 2015

I'm convinced the majority on these boards are strangers to true failure, for better or for worse.

Dropping a class, taking third instead of first in a state competition, or falling a little short of your 4.0 goals are hardly "failures," more like shortcomings. Hopefully you haven't used these in any interviews. If these are your only failures because you're extremely driven, outstanding, but realize most others won't be able to empathize with you. That's my message, I'm not trying to belittle your self-improvement.

Getting a divorce for which you claim responsibility could, however, be classified as a failure. Getting a D in a class is pushing it.

But then again, it's easy to label outcomes. It's the circumstances that led to the undesired results that distinguish failures from shortcomings. Hell, even achieving a desired result could be considered a failure depending on how you got there.

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Nov 14, 2015

Look, I 100% agree with the basic premise of the first two posts. You should fail early and often, and use these experiences to get better. However, not getting a 4.0 GPA is hardly a failure. Getting into a lesser target school or semi-target instead of one your top choices is also hardly a failure.

When I hear of stories like these, I can only shake my head and think about what damage has been wrought by the crazy competition going on in schools nowadays. People come out of school completely incapable of dealing with failure, and interpret any slight stumble as absolutely devastating. Bitching about getting an A-, not getting an offer from GS or JPM, etc. is frankly ridiculous.

You want to know what real failure? How about that Indian entrepreneur (his name escapes me) who put millions on the line to get his startup Aereo going and watched it get shut down by lawsuits. Or Travis Kalanick getting his first startup sued out of existence, and then failing to gain traction for his second startup for years. Or Kurt Warner failing to make it into the NFL and having to bag groceries at minimum wage while getting his chance to play.

And yes, I certainly concur with the above post: you deserved to get dinged if you called any of these experiences "failures". I'd certainly ding you, because I'd assume you're a privileged kid who will have difficulty advancing in the world without handholding.

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Dec 4, 2015

In my opinion, you are missing the point a bit. Though, I agree the competition in the education system is intense, but the system is what it is - when you can't affect change in the game, play to win.

From my understanding of OP, the theme is not to measure the size of failures and to determine what is or is not a failure. Failure, can be subjective to the person who considers it such. For example, someone may have the goal of getting into IB out of undergrad and doesn't, but gets a job at a top F500. This is hardly a failure for the average person or someone who is just "looking for a job" when they graduate. To the person that didn't get the job they wanted though, it is an extreme failure in their mind. They are the ones that spent the hundreds or thousands of hours studying, prepping for interviews, traveling, doing the interviews, etc.

Who is to say that larger failures aren't to come? I know I will fail continuously throughout my life. However, it's how I react and adapt to these that will ultimately define my success (both measured from a personal perspective).

The point is more the fact that we can learn from our PERSONAL failures and use them as pivot points to improve. So, instead of the condescension, perhaps a better route would have been to spend your time on something constructive?

Also, just for the record, I'm not a privileged kid who needs hand holding. Just a really driven guy from a state school trying to grind my way to achieve my goals.

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Nov 18, 2015

I think it has to be put in context. WSO is probably one of the most type-A forums there is. Failing a class after genuinely doing everything you can has to leave a bitter taste for anyone here. Now @wilowallstreet I'm curious what kind of school did you end up going to? Ivy, top-public, etc.?

Nov 13, 2015

Thanks for the post. Encouraged me a lot

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Nov 13, 2015

One of the best posters ever.

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Nov 13, 2015

Love this post, knew you were an awesome guy when you offered to do your Q&A a few weeks ago from the way you wrote, as wierd as that sounds

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Nov 19, 2015

A little poem I keep around as motivation for moments of failure, last line gets me going.

Defeat, my Defeat, my solitude and my aloofness;
You are dearer to me than a thousand triumphs,
And sweeter to my heart than all world glory.

Defeat, my Defeat, my self-knowledge and my defiance,
Through you I know that I am yet young and swift of foot
And not to be trapped by withering laurels.
And in you I have found aloneness
And the joy of being shunned and scorned.

Defeat, my Defeat, my shining sword and shield,
In your eyes I have read
That to be enthroned is to be enslaved,
And to be understood is to be levelled down,
And to be grasped is but to reach one's fullness
And like a ripe fruit to fall and be consumed.

Defeat, my Defeat, my bold companion,
You shall hear my songs and my cries and my silences,
And none but you shall speak to me of the beating of wings,
And urging of seas,
And of mountains that burn in the night,
And you alone shall climb my steep and rocky soul.

Defeat, my Defeat, my deathless courage,
You and I shall laugh together with the storm,
And together we shall dig graves for all that die in us,
And we shall stand in the sun with a will,
And we shall be dangerous.

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Nov 20, 2015

Great post. I'm just looking for an opportunity to fail. I can't get an interview, but more than that I'm not even getting rejection letters. My emails go off into the great void. I'm old, 35, have working in the industry for nine years, have an ok academic background, and no wife or friends to occupy my time. I've been working so hard on my modeling skills, have passed two levels of the CFA exam in the passed 11 months and heading into my third exam mid 16. Any advice on how to get rejected?

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Nov 25, 2015

My read of the situation (and its on minimal evidence) is that you shouldn't be sending emails or letters. Sounds like you should making friends and contacts.
How many people do you personally know the industry you are applying into ?
From what I see, most jobs go to people who are recommended or come with a reference.
It is meritocratic, but you need to do things to rise above the thousand emails / resumes people receive.
So my advice would be two fold: Every week find 5 people in the industry you want to join, and then find a way you can help them, give them information or add value to their lives.
I know that is hard, but look right now you are asking people for something, and why should they give you something for free.

Nov 23, 2015

Very helpful post, thanks a lot.

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Nov 24, 2015

I totally agree. The best thing about failure is that it causes you to take a step back and reassess yourself. That's basically a good thing for those of us who made it into a top university, then a top business school and then to a "dream" job at a bulge bracket firm. You do think about failure, but you figure if you work hard and maybe catch a break or two, well, it won't happen to you. After all, you've always achieved very major goal you've set for yourself. Then, suddenly, the Group Head stops by your office one day and says he's decided to make some changes. Oh, he says, you've been doing well, but he thinks so-and-so has real potential and he doesn't want him to leave the firm, so it's time for you to go so he can take your place.

Then, over the next few months, you discover that nobody on the buy or sell side wants an ex-M&A MD in his 40's with your background. What do you do now, especially when this sort of career was all you ever wanted? Your self-confidence disappears, and now you really feel like a failure.

That was me a couple of years ago. It took a while, but after some self-examination and reassessment, I bounced back. I now run a career and human resources consultancy, focusing on finance, and I've never been happier. My income is nearly the same, and in addition I get to be a real spouse to my wife and a real father to my kids. My advice: failure of some kind happens to nearly everyone at some point. When it does, think of it as an opportunity to try something else, or do things a different way. There really are many ways to be successful.

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Nov 25, 2015

Well said and very true.

Nov 25, 2015

This is one of my favorite posts.

Failure is only a negative thing if we don't learn from it. My closest friends are the ones who know my failures and whose struggles I know. We have a shared trait of introspection and commitment to self-improvement.

Life isn't easy by any means, but you can really set yourself apart from the crowd by analyzing how the things that didn't go right in your life happened and what you could have done differently, then crafting an ever-evolving rubric for how to approach unfamiliar situations based on what you've learned about yourself so far.

I love your insight on how to cope in the moment. I find that contextualizing things is very valuable. Bad grade in a class? It doesn't define my existence. Poor interview performance that meant I didn't get the role at the firm I thought I wanted? Won't limit my career potential. Mistakes at work that get me chewed out? Can't affect my worth as a human.

A strong and healthy support network is so meaningful. Call it a 'personal board of directors' or whatever, but people who know you, where you come from, the things that have shaped you as a person, and what you're working towards can offer very sage advice in tough times. Very often that can be family; I also find it helpful when it isn't, because non-kin are often biased towards proactive insight rather than simple emotional support.

And it's so necessary to give back. Giving back is actually sort of a selfish thing, at least for me. The sense of wholeness or positivity I gain makes me such a better person toward colleagues, family, and friends.

Excellent post, thank you for sharing.

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Jan 3, 2016

Awesome post

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Jan 4, 2016

Great post!

Just saying, @OP, that quote is definitely inspiring, but I don't think he worked that hard or accomplished anything based on his genuine ideas. If you didn't know this, I will tell you. He stole a lot of Nikola Tesla's ideas. Moreover, he was a horrible human being. He deserves no credit at all. Go, read a book about it.

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Jan 4, 2016

Don't give up man! Keep fighting, I'm sure things will work out!

"Try and fail, but don't fail to try"

Jan 4, 2016

Life is all about the amount of shots you take bro. Keep at it, while you may think this firm was "perfect", it's far from that. Have a perspective in life (and especially in finance) that your worth is not determined by where you work, rather by how you are, and how you do what you do. Become a rockstar at whatever you do, and at whatever firm you end up working at, and you will undoubtedly extract better results. Take into account that with 60+ years ahead of you, an interview doesn't mean anything, for all you know this might not even be something you want to do the rest of your life. So keep your head high, take as many shots as possible, and keep life (the light at the end of the tunnel) as part of your perspective.

I think- therefore I fuck

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Jan 4, 2016

Interesting read and you have my sympathy.

Two things:

1) I've been in your spot myself and left interviews feeling like a complete idiot for messing up a calculation or giving a really stupid answer to a question. The funny thing? A couple of times I actually passed these interviews where I was sure I would get dinged for my mistakes during the interview. I guess you sometimes judge yourself to hard or that some of your other qualities make up for your slip ups. Not to give you false hope, but it's not over until you get the rejection.

2) To quote Sylvester Stallone in Rocky: "It's not about how hard you hit, it's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward". I've had interviews at companies where I've bust my *** to get an interview at and considered them top companies to work for only to get dinged after first or second interviews. Your world collapses and you lose hope and motivation. It sucks to lose out on something you worked hard for and really wanted. But you know what? You just got to suck it up and keep at it. Even if you get dinged at one, two or three of your top choices you'll just have to keep on trying. And if you use each interview you got dinged from as a learning experience it was at least worth something and will help you to reach that goal in the end.

Even though you may not get the job you thought was your dream job, you might still end up at another place even better and you will thank your lucky star that you actually ended up at that place.

Jan 4, 2016

I'm not going to plaster more uplifting cliches here, but I will offer the following observation:

Although it comes with its fair share of benefits, success is necessarily circumscribed. When you achieve discrete career goals, your "path" is revealed and your future determined. You are designated to your next job and the breadth of possibilities for next two years, as it were, has been curtailed.

Failure is an actualization of Schrodinger's cat; the steel chamber remains closed, the cat is neither decidedly dead nor alive, the possibilities are indeterminate. Capitalize on that uncertainty by surprising yourself, not by consigning your future to "making up shit about why you want to do credit risk".

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Jan 4, 2016
NorthSider:

I'm not going to plaster more uplifting cliches here, but I will offer the following observation:

Although it comes with its fair share of benefits, success is necessarily circumscribed. When you achieve discrete career goals, your "path" is revealed and your future determined. You are designated to your next job and the breadth of possibilities for next two years, as it were, has been curtailed.

Failure is an actualization of Schrodinger's cat; the steel chamber remains closed, the cat is neither decidedly dead nor alive, the possibilities are indeterminate. Capitalize on that uncertainty by surprising yourself, not by consigning your future to "making up shit about why you want to do credit risk".

Wow. I've never thought of it that way. Damn, that's some real wisdom right there.

Jan 4, 2016

We have all been there at one point or another. Disappointment is a part of this life.

We are all a work in progress. This applies to our careers, academics, hobbies, friendships, relationships, physical fitness, etc. We are usually making a concentrated effort to improve in these areas of life. There will be good days and there will be bad days. All we can do is try be better tomorrow.

Jan 4, 2016

Same shit happened to me yesterday. I know how you feel man. But I don't think I have other interviews left so I'm looking for other 'opportunities'...

Jan 4, 2016

Did you actually get rejected yet or are you just assuming you will be? The truth is that it's very unlikely that this one question determined the outcome of the interview either way.

Jan 4, 2016

Shit happens. Don't beat yourself up too much about it.

Your story took me back to an interview I had at an IB a few years back when I well and truly froze in a final round interview. A complete and utter train wreck. But it wasn't the first time I failed and it surely wasn't the last.The good news is that if you go to a target school, you will get multiple bites of the cherry. A few months after that interview, I landed a 6 figure job somewhere else.

OP - here are a few failure stories to help lift your spirits
From the wikipedia entry of Dominic Barton (Global MD of McKinsey) - He joined McKinsey's Toronto office in 1986 and had a difficult time making partner, saying "It took me three times before I was elected a partner....I was working hard and I was rejected....it was a bit of a slap in the head." From then on, he said, "my bar will be higher than McKinsey's."

Then there's Max Levchin of Paypal who came up with this absolute gem: "The very first company I started failed with a great bang. The second one failed a little bit less, but still failed. The third one, you know, proper failed, but it was kind of okay. I recovered quickly. Number four almost didn't fail. It still didn't really feel great, but it did okay. Number five was PayPal."

You should also probably read this speech by Paul Tudor Jones on failure.(http://www.slideshare.net/Hikapo/paul-tudor-jones-failure-speech) When a man of his caliber has failed that often, a mere mortal like me needs to prepare himself for an ass-whooping. For those of you who don't know who PTJ is, here's his Wikipedia entry (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Tudor_Jones)

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Jan 4, 2016

Awwww. Don't worry, just study harder, network more and try again! And I bet there are a shitload of other kids in worse positions. If it makes you feel any better, I go to a non-target, have zero IB internships under my belt and am blackballed from atleast two BBs. And in retrospect, sitting at home and feeling sorry for yourself is a huge waste of life and the worst thing you could do. Go out and get smashed bro. And then own that credit risk internship like a boss and make sure you network a bunch while you're at it to land a FT IB position.

Jan 4, 2016

Don't worry, I'm in the same boat. I started OCR with a lot of interviews (at a target school) and right now after a dozen first rounds and a few superdays, I still have 0 offers. Pretty much done in terms of interviews, so now I need to start looking at other options...

Don't give up hope though - when you look back 20 years from now, you'll realize just how insignificant junior year SA recruiting is in the long run. In the end, everybody will get to where they need to be.

Jan 4, 2016

Hang in there! Everything will be alright.

Jan 4, 2016

I would do unspeakable things for even just a few interviews. So even though it feels like you have fallen, you still are a ways above a lot of people. Good luck.

Jan 4, 2016

If you can't tolerate frustration now then how are you supposed to tolerate frustration if you get some senior position in IBD? Remember the higher you are, the harder you fall. People at the top didn't get there without some hard falls, it isn't a smooth ride at all.

Jan 4, 2016

Fight the good fight.

Jan 4, 2016

In hoc?

Jan 4, 2016

Dude, it's just a job. Chill.

Jan 4, 2016

Keep at it man. Good things will happen just have to learn from it and move forward.

Jan 4, 2016

forget credit risk (no offense to it), keep believing in yourself. Dwell on your positives.

Jan 4, 2016

"Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not, nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan "Press On!" has solved and will continue to solve the problems of the human race." -Calvin Coolidge

Keep your head up man. You will land exactly where you are supposed to. I just landed an analyst role at a top-boutique investment bank in NYC with a 2.56 GPA from a non-target school. It took me almost 7 months to do so, but persistence was the only thing that prevailed. Don't let one interview dictate who you are or what you can do. Plus, have you even heard back from them yet? Don't jump to conclusions. Everyone is their own biggest critic. Press on, brotha.

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Jan 4, 2016

In the same boat. How did you pull it off? Can you share your story.

Jan 4, 2016

-

Jan 4, 2016

I'm reminded of one of my favorite stories about Peter Thiel (entrepreneur, VC, and hedge fund manager), when he was just graduating Stanford Law:

By graduation, students at Stanford Law and other elite law schools have been racking up credentials and awards for well over a dozen years. The pinnacle of post law school credentialism is landing a Supreme Court clerkship. After graduating from SLS in '92 and clerking for a year on the 11th Circuit, Peter Thiel was one of the small handful of clerks who made it to the interview stage with two of the Justices. That capstone credential was within reach. Peter was so close to winning that last competition. There was a sense that, if only he'd get the nod, he'd be set for life. But he didn't.

Years later, after Peter built and sold PayPal, he reconnected with an old friend from SLS. The first thing the friend said was, "So, aren't you glad you didn't get that Supreme Court clerkship?" It was a funny question. At the time, it seemed much better to be chosen than not chosen. But there are many reasons to doubt whether winning that last competition would have been so good after all. Probably it would have meant a future of more insane competition. And no PayPal. The pithy, wry version of this is the line about Rhodes Scholars: they all had a great future in their past.

The key quote is "At the time, it seemed much better to be chosen than not chosen". Sometimes a failure might seem like a huge setback while you're in the present, but life doesn't always take you down the path you plan. And sometimes it's better that things don't work out how you planned.

Good luck, OP. You still have many opportunities ahead, even those that you don't foresee.

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Jan 4, 2016

+1

Jan 4, 2016

This post just made me miss Friday Night Lights. Admittedly, Seasons 1 and 2 were a cut above.

Jan 4, 2016

Good thread

Jan 4, 2016

I hate to say this but get over it, but I understand that feeling you have now. Watch this video and keep working hard. Other opportunities are out there, be prepared for it next time. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OwUYFF_LekI

Jan 4, 2016

Are you good with ladies OP? Interviewing is an art form like picking girls. Interview them and not you. Puts you in a more attractive frame. Im by no means good at it. But Im improving too. Btw that quote is a killer.

Jan 4, 2016

This thread and the stuff mentioned here is pure gold. WSO is all Type A guys trying to reach for the top. I cannot tell you how many times I struggled and failed. People I know were getting offers after offers, while I was being passed on by. You just have to be persistent like all these guys said, and that was what made it work out for me. But, just to give you some more perspective, we fail to see how grateful we should be for all the opportunities and things we have in our life. "Lowly" credit risk is a job that pays a crap ton better than what a lot of my friends are getting. 30k compensation out of college in NYC. You're a 20/21 year old kid trying to make double what they are as base salary. These things do NOT determine who we are, and what we are worth.

We are holed up in this communities like WSO or the Target/Semi-target school you're going to, where if its not BB/EB IBD, you're looked down upon. Heck, I was just viewing some thread about a kid bashing another for having signed with UBS IBD as a Junior, while he's going to GS IBD as a sophomore. We really have to put things into perspective by looking outside of these communities we are in, and see how lucky we are to have the chance to even be considered for these jobs. There's so much more out there. I think by thinking this and doing this, I was able to stay sane throughout this ridiculously competitive recruiting process.

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Jan 4, 2016

You have to believe that with continuous hard work, good things will come. Sure there is a lot of luck involved in the process, but most everyone will end up right where they should be. It's funny looking at all the people in my senior class, so many of them got internships at great places where I never expected them to end up or got nothing when I knew they deserved so much more - now, 2 years later it all seems to make sense. The path that gets you where you need to be may not be what you want or what you think you deserve, but if you keep putting in the work you will eventually get there. I got dozens of rejections before getting a few offers and finally accepting my top choice, but it came after countless nights spent wondering what I was doing wrong. If anything, it will just push you to work harder and never take anything for granted.

Keep fighting, and believe in yourself

Jan 4, 2016

Dude, if you have been through life like I have, you would kill yourself then. Life is not about getting into the best firms, getting paid so much money, prestige or etc. Some people are blind, they can`t even see! Some people are born disabled. Some people are already dead. One of my best friend died 2 years ago. Do you think you failed? F U! You are crying like a baby. Be a fkng man! Get up!

    • 1
Jan 4, 2016

Exactly.

Jan 4, 2016

solid read

Jan 4, 2016

enjoyed reading this

Jan 4, 2016

Hey man, can you give us the question you've been asked and the response you gave? Very interested in what could possibly be a game-over answer to accretion question.

Or, if you prefer, write down the correct answer. Either way, +1 to you for courage.

Jan 4, 2016

Keep it going. I've had interviews that went well and nothing happened. I've been told I was at the top of a list for new hires from the head of university recruiting (large grain trading firm). They told me of a position opening up and have not heard from the next recruiter. Also had an inside referral to a respectable bank and was soon contacted to set up a phone interview. Was the worst interview of my life, cut off mid-sentence and was offensively short in duration (nothing remotely behavioral or technical even asked), but it was a referral and not for a specific job. Feels like crap, but I have a temp position with a larger bank. I figure now that there is at least a possible inside referral building, cash flow, and another point on the resume. I guess get your feet in somewhere and build from there, that is my plan.

Jan 4, 2016

I've been in a similar position (although I'm an engineer, not in finance). It was my last semester, senior year- I had an interview lined up with TI on site (I had already passed the other interviews). I was taking 7 classes and had 2 tests the day before (Tuesday) the interview (in the afternoon/night at that). So I had to schedule a flight for 5 AM the next day (Wednesday), land in dallas, & drive 1-hour to TI. Well, I was going to have to miss my 4-hour lab due to being out for the interview and make it up Thursday morning so I had to stay up after my tests were done to complete all my pre, post-lab crap so that on Thursday (where I had another lab as well, so I was doing 2 pre/post) I would have everything done (I was getting back in very late Wednesday night). Well, I ended up staying up finishing that crap until like 2-3 in the morning and had to leave at 4, so I stayed up all night. Needless to say, I was tired and worn down from the previous day of tests and stuff. I have never been so off my game (It was 3 interviews with 3 different groups that covered everything from electronics, semiconductors, logic design, power, & programming- so all extremely technical)- it was a very odd feeling because it's really not something I am used to or have really experienced (being off my game and mentally not there). I did terrible & I walked out of there like wow, no way I would offer me a job. But I didn't let it bother me really. It was done, it was over with, & there was nothing I could do about it. No use in beating myself up about it now- just try to learn from my mistake.

So next on-site interview (for the company I am currently working for; it was a 3-day interview), I made sure to get a great night of sleep, killed all the interviews/presentations/technical challenges they gave us (it was a group interview with some tasks individual and some as a team with the managers grading you the whole time), and got a job offer which was for a better position (R&D) and better pay with more opportunities for advancement early (1 promotion/year for first 3 years).

Moral of the story- there will always be other opportunities. Sometimes you screw up, but the thing to remember is not to beat yourself up over it. Learn from the mistakes you made and make sure not to repeat them. Stay positive and don't put so much pressure on yourself- at the end of the day it is just a job. It's not your health or the health of those you care about. Yes, having a great job that can propel your career forward is important (I'm not saying that it isn't), but I think a lot of times people put so much pressure on themselves because they lose perspective on things. These people who are interviewing you were once in your shoes- they are not Gods, but people who have taken all sorts of different roads to get to where they are today.

Jan 4, 2016

I was invited by someone to come read this thread. I publish a blog which has a large section dealing with finding employment. I believe it was one of my articles about "dealing with rejection" that prompted the invitation for me to stop by here. (I don't know if the forum rules prohibit posting links, but if you'd like to find my blog, "Grown-Up Living," please just google my name, Lynda C Watts, and you'll find it.)

It's great that everyone is giving the OP encouragement, but what I haven't seen is concrete advice on "how to do better next time". It's fine to say, "Learn from your mistake and move on," but how many of us really know the specifics of what we did wrong in the first place? While the OP may believe it was simply a wrong answer to one question that lost him the job, I can almost guarantee that this is absolutely NOT the real reason.

It is never going to be a matter of whether you answer every question "correctly." If that were the case, they'd put a computer in place of the employee. But we do look for how you handle a mistake, even during the interview. I'm impressed when someone says to me, mid-interview, "May we go back to your question about [such-n-such]?" followed by either a correction to the previous answer, or an explanation, etc. I've even gotten follow-up emails where an applicant has identified something revealed in the interview and offered a revision. Now THAT is impressive! Why? Because it shows me that the person has confidence and doesn't let a mistake slide. S/he does something to fix the mistake rather than sit back and let matters fall where they may.

My blog is written for middle-age people who face unique challenges when it comes to finding employment, and I'm guessing that most or many of you are just out of college? Either way, you will be able to find useful information that will help you in your job search. When it comes to interviewing, most interviewees simply do not put in enough pre-interview work to be thoroughly prepared. And when it comes to finding a job, you are already behind the game if you are simply responding to job notices.

Lynda C. Watts

Jan 4, 2016

Look buddy, get something similar (such as credit risk) for the summer and recruit again for full-time. If you truly want IBD (even at a BB or EB) and you go to a target, you have a really good chance of getting it; the issue is when. Is it going to be full-time? 1-2 years after you graduate? It is up to you to find out.

Jan 4, 2016

People on this forum are relatively young. So it is reasonable for us to be competitive, to worry about life, and to find the best starting point. However, life is not about getting a so-called perfect job. When we look back in our 50s, we would realize how minimal those things are.

Jan 4, 2016

hi all, I asked this on another thread too but, I too was unable to get offers at many of the larger banks, but now I have a Corp Strat & Dev offer at a F500 company within the FIG space. would you all recommend that I take that internship or try to obtain an internship at a small/no name IB boutique in preparation for FT recruiting?

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Jan 4, 2016

Damn you got your hustle up! Congrats man keep pushing

mbavsmfin:

I don't wear watches bro. Because it's always MBA BALLER time!

Jan 4, 2016
marchismad:

Apparently, a friend of mine had interviewed with them and told them he wouldn't consider an offer unless they hired me as well. When they had a spot left open, the interviewer remembered that anecdote and called me with the opportunity.

THAT my friend is true networking and what you gotta do, the stuff success is made of.

Jan 4, 2016

Great to hear man! SB for your effort and best of luck!!

Jan 4, 2016

great hustle, congrats.

Observe. Learn. Share.

Jan 4, 2016

Sounds like the small business owner was the girl that took you to the dance. And as Terry Bradshaw would put it, "you should dance with the girl that brought you there."

Great experience, working at the negotiation table, that would be interesting to hear about

Jan 4, 2016

Sounds like the small business owner was the girl that took you to the dance. And as Terry Bradshaw would put it, "you should dance with the girl that brought you there."

Great experience, working at the negotiation table, that would be interesting to hear about

Jan 4, 2016

Awesome story, and your friend sounds like a true bro.

Jan 4, 2016

great story mate, congrats on the offers!

    • 1
Jan 4, 2016

Awesome story. Which offer did you accept?

Jan 4, 2016

.

Jan 4, 2016

Damn dude, this is impressive.

Just curious, what exactly was your average GPA? (you can give a range if u want)

Jan 4, 2016

I accepted an offer at MBB. I have been there for over two years now and love my job. I see myself here moving forward.

In regards to my gpa, I had a 3.53. I know it is good to a lot of people, but gpa's at my school tended to be higher with the 75th percentile at ~3.75. Also, MBB is notorious for high gpa's, most of my co-workers now had a 3.9+.

Jan 4, 2016

Great job man way to place your success into your own hands!

Jan 4, 2016
marchismad:

I was a consummate underachiever in high school and applied to colleges with a 3.6 GPA

Hah, I love WSO

Jan 4, 2016

Awesome story! enjoyed reading it :)

Jan 4, 2016

Awesome story! enjoyed reading it :)

Jan 4, 2016

Awesome story! enjoyed reading it :)

Jan 4, 2016

I came in expecting another corny story but this is something else! Always love an underdog comeback

Jan 4, 2016

Congrats and thank you for sharing. Another example of how perseverance is always a factor to one's own success.

Si Vis Pacem Para Bellum

Jan 4, 2016

Absolutely awesome post. As a 3rd year (of 5) at a non-target, I've been running into all of the same issues you mentioned in the first 80% of your story. I've applied to probably 80-100+ firms via cold emails and online applications with personalized cover letters. Very little response. I got about 3 or 4 phone interviews simply because I put on my resume "Private Hedge Fund" as my previous internship and some firms wanted to hear more, even though it was technically just a family office (albeit $500+ AUM).

Regardless, thanks for the entry. I've been getting down on myself as of late thinking that my time will never come, but with your story I know someday something will.

Jan 4, 2016

That was an awesome read. I'm amazed at your level of persistence and I'm glad that you were able to move past your obstacles, gain valuable experiences and land multiple offers in the end. Really inspiring stuff!

Jan 4, 2016

OP's interview hit rate went from 1/109 (

I dont care how magical your summer dealmaking experience was, there is zero chance you bypassed 47 resume screens. Not in this universe at least

Jan 4, 2016

Did you really apply to all those internships? I'm a sophomore with a big 4 internship this summer and dreams of MBB my gpa is average but I'm working at it and I'll be there soon

Jan 4, 2016

Can you share with us a little bit of the real-world business knowledge you picked up over the years? I am always looking to learn.

Jan 4, 2016

Hey guys, thanks for all of the comments, its good to know that you are enjoying it! I have certainly enjoyed reading through the comments every couple days. Just to hit on the things a couple of you all said.

-My life in college was very much a roller coaster. When I though things were going good-they went bad, and when I thought life couldn't get any worse-it became spectacular. This starts with the man upstairs. He taught me how to press forward when times were bad, God gives you all the energy you need to reach your goals. He also taught me never to make an excuse. While some of my friends blamed counselors, interviewers, teachers, and even friends, I tried to see life at it was. My best advice for those of you in similar shoes is to develop a belief system (it doesn't have to be religious), something that allows you to be honest with yourself and others. and be nice to people, nobody wakes up looking to fail.

-To Chanman: that is awesome, keep on kicking ass. My only advice to you is to not let your goals get in the way of your life. Two of my favorite quotes are "Life is what happens when you are making other plans" and "I never let school interfere with my education". Actively involve yourself with your passions, not just for the purpose of building a resume. Just about every one of my colleagues has studied abroad, worked at a start-up, or even acted.

-As far as real-world business knowledge, I don't know how to explain it. You have to get out there and do it, I have never heard of someone who took a job and learned nothing. I know a girl who stacked pepsi in a grocery store and got a job at big 4 consulting because she learned how to market products. Now as a consultant, I never let a question go unanswered. So here are a couple things.
1. Know how to work in a team. You do not have to be the leader of every team you are on. Play to everyones strengths and know what yours are-not what they should be.
2. There are two processes, one is what the public sees and the private one is the real deal. Whether you are applying for jobs, working on a merger, or working with your client. Always have somebody on your side, or you will end up wasting a lot of time trying to convince disinterested parties.
3. Like any good relationship, show your interest in others. Think about how you feel when a girl keeps checking her phone at dinner, never make someone feel like that. I guess this tip is listen, not hear
4. Never lose curiosity. I still don't know what it takes to be successful in business. I simply know what it takes to not get fired from your first job out of college. I never turn down an opportunity to experience something new if it feels right.
5. Take an acting class- I can't even count the amount of times I have seen a manager or partner bullshit a response to a client. At least go to your schools theatre a couple times to see some people do it and become friends with them.
6. Have good style. Not frat attire (polo, vv, etc.), a distinct style. Have a go to wardrobe, drink, dish, song. People respect someone who knows what they want.

Well that is long enough. I hope everyone had a great Valentine's Day weekend, whether it was with your significant other or Netflix.

Jan 4, 2016

Bravo! I am hitting my desk for a failure story and here comes a legendary one.

5. take an acting class. I will totally do that.

May you live in interesting times, may you find what you are looking for.

Jan 4, 2016

Great story man! wants to congrats you for your bright future.

Jan 4, 2016

This is fantastic. Congratulations!

Jan 4, 2016

Solid advice(s) at the end of the post. SB-ed!

Jan 4, 2016

Great interview, thanks!

Jan 4, 2016

I guess if I could hear a lecture of someone dead...

1) Daniel Drew(July 29, 1797 - September 18, 1879)
2) Ulysses S. Grant(April 27, 1822 - July 23, 1885)

Ulysses mostly because it went down hill after the war.

PE is the new black.

Jan 4, 2016

Napoleon, Bernie Madoff and Jeff Skilling

Jan 4, 2016

No need to pay - that guy won't shut the fuck up.

Jan 4, 2016
Jan 4, 2016

The LTCM guys - especially Meriweather, Hilenbrand and Houghani. They had some of the most brilliant people in the world, they had known only success for years at Salomon and LTCM, and they failed massively - mainly due to overconfidence.

Jan 4, 2016

You consider Greenspan a failure?

Reality hits you hard, bro...

Jan 4, 2016
MMBinNC:

You consider Greenspan a failure?

The man has become a punchline.

Jan 4, 2016

Nick Leeson

Jan 4, 2016

I thought about Nick, too. And Jerome Kerviel and Joe Jett. They'd probably all be worth listening to.

Jan 4, 2016

On a similar note, Errol Morris's documentary "The Fog of War" is essentially 1.5 hours of Robert McNamara talking about what he learned from the failure in Vietnam:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Fog_of_War
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-865378886...

Jan 4, 2016

I'm not sure if he really counts for what you are looking for, but I think it'd be pretty amazing. His story is unreal.

Jan 4, 2016

Ken Lay. To create one of the world's biggest companies (Enron)...on paper, wow.

Jan 4, 2016

Definitely not a failure. The penultimate example of principle vs. tyranny.

Jan 4, 2016

I retract my original comment.

Jan 4, 2016

Currently charges PS10,000 for an hour long talk

Jan 4, 2016

Meriwether from LTCM or Jimmy Cayne from B.S.

Jan 4, 2016

+1 on Meriwether, maybe even Myron Scholes (def not a failure, but rather under the context of '09).

Jan 4, 2016

Meriwether has become the one man I would not hesitate to punch in the face. I would just like to ask him "wtf was wrong with you?" So, if I can pay to do this, I won't mind at all.

Jan 4, 2016

Why do you dislike Meriwether so much?

Jan 4, 2016

Why do you dislike Meriwether so much?

Jan 4, 2016
thirdallnighter...:

Why do you dislike Meriwether so much?

Probably just because he just seems like a douche who thinks it's okay to lose other peoples' money, then convince more people to give him money then lose it again. Granted, I have only read about him from Liar's Poker and When Genius Failed, but his arrogance shines through in those books. A flame war starts every time LTCM is mentioned on these boards, so maybe it's best not to get into the details here.

Jan 4, 2016

I will have diner with most past/current African presidents

Power and Money do not change men; they only unmask them

Jan 4, 2016

I don't think that he is necessarily a bad person, I just want to know what was going in through his head that made him oblivious to the fact that he was failing?
Was it arrogance? Fear of admittance of failure? Hope of proving the entire market wrong? Was it his resilience and opposition of realizing he was losing control?

He is my worst nightmare because he is the complete example of what I do NOT want to be.
I have the utmost respect for his genius, I also have spoken to people who know him personally, he is a wonderful, albeit distant human being.

Jan 4, 2016

..

    • 1
Jan 4, 2016

any time i feel down in life, I look at this picture.

http://www.schumacherinstitute.org.uk/wp-content/u...
It's a picture of the earth from the Voyager 2, the farthest space probe ever sent into space. It's the record setter for furthest man made thing in space away from the earth in terms of distance.

This picture reminds me in the end - nobody is greater than you or lesser than you and none of it all matters. If the earth's history was the circumference of the earth, our entire lifespan would be about 3 feet or something.

We're just here for a blink of an eye - any thing in that time frame that makes you unhappy doesn't matter in the grand scheme of your entire life and this universe.

D.I.

    • 2
Jan 4, 2016

Awesome story! Good luck!

Jan 4, 2016

Awesome post, completely agree with points 1 & 2. I excelled after I stopped blaming others for my bad grades and took responsibility for my results.

+1SB

Jan 4, 2016

Your sponsor did you a huge favor in real life lesson and steer you towards who you are today.

Jan 4, 2016

I'm aware of that, and have since thanked him for it haha.

Jan 4, 2016

Damn, where did I put all my SBs?

Anyway re: 2)
I'm sure everybody has a different approach to it, but lacking control to external factors is something that pisses me off to no end that I stop sleeping and eating altogether every time until I figure something out. I'm the kind that's driven not by work ethic but literally by compulsiveness, and at any given point if I don't have the next decade of my life mapped out I freak the fuck out. In general I've been able to maintain a more concrete five year plan followed by a more vague idea of the next three years at all times, and I can't count how many times I've changed the plan drastically over the last few years, and it's getting more and more frequent now with more and more backup plans. I can't calm down to do anything else unless I have my plans ready somewhere. And having them does help, i believe, I mean I still screw up but not too badly, as knowing the big picture gets one motivated to stay on task to meet the smaller enabling goals. So basically--mobility is extremely important (and encirclement; classic model is classic) and just make sure you don't trap yourself into a Schlieffen Plan scenario, I think anybody should thus be good with factors he can't control. In other words: keep options open and overprepare and have alternatives (doesn't sound as cool as using General Staff language, you see.)

And ah, summer school. I did a summer session when the recommended credit load was 1 or 2 classes, I took 2 on site, 2 online, studied materials of semester-long courses myself and tested out of 3 more. Was ok for like a month then the last two weeks I operated on 4 hours of sleep each afternoon (didn't sleep at night, for fear of oversleeping through morning class) and spent all my waking time studying/doing homework/being at classes/sitting through exams. That's also when I got into a schedule of eating every 12 hours because eating 3 times a day is the most inefficient thing I can think of, time-consuming and forces one to snack again if staying up all night.

I think that's when I understood that I could, in fact, put in effort and do some damn work. You see, I grew up being that "talented kid with potential" who was never able to deliver. And screwed up randomly all the time--graduated high school with honours level GPA, oops fucked up college apps; been the best in the class all semester, oops slept through a major assignment in class; always considered "one of the smart kids" by peers and rocked the class several times, oops straight B semester because didn't do homework; ...passed advanced exams in same subjects, oops failed classes because slept through all lectures. The list goes on.

I think a period of intense concentration and doing whatever one can to hit a goal that better not be missed (if I didn't pass any of the classes I was testing out of it'd push my certification into the major back a semester and I'd be left with no classes to take for the next semester, and as an international student I'd have to leave the US, which if I did my family was for sure not sending me back, they want me to stay permanently every time I visit home) does something to one's psyche that it in fact transforms a person completely, and like OP said, then you know what you can do, it boosts confidence through the roof.

...that is what I call the Blitzkrieg. As for persevarance, I refer to that as the Falkenhayn method, i.e. focusing on outlasting the opponent/difficulties in a battle of attrition, at all costs, without counting losses--winning not through dominating but simply just through surviving longer than your obstacles. So, keeping in mind there are other ways to win than coming out of regular recruiting with an offer instantly is certainly helpful. And to not give up ever, of course. Do not sign peace treaties, we all know that leads to disaster two decades down the road.

(And whenever I'm fighting another day in the war of life I imagine I'm in an actual trench.)

Jan 4, 2016

Great story. Your writing style is excellent. It would explain the ER in your monkey name. +1 SB

Jan 4, 2016

Excellent post! I especially identify with how responsibility and confidence can come with failure. A man just gets stuff done and doesn't moan and groan about this or that.

I do want to add that any lessons learned from failure are based on the type of person one is. Some people who were in your exact situation would curl up and give up. The key is to learn from those mistakes and move on.

Great post, man!

Chill

Jan 4, 2016

Thank you for sharing you story. I think it is a great post worth pondering.

However, in regards to 2) on Independence, I think you can strife for something higher than that: Interdependence.

First you become independent, which makes you able to stand on your own two feet and create your own reality. Then, the next step is to realise that the next layer of success is being able to be something for someone else, and realising that your own success is connected to the success of other people.

There is a lot more to this point, and it may sound a bit out there how I described it, but have a look at the "7 Habbits" by Stephen Covey. It is one of the main points in his book, and it is definitely worth a read as well.

Sounds like you have already picked up a lot of his points already through your own experiences.

Again, great post.

Jan 4, 2016

great post man!

Jan 4, 2016

@Hassen:

Haha, awesome comment. I agree about having a plan (mine is also fluid, with a few major, non-negotiable components to it- the rest of the plan changes in ways that allow me to achieve my non-negotiable goals). If stress works for you, it works for you. I personally AM pretty calm/relaxed (in fact, sometimes weirdly so) in stressful situations and under pressure- things just don't bother me. If something doesn't work, I'll find another way to get what I want/get to where I want to be. I haven't always been that way, but I've become solidly that way (it seems irreversible, only time will tell if that's true) since I accepted to focus on what I can change and not to let things outside my control bother me. Although I'm not religious, that saying "God give me the courage to change the things I can and serenity to accept the things I can't" (or however it goes, I think it's a little different) is pretty spot on and something to live by in my opinion- living this way has made my entire life easier and much, much more enjoyable. It has actually also improved my results/performance in general.

Going back to my point about not being upset if something doesn't work and finding another way around it- that ties in nicely with your point about perseverance/winning a war of attrition. I firmly believe that if you want something, and are willing to literally never give up/keep working at it until you achieve it, eventually you'll achieve what you want to. The people who are unsuccessful, in my humble opinion, are the people that give up when things get a little too real. In "Think and Grow Rich" Napoleon Hill notes that many, many of the successful people he interviewed first achieved massive success almost immediately after a relatively significant failure, and the thing that separates successful people from those who don't quite cut it is that the latter stop trying at that inflection point/last failure, ironically in many cases near success.

Finally, I also grew up as someone teachers described with a lot of potential (that I didn't reach because I talked too much haha). Like you, still did really well in most aspects and every one in a while did a little worse than I'd like, and it wasn't too bad because I could cruise and still do better than most of my peers. However, like you said- having a period of intense work and concentration with a must-hit goal changes you, and the feeling I got after my summer in Chicago (felt great about my results and was proud of how hard I'd worked) led to an irreversible change in my psyche- now I know that I can buckle down and hit any target I want to, and that whether I succeed or not is almost entirely up to me.

Jan 4, 2016

@Klax0n:

Great point. I see what you're trying to say, and it makes sense. Coincidentally, I just bought 7 Habits and it's a couple of books away on my reading list- will have to get to it soon.

Jan 4, 2016

Great buy. and I hope you will enjoy that book as much as I did. My point is particularly tied to habbits 3-6, but you will see that when you get into the book.

Enjoy!

Jan 4, 2016

Thanks for the kind words guys, I'm glad you liked the post.

Jan 4, 2016

Good stuff buddy.

Jan 4, 2016

Great post!

Jan 4, 2016

Good stuff bud, good luck to you in the future.

Jan 4, 2016

Great post. Happy to hear everything worked out in the end.

Jan 4, 2016

Where in Aus are you from?

Jan 4, 2016

Solid.

Jan 4, 2016

Really great story! Enjoyed reading it! Shed some light on myself after I finished reading as well.

Jan 4, 2016

You just have to understand it's (in part) a numbers game and you aren't going to get it every time, and just have to keep pushing till you do...

    • 2
Jan 4, 2016

Go knock back a shot and try again.

Jan 4, 2016

Take a day to get away from everything and then game plan for the next steps on the next day. A job rejection would only make that more motivated towards each professional goal I had. Keep pushing forward and something will eventually break for you....

    • 1
Jan 4, 2016

You don't take it personally, don't let it get to you and figure out what you could have done differently to effect a positive outcome and use that next time so that you get a different result. Most successful people fail far more than they don't, and I don't necessarily mean in the Silicon Valley way of having companies completely fail (although that seems to work out there) or blowing up a PE fund or HF, but if you're not pushing the envelope to a certain degree, you're never going to accomplish anything outside of the ordinary. I have failed to get far more deals than I've actually done and have been rejected by far more investors than I've ever brought on board, but the yes's have done pretty well for me.

And if you're going for growth equity there's a good chance you'll be pounding the phones for deals and you'll experience rejection multiple times on a daily basis.

Also, ask the guys at your internship what's up. Have a few things to say like "I've done X, Y & Z" but make the ask about the full time position. They may have forgotten it's been an extra month or they may be waiting for you to ask. Worst case is that they say no and you free up time to look for an FT role.

    • 2
Jan 4, 2016

It's something every one of us has experienced. It sucks, but continually work to improve your performance on future interviews.

Jan 4, 2016

Realize that failing doesn't matter unless you get hung up on it. You can't change it, and if you can/want to, dwelling on it is a waste of time.

If you get hung up on a failure, you're probably going to keep failing. That's enough motivation for me not to give a fuck when I screw something up (except to learn something from it).

Jan 4, 2016

I don't deal with failure. I am failure.

"Mr. Perkins poses an extreme risk to the market when drunk."

Jan 4, 2016

Perspective is relative; if you aren't constantly failing, you aren't setting the bar high enough for yourself.

    • 1
Jan 4, 2016

I kinda disagree. It's more about knowing your limits, and to know them you have to test them. You should expect to fail more in your late teens/early 20s as you figure this out, but you should have a good idea of what you can handle by the time you're 25 or so.

Jan 4, 2016
BTbanker:

Perspective is relative; if you aren't constantly failing, you aren't setting the bar high enough for yourself.

i love this statement. defines my life viewpoint: never settle.

Jan 4, 2016

Maintaining a balance between optimism and reality is a good step forward. Life is all about the lessons and advice you absorb from your failures and success. We toast to our success and acknowledge our failures....

Jan 4, 2016

Write a list of things that happened out of sheer luck, or things could've gone wrong but came through. Realize that sometimes things might turn out for the worst and the best.

Jan 4, 2016

I analyze the failure, try to learn a lesson from it, internalize that lesson, and then apply it the next time I'm in a similar situation.

Jan 4, 2016

my condolences.

don't give up. you are clearly a talented kid.

Jan 4, 2016

Upon re-reading my thread I realize I come across as arrogant. I mean, it is pretty balsy to claim I "outshone" everyone else.

The point I was trying to make, I really tried very hard this time. I worked longer than everyone and gave it my all, and still, I failed miserably. How can I rebounce after two consecutive year's of failure. I'm at rock bottom and feel extremely disillusioned with the world of finance. Yet I know I wouldn't do any other job in the world.

Jan 4, 2016

Compared to some of the other shit people post this site, your's was reasonable. Try to remember, assuming you aren't lying or totally off-base about yourself, that your failure to get a FT offer is likely a result of the current market more than anything else. With that said, keep at it. If you're as good as you say, consider asking your former groups for recommendations or connections. Other than that, as much as it sucks, back to square one. On campus rectuiing, cold calling, networking (within reason), etc...If you want it that badly, then don't let a few failures stop you. You can get rejected 100 times but as long as you get accepted once...

Jan 4, 2016

Dream = B2 ?

Jan 4, 2016

Dream - I hope you died and that's why you can't make that same stupid post any more.

Jan 4, 2016

wouldnt be surprised if he wrote a macro to do it.

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Reality hits you hard, bro...

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