Am I Too Late for IB? Please Advise

Hi Everyone

I am new to WSO! Little bit about myself, I am a current sophomore double majoring in finance and economics at a non-target in NJ and possess a 3.75 GPA.

I didn't know what I wanted to do for a career until now. After taking corporate finance and other relevant finance courses, I realized that I would love to have a career in IB. The environment, the skills needed, the potential growth..it all catches my attention and wanted to ask everyone here what should I be doing now?

I am aware of how late I am to the game and wanted to ask, am I too late to get a SA position? What should I be doing right now in my current situation? I don't have any previous internship experience or have anything lined up for this summer. I am aware how essential it is to have a sophomore internship. What do I do??

Any advice is deeply appreciated, thank you!!!

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Apr 2, 2021 - 1:01pm

If you're a sophomore now, you need to set your sights on landing a finance internship or finance adjacent internship for this summer. This internship will set you up for the recruiting that really matters: summer after junior year internships. Major sophomore programs at all the big places have already made their decisions - you'll have to look elsewhere. Use this time to learn everything in the WSO technical interview guide and in the WSO behavioral interview guide. Also use this time to begin networking with alums. Make a long list of every American investment bank you can find (research this thoroughly). Junior summer internship recruitment is right at the beginning of junior year (occasionally things occur at the end of sophomore year, but not sure what the exact schedule will be this time around). When that time approaches, if your non-target career center isn't on their shit, at least you'll have a list of almost every investment bank to which you can apply. You'll have to consistently check their websites for info and apply to every single thing the moment you see it. You better have every technical down pat. You better have practiced your "walk me through your resume" pitch 15 times in the mirror and another handful of times with career center people or friends. If your GPA is what you say it is, you network and apply to 40+ places, you nail all your technicals, and you come off as well-prepared and personable during your behavioral interviews, you'll have a real shot. 

  • VP in IB - Restr
Apr 3, 2021 - 4:04pm

My advice would be to start networking hard and even identifying a list of boutique shops in your area that you would be interested in working at and just try connecting with someone who works there. Their emails are usually always presented on their websites - send out personalized and friendly emails showing your interest in what they do and asking if they'd have time to chat and learn more.

You'd be extremely surprised how few people actually think to do this out of laziness or fear of rejection. You're probability of getting your foot in the door only increases. This is exactly what an individual did at my firm - he constantly reached out to people near the end of his junior year and got hired as an intern. He then proceeded to join full-time as an IB analyst after he graduated.

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Apr 7, 2021 - 11:14am

I've had to make this comment before--I got my interview at a top bank 3 months after their recruiting deadline and never submitted my resume to their portal. Banks are constantly changing, people renege offers, offices expand, they experience unexpected departures etc. The workplace isn't school with rigid rules. If you are past the recruiting deadline for a specific place, it might make sense to focus efforts elsewhere; however, keep in touch with people that you networked with and you never know what can happen. The argument that it is "too late" is almost never true--less likely because you are later, yes, but "too late" assumes that you can't weasel your way into an internship or job due to an outlier scenario, which happens almost every year at every bank. If you build a strong relationship/ mentorship at a bank that isn't superficial you'd be surprised what can happen.

  • Intern in IB - Ind
Apr 7, 2021 - 3:45pm

I'm a junior and my mentees are STARTING to make breakthroughs in their connections, but most have yet to even have first rounds.

YOU ARE NOT LATE

You are on time! You have to network and grind your heart away, cram the technicals, and give it your all. 

Listen to this and go into hyperdrive mode:

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