AMA: From Non-Target to Coverage IB at BB

bull-ish's picture
Rank: Monkey | 50

Hi All,

Happy to share my journey / trajectory coming from a non-target school in SoCal and breaking into a coverage group at a BB in NYC. The path was extremely unconventional and was primarily a function of preparation, good fortune and persistence above all.

Background:

- Private non-target school in SoCal with small presence on Wall St. The few students that break in -- happen to place very well and are an anomaly among the general student body (e.g., Lazard, Goldman, J.P. Morgan, Qatalyst, etc.)
- Finance major / 3.4 GPA
- Internships throughout school (M&A deal sourcing, asset management, VC, Corporate Strategy Summer Analyst at a BB, PE before graduation and then recruited full-time for an MM in NYC)

In retrospect, I've come to realize that branding DOES matter, but there are a variety of ways to brand yourself well without going to a target school. For example, strong internships, flawless preparation when opportunities do arise and a good narrative can overcompensate for school pedigree.

To summarize my path, I focused most of my efforts on gaining hands-on experience, having internships that were relevant to IB, networking with professionals / individuals at my academic institution who might be able to help, and having a detailed execution plan.

Please feel free to ask any questions.

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Member @Bull-Ish shares how he built up a robust internship profile and networked aggressively throughout his undergraduate studies to help him break into an elite boutique investment bank from a complete non-target with a 3.4 GPA. How he was able to secure an offer even after bombing multiple investment banking superdays and what happened when he had to leave unexpectedly from his analyst stint.

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Comments (26)

Most Helpful
Aug 29, 2019

How was this an unconventional path? You had amazing internships and ended up getting a job at a BB because of them. It must not be anomaly that your school ends up placing you at good banks if you do happen to break in. With your internships it seems like your path was very conventional unless you think the 3.4 GPA held you back a ton, which obviously from the internships you gotten is not the case. I don't mean to be negative but I don't see what is special about your path at all.

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Aug 29, 2019

ur jelly bro like me. it's ok

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Aug 29, 2019

Nope, I'm very happy with what I do boss. The IB life is just not for me.

Aug 29, 2019

In short, I didn't summer in IB, had to recruit full time, worked at a smaller shop, worked in corp dev after and came back to banking. It's radically different, than the typical liner path of target school --> summer IB stint --> full time role post-graduation.

Happy to expand more..

Aug 29, 2019

I gotcha OP I just meant that its pretty conventional to have great internships and then get into IB when you're coming from a non-target. Like it would have been unconventional if you had random non finance internships or changed majors last second etc. With those internships though it just kinda seems like with enough networking and determination it was bound to happen. Congrats!

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Aug 31, 2019

Had the same reaction reading the post. All of OPs internships were jobs people would be lucky to get as FT jobs after school. Some may even call IB a stepping stone to some of his internship opportunities.

Getting into IB after those internships should be a cakewalk with proper technical preparation. The hardest question he'd have to answer is "You've done VC, PE, M&A, and Corp Strategy, why would you want to slave away in IB now?"

Maybe OP should be doing an AMA on how he got his internships.

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Aug 31, 2019

Agree. I definitely think there would be more value in describing internship process (e.g., networking, interviewing, etc.).

That was probably one of the important drivers behind breaking in. Since school branding and GPA were lacking, the internships were what added some credibility and attractiveness to my profile.

Funniest
Aug 29, 2019

yeah this joker wanted to just participate on this AMA so that he can boast to his loser friends. seriously this clown pissed me off. he speaks so much and doesnt answer the god damn question curtis asked me. get over yourself

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Aug 29, 2019

I think I'm missing your angle here....

Aug 29, 2019

All cool bro. Have a blessed friday

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Aug 30, 2019

Impressive story, but just mirroring what others said this doesn't seem that unconventional. Also I was unaware a 3.4 was a bad GPA. Not the best for finance but not something to worry about.

Aug 30, 2019

To your point, sure -- a 3.4 is by no means something to be concerned about, but it can have a pretty adverse effect during screenings. When you have X amount of applicants and only a few openings, the impact is more noticeable.

I think it's even more accentuated when you assess that from a holistic perspective (e.g., the non-target branding, lack of prior IB experience and going through off-cycle recruiting).

What do you think the distribution is of items that candidates are judged on? In other words, what are the driving factors in breaking in / getting an offer and how are they weighted?

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Aug 30, 2019

Cut him some slack. OP's Gone to such lengths to describe how he's really non-traditional. Ok bro

Aug 30, 2019

Waiting for a comment from you that adds any value...happy LDW chief

Aug 30, 2019

Happy ldw to you too. Unfortunately I don't add value anymore

Aug 31, 2019

LOOL poor guy took out an hour to do this AMA only for ppl to bash him for his bourgeoise-ness ..i am sure he's enjoying this AMA...in the spirit of asking the questions during this AMA, I'd like to know the OP's view regarding China-HK, and why did it take bruce jenner such a long ass time to come out...hope this is helpful

Aug 31, 2019

Would recommend spending less time on WSO until you find a job. Aren't you unemployed? LOL

Aug 31, 2019

Nope I'm taking time off. Still awaiting answers to my legit questions! This is an AMA so pls kindly respond

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Aug 31, 2019

Meant to delete this as i was supposed to post it on another thread. Ignore

Aug 31, 2019
Comment
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