AMA: Multiple Non-Core Colleges > BB > All Over (Mega Fund / MM / Elite Botique)

ElBeElSimpson's picture
Rank: Baboon | 143

So I never even planned on going to college (much less graduating and working in an office or on Wall Street), but I got an athletic scholarship and wanted to keep playing for a few more years.

The plan was to finish sports and then enlist in the military.

Welp after a decently serious accident, I kinda had to graduate and get a "regular" job. So what was my brilliant thought process?

"I never wanted to work in an office, so let's figure out the career that will be least amount of years, regardless of what type of hours were front loaded...so I ended up studying and working in finance.

Note: Once I had made up my mind, I instantly regretted never playing sports at any of the Ivy school - I remember telling one of the coaches "But you have a terrible team, why would I EVER want to play for you?!"

Oh well, ended up working out regardless!

Types of questions I'd like to answer:
Mostly how to break in to finance from very non traditional backgrounds and any advice on actually finding he "right" job and not one with the most "prestige" or "biggest bonuses" but the second is still obviously important ha. Also the importance of networking and finding a solid mentor along the way

Comments (18)

Aug 1, 2018

So we have an idea of your career progression can you list off the positions you've held (in order). Obviously don't get too specific so as to keep your anonymity

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Aug 1, 2018

**1st college **= MAC school

2nd college = Community College trying to figure life out after injury

**3rd college **= small regional school that would sometimes place people really well in Big 4 accounting

1st internship = lower MM bank that did distressed M&A / restructuring. This was unpaid, but I harassed them enough until they gave me an internship and I actually got a lot of relevant experience considering it was in the middle of the recession - I received a bonus roughly equal to what a paid internship would have been and a FT offer, but I was still set on a BB bank.

2nd internship = impressed one of the clients who was a large PE fund and they asked me it I;d like to intern in one of their satellite offices during my senior year. Jumped at that and barely went to any classes as a senior.

1st full time = MM banking group within a global organization (was there less than a year - I continued to network HARD)

2nd full time = BB IB

3rd full time = large HF

4th full time = turned an offer down multiple times from a European bank until it didn't make financial sense to do so

5th full time = followed the team lead from previous job to an EB

6th "full time" = personally invested for a while / got bored

Current full time = another bank

My guidance counselor at my final college told me to give up on trying to make it to a BB / Wall Street and just be an accountant...I said: FU, and don't ever ask me for a dollar. I still haven't given them a cent, despite doing my best to be extremely philanthropic.

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Aug 1, 2018

dont have anything to add to this except that you're a beast gj

if you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you'll be successful

Aug 1, 2018

As someone who spent two years at a community college currently working in a lower MM banking internship, this is extremely inspiring. Congrats on all the success man!

Aug 1, 2018

This story is different than most. What was the logic on HF back to banking? Didn't work out? Comp was just so enticing?

Aug 1, 2018
monkey_brah:

This story is different than most. What was the logic on HF back to banking? Didn't work out? Comp was just so enticing?

The portfolio strategy changed and I was hired as an "industry specialist" that got transitioned to a generalist.

Pretend you've been focusing on tech for a number of years and then you're asked to make metals and mining recommendations when your comp is tied to what you work on...not 100% awesome despite the name of the fund.

That's when I really started to focus on what I've actually enjoyed in my previous jobs and it was the industry that I covered and not necessarily the finance.

I realized I'd be happier long term focusing on the industry I enjoy / find interesting and would make more being able to stay in the work force vs burning out and hating a good portion of what my job entailed regardless of comp or "prestige" of where I worked.

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Aug 1, 2018

Thanks, that's helpful. Can you add your title at these places? Maybe a little intrusive, but would also be curious of your net worth / how long you did the personal investing & break mentioned as "job #6"

I have similar thoughts that sometimes the buy-side isn't all it's cracked up to be

Aug 1, 2018

Well played bigman, some beasty stuff you pulled off. We love these stories.

How good were you at the sport?

Absolute truths don't exist... celebrated opinions do.

Aug 2, 2018
kayz08:

Well played bigman, some beasty stuff you pulled off. We love these stories.

How good were you at the sport?

I was probably better at wrestling than football in HS, but went to school for FB.

I wasn't a rockstar at all, but played as a true freshman on a top 20 team.

Aug 2, 2018

How much did you network?

Did you network with alumni or by cold emailing people?

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Aug 2, 2018

Bump

Aug 3, 2018
nickppj:

How much did you network?

Did you network with alumni or by cold emailing people?

TONS.

Honestly, this was the most important thing for me.

Coming from a random background I obviously needed to prove I knew my stuff (Walk me through a DCF etc.) just as good / better than candidates from core schools, but that wouldn't have mattered if I didn't spend a lot of time networking because I wouldn't have gotten any interviews and would have just been a loser that knew a lot of finance interview questions.

The fact I have a unique story also helps a time because I've experienced things a lot of private school > Ivy > BB kids haven't and being not boring / interesting can help a ton when it comes to recruiting.

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Aug 3, 2018
nickppj:

How much did you network?

Did you network with alumni or by cold emailing people?

Networking was a mix of everything.

Because none of the colleges I went to had a lot of graduates in this field, alumni weren't very helpful, so I had to get creative.

I looked at all of the lower MM banks and funds that were in my area and tried to find links to them through other people I spoke with.

Lots of looking at LinkedIn or bios of people on company websites trying to find possible connections.

I also got a gym membership at one of the nicer gyms in the area where a lot of these people would work out and strike up convos.

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Aug 3, 2018

You talk about not only networking but also the importance of having a strong mentor.
Could you elaborate on that? How did you come to get a mentor?
What was his role in the process?

Array

Aug 3, 2018
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