So I recently got asked if I would do an AMA in a thread I posted on but declined due to having a unique background and not wanting to be found off-line. But the recent thread by @Nefarious- reminded me of the people that have helped me get to where I am at.
So as I mentioned above Im not really too willing to discuss the time I spent betweeen graduating UG and starting at my EB. I have been in Finance job(s) since graduating. I'll say that I was a lateral hire and didnt go through the OCR process.
The term non-target is often used loosely, to which I counter with this. My school ad ~2,000 students and the only employer that came on campus was Enterprise Rent-a-car. A large majority of kids I graduated with are working in bars, department stores, etc.
-Learn, work experience, and network
As I mentioned elsewhere I really enjoy finance and I enjoy what I do so Im actually passionate when I talk to people and am interviewing.
My approach to finance has always been to learn as much as possible. I didnt approach the process as "studying technicals for months". I approached my career with the mindset of trying to learn as much as possible which included (and continues to include) reading textbooks, white papers on tax issues, bankruptcy filings, etc.
2. Work experience
it sounds dumb and cliche but just get a job. Dont be that guy living on your mom's couch waiting for to call you back, take the position at the boutique.
its really not a secret and there are already a ton of threads about it. The only thing I will echo thats been said before is that it comes down to determination and perseverence. I botched interviews at 2 HFs one in the first round and the other in the final, a PE fund, and a couple IBs one coming to mind was a /LAZ/Houlihan Rx interview for an Associate position.
I actually the interview for my current shop through a connection of a guy I had a call with. When networking remember... The purpose of this "network" isnt just to get you your first job. Stay in touch, and build an actual network of friends and colleagues who will go to bat for you. I still talk to a lot of the people I have had calls with and met because I want to be able to maintain that relationship for the future incase I need to make a call or hopefully I can help them with something.
So feel free to ask away... EXCEPT about my prior work experience (other than the IT internship which isnt on my resume/linkedin so i felt like sharing).