WSO was a huge resource for me navigating through and eventually breaking into the AM industry. Thought I'd throw an AMA for all the grinders interested at AM who aren't at target schools.
Went to a small non-target school in Boston. When I say non-target...think smaller and less known than BC. Scored a 2.5 freshman year, but ended up with a 3.8 major and minor GPA by graduation. Started the internship path with the brutal insurance sales job, after-which I cold called and presented my way into an industry research role at a PE search-fund in the Greater Boston Area, worked 30+ hours a week unpaid and worked as a bouncer at various bars throughout the Boston area to pay the bills. Junior summer I worked for an MM but well regarded fixed income mutual fund. This MM did not have a formal internship feeder program and the fixed income related interns left with no offers.
Graduated with no job. Turned down a few jobs with MM players in both the Boston and San Fran area. Wanted aso bad I sat at home for hours every day for three months making cold calls and sending emails to funds. Interviewed two times and got shut down twice..all by the same fund. Kept throwing rocks and knocking on doors and at the end of the summer that same BB fund offered a third interview... and job on the Fixed Income side of their business. This job is NOT credit research, but it is considered to be part of the investment staff (not operations) - as I know most of you hungry monkeys want Credit Research (I do not) felt this disclosure was needed.
Moral of the story here...do not be traditional, do not follow the horde, and whatever you do...do not stop grinding. If you work hard enough and are genuinely passionate someone will take notice. At the end of the day an undergraduate degree is an undergraduate degree, doesn't matter where you got it from. What matters is figuring out who you are, illustrating why you're a better candidate, and most importantly clearly explaining how you plan on using that degree to make an impact for the fund who brings you on. If you're not an income producer, you better make sure you make your added values known.
Work hard monkeys - because in a few years our bullshit undergraduate degrees won't matter anymore, your skills, experiences, and accomplishments will be all firms look for anyway.
I will not disclose the school or fund. Anything outside of that, feel free to ask away.