AMA: Non-Target who didn't break into IB

postMBAmalone's picture
Rank: Monkey | banana points 48

Currently working at an insurance broker (think Marsh/Aon/Willis)

Graduated from a state school

Ask on

Investment Banking Interview Course

  • 7,548 questions across 469 investment banks. Crowdsourced from over 500,000 members.
  • Technical, behavioral, networking, case videos, templates. All included.
  • Most comprehensive IB interview course in the world.

Comments (33)

Jan 26, 2019

Do you regret not breaking into IB?

Jan 26, 2019

I look at this question in the context that i had choice and turned it down. Therefore, I say no I don't nor can't regret not going into IB

Jan 26, 2019

Single biggest reason for failing to break in?

Most Helpful
Jan 26, 2019

Why are you still on this site?

    • 13
    • 2
Jan 26, 2019

Still debating on doing post-mba IB, but not sure yet. Might just stick with my current gig. I still like this forum fir entertainment value

I try not to take life too serious

    • 1
Learn More

7,548 questions across 469 investment banks. The WSO Investment Banking Interview Prep Course has everything you'll ever need to start your career on Wall Street. Technical, Behavioral and Networking Courses + 2 Bonus Modules. Learn more.

Feb 4, 2019

This deserves a thread of its own.

Jan 27, 2019

If you could go back in time right now, would you go with IB?

Jan 26, 2019

I've never been a 'go back in time' kind of guy because you can apply that concept to anything. If I could go back in time, I would have invested in apple, amazon, crypto, etc etc so i wouldnt have to ever work agai

    • 1
Jan 27, 2019

What's your biggest regret in the your process?

Jan 26, 2019

Don't necessarily have any regrets because IB isn't the key to success, although it does help a lot having the network.

Learn More

7,548 questions across 469 investment banks. The WSO Investment Banking Interview Prep Course has everything you'll ever need to start your career on Wall Street. Technical, Behavioral and Networking Courses + 2 Bonus Modules. Learn more.

Jan 27, 2019

This is so crazy. As I read this forum, I had gotten the impression/understanding that non-target graduates could only find jobs in fast food, digging ditches, hauling garbage and participating in clinical drug studies as test subjects. My life is a lie!

    • 6
Jan 26, 2019

Everybody where I'm from told me that finance is just a degree for a sales job. While that is actually true to an extent, most people think of Dunder Mifflin-esque commissioned based sales, and not chasin' M&A deals.

IB is a very privileged field that a small number of people actually know exists.

Jan 28, 2019

Is life still worth living?

Jan 26, 2019

Hell yeah

I work less than 40 hours a week right now, and make $65K entry level.

I'm not overly materialistic, so I don't care about having a big ass house and a BMW before im 30. All that shit is a waste of money.

I still get to hangout with friends, eat and stay healthy, spend time with my aging parents, etc etc

Not saying I wouldn't have done IB if I had the chance, but there are pros and cons to everything

    • 1
    • 1
Jan 28, 2019

Ha I was being facetious but glad to hear it's working out. Too many people on this site think life ends without IB/PE.

Funniest
Jan 28, 2019

Can you enlighten us as to what exit opps exist for you now? The only thing I can think of is to exit out of life

    • 19
Jan 26, 2019

I don't really have any exit ops, but my company does have a Private Equity and M&A division that I may try and join. It's not finance by any means, it's insurance for M&A, transaction risks, and a few other nuances. This could possibly allow me to network with some Private Equity teams, and could help me down the road if I do decide to get an MBA

Feb 4, 2019

I know a former banker who works in the M&A insurance division for one of the firms you mentioned as examples. He is very happy there. Good mix of time on the road talking to clients and time in the home city with his wife and kids.

Jan 28, 2019

Non-target here from a southern state school. Graduated from the MS Finance program. I work at a Big4 in an M&A advisory group.

When I was in school I blew multiple first rounds/Superdays due to lack of technicals, was told I wasn't polished enough, & didn't have strong enough work experience from reputable firms to pull through interviews with an offer.

I didn't make it into IBD, but at the Big4 the work/life balance is allowing me time to develop my interests outside of work like latin dance, hitting the gym, pulling chicks, volunteer, & going to Mass almost every week (the Lord knows I try). I like that the Big4 is offering me the chance to do a 6 month rotation in Barcelona or London and gain work experience in M&A on international projects. I also have 30 days off a year to travel & do whatever. Pay isn't the same obviously but it's cool. I'm more concerned about being holistically happy/mentally healthy.

I'll try to get credit for my 2 yrs in M&A so that I can at least get promoted from IBD An >> Assc. in 2 yrs instead of 3 after I lateral. For the time being I like my group in the Big4 and the kind of projects we're working on. I know some of you would jump off a bridge without looking to get into IBD (pun intended). However, I'm really enjoying my life right now; it's really balanced with work, friends, family, and my interests. My Big4 M&A skillset is very transferrable to IBD. I also still have a strong network in my city from all the ninja networking I did from late UG & Grad school. I have friends that worked in IBD too. I regularly check in with people and meet for coffees.

I could leave for IBD at the 6 months mark, but I'll likely stay for 1.5-2 years. I want to focus on doing this job very well. I believe focusing on lateraling will distract me a bit while I'm still learning the ropes. I want to enjoy my journey and self-improve. I'm very confident and I know IBD will be there. I also want to make sure that I go to the best bank with a solid group, culture, dealflow, and etc. I'm not going to jump for any group but the right group. Most importantly, I want to exhaust all the opportunities in my current role. Once I do I feel there will be no need to stick around.

Apologies for the long post Monkeys.

Work hard, work clean, & most of all do not give up.

    • 3
Jan 26, 2019

I would go for IB as soon as you can bro. You have your entire life for work life balance. Don't waste time because you'll regret it

Jan 28, 2019

Yehh when I plan on lateraling I'll be close to 27. I'm cool with going to the league in round 2/3. I don't regret anything. You need to find yourself bro. You made an entire post about your failures. Stop basing your worth off not getting into IBD.

Seems like your entire post is about you trying to feel better about yourself for not making it into high-finance and you want to see how low others fell to feel better about yourself. Most people make it eventually. This is the reason you won't.

Work hard, work clean, & most of all do not give up.

Jan 26, 2019

I'm not gonna lie to you guys, as a recent college grad, it sucks not being in the realm of high finance. Sometimes I wish I never even learned about WSO/IB because it really skews your view on things like salaries. You would think that everyone on here is pulling $300K+ plus all in like it's nothing, when even ivy league kids never make it to that level. PE/HF jobs aren't easy to get, and the job security is so low.

However, as you age, your perspective on life will change without a doubt. You have to reallt internalize and ask yourself why you even need all that money, and if the hours to make that money is truly worth it. They're just numbers, and if you really think retiring at 35 like majority of WSO says they are, you're going to be miserable.

Your true career starts with what you do AFTER a day at work.

    • 3
Feb 4, 2019

You're right about perspective changing as you get older. When you come up with more concrete reasons why you want money, life starts to make a lot more sense.

Respectfully disagree with your last sentence. I don't think the simple version of work life balance (i.e. treating the two as though one comes at the expense of the other) has been a helpful concept for people, and I think that advice is starting to change and will continue to change.

I think it needs to be more about work and life mixing together and blending as seamlessly as possible. Have a job that you enjoy doing, at least enjoy enough so that you don't have to totally unplug when you "clock out" and so that you don't have to be 100% locked in when you're there.

Any time I peek at my phone and quickly answer a work email on a night or weekend with friends, someone invariably says "can't you just let go of work for a while?" or something like that. To me, it's that person who's doing it wrong. If you need such strict boundaries between work and life, you aren't doing the right job.

    • 1
Jan 29, 2019

I'm perplexed by this post...

You say "I had choice and turned it down, therefore I don't regret not going into IB" in one comment but then say "not saying I wouldn't have done IB if I had the chance."

You also consistently post that you would like to do post-MBA IB, which to me hints you honestly wish you had broke into IB, but maybe this could be misinterpretation.

Definitely agree that life perspective will change as one ages, but this whole post to me screams "I wish I got into IB." Wish the best for you in your future endeavors man and hope you decide fully on what you want to do.

    • 1
Jan 26, 2019

I never said I had a chance to do IB. Unless I made a typo.

I had a chance to do some M&A/Advisory work at a regional CPA firm, but the chances of me lateraling to a MM or BB was really really low. I know this because I knew someone who worked at the same firm, but couldn't lateral anywhere. He ended up joining the accounting team at the same company.

I do wish I could have gone into IB, but that doesn't mean im not content with my life right now.

Feb 2, 2019

Dude, you posted this:

postMBAmalone:

I look at this question in the context that i had choice and turned it down. Therefore, I say no I don't nor can't regret not going into IB

This clearly contradicts with your post just above this comment...

Jan 29, 2019

What inspired you to take your current role? What do you enjoy the most about your work? Hows the culture? Have you found a mentor?

Stay encouraged, I find that we tend to get hung up on where we need to be 3-5 or 5-10 years from now (I literally oscillate on this topic daily). Enjoy where you are, try to actively put yourself in a position where you learn a lot. Don't let your current circumstance define your whole life, so many testimonials here on this site about people doing the impossible!

Who knows, maybe you're next.

    • 1
Jan 26, 2019

I actually knew about the insurance industry from a family member. The work isn't all too interesting at the entry level, but as you move up the ranks it gets a lot more interesting getting to meet with clients/underwriters, make deals, etc.

I would rather do this than accounting that's for sure haha. I also get paid more than Big 4 entry level in my region.

Feb 4, 2019

What country are you in?

Feb 1, 2019

What could you have done better/differently to "break into IB?"