Biggest Regret in Undergrad

I wish I had studied more and had a higher gpa. As I'm recruiting full time in my senior year, I'm well connected with alums that refer me for interviews, but my gpa is sub 3.5. For that reason, I wish I had done more work and networked less in college. That said, I've made some great friendships that will last a lifetime.  What's your biggest regret in undergrad?

Comments (60)

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  • Intern in IB-M&A
Oct 15, 2020 - 4:31pm

honestly, don't have any regrets as such. I went to a non-target but was able to be a big fish in a small pond where I was able to shine compared to my peers and get the best possible opportunities. I have a high GPA and also landed a good offer. If I had to think of one, maybe be more outgoing in my first 1.5 years. I am an international student and thus was very introverted and stayed in my dorm for most of my first year. Would love to have had more of the social aspect of school. Also don't have any friendships that I can necessarily call life-long, definitely have some strong friendships but nothing drastic, so maybe a bit more on that side would have been nice as well. 

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Oct 21, 2020 - 4:32pm

I'm not the poster of the comment, but I went to a non-target and ended up with a few EB/BB offers. to be honest I don't see why people complain and use the international student excuse. Regardless, the bank will always take the best people in the room. Not necessarily the smartest, but the best (personable, friendly, confidence), and in my experience, having international experience worked in my favor greatly. The only places that wouldn't interview me straight up were JPM, PWP, and UBS.

The only problem comes once you ALREADY have the offer, and you have to go through the lottery for the H1B visa. If you can't get through the lottery they can always move you to London, HK, Singapore etc.

Oct 15, 2020 - 5:05pm

Wish I had gotten into better shape.

Plenty of posts on here discuss workout routines with a busy schedule, but bottom line, it isn't hard to keep your weight in a stressful job, but it's near impossible to lose any signifcant weight.

In hindsight, I had plenty of time and a killer metabolism in college.  I should have taken advantage of that. What weight you enter IB is probably going to set the tone for your weight for the next 10 years or so.  It's probably not getting better and could get worse.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Oct 19, 2020 - 4:27pm

See I heard this a lot coming into this job (BB IB) but have not found this to be true. Yeah, if you've never tried to manage your weight before starting, then learning is tough. But I've been able to hit my bulk/cut cycles just fine since I began this past June. Especially with WFH-- easy to take naps and get workouts in, etc.

Plus, having the $30 dinner stipend makes it easy to get high quality, healthy food. 

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Oct 16, 2020 - 10:02am

I am graduating this year and the pandemic is making me realize all the things that I should have done but didn't do. I am glad that I studied really hard, got good grades and broke into IB (going back to a BB FT next year).All this came with a trade off: I didn't go to as many parties, literally went on ONE DATE in my entire college career (Can you imagine. don't even ask about my sex life)  and basically didn't have much of a life outside academics, career stuff and closest friends. It would have been nice to go out with more guys. oh well. it's nice to have a job tho

  • Prospect in IB - PubFin
Oct 16, 2020 - 1:56pm

Wish I developed better time management skills earlier. High school I had huge procrastination issues due to fear of failure and anxiety/dread of large workloads that were a product of the earlier mentioned procrastination. Went through high school knowing I would only go to one of the large state schools, so I didn't have to work hard at all. It was a cycle of multiple stages. Stage 1. Not trying to solve a hard assignment due to fear of feeling dumb if I couldn't do it. 2. Time goes by and the pending workload builds due to that fear. 3. Eventually come around to try and complete it. 4. Be rushed and not complete it entirely, or complete it with bad work quality. Then it is back to stage 1. Took me until my senior year to break the cycle. All it took was just sucking it up and getting started early. Just starting on one problem eventually turns into half of the assignment being done because hey, that one question wasn't too bad so I may as well complete a few more. I fortunately had a 5th year due to a spring/summer co-op and major change so I had an extra year to get my GPA up. Had 4 solid internships including PE, but it makes me wonder where I would be if I had a better GPA because I still haven't found a job after graduating in May. Sorry for the long rant. 


On a lighter note, I should've boned the two different smokes I was "talking" to at my school. They both had really big finsta accounts (for my school), and I fumbled the bag on both of them because I wouldn't make a move.

Oct 16, 2020 - 10:20pm

Wish I would have soaked it all in more. Enjoy the moments. Everything seemed so stressful at the time but looking back it was all small potatoes.


Also wish I would have done a full semester abroad. I didn't have the money and had to get hella scholarships to get a summer semester in Madrid. 6 months would have been incredible.

"Out the garage is how you end up in charge It's how you end up in penthouses, end up in cars, it's how you Start off a curb servin', end up a boss"
  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
Oct 16, 2020 - 11:22pm

Wish I paid less attention to, and spent less time trying to achieve someone else's definition of success. Oh and branch out to more non-finance related organizations on campus. As an impressionable underclassmen, I was led to believe that grinding 24/7 and only being focused on finance was the only way to succeed in this industry. 

Sure IB is nice in that you have very nice financial stability for someone fresh out of college, but whereas I was once following the "BB IB -> PE/HF or bust" mentality that hardos at my school preached, I'm now questioning whether I even want to enter the buyside if it means sacrificing my health and time that I can spend developing personal relationships. 

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Oct 17, 2020 - 3:11pm

I am still in semi-target college, but my goal is a 3.7, 5:5 chill to pull ratio, make motivated, smart, fun lifelong friends...

Also a threesome.


Oct 19, 2020 - 2:28am

I wish I had the courage, and maybe the financial resources, to start a company, or some side project that might have some potential. I am 25 now, and throughout the past couple years, I have realized that there are so many things I wanted to try out. College would have been the perfect playground. 

  • NA in IB-M&A
Oct 19, 2020 - 12:35pm

My biggest regret was allowing my end-goal (Bulge Bracket IBD my sophomore summer) to rule my entire existence and push away people I used to be very close to. I succeeded in my goal, and now have two more years to deepen existing relationships with others, but the entire recruitment process was very mentally exhausting for me. People over things man, people over things.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
Oct 19, 2020 - 1:22pm

Word. In your case you're still a sophomore and have two more years of college to create meaningful relationships. Would be a different story if this was a junior internship.

Congrats on your offer, you might be exhausted from the recruiting process but it's well deserved. Between now and your internship, do enough to keep your financial competency sharp, but nothing more than that or you will continue to burn out. Go out and have fun while college lasts. 

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Oct 19, 2020 - 10:24pm

Definitely agree. got a junior year internship at a good firm but had to grind for the 2 years before to get into the top clubs to shine out as a non-target. Missed out on the social life big time. Trying to use my next two years wisely haha

Oct 19, 2020 - 1:55pm

Wish I stayed in the really great shape I was in freshman and sophomore year. I was a high school football player (nose guard/flexible middle linebacker) who recruited for D2 and D3 schools but decided not to play. I was a pretty strong for a kid in HS from 6 or 7 years of serious weight lifting, but had a good amount of weight due to my position. I managed to cut all the fat freshman year and really continue beefing up the muscles and looked pretty good from sophomore year thru the beginning of junior year, to the point where girls who I had been friends with since basically orientation (who I thought were pretty hot but had since accepted as out of my league) started to hit on me a bit, which was not something I had ever expected would happen. Then the stresses of recruiting for a serious internship hit, along with tough classes and some very serious family stuff, and I put all that weight back on and then some. Still struggling to get rid of it and my weight fluctuates quite a bit. If I had kept up the effort and made it thru college, I think I would have been able to maintain that form as a working adult, even with the sedentary lifestyle of investment banking. I'm not like obese or anything, but it really bums me out to think that I genuinely was cut at one point in my life and now that goal seems pretty far away. Still trying tho!!!

Oct 21, 2020 - 2:07am

1) Apply to more than one college senior year of high-school (applied to a regional state school). Could have gotten into ivies or other elite institutions. (Ended up transferring to one, but wish I had gotten there sooner). Biggest difference between the schools was the people you meet, not the classes. 

2) Started my business sooner.

3) Talk to more women / having more sex

4) Make more friends with the CS, ME, and EE nerds; instead of the finance hardos. 

  • Analyst 2 in Consulting
Oct 22, 2020 - 12:27am

I just missed the Olympics. So many small things I could have done differently. Anytime people say you won't regret working harder is kidding themselves

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