Careers in Finance for B+ Students?

Well, I guess its time to accept that more likely than not, I've blown it. I wasted away my 4 years in college, got a so-so GPA from a non-target in a non-quant major, didn't do any ECs, have not so impressive "internships" during the summer and thus getting the top-tier finance and consulting jobs just isn't going to happen unless I magically meet someone who works at a boutique that likes me. Therefore, I need to explore other options and I'm wondering what are some good careers in finance for B+ students: aka students that are smart and capable but are not the shining stars that get IB/Consulting/etc jobs.

I have grown up a lot this year and I think that, despite my past academic record, I can still do decently at whatever job that I do. However, because of my past mistakes and wasted opportunities, I also know that a lot of doors that at the time I didn't even know existed have all but closed. Therefore, I'm hoping I can start fresh and am wondering what other jobs in finance exist that can still offer a decent upper-middle class lifestyle but are more attainable for someone in my position. Btw, one thing I know for sure is that I absolutely HATE accounting, so please no big 4 audit suggestions, but I'm open to just about anything else finance/business related.

Thanks!

Comments (44)

Dec 4, 2010

All i can say is that if you go to McGill University, study Mechanical Engineering, and have a B+ average, you're still a smart cookie.

Some school make their programs really hard.

I have a class ( Linear Algebra and Partial Differential Equations) where 40% of the students fail once, and another 25% fail it a second time...

Grades aren't everything in life...
It's not what you know, it's WHO you know.

Dec 4, 2010

People at my school fail between 60 and 80%..but maybe it's because they let everybody in...

"Make 'Nanas, not war! "

Dec 5, 2010

Well, I don't go to one of those schools. I have a 3.25 or so because I fucked around, not because my school is crazy difficult

Dec 8, 2010

Real estate.

Dec 9, 2010
Virginia Tech 4ever:

Real estate.

This is funny...because I was a B+ student.....in engineering.

It depends on what field, but yes, B+ will get you into most RE companies (REIB and high end REPE is still a reah though).

Dec 9, 2010

Double Post

Dec 9, 2010

1) Outside of some quant trading, I wouldn't say there are any jobs you couldn't do with your GPA. Now getting someone to hire you to do those jobs is other story, at least right out of college. MBB and the BBs are not rocket science..

2) Consider corporate or commercial banking. They usually have a lower GPA threshold but will still be technical enough to hold your interest (at least for a few years)

Dec 9, 2010

Haha. I was a C student and I'm in real estate. I think real estate even takes dropouts!

Dec 13, 2010

Just because you have don't have excellent grades doesn't mean you can't get anywhere. I know people who quit school and worked very hard to be where they are know. Education makes it much easier though

Dec 13, 2010

Just went through the job search process and it was tough, don't get down because of your grades. I have same grades but a ton of EC which is the only reason I got offers. Do something different, do TFA or PC. Life is short, and b-schools and smaller firms love that stuff. If you can get the interview, you're golden. Make yourself interesting and your grades won't matter as much.

Keep grindin.

Earn it.

Dec 17, 2010

It's always easy to start an M&A company in your local town and buy coffeeshops and corner stores.

"Make 'Nanas, not war! "

Dec 17, 2010

You can always go the startup route. If you work hard and get lucky, it's the quickest way to the top.

    • 1
Dec 19, 2010

My uncle was a B student at Northwestern University. He couldn't get any big offers, so he got a job in a small finance department of a f500 media company. He stayed there for 2 years, did really well, and got a job at JpMorgan. He went from being a B student to becoming a VP banker at JPMorgan. It's rare, but you could easily do whatever you want.

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Dec 19, 2010

nice ^

Dec 22, 2010

OP, it kinda sucks that your grades are gonna hold you back so much in the short-term. Just remember though, in the long-run people's true colors tend to shine through. So, if you have enough smarts, work ethic, and whatever else it takes to be successful, you'll probably get ahead. Meanwhile, not everyone who gets a job as an IB analyst will be ridiculously successful. Sure, grades and such are correlated with future success/productivity, but it's a noisy correlation. Plenty of successful people out there had unconventional paths.

Dec 22, 2010

Dean of Ohio State was speaking during commencement several years ago. He said (paraphrased), "Ya know, I love A students because they come back and make great faculty. And I love B students because they come back and make great administrators. But I REALLY love C students because they come back and build you a science wing."

The point he was making was that the super wealthy/hyper-successful alumni tended to be the more mediocre students. So, keep your head up.

Feb 1, 2011
Virginia Tech 4ever:

Dean of Ohio State was speaking during commencement several years ago. He said (paraphrased), "Ya know, I love A students because they come back and make great faculty. And I love B students because they come back and make great administrators. But I REALLY love C students because they come back and build you a science wing."
The point he was making was that the super wealthy/hyper-successful alumni tended to be the more mediocre students. So, keep your head up.

My girlfriend just read this over my shoulder(OSU student) and said "nice diss asshole". She thought he was inferring that C students become construction workers haha

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Feb 1, 2011
Cliff Huxtable:
Virginia Tech 4ever:

Dean of Ohio State was speaking during commencement several years ago. He said (paraphrased), "Ya know, I love A students because they come back and make great faculty. And I love B students because they come back and make great administrators. But I REALLY love C students because they come back and build you a science wing."
The point he was making was that the super wealthy/hyper-successful alumni tended to be the more mediocre students. So, keep your head up.

My girlfriend just read this over my shoulder(OSU student) and said "nice diss asshole". She thought he was inferring that C students become construction workers haha

Sounds like your girlfriend will be donating a science building in the future

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

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Dec 22, 2010

stops studying

    • 1
Dec 22, 2010

I was a 2.5 gpa kid and failed 6 classes... i am now on a trading desk

dont let anyone tell you it cant be done.. bust yout butt and good luck

    • 1
Dec 24, 2010

^goes to show u how traders are mostly idiotic frat boys who just know how to gamble and do coke in the back room boiler room style.

Dec 24, 2010
boutiquebank4life:

^goes to show u how traders are mostly idiotic frat boys who just know how to gamble and do coke in the back room boiler room style.

actually monty could prob run circles around you in energy and is pretty smart

Dec 24, 2010
boutiquebank4life:

^goes to show u how traders are mostly idiotic frat boys who just know how to gamble and do coke in the back room boiler room style.

Stupid is as stupid does. No one is entitled to anything because of how well hd performed as an 18- to 22-year-old. Some people have their stuff together at 15, others 25. It's how it is.

Dec 24, 2010
Virginia Tech 4ever:
boutiquebank4life:

^goes to show u how traders are mostly idiotic frat boys who just know how to gamble and do coke in the back room boiler room style.

Stupid is as stupid does. No one is entitled to anything because of how well he performed as an 18- to 22-year-old. Some people have their stuff together at 15, others 25. It's how it is.

Dec 24, 2010
boutiquebank4life:

^goes to show u how traders are mostly idiotic frat boys who just know how to gamble and do coke in the back room boiler room style.

movie time is over son.. when you have sat on a real desk in a real firm you can say something to me.

Dec 28, 2010
boutiquebank4life:

^goes to show u how traders are mostly idiotic frat boys who just know how to gamble and do coke in the back room boiler room style.

says the prospective monkey.

Dec 28, 2010
shorttheworld:
boutiquebank4life:

^goes to show u how traders are mostly idiotic frat boys who just know how to gamble and do coke in the back room boiler room style.

says the prospective monkey.

says shorttheworld

Jan 3, 2011
shorttheworld:
boutiquebank4life:

^goes to show u how traders are mostly idiotic frat boys who just know how to gamble and do coke in the back room boiler room style.

says the prospective monkey.

'Nuff said. Oh wait...

I win here, I win there...

Dec 28, 2010

Thanks for the encouragement guys. Its just kind of disappointing that I was so immature and made such a huge mistake. I think its better for you to hear my full story (don't worry I'll keep it short), to show you just how bad I was.

Basically, in high school, I was a decently smart fellow and one of the best students at my high school. However, despite being talented, I always got discouraged easily and gave up when things didn't go my way quickly. When I didn't do that well on my SATs after 2-3 attempts, taking a class, studying with a group, etc. I quickly gave up on attending a T20 institute and, for whatever reason, I still ended up getting rejected from decent schools and had to settle for my cheap instate college (and no, my school isn't a Michigan, Berkeley, etc. type of place). After this happened, I was really upset because I tried my best and failed and this hung over in college. After getting a B- average in my first year, that was the final nail in the coffin. At that point, I lost all hope, didn't do ECs, didn't go partying, etc. and just did whatever I could in terms of studying and sat there feeling sorry for myself. I was never the brightest academically, just a hard worker, so obviously, I still didn't manage to do that great and now I'm in a huge hole because I have a low GPA, no network and no ECs. I think I've finally found a renewed sense of hunger, have grown up and realized that giving up is a self-fulfilling prophecy: losing hope from one bad event = lack of work ethic = bad results = closed doors. I have done a few odd internships (IT consulting at a very, very no-name regional firm) and all of my coworkers have been impressed with how I can speak intelligently/how hard I work, so I think the talent is there, but I was wondering what advice you'd give someone who needs to get his foot in the door despite having shot himself in the foot due to poor choices. When I say talented, please don't think I'm saying that I'm harvard material, but I do think there's more to me than meets the eye and I can compete with people once I get a job. The question is breaking in and what the best way to go about it is.

Dec 28, 2010

As Rockefeller said: "I do not think there is any other quality so essential to success of any kind as the quality of perseverance. It overcomes almost everything, even nature."

For more: http://hubpages.com/hub/TopTwentyfivemotivationalq...
Don't get down on yourself OP. Sure, a lot of people on this forum act like you have to be a stud in high school, go to a target, get into IB immediately after, etc. And sure, that's a good path. It's just unrealistic, not to mention too late, for many of us. Furthermore, it seems to me that there are plenty of successful people with struggling backgrounds. Life is a marathon, not a sprint. I'm sure some of you guys played sports your entire life, and realized that the best athletes when you're in elementary school, often aren't the best athletes by senior year of high school. Or plenty of people who are the best students in high school, are not the best students in college. I wish I could see what happens to all of the people who start as IB analysts and consultants, as I bet some of them live lives that are not as successful as one might imagine. Don't get me wrong, because I already know some of them go on to be very successful, I'm just saying there seems to be tons of turnover in life. So I wouldn't get too down on myself about not taking the "optimal" path. Struggles and mistakes build character, and that can potentially help you out later in life if you stay persistent - even if it doesn't happen for you in finance, I bet it'll happen somewhere.

Dec 30, 2010
econ:

As Rockefeller said: "I do not think there is any other quality so essential to success of any kind as the quality of perseverance. It overcomes almost everything, even nature."

You bastard, I thought I was going to have the opportunity to use my favorite quote :(

There are a lot of options. Start applying for F500 corpfin jobs. Maybe look at a Masters of Finance. Working for a non-profit or overseas would be good, too.

It's not that hard to learn another language. You know how you're motivated now? Yea, use that motivation. I bet, if you're decently smart and spend 8 hours a day for the next month studying Mandarin you could be proficient enough to work in China.

Just because the door is closed to IB right now doesn't mean it will be always. Focus on what you need to do to get into a good MBA program. If you take a 40 hour a week job, treat it like banking and work 80, minimum. What are you going to do with the other 40? I'll bet you $1 if you paid some attention in your business classes you could start a business, start a non-profit, build a solid blog, or something like that.

You have a leg up on a LOT of people, you have no idea how good of a position you're sitting in. I know I am very intelligent, I grew up in a upper middle class family, went to a prestigious high school, and threw it all away. I failed out of my first year of college. Literally, a 0.4 gpa. Guess what? I don't give a fuck, and you shouldn't either. It's in the past and now it's time for you to do what we both should be doing: knowing you have a past and using it to our advantage. I'm a year older than you and won't be graduating for two more years and I KNOW that my past doesn't matter, it's what you have in front of you that does. A 3.25 from a state school isn't good, by any means, but you still have a lot more options than the baristas I worked with at Starbucks that have been with the company for 8 years or the guys I worked with and then supervised on the dock for a shipping company.

Suck it up, man up, and you'll be good.

Jan 3, 2011
Denver Monkeyannabe:

Just because the door is closed to IB right now doesn't mean it will be always. Focus on what you need to do to get into a good MBA program. If you take a 40 hour a week job, treat it like banking and work 80, minimum. What are you going to do with the other 40? I'll bet you $1 if you paid some attention in your business classes you could start a business, start a non-profit, build a solid blog, or something like that.

Also, to add to this point, does it have to be IB? I think a lot of people get stuck thinking that they need to do A, and forget that they could also be happy X, Y, and Z. For most people, I feel there are numerous jobs that'd make them pretty much equally happy (especially long-term). Maybe you could get a 40 hour a week job, and spend 20-40 hours a week starting a business, or learning to invest in your spare time. That'd open up all kinds of opportunities down the road. For example, if you start a successful business, maybe you could do it a few more times and be a successful business owner, or even join a VC. Or even it it fails, maybe you can leverage that into a top-15 MBA program, and maybe from there you can get into IB at the associate level. Or if you spend your free-time learning to invest/trade stocks and bonds, maybe you can leverage that into a prop trading or asset management gig. There's more than one way to be successful, and there's opportunities in places you've never even thought of. (For example, I know of this guy who works 20 hours a week doing real estate investing for himself, and he's worth several million and has cash-flows over $100K a year. Sure, he's not a super-baller, but I'd still consider that a pretty successful life, especially given the amount of free-time he has.)

Jan 3, 2011

Hi,

I'm not JUST interested in Ibanking. The only reason I really want IB is because I have a lot of interest in PE, but understandably, its gonna be hard given my previous background. I am also quite interested in corporate finance, but so far, I got rejected from the few firms that recruit at my campus and I got rejected by every boutique i-bank, which is why I'm at a loss for what to do. I do, actually, want to move to Asia and work there. I'm not interested in China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, etc. but more in India + Singapore and I have well above average proficiency in Hindi and once I learn how to write and practice more, I'll be close to fluent. Question is, what can I do for now since I'm getting rejected left and right?

Denver Monkeyannabe:
econ:

As Rockefeller said: "I do not think there is any other quality so essential to success of any kind as the quality of perseverance. It overcomes almost everything, even nature."

You bastard, I thought I was going to have the opportunity to use my favorite quote :(

There are a lot of options. Start applying for F500 corpfin jobs. Maybe look at a Masters of Finance. Working for a non-profit or overseas would be good, too.

It's not that hard to learn another language. You know how you're motivated now? Yea, use that motivation. I bet, if you're decently smart and spend 8 hours a day for the next month studying Mandarin you could be proficient enough to work in China.

Just because the door is closed to IB right now doesn't mean it will be always. Focus on what you need to do to get into a good MBA program. If you take a 40 hour a week job, treat it like banking and work 80, minimum. What are you going to do with the other 40? I'll bet you $1 if you paid some attention in your business classes you could start a business, start a non-profit, build a solid blog, or something like that.

You have a leg up on a LOT of people, you have no idea how good of a position you're sitting in. I know I am very intelligent, I grew up in a upper middle class family, went to a prestigious high school, and threw it all away. I failed out of my first year of college. Literally, a 0.4 gpa. Guess what? I don't give a fuck, and you shouldn't either. It's in the past and now it's time for you to do what we both should be doing: knowing you have a past and using it to our advantage. I'm a year older than you and won't be graduating for two more years and I KNOW that my past doesn't matter, it's what you have in front of you that does. A 3.25 from a state school isn't good, by any means, but you still have a lot more options than the baristas I worked with at Starbucks that have been with the company for 8 years or the guys I worked with and then supervised on the dock for a shipping company.

Suck it up, man up, and you'll be good.

Jan 5, 2011

Econ made and excellent point. There's more than an IB career, not everyone is suited for it, not every one wants. You can also be successful without tons of cash in your pocket. You could instead have alot of free time, living life. It all depends on how you define successful.

Jan 8, 2011

You know your situation better than anyone else here does. You know what you love to do more than anyone else here does. If you want to go to India/Singapore, find a way to make that happen. You might be able to find a job with a US company that will pay solidly for you to move to India or Singapore and work for them there. You just need to research the hell out of your opportunities, network, and increase your knowledge base as much as possible

Feb 1, 2011

The last three posts just made my day, haha! I love WSO.

Feb 14, 2011

That seriously made me laugh.

Feb 17, 2011

This actually reminds me of something clever Ian Telfer (founder of Gold Corp.) did when he named the Telfer School of Management.

He had awful grades in school and so he decided to have a scholarship for the MBA student with the lowest GPA.

Pretty funny. I'm not sure if it's still around as I can't find it on the website.

Feb 20, 2011
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