So...I am just about to start my senior year at a total non-target, small private school in the state of FL. We have NO, I repeat NO recruiting at my school by big banks other then for financial advising and some wealth management. Despite very limited opportunities, I was able to spend 2 semesters at a recently formed PE firm, focusing on the lower middle market with roughly 100MM AUM. Although the firm is new, all of the partners have previous experience at other firms. One was the founder of a rather well known lower MM firm, another was a partner there for several years and the other founded a different lower MM PE firm. All of them have fairly extensive experience in PE focusing on the lower MM.
Additionally, I have spent 1 semester with a small, VC arm of a large, well known regional investment services firm. As of now it looks like I might be asked to stay on for the next semester and continue to work their until the end of the year.
My school is viewed as somewhat "prestigious" in the area, but is not well known outside of the state of FL. I will likely graduate with a 3.5 or 3.6 and I am a single major, finance, and have no ECs, as I have worked to put myself through school for the last 3 years. Unfortunately I put more stock in my internships than maybe I should have. They have been great experiences but it is pretty much certain that I won't receive an offer from either of these places so I need to start submitting resumes. I know my scholastic resume isn't stellar but will firms make some exceptions for my GPA and my lack of ECs because I have worked the whole time? I am hoping to leverage some of the relationships I have made with the partners into some interviews with some MM IB firms. Personally, I feel like I tend to impress people when they meet me and have been told similar things numerous times by respected industry professionals. Ultimately if I can get my foot in the door and get an interview I think I can generally seal the deal.
Do you guys feel that my lack of IB experience will really hurt me as I apply for analyst positions at IB firms? There is still a possibility for me to get an IB internship in the spring, but obviously that is somewhat late to have on my resume to positively affect a firms opinion as I look to start sending out my resume rather soon.
Is learning modeling on my own my best bet? I have looked into the different programs frequently mentioned on WSO but they are fairly costly given my financial situation. Do I just need to figure out a way to afford one of these programs?
Additionally, I spent 4 years in the Army as an Intelligence Analyst, have been deployed to Kuwait and Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. I spent a semester in China studying abroad taking classes in International Marketing, International Business and Chinese Culture. Also, I have a roundhouse kick that would make Chuck Norris flinch...okay, that's not entirely true. Ohh, and I am a white male 25 years old.
Any and all advice will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.