College timeline

I wanted to get some insight on how to properly position your self for a job in IB and basically how you should spend your 4 years in college so on and so forth . Thank you.

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Comments (15)

  • Prospect in IB - Gen
Dec 27, 2020 - 1:33pm

First of all, enjoy your time in college. It's great to have goals and work your ass off for them, but have fun. Should start freshman year learning technical side( it's what I did). Networking can never start too early, maybe not at places you want to SA at, but networking is a massive part of getting looked at and success in general. Sophomore fall should start looking at relevant experience for sophomore summer to set yourself up for SA recruiting your sophomore spring and summer. As for networking for SA, you can start in Jan/Feb for EBs and BBs if you want. Big thing is keeping contacts updated, but not too often (once every three months?) Have faith in yourself and prepare for everything. BIWS guides are great IMO for interview prep, I also did a fin modeling course too. Finally don't overestimate your competition, so many kids who go to great schools have no clue; work hard, talk to a sickening amount of people, and be confident.

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Most Helpful
Dec 27, 2020 - 2:11pm

Posted this a while ago, but I think it answers your question too.

As an international student from a non-target LAC who landed an SA offer, here are my 2 cents:

Freshman year: Make friends and establish your social circle ASAP. It will change as time goes but not putting yourself out there early on will make your freshman year miserable, try to avoid it. Especially after this pandemic everyone will be thirsty for human interactions, take advantage of it. Take easy coursework and keep your GPA high. Go out at least 2x a week, party with friends, go hiking, whatever you're into. Develop hobbies, mingle with people and work on your social skills a lot. 

Sophomore year: Grind hard, email absolutely everyone you can find on LinkedIn, try to secure a boutique IB or F500 corpfinance role for the summer. Memorize wso 400 guide over the winter break and craft a memorable story of who you are and why you want to get into banking. Come February, apply to every bank of your liking as soon as the apps open. If you're at a target school and you have a somewhat decent sophomore internship + know your story / technicals, you should have no trouble getting at least a few offers. If at a non-target, then having a good internship would be more necessary - although not a deal-breaker if your story is on point. 

Junior year: Have fun, maintain high GPA, rock the internship and get a return offer.

Senior year: HAVE FUN, make sure you don't fail classes and manage to graduate. Other than that, do things that will make great memories. 

The ROI of being obsessed with IB your freshman year is abysmal. Focus on maximizing your life experiences and developing into an interesting person.

Dec 27, 2020 - 2:38pm

You definitely want to get a boutique IB internship (ideally) or F500 - F1000 corpfinance internship your sophomore summer. Depending on where you live (if it's a relatively big city) you could also do part-time internships during school year. Freshman summer will be difficult but worth a shot - you can start reaching out to organizations that seem interesting in your area, maybe even startups / small businesses. Don't reach out to senior alumni at your top banks too early - get some practice first, you don't want to burn bridges by not being prepared. First impressions matter. I'd use freshman year to collect as many memorable experiences as possible - volunteering, traveling, hiking, poker tournaments, whatever you're into. You'd be surprised how far being an interesting person goes. IB isn't a rocket science, everyone can memorize the technicals if you give them a few weeks. Being an interesting person will help you stand out, but don't do it just for IB (don't go googling "what hobbies do investment bankers have"), do it for you and then craft a story where you'll leverage your experience. Best of luck :)

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Dec 27, 2020 - 11:30pm

+1 my guy, people whose whole personalities are about IB are wack as fuck. It's a job at the end of the day -- grind for it, but live life too

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Dec 28, 2020 - 3:48pm

this is pretty accurate but honestly how many people actually know to do this going into freshman year. looking back its pretty obvious to connect the dots or w/e but like 95% of people are lost af from what I can tell looking at my peers

  • Intern in PE - LBOs
Dec 27, 2020 - 11:30pm

Just my approach so take it with a grain of salt. There are many different ways to approach it successfully. 

Freshman Year - focus on meeting as many people as you can, getting a wide social circle with a solid core group of friends. Go out as much as you can. Join greek life if that's your thing (great networking opp). Jump in to a few solid extracurriculars (apply to a lot since they can be surprisingly competitive). Take relatively easy classes and get a high GPA. Start getting to know upperclassmen, especially in a career area you want to target. Try to gain exposure to as many different career paths as possible through research and conversations to get an idea of what you want to target. Towards the end of the year, try to ask around through upperclassmen/family connections/local hometown firms about internship opportunities. Don't kill yourself on it but just try to get something respectable on the resume to make things easier in the future. Personally, I wanted it as short/chill as possible to be able to enjoy the summer. 

Sophomore Year First Sem - Keep focusing on GPA, keep it as high as possible. Don't take hard classes unless absolutely necessary. Try for leadership positions in ECs. Keep going out and enjoying life as much as possible. Keep learning about different career options. Towards the end of first semester start narrowing down what you want to do and try to start looking for a sophomore summer internship that will help you get there (i.e. if you really want IB, look for a small PE firm or if you want S&T look for a small S&T firm or hedge fund). Over winter break, start focusing on sophomore year recruiting (most probably will not have job applications, so send a lot of cold emails to small firms). Again, I wanted something short and chill for the resume and to also enjoy the summer. Up to you if you want to choose a grind of a small IB firm or something legit like that. Try to get this out of the way, then start learning technicals/get a plan of attack for recruiting.

Sophomore Year Second Sem - IB/PE junior year recruiting stuff can start in March of sophomore year, so if you want to be ready for that, get ready at the beginning of second semester. Start learning technicals, get grip on networking, talk to upperclassmen, and lock down what route you want to go. Not the end of the world if you are a little bit late to the game (plenty of people do not start till summer and it works out well). Apply to as many places as possible. 

Sophomore Summer - Keep grinding recruiting hard. Make networking calls and applications your job. I focused on this April/May/June and then basically stopped all networking. Enjoy your summer and grind for interviews when necessary. Try to lock down a sick junior year gig. 

Junior Year - Keep doing recruiting if necessary. Really clamp down if you are still interviewing/applying. Get that offer and chill the rest of the year. 

Senior Year - Maybe you took a return offer, if not, repeat the recruiting process. Get an offer, then chill and enjoy. 

  • Intern in PE - LBOs
Jan 1, 2021 - 8:05pm

Take it whenever you can get it. Ideally you get it freshman year and then go back sophomore year or move to a different firm. 

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