Could a person who graduated from a non target UG with sub 3 GPA in Biology ever break into Wall Street?

noobMD's picture
Rank: Senior Chimp | 22

I am a 23 year old who just graduated from a complete no name state school with a ~2.97 GPA with a B.S. in Biology. It took me 5.5 years to graduate due to several personal issues I had mostly to do with my maturity. Also, during this time I got a DUI so there's that. Eventually, I figured it out and climbed my GPA from a 2 to 3 and received an extremely high (99%ile) MCAT score. Ultimately, I was admitted to a medical school which was my goal all along due to the upward GPA trend and extremely high MCAT score. I have always been a smart dude I guess (36 ACT) in high school but have in the past been plagued by my behaviors. That's been corrected though and being accepted to med school was kind've the reward for it. But now...

I am heavily re-evaluating my physician aspirations and am wondering if I have any shot whatsoever to break into finance? The only finance I would be interested in would be big market banking, consulting, etc. preferably in NYC. I say this because being a physician is a very safe way to make 500k-1M per year and if that's what I'm giving up, I want big returns.

I find myself more interested in capital markets and frankly making money than I am in treating patients. I unfortunately see myself enjoying my day to day as a banker or consultant more than a physician.

sidebar: If we could refrain from telling me I would be a bad doctor, that'd be great too, because trust me, most doctors are in it for the money these days.

United States - Northeast

Comments (17)

Dec 23, 2018

Also, if the answer is Yes.

How??????? M.S. in finance from somewhere that accepts me with such a bad GPA??

Dec 23, 2018

I dont work in wallstreet but im going to say that its possible but improbable.

Dec 24, 2018

I think it'd be a long road and there'd be a lot to overcome. Yo could consider getting an MFin to help your GPA/school prestige, emphasize your testing scores to show you're actually intelligent, craft a story about why you're forgoing med school and why your GPA is shit (saying you want to make money and that you had behavorial issues isn't going to cut it), work your way into a less reputable bank which will have less strict standards for your undergrad GPA, work a year or so there then try to lateral upwards to a better bank. This is all assuming you can find a bank that'll hire you despite a DUI (I don't know how stringent HR is with that to be honest).

In short, it's never impossible, but it'll be a long journey, and given your only motive here is money I'm not sure it'll be one you'd be willing to make given the Herculean effort this will be, between all the self-teaching, interview prep, and cold networking it'll take. Speaking from experience being a non-target STEM major myself, you'll need to prepare yourself mentally for a challenging path and many frustrating days.

Dec 25, 2018

I agree. For the MFin app, would a extremely strong showing on GMAT/GRE somewhat makeup for my low GPA? Would the goal of the MFin be to obtain a finance job after it, work a few years, and then hopefully get into a good MBA program?

Dec 24, 2018

Crush the GMAT dude cus if your GPA starts with a 2, its gonna be hard to get a foot in the door anywhere at this juncture. Best of luck.

Dec 25, 2018

I agree, but would crushing the GMAT even help me at this point in getting into a good enough MBA program? What kind've MBA program do you need to get into IB or even consulting? I assume that I'll need more finance related job experience as well since I'm currently working as a research assistant at a Neurology center.

What about Masters in Finance? Could I get into a reputed program by killing the GRE even with my high 2 GPA?

Dec 26, 2018

Yeah I think killing the GMAT would help a ton. You would want to aim for MBA programs in the 10-20 range. They still feed into IB and you'd obv have a better shot than like top-10. Also maybe doing something like HBX Core and doing really well could help you work around the gpa issue. I think programs that feed into IB in the 10-20 range include Cornell, Stern, UNC, UVA, among others. Honestly don't know too much about MsF stuff to give advice there.

Dec 24, 2018


Dec 25, 2018

Your misconception about physician salaries is actually quite common with people who don't understand the profession well because that's what the public data leads you to believe. Public reporting of physician salaries is actually colossally low because physicians report their income much lower than it is in fear of CMS cutting reimbursements.

Real values are only available to medical students and physicians. There are several specialties with the average in between 500k-1MM and in medicine your earning potential is really just based on how hard you work. If you're in Cards, Rads, Derm, GI, Onc, or any surgical field you can make 7 figures if you work hard enough. You're right, the avg doc doesn't make this kind've money, but I figure my ambition is to work as hard as possible and in medicine if you do that, you're well paid. Not wall street money though.

Thank you for your response though in your second part. I understand that I am NOWHERE compared to the people vying for wall street at those schools so I figure I would have to start much lower and keep hustling with the eventual goal of breaking into a good MBA with a great GMAT score. Then attempt to break into a big bank based on that MBA.

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Dec 25, 2018

Physician salary is hugely dependent on three things:
1. Location-Believe it or not, doctor pay is inversely proportional to cost of living. The reason is few med school graduates want to practice in rural Wyoming relative to NYC, so supply and demand leads to lower pay in more populated/popular places.

  1. Specialty - If you are a family doctor/pediatrication, you will start out around 100-150k. This is because you only are required to do a 3 year residency, and the hours are good. If you are a neurosurgeon, you will likely start in the neighborhood of 850k+ after board certification. Sound crazy? Not once you factor in the fact that you start earning real money at 34-36 (4 years med school, 4 years general surgery residency, 4 years specialty residency, 2-4 years internship/fellowship).
  2. Type of Practice- If you work at an academic or gov sponsored hospital (eg. Mass General or any VA), your pay will suffer. The inverse is true for private practice, as that is explicitly for profit.

Source: Bulk of family is in higher medicine of some form.

So given the right combo of these items, ie. RadOnc/Specialized Surgery/Derm in a suburban area at a psuedo for profit institution, 500k-1M is not at all unreasonable.

"one for the money two for the better green 3 4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine" - M.F. Doom

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Dec 24, 2018

You're the perfect candidate for biotech ER, pharma corp dev, IB, etc. Study for CFA and it'll be a cakewalk.

Dec 25, 2018

How would I break into these industries with such a low GPA? Not even mention my GPA on resume? Would self studying for CFA and doing phenomenal make a difference?

I guess if I could even somewhat break into a finance related job and then kill the GMAT, maybe I could still get into a good enough MBA to get me on wall street?

Dec 26, 2018

Biotech ER shops always looking for people with medical/science background and finance knowledge. Easiest route would be MBA.

Dec 25, 2018

Family member is a doctor, makes around $500-600k. No way is it "easily" attainable to make $500-1M as a doctor. That literally takes at least 10-12 years of work ( 4 year med + residency + fellowship) to even think about those numbers. I think you're underestimating how hard it is to get there.

But if you do believe that why not just go physician because truth be told 95% + of the people in this forum are not going to be making $500k+ in their careers.

It'll take you probably at least 4-5 years to get an MBA. Also there is really no point in going to a MF unless you get into the top programs (princeton, vandy, etc) which seem pretty much impossible with your stats

Dec 25, 2018

I'd try to get some graduate work on your resume. With a sub-3 GPA, non-target, and non-relevant major, you're an easy resume to take out of the pile. You'll probably need to know someone who is going to show you some special love in order to actually have a shot to interview. Even if you have that, you'll still have to explain all of that and why it took you over 5 years to graduate well enough that you end up looking better than the 3.8+ GPA target kids w/ relevant internships and/or majors.

Not trying to snuff out your dreams, but this is just my realistic assessment. If I were you, I'd try to get into a good med-school w/ your MCAT scores. Even if you decide that you want to IB after med-school, good performance at a good med-school will give you a better shot at IB than bad performance at a non-target.


Dec 26, 2018

anything is possible...are you willing to fake a transcript and resume, make sure all the holes are covered for the inevitable background check? If you can do that I don't see why you can't lie yourself into an offer at any non top bank.....people have done worse to get where you want to get....I can assure you of that. I just hope you have the common sense and and the confidence to pull of a play like this.


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Dec 26, 2018
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