Comments (36)

Oct 18, 2019 - 12:15am

It takes time man, keep cold calling and try networking harder, get your mind off things and go out and have some fun. I’m in the same boat as you and feel like the clock is just ticking and I’m not going anywhere but I have hope. Keep your head up and network until you find a role man. Wish you the best!

Most Helpful
Oct 18, 2019 - 11:11am

Lot to unpack here. Couple things, one did you ever ask for feedback after these interviews? Most of the time you will get a vague bullshit answer like "we just found someone a better fit for the role", but a good amount of the time, people will give you a straight answer. Ask for feedback if you haven't already so you know what to improve on. If its technical, grind it out, if its your story, polish it up, if its your interviewing, focus on that. If what you have listed is true, I believe it may be you are struggling with the interviews themselves and the behavioral aspect of them. Once you get passed a certain point, especially if your technical knowledge is there, its all about fit. Two, how old are you? Still in college? You mentioned a sophomore year internship, is this what you have been applying for? If so, its so early in the process, you have next year summer to sure up an internship and even after that to solidify a full time role. Three, you have to remember this process is extremely competitive, especially this early on. You could have everything needed and still not get the position because at the end of the day a lot of things are out of your control. A lot of people gunning for not a relatively small amount of spots. Lastly, do not obsess over this. No job is worth losing weight, feeling guilty about not networking, and not being able to sleep, especially when its just in the pursuit of a job. Take a step back and relax. Remember this is a long and hard game, don't get caught up in and obsess over results now. Once you take a break and reassess where you are in the process, get back out there (BUT DO NOT OBSESS) and continue networking, polishing your story, and working on your interviewing skills. Its a numbers game for everyone at the end of the day, and the law of large numbers dictates the more you keep pushing, the closer you will get to the expected value/average and eventually landing that internship/full time role you want, especially with a background like yours.

Oct 18, 2019 - 11:50am

I asked and I got the same BS answer, "we found someone who is a better fit". I think it has to do with me coming off as a robot. My resume is packed with random finance experiences and I get asked what I do for fun in every interview so I might come off as a workaholic. Also, I am 20 (senior in college) going for full-time roles.

Oct 18, 2019 - 1:10pm

With your background and the fact you mentioned you know the technical and have a good story, 100% something isn't clicking in your interviews. Coming off as a robot is likely, at the end of the day it's all about fit and guys are going to hire people that they would want to and enjoy working with. I think a lot of people lose site of this, the importance of fit, especially in investment banking. People focus all their energy on going to that target school, getting a high gpa, nailing technicals, networking for that interview, that they don't spend enough time honing their actual interview skills. You can check all the required boxes (and by the looks of it you do), but if you don't connect with the interviewers, you aren't going to get hired. Everyone is qualified at the later stages of these interviews and as long as you don't botch your technicals, they are looking for someone that would fit in with the team and see themselves going to have a beer with, because at the end of the day, you are spending 80 hours a week plus with these people. It is extremely important they can see someone who would fit in with the team and they enjoy working with over those long hours. Skills can be taught, but fit can't. My advice would to be keep doing what you are doing and focus most of your time and effort on sharpening your interview skills. Relax, be yourself, and just come off as a human and that offer will 100% come. I dont work in IB, but I do work in finance and have a pretty solid understanding of behavioral/fit side of interviews. If you want to, please PM me. I am more than happy to get on the phone with you to see if this is the case or there is something else holding you back.

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Ind
Oct 18, 2019 - 2:38pm


I am 20 (senior in college) going for full-time roles.

Did you graduate from high school two years early or something? That's pretty awesome that you're two years younger than the average college student your age. How do you respond when you are asked what you do for fun? Maybe your story is showing so much of your drive (like being two years ahead in college and having so many internships) that people think you're way too serious and high strung if that makes sense.

  • Associate 2 in CorpDev
Oct 18, 2019 - 1:48pm

"Lastly, do not obsess over this. No job is worth losing weight, feeling guilty about not networking, and not being able to sleep, especially when its just in the pursuit of a job. Take a step back and relax. Remember this is a long and hard game, don't get caught up in and obsess over results now"

^ This right here. +1

  • VP in PE - Other
Oct 20, 2019 - 3:05pm

Very well said, much of what I'm going to say here mirrors your comment. My advice, first off, hang in there! You're a tenacious, smart, and hardworking guy (I assume). It sounds like you're a rule follower and have always been able to achieve success when you've applied yourself. Sadly, and you're far from alone in this, but you're smacking hard in to the harsh reality of life: it's not fucking fair and nobody cares. It's nothing personal, in fact, it's the polar opposite; it's pure un-emotional indifference. To these firms, you're just another smart hungry kid looking for a seat. You did everything right, and in your power, in these interviews. The last portion before you get that glorious call extending an offer is totally out of your control. You need to make peace with yourself about this.

That's all well and good, but you still don't have a job. The first piece of advice I have for you, is toughen the f*ck up. I don't mean that to be an asshole, but you want a career in "high finance" you'll need to grow some thicker skin. When I was a first year analyst in banking, some of my associates and VP's said shit so mean and hurtful to me I almost had a breakdown. I was being a wimp, and had to pull myself up by my bootstraps and not let it get in to my head and press forward. You need to give yourself a similar vibe check, worry only about the things you can tangibly control, identify roadblocks, and use that big brain of yours to work out a solution. Second, and this is a big one, do, not, ever, quit. Never let a "no" keep you downtrodden or defeated. Turn that rejection into fuel for success. Okay, so you didn't get that IBD offer you were so close to getting and recruiting season is wrapping up. Fine, option A is a no-go, formulate an option B. I bailed on a solid MM IBD offer last minute to go to a "better" bank when I was your age, some other kid got a out of the blue follow up call and now is probably working at a hedge fund because of it. Find those random opportunities and jump at them. Check your school career board 3 times a day and be the first one to drop your CV; scour indeed, LinkedIn, and google jobs boards for last minute analyst openings. Broaden your scope! If you don't quit, I promise something will shake loose for you. Stop feeling sorry for yourself and keep your eyes on the prize!

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Oct 19, 2019 - 9:45am

Hey man, I believe I can fully sympathesize what you are experiecing. I do not think I have as stellar or as good a background as you do. I'm an international student who went to a non-target, got my way into a small bank for a long-term off-cycle ER internship (that bank is really cheap and I do not want to say its name here. I was actually doing analyst work and getting paid as an intern). Then I went to an MSF program, did 40-50 interviews, including the 1st/2nd/3rd and for a few of them 4th/5th round. I have got put into the next/final round right on the spot before the phone call ended, got the "promise" from my future/potential department manager/director that s/he is pushing for me and s/he really wants me as THE candidate for this position. I have had the experience where I networked with 7-8 people in a bank's SF office --- they are not a hig bank --- but still did not pass the 1st round. I did not give up. I fought hard for almost a year to land my current gig. True, it is not IB, "only" financial services consulting, but the work I do right now is very interesting and no bs work on pitching or fixing ppt margins.
It is not only a numbers game, but also a peoples game. What I mean by people is not how many people you've networked. That's only part of the story. The most important individual in this process is yourself. Make sure you stay healthy, get enough sleep, and keep a healthy mindset, practice your emotional stability and do not get upset. Or at least bounce back when you do get upset because we all do.
I do not work for a BB or EB and I do not have that much prestige to show off, but I have a lot of personal experience and everything I wrote above is true. Hope this helps a little bit. Good luck.

Oct 19, 2019 - 3:34pm

Play the long game. You already have the ingredients that will eventually, sooner or later, get you a job that you enjoy. You have the necessary work ethic, brains, and interest level. Whether you get there in the next year or in the next couple years, doesn't really matter over the course of your decades-long career and life.

The only thing that can derail you is black swan type stuff, with health being the one that comes to mind first. Do not make any meaningful sacrifices on your physical and mental health. It's OK to cut a few small corners, like if the healthiest version of yourself works out 5x a week and eats clean, its fine to slack a bit and work out 2-3x a week and eat the occasional burger & fries. But don't go below average. Be a normal, reasonably healthy person.

Same thing for mental health. Totally fine to socialize less when you're trying to focus on what's eating at you. In fact, socializing can just add stress because you're too worried about the problem to even enjoy the social activity. So its OK to cut back on that but just like my advice above on physical health, don't overdo it. Hang out once a week with friends and do some normal shit every day (by normal shit I mean errands and stuff . . move around, live a normal daily life).

There's a difference between important and urgent. Studies of the most successful and productive people often show that they are hyper-aware of this difference . . they're always sensitive to what's important, rather than what's urgent.

Getting onto the career path you want is important, but it isn't urgent. If you take care of yourself, it eventually happens. Don't take unnecessary risks to meet false deadlines like getting an elite job out of college or achieving XYZ by 24 or some other goal by 30 or whatever. Its all bullshit. The only goal is long term happiness. You're on that path now if you don't derail yourself.

Oct 19, 2019 - 4:12pm

Hey man. I was in the same boat as you a while back, I was trying to get internships but got rejected every time. I started wondering if there was something wrong with me, if I wasn't cut out for finance. But I knew that I wanted to work in finance, and eventually got not one, but two internships in the field that I wanted to work in. So my advice is don't give up. I know that may seem like a generic answer, but its true. Just keep pushing man, it will happen.

Side note: Don't EVER let what anyone says, including your parents, define who you are. If your own parents are so small minded that they have the gall to make fun of you for wanting to make something of yourself, they are just jealous. Block the negative thinkers out of your mind. They will only slow you down.


Oct 19, 2019 - 6:57pm

I am gonna chip in my 2cents, based on my experiences.

I was in a similar situation myself. During my senior year, I wasn't able to land anything decent which made me very depressed/anxious and lost weight. I ended up settling with a non-finance job. Fast forward to today, after some maneuvers, I've made my way into a decent buy side front office role. However, I am finding myself not being able to keep up with the stress level and my overall quality of life is actually not that great... Making more money is one thing, and having a happy life is another thing. Looking back now, maybe the fact that I was that stressed over not being able to land a decent job (IB, ST, etc.) was a SIGN. It takes more than just being smart to be successful in this industry, and I would say personality fit is probably on top of anything else. Being able to handle stress/knowing how to handle depression/anxiety is a very important skillset in this industry. If you can't handle it not, maybe you should consider settle for something else (valuation, Big 4 transaction advisory services, etc.)
This may or may not resonate you, but I just want to share what happened to me as I found you in a similar situation.
PS. I don't disagree with not giving up etc. My point is to know what fits you the best! You may have the IQ to do the job, but ask yourself can you handle the stress well. Life is only gonna get tougher after college.
Wish you best of luck.

Oct 19, 2019 - 8:29pm

“Sophomore internship”

You will cost them money and do literally nothing important. Your not a potential full time hire at this point and they know virtually no one signs with their sophomore internship. It just builds your resume.’ So you benefit by building resume and making a little money. Their only reason to hire you is if your a family friend or they think you will be fun.

Better to do volunteer room or something fun.

  • Prospect in Other
Oct 19, 2019 - 10:10pm

I kinda agree with what you are saying. But can't sophomore interns take some of the grunt work off the analyst/associate table?

Oct 19, 2019 - 10:54pm

I've never had anyone to talk too.

Maybe your attention to detail isn’t as good as you think. You have until May to get something going. Dig deeper, reach out to alumni, send ten resumes or more per day, go to good career fairs - are you doing everything? Ask yourself, map out a plan, and execute.

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

Oct 21, 2019 - 12:09pm

Could you even tell if someone's attention to detail is weak during an interview?

A face to face interview brings a lot of detail. You have the person’s appearance, composure, resume content, resume formatting, resume material, resume watermark, and the way you articulate in speaking, your eloquence, manner, mood, body language - everything. Especially for a client facing role, you don’t want to bring on a fool to the team that doesn’t know how to dress or act in front of clients.

There’s a lot going on, but if you’re good, it will be easy. Natural.

You can break some rules at times. When Zuckerburg went into that one investor meeting in PJs, he was literally communicating to the person ... fuck my personal appearance.

I’ve blown it in an interview for overdressing though so a word of caution to communicate if interviewing at niche tech firms. I wore a suit but should have wore Vans and jeans. I missed the memo. Damn. I should have worn my brown Half Cabs - Yellow soles Yellow laces...

But, if you’re entry level, it is almost always suit up and then immediately from the persons type of Windsor and tie to cut of suit and shoes, all becomes part of the interview experience.

Just make sure you get a suit that is cut right and look sharp, crisp, polished. Because at that moment it’s your job to close.

You’re going to have to close someone at some point. Maybe you left a good enough impression that you’re the man/woman for the job, but in that person’s mind they made a decision at some point for some reason and an offer comes with it.

Know who can pull the strings. If you’re talking to the hiring manager, be very aware of that and the fact that closing the higher-ups makes the likelihood increase of you getting that offer.

You have value. Know your value and how it fits into their corporate strategy. Your ability to pitch that you will be a star at this role and will hit the ground running is essential.

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

Oct 20, 2019 - 3:20am

Mentality is also very important. I just went through FT recruiting this cycle and perfectly understand the stress you're under. Time ticking creates a vicious cycle where you become more desperate, more tired, more nervous and as a result it shows when you network / interview. You need to be in a better state of mind. It seems counter-intuitive but "the glass shatters if you squeeze it too hard“. Knowing how to relax is key to keeping your sanity and being likeable when it matters. Think long term, go to the gym, spend 30 min on Netflix each night - trust me, it'll be worth it

Oct 20, 2019 - 1:00pm

Is that your ultimate goal? I'm gonna play devil's advocate here and say you need to be a bit more realistic. Even if you made it into a BB or EB your chances of making partner at a top buyside firm are miniscule. You don't sound like you have illuminati connections. Let's not obsess over that.

Yes finance is all about ambition, but sometimes you need to control your expectations as well. I've seen plenty of analysts lateral into EB/BBs from small boutiques and people from all sorts of backgrounds become IB associates. By all means, keep recruiting - my point is it's not the end of the world, and realizing this helps your mental state, which in turns helps your recruiting performance.

Nov 3, 2019 - 12:33am

While you have outlined the most common path, it is not the ONLY path. There are PLENTY of people in hedge funds, PE funds, and other good jobs who had non-traditional paths. THe process is not forgiving in the short term in that there are people always looking for reasons to reject a candidate. But the process can be forgiving in the long term, in the sense that if you keep pushing and grinding, you'll probably find your way. Keep up the hard work, and persevere, and you'll succeed.

  • Prospect in Other
Nov 15, 2019 - 12:40pm

this is gonna sound very cliché, but the results of job interviews don’t say much about how successful you are. if you never applied, you would have never been rejected and wouldn’t be feeling down on yourself like this; it’s very situational. I’m in the same boat as you and you just have to keep in the back of your mind that most people, somehow, some way, end up where they want to be and you’ll get there too :)

Nov 15, 2019 - 4:02pm

You're going to be fine, don't get discouraged. I went 0/12 coming out of college, settled for a unpaid internship at a no-name bank. Was drowning in debt, until finally landed an M&A position at a MM bank. Fast forward 3 years, just got my dream job. Just keep at it, network and never think less of yourself due to rejection. Also, if you have any older friends in finance, ask if you can do mock interviews with them / have them read your resume. It's incredibly helpful and they can tell you where you may be slipping up.

Nov 22, 2019 - 8:33pm

If you're 0/7, then you're not evaluating yourself properly before you're moving onto your next superday. Every failed superday should be a learning opportunity so that you can nail your next one. Have you tried asking someone to give you a mock interview and ask for feedback there?

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