Does GPA matter once you get your first job?


Starting at Moody's next year. It's my last semester. I wanted to keep my GPA above a 3.5 but by the looks of it it's going down to a 3.4. Does it even matter at this point? I do eventually plan on applying to IBD, maybe after a year or two of work at Moody's. Might need to get an MBA too. Just wondering how much your GPA matters after your first job? I'm also a math major so maybe the difficulty of classes would be considered?

Comments (27)

  • Investment Manager in AM - Equities
Dec 11, 2019 - 3:05pm

Snake is correct

Money can purchase freedom, if you have the guts to buy it
Dec 3, 2019 - 11:53am

Your network, and how you articulate gets you your first job. Not your GPA. Plenty of diversity programs that can help you get into a top 10 MBA if you are a P.O.C.

Job > GPA ... that being said anything about 3.5 is seen as good enough. If you can add value and hit the ground running, thats all that matters.

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Dec 3, 2019 - 1:36pm

Lmao thats not true There are so many kids with 3.7/3.8/3.9 from HWS your GPA will matter for at least your first two jobs. PE firms def care about your college gpa and banks looking to lateral hire will care since your job isn’t relevant (Moody’s as OP states).

So a 3.4 will def be an uphill battle (not sure which school you come from). Sure if you get lucky and get to an M7 that’s a different story

Dec 3, 2019 - 2:12pm

I've know many students break into IBD internships and FT >3.0 but less then 3.5 GPA.

Guess it depends on a case by case basis. All i'm saying is if you have some experience under your belt, good leadership activities on campus, and a good network then you can break into IBD SA programs. Yes ofc, it will be harder for a firm like GS or JPM but you can for sure. My two cents

Dec 4, 2019 - 9:57am

It will matter less. Some jobs will care more than others. Among the jobs that care, some of those will give you a break for having a real major. So overall, its not a dealbreaker that you have a 3.4. If you want to lateral, best thing you can do is take what you learn at Moody's (presumably credit related stuff) and round it out with the other typical IBD skills, ie valuation and so forth. Once you feel pretty sharp on that stuff, chat up a few bankers here and there to get a sense of who might be friendly enough to help push your resume when a lateral need arises. This will help get past any GPA issues at the firms that care.

Dec 4, 2019 - 12:59pm

High level it is what it is and the difference between 3.4 and 3.5 is kinda irrelevant anyway. So don't stress over what you can't change.

Broadly speaking it shouldn't matter, plenty of firms don't care and 3.4/3.5 isn't really a huge difference for bschool (I don't think at least). That said, I do find it odd that many recruiting firms even with like 10+ years of experience still ask for GPA and SAT scores, no joke. Certain buyside shops ask for this as well. To me its myopic and silly but the reality is it does happen, albeit its not the majority of firms.

Dec 4, 2019 - 2:52pm

Not intentionally trying to be opaque, but it depends how you source your next job. For me, a friend had an opening at his firm and I went straight into the interview process (it is a small shop) and it did not come up.

With that being said, I am not going to write them off as useless. I have heard of bigger companies asking for grades, though it becomes less and less common the more mature your career is.

Go for the best grades you can, but the most likely probability is that it doesn't matter. What will matter the most is how you performed at your previous job, and conveying that in a cohesive and concise manner to the hiring manager.

Dec 4, 2019 - 3:42pm

It's ridiculous to think that it doesn't matter. Yes, it matters less than it did coming out of undergrad, but it's still a consideration. Unfortunately 3.5 is what is frequently seen as this arbitrary cutoff in the industry, so I'd push as hard as possible to keep it at above that.

FWIW, my group does not disregard GPA when evaluating IB analysts looking to jump to the buy side. A 3.4 alone won't be a dealbreaker, but it definitely doesn't help your app

  • Analyst 1 in RE - Comm
Dec 4, 2019 - 4:28pm

Is this because they have non disclosure at these particular schools so they vet undergrad GPA vs grad GPA, or did you guys ask undergrad for the MBA GPA reporting schools as well? At least from the few threads I've seen on here, most banks don't seem to care about undergrad GPA for associate recruiting, but not sure how accurate those are anymore.

  • Intern in PE - Other
Dec 5, 2019 - 10:55am

I hope this doesn't make me sound ignorant but how bad could their undergrad GPA's have been if they got into an M7 school? I know GPA isn't everything when applying for b school, but if you're attending a top MBA program I doubt their GPA was trash...

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Dec 4, 2019 - 11:47pm

How much of a consideration is GPA when trying to make a lateral move to an EB or BB?

Dec 5, 2019 - 8:59am

I think it is more a function of how competitive the position is that you are applying for. The more applications a firm receives, the more filters it will apply to get the pile of resumes down to something reasonable. Experience should matter more IMO, but I cannot fault a company that gets hundreds of resumes dropped in one click for trying to narrow that down in a fast and systematic way.

Dec 5, 2019 - 4:10pm

GPA only matters if you are try to get jobs the conventional way (e.g. apply to a company directly through their website, going through a headhunter, etc.) Your first and perhaps second gig will be obtained in the "conventional" way, but starting with your third job, you really should be getting new jobs on the basis of your network. Once you enter the senior ranks, GPA is irrelevant.

Dec 9, 2019 - 10:32am

These things have largely been mentioned above but just a couple thoughts. Yes, GPA matters whether you like it or not. The way I have thought about it is risk mitigation, or, in other words, I want to stack the deck as much in my favor as possible. If you can work hard for a few more months and stay above 3.5, why not? I'm in an M7 MBA right now and the fact of the matter is there are many, many people here and at other comparable programs with very strong paper resumes. MBA programs as well as many employers have to have ways to reduce the number of resumes they look at. So even if you can shine in an interview setting, you want your resume to make sure it at least gets you a seat at the table. And MBA programs and some employers (not all, though, in my experience so far) will want a strong GPA. Same thing with GMAT.

"Successful investing is anticipating the anticipation of others". - John Maynard Keynes
Dec 11, 2019 - 2:56pm

GPA is a filter for your first job in IBD. Once you are in IBD, an interviewer will weigh your deal experience and responsiblities more.

"A man can convince anyone he's somebody else, but never himself."
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