Feeling Lost - Experience but no GPA


Sorry for the throw-away account, it will become clear as to why...

I'm a prospective monkey, currently at a non-target. I've been struggling with some personal shit and my GPA has likely gone down the toilet. It was a 2.8/4.0 and has likely dipped as of these exams.

I applied to transfer to a target which has strong alumni + on-campus recruitment - however they take this current semester into consideration. As I currently stand, I only just scrape in with the entry requirements. In which case, fresh start at a good target rendering this thread moot...

However, this semester has been horrendous and I feel like I will just miss out on the opportunity to transfer to the target with a clean slate. The kicker is that I will only just miss out (where no exceptions are made)..

The reality of my lack of drive / personal shit bogging me down is finally dawning on me and I feel the bold aspirations of IB creeping away.

If I don't get accepted into the target, I am stuck at a sub-par institution with a shitty GPA. I have decent experience (regional boutique corp advisory shop) and a few due diligence engagements - but nothing BB / EB. I've accumulated enough debt and am starting to feel like I'm wasting my time.

With respects to debt and GPA, it seems too late to save. It sounds fucking moronic, but I've been so depressed and somewhat suicidal over this. Ever since leaving school I've wanted to work towards IB and it's just dawning on me that it may be too late. I don't know what else I would do (say if I were to drop out), nothing else interests me - nothing outside of 'making it' so to speak...

I've probably rambled heaps, any cold truths / differing perspectives would be greatly appreciated.


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Comments (22)

Nov 22, 2017 - 3:56am

Thanks for the link. I'm not at that level (yet) and don't likely have the balls to carry through with it - but it's just so demotivating realizing the situation I'm in. I don't know if it's salvageable anymore..

Best Response
Nov 22, 2017 - 4:24am

Firstly, grow up. Whats this shit about feeling suicidal for not getting into IB.

I went to a non target engineering school, because I fucked up, in an Emerging Country in Asia. Then I went to a relatively shit job in IT for 9 months due to lack of guidance with no link whatsoever to finance.

Finally decided to give the GRE. Worked hard scored well and reched a target school in Europe for MSc. Thought life's all set but hell it ain't. Did not know the language and sent over 500 applications before I landed my first internship in BO. Now I'm studying as much as possible to shift from BO to FO and I know I will do it irrespective of the circumstances.

Instead of feeling depressed about the situation think and plan how to get out of the hole that you are in currently.

"The markets are always changing , and they are always the same."
  • 6
Nov 22, 2017 - 4:28am

Thank you, I needed to read this. This is the type of perspective I was looking for.

I guess I just need to stop being such a bitch. It's just this is one of many issues in my life so I feel like it's all for naught.

Any advice for how I can get out of this current hole? No option seems viable at this stage.

Nov 22, 2017 - 4:33am

It's okay to be a bitch on forums. It technically has no material impact on your life whatsoever. However, have your game face on when you face life after navigating away from this forum

I grew up wanting to be in IB without knowing what IB was LOL. could u believe that? and that was in year 1. as time goes by, i knew what IB was and i recognized that i can never enter that industry due to my gpa, interest etc.

I failed countless interviews etc, but i think what matters most is how u learn from each experience. Keep applying and keep trying and focus on where you wanna be. Ultimately, it doesnt matter if a bb doesnt take you in. A small shophouse is your first step in and makes great experience, albeit the comparatively low pay.

From there, think of how to value add to your life and think about what you need to do for exit opportunities later. Don't worry, i am struggling through the same shit as you. Thats life aint it?

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Nov 24, 2017 - 7:19am

If you failed to transfer, try retaking some classes in the summer. Work hard for the rest of your undergrad years to lift the GPA as much as possible. Most importantly, networking your ass off since it would be the only way to get you internships and interviews since your GPA is low. You could also consider grad school/ working in BO and lateral/ etc. as others have mentioned above.

And if you still can't break in, accept IB is not for you. Simply put, sometimes you won't get what you want in life regardless of how much you willing to sacrifice. Being suicidal over a career pathway is the very definition of cowardice, and those weaklings surely don't have the fortitude to survive in IB.

“If you're afraid - don't do it, if you're doing it - don't be afraid!” ― Genghis Khan
  • 1
Nov 26, 2017 - 5:48pm

I truly believe that the only reason people fail to break into IB is that they give up too quickly. There are too many stories of people breaking in against all odds for this not to be true. No matter how bad you think your situation is, I guarantee there is someone who had it worse who still made it in. If you give up, you'll never know how close you really got. @OP if you need specifics on what to do, browse Mergers and Inquisitions and this forum. The answers are there. Breaking in won't be easy, but it's possible. And that has to be enough for you not to give up, otherwise you just don't want it bad enough.

Nov 26, 2017 - 10:25pm

That's kind of the path I'm on right now...went to a non-target (state school because I got a great scholarship), finished top of my class (majored in Accounting), right now working at Big 4 in Transactions service - due diligence. Have my CPA, studying for CFA right now. Constantly networking, constantly making calls and sending emails - just trying to get my foot in the door. Constantly studying materials on Mergers & Inquisitions (400 Best IB questions, in particular). Trying to do everything I can, I know I will get there eventually.

@OP - I'm not there yet, but I know I can get there and you can too. It's never too late to turn your grades around either. I know people who partied first-half of college, then turned it around 2nd half and got into a great law school, another friend of mine got into med school doing that. Keep pushing, keep telling yourself you can have it if you really want it. And NETWORK - it's more key than your grades coming from either a target or non-target

Does the Tiger fire the Monkey? Does the Tiger transfer the Monkey to another branch?
Nov 24, 2017 - 8:09am

You have a different path to take. Finance may not be for you. Fortunately there are plenty of other paths to making money in this world.

You will be fine in corporate world or something else. Look at the people who GE just promoted in their shake up. Cfo went to Miami of Ohio with no mba. If you search thru major fortune 50 types they are filled with weak academic credentials.

Then there's always the bartender path thru life.

Nov 24, 2017 - 9:04am

I work with patients and parties closely resembling your nature (suicidal, depression). I would highly recommend taking a 'Leave of Absence' and get some help first.

Finance is not going away anytime soon, neither is WSO. For now, I think this is the best route to take before you can begin a game plan.

Also, I am in my 30's gunning for IBD/Trading, it is never too late. Plenty of success from Non-Targets breaking in. Remember, this is highly 'network-oriented'. So don't lose hope.

Get your health checked and plan from there. Wish you the best.

Nov 24, 2017 - 3:55pm

IB is overrated.

You killed the Greece spread goes up, spread goes down, from Wall Street they all play like a freak, Goldman Sachs 'o beat.
Nov 25, 2017 - 4:58pm

I'm very sorry to hear about your story. It really does sound quite unfortunate. Let me preface before saying anything by suggesting that it may be prudent to seek help from either a professional or confiding in friends/family. Dealing with bouts of depression are issues above the weight of this board in each case.

When it come to the next steps in your career, I wouldn't think you are hopeless by any means. Countless individuals on these boards have broken into IB with lower GPA's, worse experiences, and worth straits than where you are believe it or not (I remember reading about someone who was kicked out of school for a semester and had to do odd jobs just to survive and managed to turn things around. The individual landed a role at a top MM if my memory serves me right.)

It would be ideal if you are able to transfer of course, as it makes the barrier to entry substantially lower. However, it's not the end of the world if you fail to transfer and are stuck at the institution you are in. Whatever ends up being the case, your best bet is to move forward, as your GPA and performance right now are a sunk cost, which would be in the distant past with well thought out planning and a strong work ethic. Make it a mandate upon yourself from here on out that you will put full force and effort into your studies and not accept anything less. I can trust that you will achieve a greater degree of success in your academics, at least in the medium term.

the regional corp advisory shop is a good role. Maybe it makes sense to reach out to those folks and see if they have any colleagues that wouldn't mind chatting with you about their perspectives. Try to build relationships with others, whether through warm introductions or through cold emailing. You will be very surprised by how gracious folks can be in this industry with their time and perspectives if you approach them cordially and with the intention of not selling them anything or hosing them for a job.

Depression is one of the most insidious situations that anyone can be in, and it's certainly not prudent to go about things alone without support if indeed that is what you are going through. I do hope that things go well for you, and I believe things will look up for you in due course. One silver lining to these kinds of situation you can extract from this is building yourself up and getting to the other side. While it's dreary where you stand today, you will come out a very resilient and battle tested individual a few years down the line when you have that IB offer in hand. I wish you well :)

There's a closer meaning to my user name. Try reading it quickly. Perhaps you will then understand ;P
  • 6
Nov 26, 2017 - 2:18pm

For some reason, I'm unable to give you monkey shit..

“Elections are a futures market for stolen property”
  • 1
Nov 26, 2017 - 2:53pm

I remember a few days back when I was trying to SB someone's post but was unable to. It must be a syntax issue or thereabouts, I believe.

There's a closer meaning to my user name. Try reading it quickly. Perhaps you will then understand ;P
Nov 26, 2017 - 2:27pm

A little motivation ... 1st year was very tough for me and I had a 2.65 GPA ... Fast forward to now ... I have a 3.5, with an internship at a hedge fund, in ER at a BB, and just landed a SA role in IB at a BB.

GPA is extremely overrated. All of my opportunities have come to fruition because I networked my ass off. Never give up ... I almost did when 1st year did not go as planned, but a little perseverance and dedication to pursue what I love has put me in this position, and I am forever grateful for it

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