Hey all (apologize for long post but its been a long journey)-

I've been waiting over a year and a half now to post this, and glad I can now. This thread is here to share my journey w/others, free to answer questions if you have and just showing those junior monkeys that dont get BB or MM offers for SA that it CAN BE DONE. DONT GIVE UP UNTIL YOU DIE OR GET WHAT YOU WANT :)

Before School

I came into school (semi-target) business major not knowing anything about finance at all. Hell if I had to guess as a freshman or even sophomore what IB was, I would have said something BS like "oh its when people invest in stocks and companies right?" Reason for this was that I thought I wanted to work in operations management, but thats besides the point.

September of Junior Year

I stumbled upon this addicting site called WSO. A world of knowledge and information was available 24 hours a day 7 days a week at the edge of my finger tips, FOR FREE! I started poking around here, M&I, bought the Rosenbaum book, bought the WSO technical guide, downloaded sample models from (macabacus) and searched every term i found under the sun on investopedia to learn everything in layman terms and a high level "fin-ance" explanation

October of my Junior Year

My school started having on campus info sessions with all the BBs and some MMs/boutiques. I went to them and loved it. First one i didnt know shit, what to ask, who to talk to, how to convert into a informational interview later on, etc. So, i went to my online bible (WSO) and started searching good questions to ask bankers.

Couple more info sessions go by, I talk to bankers, hold great convos and remain sociable/personable and convert them into informational phone interviews later on. Had about 6-10 banks that I thought I had GREAT chances of getting offers from. HA! I was never more wrong.

I start sending people my resume for help and they give feedback and I always got the same question, why do you have a sub 3.5 GPA? This wasnt terrible but they were getting resumes left and right from kids at my school or targets with 3.7/3.8+ and 1-2 boutique internships when all I had was a PWM one. Great, my blue balls were starting to go away.

End of My Winter Break

Of the OCR slots i did resume drops for, i received 0/12. Literally. This was a stab to the heart. My stomach flipped. WTF. I networked, I talked to the right people I studied. Fuck banking, I'll never be able to compete with these Target/Semi target kids that have known about banking for the past 3 years, when i barely have been prepping for it for 3 months.

I run across an alumni, he looks at my resume, we talk, he goes "Dude, you're handling this the wrong way. Use this rejection to get up and go harder. Your GPA is hard to change, but your work experience is more malleable. Get something under your belt before FT recruitment hits".

Okay i agree but what to do? Cold call! I start cold emailing/cold calling until I finally get an unpaid internship position near my school at a no-name boutique bank. Long story short, I said fuck partying, i need this experience if i want a FT offer. Ended up staying at the boutique from January of junior year to end of August. Yup, 9 mnths. Why? because i wanted it bad enough. I wanted to prove to myself that the gpa on my resume is just a padding to someone's ego, not a measure of how smart or capable I am.

FT recruitment comes around and the blue balls are back :)

Thanks to EXTENSIVE NETWORKING and tons of hours spent on WSO I was able to land 16 first round interviews. I would tear each time I got an email or phone call back for a superday/first round email. i literally poured sweat, lack of sleep and hard work into getting these interviews

I had solid deals to talk about that I worked on, ex: debt/equity financings, M&A sell sides and an LBO and was willing to put the hours, 20-25 hrs a week during school year and 80ish hrs/week in the summer.

FT Recruiting

Interviews went well, had some with lower tier bulges (ex- Wells Fargo, BAML), elite boutiques (ex- Lazard, Guggenheim) and several top MM (ex- HW, Jefferies, HLHZ) firms.

When i received the phone call for my offer, my heart skipped a beat. i went numb. i had the person on the phone repeat what he/she just said because i thought i heard incorrectly "um sorry, i lost service, can you repeat what you just said?" LOL

So monkeys, YOU CAN DO IT TOO. I'm actual proof that someone with: sub 3.5 GPA + no solid experience going into SA, can turn it all around by reading WSO, Rosenbaum all the guides etc, NETWORKING x100 CAN = a top FT offer

its gonna feel good to be paid after working so long for free :)

Feel free to ask questions if you're going through SA or FT recruiting still or if you want to share a motivational story too. Keep on trucking and you WILL get there eventually!

PS- i'd donate some of my signing bonus to WSO if i knew how, i LITERALLY would NOT have gotten it if it were not for this site

Comments (30)

Dec 14, 2012 - 4:39pm

Great congrats that was one hell of a ride, can't wait for the day i can write a post like this!

Don't give up what you want most for what you want now
Dec 14, 2012 - 8:08pm

Congratulations ! Tremendous story. You're well on your way. Go celebrate!


Dec 23, 2012 - 9:43pm

Congrats, man. I lol'd at the whole "sorry, I lost service. can you repeat what you just said?" part.


I don't throw darts at a board. I bet on sure things. Read Sun-tzu, The Art of War. Every battle is won before it is ever fought- GG
Dec 26, 2012 - 9:29pm

Nice one man! way to stick with it. I'm similar position as you were. I know I'll make it, just don't know when

Keep on trucking!! You'll make it eventually

I don't throw darts at a board. I bet on sure things. Read Sun-tzu, The Art of War. Every battle is won before it is ever fought- GG
Feb 13, 2013 - 1:14pm

I always really enjoy these posts, well done.

'Before you enter... be willing to pay the price'
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