Hello all,

Well to give a little background,

I graduated California State University, East Bay (state school near Oakland) with a Marketing major and a less than desirable (by IB recruiter standards) GPA (3.0, upper division, 2.7 cumulative)this past June.

In midst of this educational feat (if you can call it that) I had a job coming out of school doing product marketing for a small sci/tech licensing firm in San Francisco that I had previously interned for. However after speaking with many people, doing alot of reading and exploring different options, I have found that finance (specifically I-Banking) is what I wish to pursue. While people have given me mixed reviews, I know that it is the calling that I have been waiting for.

Now one thing that has been consistent with the people I have talked with in this field has been their education. They have gone to either highly distinguished schools or have highly distinguished GPA's or both. As you can see from above, I have neither.

What I do have is some work experience, some finance coursework and a hell of a lot of gumption & confidence. I am an extremely fast learner. I have 4 months at my current job and have already been offered a promotion to a position that many people do not achieve without a few years of experience. The job has also left me with experience in evaluating many different kinds of businesses. I have interviewed with many other companies for marketing jobs and have always been given an offer or at least gotten called back to 2nd & 3rd rounds. Needless to say interviews are not difficult for me but getting to the interview is the hard part it seems.

I have been told that I should wait to go get an MBA in finance and take the associate route but, I feel like I need to gain some experience sooner. I know that living in the SF Bay Area is good for I Banking because of the abundance of large and boutique firms. I would like to know if anyone could give me advice on how to go about attacking this and getting into the field that I want to work in.

All your answers are greatly appreciated.


Comments (10)


well take my advice with a grain of salt since I'm still in undergrad, but I have to agree with the people you spoke with...there is no way for you to get into IB w/o MBA...even a first round interview.

a) Banks like their analyst class to be straight out of undergrad, so you coming in from another career hurts you
b) They want you to have a good gpa, and marketing is considered an easy business school major so a 3.0 in that really hurts you...I was actaully waiting to speak to a HR guy from Goldman and someone asked about his view on marketing...and he pretty much called it a BS major. And 2.7 cumalative also does you no good.
c) Marketing job interviews in no way compare to ib interviews.

So here is my advice...go the MBA route. Work at your new position for the next 2+ years(you'll need at least 3-4 years of experience for MBA), cram for GMATs and get a good score on it. Then go get your MBA.

Financial Modeling


your pretty much fucked, even with those stats it will be hard to get into the type of mba program that recruits for ibanking. i would honestly say you have a 0% chance at getting a job, not trying to be harsh but those are just the realities of banking.


your undergrad gpa is weak but if you can build a successful stint at your current firm and nail the GMAT you may be able to spin your story and get into a respectable MBA program. plenty of people with bad undergrad gpa's get into top programs but you need to be able to explain why you had a 2.7. it is a tough route but that would be where my focus would be if I were you


Thank you everyone for your comments and help. I know it's a tough road ahead but it is one that I want to get on. I will let you know of my progress.


How was your grades in your finance classes? If you did well in those but tanked your GPA because of other classes, then you could spin it. If you tanked your finance classes, you're f'd.


The best thing to do is network like crazy.


Nothing is impossible. I can vouch for that.

Keep trying. Talk to people. Don't give up.


I'm also drawn to i-banking, but I am finishing my MBA already and have good work experience, though the MBA program I am in doesn't really attract i-banks...


you may also want to consider other areas in the bank that arent corp finance. these jobs are still tough to get and pay well they just have limited exits and less pay than the typical IBD job. Areas like DCM, ECM, Public Finance etc

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