Freshman at a Non-Target

jfoy's picture
Rank: Chimp | 15

I'm currently a freshman at a non-target, private school in Buffalo, New York. It is highly respected in this area, however outside of Western New York it has little prestige. I have talked with a couple of Finance and Economics professors here and they have informed me that we have a few alumni in the industry working at the big NYC firms, so I am not completely without connections. However, here is the problem:

First semester I had a low GPA (2.67) due in large part to the newly discovered freedom of college life. I got back on track second semester though I turned it around and pulled it up into the 3.5-3.6 range (don't know what the final GPA will be yet, but definitely in that range). That's not the best I can do however and I plan to steadily try to increase my GPA up to the 3.7-3.9 range by the time I graduate undergrad. (As stated before, I am about to close out my freshman year in a few weeks so there is time to make up the gap.)

After reading these forums for a few weeks, I get the impression that without a target/semi-target school diploma, I don't have a snowball's chance in hell of landing a career in IB out of undergrad. I believe I have the smarts to compete with HYPS and target school students, and I definitely have the competitive drive and killer instinct that is so necessary to succeed in this industry. I worry because I feel without the name, I won't get the chance.

So I was thinking about finishing my undergrad here, getting some work experience in a finance related field, then trying to pursue an MBA from a top school and apply for an IB position from there. Do you guys think this would be a good path for me to take?

Comments (21)

Apr 19, 2011

If you had a 2.67 first semester even with a 4.00 second semester you will be at about a 3.335, no?

If your first choice (banking) starts to look unrealistic then you will start devoting more effort into you second choice and so on...

Apr 19, 2011
Barcadia:

If you had a 2.67 first semester even with a 4.00 second semester you will be at about a 3.335, no?

If your first choice (banking) starts to look unrealistic then you will start devoting more effort into you second choice and so on...

Thanks for the reply. I believe you're right about the GPA, I imagine myself to be around a 3.0-3.1 at the end of this year (no GPA calculation, just taking the middle distance between the two GPAs). That being said, I'll just keep working at it.

foy

Apr 19, 2011

Why not get your GPA up and transfer to a target?

Apr 19, 2011
judowned:

Why not get your GPA up and transfer to a target?

I have thought about this but from what I've read through google searches and on these forums many of the target schools are incredibly difficult to transfer into, even with a high GPA. Also, money is an issue. Family makes too much to qualify for big enough loans/fin aid yet doesn't make enough to pay the bill on our own.

foy

Apr 19, 2011

NO chance in IB my brother's in a SUNY hes a sophmore with a 4.0 and he didn't get anything even with my internal JPM connect. Transfer or open up your own snow removal business

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Apr 19, 2011

I think a lot of this website underestimates the amount of placement non-targets get into IBD positions. I will tell you that if you were to increase your GPA and transfer to a target school you would have a much easier time during the recruitment process.

However, if that is out of the question for you, get your GPA up and start building up to an IB internship. First, get a PWM internship or some finance related internship. I am sure there are plenty of these in Buffalo or close by. Then begin networking with those finance professionals that your professors spoke about. If you build these relationships and have a solid enough resume with 3.7+ GPA, good ECs and Finance Internship there should be no problem getting interviews. You may only get guaranteed a phone interview but from there you just have to prove you can compete with HYP kids.

Difference between Targets and Non-targets is that Investment Banks don't come to you. It won't be as simple as going onto your career services website and applying for OCR, you will actually have to meet people and talk to people on the phone, send your resume in with a FedEx box to an MDs office. You will have to GO TO them, they won't come get you but they sure as hell will appreciate how you busted your ass to get in front of them on a Super Day.

You may not have tons of BB interviews lined up from a non-target but there is no reason you can't land one or a MM/Boutique position. Just don't be part of the 99% of drones on this website who think non-targets can't do sh*t, be that other 1%.

Apr 19, 2011

If you look at the JPM's IBD recruiting list, they recruit quarter of their kids from non targets. The chances are like 1 out 500 candidates. You have to be perfect candidate if you are from a non target to even get looked at i.e. >3.6, leadership, awards, internships, and be a horse.

Apr 19, 2011

Thanks for the ideas guys. But what about my question about the MBA? Does anyone have any experience with this happening/does it happen often?

foy

Apr 19, 2011

MBA is irrelevant, you must have experience nowadays. MBA's are prerequisite for some entry level jobs. Your going have to work extremely hard and have no life in college for you to have a chance my friend.

Apr 19, 2011

if you got a 2.67 first semester it is impossible for you to graduate with a 3.7-3.9, assuming that you want to graduate on time with approx. 120 credits...

Apr 20, 2011

You guys need to stop beating off about GPA and target schools. Both are horribly over-hyped on this website. Yes, they both will help you out but its not the end of the world if you don't have either (although bombing class and being an idiot is definitely not going to help your case and you will likely get zero help from your school's career services website). A ton of people on here didn't go the silver spoon route and didn't go to a target school, so don't tell yourself you don't have a chance because you make your own destiny.

JFoy, here is what you need to do:

1) Go to class, get your head out of your ass and study a little bit. I know college is sweet and its fun to drink every night (which you can still do a majority of the time), but buckle down and get a grip and you will have that bad boy in the middle 3-point range by your Sophomore/Junior year.

2) Because of your GPA deficiencies to some degree, you will need to compensate in other areas. Get involved on campus, get a position, and be able to tell your story well. You are a freshman, plenty of time to join a finance club, maybe mix it up in a student government or some business-type group. Regardless, get off your ass and start doing something so you can fill up what is basically a blank resume at this point.

3) Network. Ask everyone in your family if they know anyone in the industry. Start asking your friends at school or maybe even from back home if they know anyone that is in something business-related. If that's not an option, start attending seminars or go to career fair events and do something out of the ordinary. Some guy I went to school with who (at a non-target) had a super mediocre resume and no real job experience drove 8 hours in the snow to an ivy league career fair and pulled down a gig his freshman year at McKinsey in London. Is that horribly lucky? Yes, but he honestly was just another kid with fire in his eyes who kept emailing the people he met at the career fair and the fact that he happened to be studying abroad for a month helped him nail it. That's an extreme example, but there is no reason that you can't google "Wealth Management Buffalo" and start calling people all over your area and ask to hear what there firm is about and if they hire interns (especially alumni). Make a profile on linkedin, join your school's networking groups (College and HS, if there is one) and send messages to anyone you can. There's plenty of cold email/message templates on this site, look it up.

That was a pretty long-winded response but I had to do it as well. I was a server my freshman year summer and did a sales internship my sophomore year, and still pulled something decent out of undergrad.

Its all about what you do with it and how much you want it. I didn't know any contacts in the industry and didn't hone in on networking until it was almost too late. Despite how hard you work and what you know, the people you know will most likely be your biggest asset when trying to find a job.

Good luck

Apr 20, 2011
bc:

You guys need to stop beating off about GPA and target schools. Both are horribly over-hyped on this website. Yes, they both will help you out but its not the end of the world if you don't have either (although bombing class and being an idiot is definitely not going to help your case and you will likely get zero help from your school's career services website). A ton of people on here didn't go the silver spoon route and didn't go to a target school, so don't tell yourself you don't have a chance because you make your own destiny.

JFoy, here is what you need to do:

1) Go to class, get your head out of your ass and study a little bit. I know college is sweet and its fun to drink every night (which you can still do a majority of the time), but buckle down and get a grip and you will have that bad boy in the middle 3-point range by your Sophomore/Junior year.

2) Because of your GPA deficiencies to some degree, you will need to compensate in other areas. Get involved on campus, get a position, and be able to tell your story well. You are a freshman, plenty of time to join a finance club, maybe mix it up in a student government or some business-type group. Regardless, get off your ass and start doing something so you can fill up what is basically a blank resume at this point.

3) Network. Ask everyone in your family if they know anyone in the industry. Start asking your friends at school or maybe even from back home if they know anyone that is in something business-related. If that's not an option, start attending seminars or go to career fair events and do something out of the ordinary. Some guy I went to school with who (at a non-target) had a super mediocre resume and no real job experience drove 8 hours in the snow to an ivy league career fair and pulled down a gig his freshman year at McKinsey in London. Is that horribly lucky? Yes, but he honestly was just another kid with fire in his eyes who kept emailing the people he met at the career fair and the fact that he happened to be studying abroad for a month helped him nail it. That's an extreme example, but there is no reason that you can't google "Wealth Management Buffalo" and start calling people all over your area and ask to hear what there firm is about and if they hire interns (especially alumni). Make a profile on linkedin, join your school's networking groups (College and HS, if there is one) and send messages to anyone you can. There's plenty of cold email/message templates on this site, look it up.

That was a pretty long-winded response but I had to do it as well. I was a server my freshman year summer and did a sales internship my sophomore year, and still pulled something decent out of undergrad.

Its all about what you do with it and how much you want it. I didn't know any contacts in the industry and didn't hone in on networking until it was almost too late. Despite how hard you work and what you know, the people you know will most likely be your biggest asset when trying to find a job.

Good luck

Words of wisdom right here

Apr 20, 2011
bc:

You guys need to stop beating off about GPA and target schools. Both are horribly over-hyped on this website. Yes, they both will help you out but its not the end of the world if you don't have either (although bombing class and being an idiot is definitely not going to help your case and you will likely get zero help from your school's career services website). A ton of people on here didn't go the silver spoon route and didn't go to a target school, so don't tell yourself you don't have a chance because you make your own destiny.

JFoy, here is what you need to do:

1) Go to class, get your head out of your ass and study a little bit. I know college is sweet and its fun to drink every night (which you can still do a majority of the time), but buckle down and get a grip and you will have that bad boy in the middle 3-point range by your Sophomore/Junior year.

2) Because of your GPA deficiencies to some degree, you will need to compensate in other areas. Get involved on campus, get a position, and be able to tell your story well. You are a freshman, plenty of time to join a finance club, maybe mix it up in a student government or some business-type group. Regardless, get off your ass and start doing something so you can fill up what is basically a blank resume at this point.

3) Network. Ask everyone in your family if they know anyone in the industry. Start asking your friends at school or maybe even from back home if they know anyone that is in something business-related. If that's not an option, start attending seminars or go to career fair events and do something out of the ordinary. Some guy I went to school with who (at a non-target) had a super mediocre resume and no real job experience drove 8 hours in the snow to an ivy league career fair and pulled down a gig his freshman year at McKinsey in London. Is that horribly lucky? Yes, but he honestly was just another kid with fire in his eyes who kept emailing the people he met at the career fair and the fact that he happened to be studying abroad for a month helped him nail it. That's an extreme example, but there is no reason that you can't google "Wealth Management Buffalo" and start calling people all over your area and ask to hear what there firm is about and if they hire interns (especially alumni). Make a profile on linkedin, join your school's networking groups (College and HS, if there is one) and send messages to anyone you can. There's plenty of cold email/message templates on this site, look it up.

That was a pretty long-winded response but I had to do it as well. I was a server my freshman year summer and did a sales internship my sophomore year, and still pulled something decent out of undergrad.

Its all about what you do with it and how much you want it. I didn't know any contacts in the industry and didn't hone in on networking until it was almost too late. Despite how hard you work and what you know, the people you know will most likely be your biggest asset when trying to find a job.

Good luck

I didn't go the traditional route either, but I can tell you that no one from a school in Buffalo with a 2.67 is getting a banking gig. I believe he can raise his GPA but he'll have to transfer because the GPA is just too low. I don't think GPAs are a good indicator, but unless his firm has an alum he can't do it with a 2.67... if he can get that up to 3.2-3.3 range, then he has a shot. I have a job and am very familiar with the recruiting process both internally and externally, so I know what I'm talking about. Good that he caught this as a Freshman and is willing to put in the work though...

Apr 21, 2011
rufiolove][quote=bc:

I didn't go the traditional route either, but I can tell you that no one from a school in Buffalo with a 2.67 is getting a banking gig. I believe he can raise his GPA but he'll have to transfer because the GPA is just too low. I don't think GPAs are a good indicator, but unless his firm has an alum he can't do it with a 2.67... if he can get that up to 3.2-3.3 range, then he has a shot. I have a job and am very familiar with the recruiting process both internally and externally, so I know what I'm talking about. Good that he caught this as a Freshman and is willing to put in the work though...

He had a 2.67 after his first semester freshman year, so it's not like resumes are going out with that number printed on them. Mathematically, he can attain a 3.335 by the end of his freshman year - and obviously a 3.8~ by the end of junior year.

What would transferring do? He still has the same cumulative GPA. Don't they request transcripts from all institutions attended?

As a current student myself I'm not an authority on the job market. But, in my opinion, the only thing he screwed himself out of was being able to put a stellar GPA on transfer applications come sophomore year (~3.6 after first semester sophomor year, mathematical max).

Since I am in a similar situation, I'm curious. If he maxes his GPA and lands a PWM internship this summer or the next, is banking still flatly 'out of reach'?

Apr 20, 2011

Well technically he can graduate with a 3.7-3.9

15 credits * 2.67 = 40.05
+ 15 * 7semesters * 4 = 420
=460.05
460.05/ (4*120) = .9584
.9584 * 4 = 3.83 cGPA

Apr 21, 2011
Matthias:

Well technically he can graduate with a 3.7-3.9

15 credits * 2.67 = 40.05
+ 15 * 7semesters * 4 = 420
=460.05
460.05/ (4*120) = .9584
.9584 * 4 = 3.83 cGPA

Yeah, I understand the math behind it makes it possible. I meant more from a feasibility standpoint. It would be extremely unlikely for him to do 105 credits of 4.0 work (if he somehow did, I would definitely give him an interview based on the story). All it really takes it one or 2 semesters at a 3.5 late in the game, and your GPA will be massively impeded. Plus, there's no way in shit he goes from being a 2.67 student to being a 4.0 student every single semester.... I got a 3.5 first semester and a 3.3 second semester, and after that I was 3.9+ every successive semester after that with the exception of a 3.7 my junior year and I barely graduated with 3.7-3.8... I doubt that if he is taking core courses in his major that he will be able to get 4.0s every semester after that. The point I was trying to make is that if he gets his GPA above the low 3.2-3.3 threshold, then he is in the realm of discussion, but below 3.0 from his university without any connections is not going to happen...

Apr 21, 2011
rufiolove:
Matthias:

Well technically he can graduate with a 3.7-3.9

15 credits * 2.67 = 40.05
+ 15 * 7semesters * 4 = 420
=460.05
460.05/ (4*120) = .9584
.9584 * 4 = 3.83 cGPA

Yeah, I understand the math behind it makes it possible. I meant more from a feasibility standpoint. It would be extremely unlikely for him to do 105 credits of 4.0 work (if he somehow did, I would definitely give him an interview based on the story). All it really takes it one or 2 semesters at a 3.5 late in the game, and your GPA will be massively impeded. Plus, there's no way in shit he goes from being a 2.67 student to being a 4.0 student every single semester.... I got a 3.5 first semester and a 3.3 second semester, and after that I was 3.9+ every successive semester after that with the exception of a 3.7 my junior year and I barely graduated with 3.7-3.8... I doubt that if he is taking core courses in his major that he will be able to get 4.0s every semester after that. The point I was trying to make is that if he gets his GPA above the low 3.2-3.3 threshold, then he is in the realm of discussion, but below 3.0 from his university without any connections is not going to happen...

Agree, I would put more money on the sixers to come back and beat the heat than the chances of him pulling straight 4.0s.

Apr 20, 2011

Here's my advice apply to boutique banks, PWM and brokerage firms and leave the GPA off. Read about finance, get to know the basics. Network with alumni. It's late in the game, many people have already locked up internships and most BB PWM gigs are gone. Target MM PWM think Baird, I would also think of non-traditional internships like in MM companies finance departments or your schools endowment.

Apr 20, 2011

Here's my advice apply to boutique banks, PWM and brokerage firms and leave the GPA off. Read about finance, get to know the basics. Network with alumni. It's late in the game, many people have already locked up internships and most BB PWM gigs are gone. Target MM PWM think Baird, I would also think of non-traditional internships like in MM companies finance departments or your schools endowment.

Apr 21, 2011
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Apr 21, 2011