8/12/17

Timeline:

In 2005 my mother passed away unexpectedly.

In 2008 my family's house was foreclosed on and I was told I would need to support myself through college. I was 17 at the time and already unstable due to the emotional trauma of my mother's death.

In 2009 I was officially kicked out of college from Cal State Long Beach and on a path of severe self-destruction.

In 2009 I started to sell hair straighteners at the local mall and convention shows - think the people at the mall kiosks who harass you as you walk by. Yup - I was one of them.

In 2010 I received an offer in retail banking as a Personal Banker and began to get my life back on track.

In 2011 I declined a promotion to a Business Banker, a $50K salary at 21 years old, and moved back in with my father to again pursue my education.

In 2012 I unexpectedly was asked to become a Operations Manager within a retail branch. I accepted the full-time manager position (even though I did not feel qualified or prepared and had never worked in operations) and simultaneously pursued my education full time during the evenings at the local junior college. I maintained a 3.75 GPA, no social life, and severe sleep deprivation (6:30am wake up - 1/2am bed time).

In 2013 I was accepted to a UC. While at UC, I worked 24-32 hours per week to pay for my rent, utilities & tuition, all while again attending school full-time. On top of the already demanding schedule, from 2013 to 2015 I was active in internships and was a member of several clubs. I maintained a 3.0 overall GPA and was chronically sleep deprived (think 3-4 hours of sleep per night and to the point I was losing my short term memory).

Financial Analyst Career Path:

In the summer of 2014, I made the decision that I wanted to be a financial analyst.
Over the course of 12 months, I applied to said Financial Analyst program a total of 24 times. I utilized my network, cold called people I could find on the internal work website, reached out via LinkedIn... and not a single bite... I was deflated... I almost gave up... I accepted an offer at a boutique consulting firm and was preparing for my exit from "blank" - A company I had been loyal to for 5 years at this point. I was sad, frustrated, and felt defeated..

Three weeks prior to graduating, a gentleman by the name of "Bob" came into the local branch to make a deposit. We talked about my professional endeavors and he told me he currently works for "blank", started in retail, and is now the RVP of "Said team".

The very next day, I received TWO phone calls from TWO different recruiters. One from a Financial Analyst position I applied to on my own in Miami, Florida (I live in CA... I was determined to be a Financial Analyst even if it meant moving across the country) and another thanks to "Bob".

12 .... Months.... Later... Two Calls. Two different recruiters. Two positions. Same day.

Phone Interviews with Recruiters:

I pushed to have my phone interview ASAP as I wanted to secure a position as a Financial Analyst prior to graduation. I had a 3 week timeframe... The recruiter from Miami Florida said they knew of a potential position in "Blank" and asked if I would be interested as I lived in "Blank" - of course I said yes. I had absolutely no personal or family connection to Florida - just on the pursuit to become a Financial Analyst.

Phone interview (check) - I stumbled on one technical question and thought I bombed the interview... I cried and opened a bottle of wine to drown my sorrow. 12 months of pursuit, 24 applications later, all for a 15 min call. I felt like my dream was shattered.

Next day, phone call from a weird number while I am in the bathroom. I answered awkwardly...

Caller: "Hi this is ...". There was a weird eco in the background because of the bathroom walls. "Hi ..., this is ... from "said team". We would like to invite you to an in person interview in "blank". Silence...
More silence... *"Hello?" *

Me: "Yes, I apologize there was a weird echo. I would love to attend an in person interview. When would be a good time?"

Caller: "Are you available next week?"

Me: "Yes, yes I am".... Although it was most chaotic week of the quarter ... dreaded finals week. I didn't care. My heart was dead set on getting this job and securing it before graduation.

In-Person Interview:

In person interview happens... essentially a super day...5 hours of meeting people back to back. As I am sitting in the office with the RVP of "blank team", guess who walks by and notices me... the RVP of "other blank team", the gentleman I met while working at the retail branch. He greets me cheerfully and tells the other RVP whose interviewing me our story of how he met me. He then ends the conversation with "you should hire "my name"", and closes the door.

I walked out of that office that day on a cloud. Think Goku in Dragon Ball Z on his cloud Nimbus, but replace him with me with a massive smile on my face.

Next day, the other recruiter calls me and tells me to update her on "blank team" decision because if they choose someone else, she will schedule me for an interview with a man named "blah blah" (the ultimate of all ultimate Financial Analyst managers in the West Coast).

Success - Corporate Banking:

Fast forward - I have now been a Financial Analyst for almost two years (Sept. 6th). I am now off to join the Corporate Banking (technology, media & telecommunications) team in "blank".

Two things I want to highlight:

1) College dropout to Corporate Banker.

I would not be where I am today if it were not for the team members who make this organization so great. Between all of the mentors, managers, inspirational leaders, and support staff - I could not have pursued my education while simultaneously building my professional skill set if it were not for them.

2) Passion... grit... and tenacity.

I could have given up. I could have accepted my fate. Heck.. I could have continued selling hair straighteners (trust me, the money is not all that bad). I could have accepted the Business Banking position or went back to CSULB. I followed my instinct and intuition and now have a B.S. in Managerial Economics and am off to Corporate Banking.

How... ? It did not happen overnight. It happened because of all the little choices I made every day along the way. I am proud to say the least, but I hope this message finds someone who too has doubted or is doubting themselves. Don't give up. When people say "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade".. screw the lemonade. Squish those lemons. Do not sweeten your circumstances... push through them. You can do it... even if it takes 12 months and 24 applications later... do not give up.

Comments (38)

8/2/17

That's awesome! Keep it up, lucky that you had a good supporting team.

It's tough to school full time and work full time. I do like 45 hours a week for work and school rest.

Financial Modeling

8/2/17

Great story, congrats!

@Pump And Dump take note.

8/2/17

@Pump And Dump you can try to turn a shitty situation into gold(stein), just like OP!

And congrats OP, that's an incredible story. Hope you enjoy the new job.

8/2/17

@Howard Hughes wow, your comment meant a lot to me especially from someone of your caliber.

Anyways, op is intellectually gifted and probably had a perfect SAT since he is smart. I have an 1100 SAT so I won't be able to get far considering I'm attending CC.

Anyways congrats to you OP! I'm really happy for you and know you will make it far.

8/3/17

The phrase of the day is, "internal locus of control"

8/3/17

@Synergy_or_Syzygy this made absolutely zero sense but I will give u a SB since I am in a good mood today

8/3/17

+1 for the pun

8/2/17

Yes the OP has a very high intellect, just as that yourself who is a quantitative. Both of your stories aren't comparable to mine.

Anyways congrats OP!

8/7/17

P&D, easy tiger. How is the boiler room treating you?

8/7/17
CKC:

P&D, easy tiger. How is the boiler room treating you?

Can't find any near me

Financial Modeling

8/4/17

You know what makes me laugh. The fact that you wouldn't be in corporate banking if you hadn't met the man. You would still remain as a college dropout with hopeless aspirations. So the lesson here is: GO TO COLLEGE, KIDS

8/4/17

uh... what? This makes no sense. Furthermore, if you did not understand from the entire post already - it took nearly 10 years to get to this point. I am pretty sure the influence of a single person would not be enough to propel someone from x to y over a 10 year timeframe.

If this is in regards the gentleman in the retail store - I actually got my job in GB because of my OWN APPLICATION to a position in Miami, Fl. His comment during my interview is not enough to hire someone.... but cool story bro.

And yes, I agree that going to college was the biggest proponent to allow me to succeed. Way to state the obvious @MoneyisHappiness

8/4/17

You must be telling your story wrong because according to you, this BOB allowed you to apply for BLANK by meeting you by chance. So if anything, you got lucky buddy.

"Three weeks prior to graduating, a gentleman by the name of "Bob" came into the local branch to make a deposit. We talked about my professional endeavors and he told me he currently works for "blank", started in retail, and is now the RVP of "Said team".

The very next day, I received TWO phone calls from TWO different recruiters. One from a Financial Analyst position I applied to on my own in Miami, Florida (I live in CA... I was determined to be a Financial Analyst even if it meant moving across the country) and another thanks to "Bob".

12 .... Months.... Later... Two Calls. Two different recruiters. Two positions. Same day.

I pushed to have my phone interview ASAP as I wanted to secure a position as a Financial Analyst prior to graduation. I had a 3 week timeframe... The recruiter from Miami Florida said they knew of a potential position in "Blank" and asked if I would be interested as I lived in "Blank" - of course I said yes. I had absolutely no personal or family connection to Florida - just on the pursuit to become a Financial Analyst."

8/5/17

I stalked you on WSO as I was curious how you could be such a dick.. but it makes sense as everyone trolls you on here.

To CLARIFY as you're the only one who seems to misunderstand... something called FATE happened. I received TWO phone calls. One for the job in FL and one because of Bob. The interview and job I got was because of MY APPLICATION to FL! However, it was a relief to know I had a back up option should I have bombed the interview.

Anyway..keep trying to get into IB ;) I'll make sure to look out for someone with your demeanor and is Indian because by the time I'll be a JVP, you'll an analyst... and who knows, I could e your boss one day.

Cheers

8/7/17

Oh get a room already you two

8/7/17

You must be pretty content in your own backyard to have time for this exchange

Best Response
8/4/17

Hey, fellers. Pay attention to this - regular people are ecstatic to have jobs in corporate banking. No need to go about killing yourself cos you're not at GS/MS/JPM/BX/KKR/MBB

8/5/17

A deal is a deal is a deal. The company I work for is close to BB but not quite.. it's still interesting though when you're working on a multi billion dollar deal regardless. Experience is experience.

8/12/17

Lol. Patrick kind of encouraged people to shit on the non-HF/IB/PE/AM/MBB elites of the site. Read any of his descriptions on the interview prep packs. Always something along the lines of "Do this or suffer in Back-Office hell." Hell, one could argue that some of the MO roles are actually pretty cool and better than Corp Dev for some people.

8/4/17

This is am amazing story congrats. I think you should consider becoming an entrepreneur eventually, just because the sheer amount of grit and tenacity you have.

8/4/17

Congrats on your success! You show true grit and dedication, the best of luck to you!

8/4/17

Congrats OP can't be easy to work and do school full time. However, were you really a college dropout if you got a degree?

8/7/17

Thanks @innovativeguy11 ! Yeah, I was initially. I was kicked out of CSULB with a 1.6 GPA and floated around selling hair straighteners while working at conventions shows for 3 years. Decided to go back to school at 20 y/o, killed it at the local JC in terms of GPA, told my story to the admissions counselors for the UC's, and got accepted to a reputable university. I could probably spin my story - from college drop out to college grad from "blank school" but I wanted to tell my full story on how I got to CBG. Leaving out the first part would have felt odd because it was a big hurdle, one of many, that I had to overcome. Moral of the story for those who think its hopeless or not worth trying because they don't have x, aren't from a family with a finance background, don't have y GPA, or whatever voice saying " you can not do something" --- you can. Even if it takes a shit ton of time or more effort, if you really want something you can do it.

8/4/17

Congratulations! It is great to hear your story and it serves as an inspiration for me, as well as others.

8/4/17

Losing a parent is one of the hardest things a young person can go through. With that being said, your refusal to give up is truly inspiring. Keep doing what you're doing!

8/4/17

This post is gold. I was literally about to cry reading this post. My family was in heavy debt and to top it all off, my dad got into a huge car crash and couldn't work at all. We have no government support besides health care. My dad collects $800 workers comp and my mom makes $1000 a month living in New York for the last 10 years. I started retail banking as a teller at 18. Now, I'm 21 working at JPM as a licensed retail banker. Last year, I took home $60k and this year 70k as a retail banker and I paid off all my family debt alone. Started at a city college and was going to graduate this year, however I know that 3.0 GPA wasn't going to get me anywhere close to front office jobs. So, I left last year to attend a non-target private school in the NYC paying 40k a year because I don't qualify for aids. Full time work and school, my GPA is 3.8. Getting ready for my first official SA recruiting. That's why I laugh at the people at occupied Wall Street. My family never point fingers and blame the system, we "just do it".

8/7/17

OP & Chigga, extremely appreicaitive for the motivative stories. Keep on keepin' on.

8/7/17

Wow, thanks for sharing this personal story. I, along with most other people, hope to have as much tenacity as you described.

8/7/17

Massive congratulations - hats off to you. Lot of respect for what you've done.

8/7/17

Awesome story that I can really relate to...took me a very long time to figure out what I wanted to do after falling out with family, deciding to get my sh*t together and developing a reputation on the retail side of a regional bank in various roles while finishing school and finally getting an opportunity to move up to corporate banking...when I was 29. Lots of respect for people willing to put in the work.

8/7/17

@ofields1 - Hat off to you for pushing through! It's not easy and having a falling out with family can easily push people to go a whole different direction. I had a falling out with family too along the way... after my mom passed away, my dad remarried after only 1.5 years and moved my new step mom into the house my real mother lived (and passed away in). It was a really crappy situation. In hindsight, I wouldn't have joined the retail bank if it weren't for those circumstances thus wouldn't be in CBG at now 26 y/o. Whatever the age, we made it out of retail ! :D

8/7/17

I appreciate it! It's very encouraging to hear these kinds of stories. And you're right, we made it out! I wish you continued success!

8/7/17

I love reading this stuff.

8/8/17

Seems like you have some sort of connection?
Curious how you go from mall kiosk to banker without a degree and go up for promotion. The ops manager offer also seems a bit out of place.

Great story and inspiration but I think the early parts of it are the more important. The foot in the door is the hardest in my eyes.

Good luck

If the glove don't fit, you must acquit!

8/8/17

Investment Bankers always know how to choke me up. The movie with Will Smith "Pursuit of Happiness," where he gets the job at the end. The movie, "Wall Street" where Charlie Sheen visits his dad in the hospital and gets permission to represent him. Great Story, I love it when hard work dedication and some faith pays off!

"All men are alike in their dreams, and all men are alike in the promises
they make. The difference is what they do."-- Jean Baptiste Moliere

8/8/17

This is a true story of grit and tenacity, as accurately describe it. Congratulations.

Catanha

8/11/17
8/14/17
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