From No-Name College to Buy-Side Out of Undergrad

Hello all,

Long time lurker and first time poster. I just wanted to share how much WSO has helped me.

4 Years ago

I was a no-name at a no-name university and had nearly failed out of High-school. I decided one day to sit down and change my life (after receiving a LOUD wake-up call). So, I did what any money-hungry little freshman would do and literally googled, "what jobs make the most money?" My more naive self found that there were surgeons and hedge fund managers pulling in the dough, and I was not about to go to med school.

I ended up turning my life around

I lost 20lbs, getting a girlfriend, and eventually receiving a 4.0 after my first year. I applied to better schools near me (as a family member was sick and I needed to be near her). I was accepted into a semi-target in Texas.

After partying my way through Sophomore year, I decided it was time to refocus. I made another 4.0 the first semester my junior year and decided after a drunken night that Id like to enter proprietary trading. So, I used WSO's interview guide and prop shop list and applied to over 80 proprietary firms all over the United States.

Only one of them accepted me and I spent my junior summer there.

Change of Plans

After coming into my senior year I decided I did not want to do prop trading. This was a major problem as I did not have much deal exposure, or really any experience at all. I also knew I did not want to do investment banking (as many of my friends had done it and I did not think Id like it). So I went back to my roots. I applied to hedge funds.

Using one of the forums on this site I contacted as many hedge funds as I could: Cold-emailing, Cold-Calling, and speaking to numerous people. I even sent in a physical resume to over 100 different firms. I got about 10 responses. Only 3 interviews.

I eventually found out that one of the 3 funds that I thought was a hedge fund was a Family Office (~1 Bil AUM) that was invested fully in Private Equity. I really like their work, and aced all 6 rounds of interviews. They eventually extended an offer to me that I accepted. I will be working as a private equity associate.

Without WSO none of this would have been possible and I am very happy to say that I am finally on the path that I was meant to be on.

I am sure I will get grilled for this post, but if there are any questions I can answer please ask, and I will get to them right away.

WSO Elite Modeling Package

  • 6 courses to mastery: Excel, Financial Statement, LBO, M&A, Valuation and DCF
  • Elite instructors from top BB investment banks and private equity megafunds
  • Includes Company DB + Video Library Access (1 year)

Comments (27)

Best Response
Apr 11, 2018 - 2:42am

The Family Office interview was very long and tedious.
There were 2 phone interviews that consisted of technicals. Think "Whats an EBITA Multiple?", "Whats the CAPM?", "Explain the J-Curve." Then the in-office interview was VERY behavioral.
They even asked my religious preference.
There were 5 interviews in the office, the final one a meeting with the fund manager, where he explained a bit of his life story.
They put me through the ringer with IQ tests and other online tests of the like as well which I found very odd.
They gave me an offer THE DAY OF my final interview.

  • 5
Learn More

300+ video lessons across 6 modeling courses taught by elite practitioners at the top investment banks and private equity funds -- Excel Modeling -- Financial Statement Modeling -- M&A Modeling -- LBO Modeling -- DCF and Valuation Modeling -- ALL INCLUDED + 2 Huge Bonuses.

Learn more
Apr 14, 2018 - 2:00pm

From another one of my posts:
My starting comp (in a low COL city):
Salary: 70-75k
Bonus: 10-40k (Highly dependent on the fund and personal performance)
Full Benefits (401k and all that)
Carry (IDK how much) and Co-Invest available in 2 years, when salary and bonuses are presumably up 10-20% each.
I know one guy whos my age but 2 years out that has 300BP carry so take that as you will.

  • 1
Apr 18, 2018 - 12:48am

Eos et aspernatur optio quasi quia facilis qui. Minima et atque a occaecati quis. Sit velit ad unde cupiditate optio tempora expedita.

Aperiam quas eos non maxime recusandae maiores. Labore qui consequuntur tempore itaque sapiente minima.

Aliquid possimus perspiciatis alias assumenda libero amet quae. Consequatur vitae expedita modi enim eum rem.

Start Discussion

Total Avg Compensation

September 2021 Investment Banking

  • Director/MD (10) $853
  • Vice President (38) $367
  • Associates (218) $232
  • 2nd Year Analyst (130) $153
  • 3rd+ Year Analyst (30) $147
  • Intern/Summer Associate (102) $144
  • 1st Year Analyst (478) $135
  • Intern/Summer Analyst (375) $82