Georgetown U Student Investment Fund (GUSIF)?

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I'm a current freshman at Georgetown and it seems extremely difficult to get into some of the top finance/consulting clubs on campus (acceptance rates < 5% which is scary). In general, how important is getting into a top finance club like the Student investment fund for Wall St. recruiting? 

It seems like alumni from these clubs all place extremely well, and most students who have landed top BB/EB offers are a part of a finance/consulting club. Is this just a product of Gtown's competitive student body or is it common across all target school campuses?

The club app cycle this fall has destroyed me with rejections and I don't want to lose hope for SA recruiting if I can't even get into on-campus clubs.

 

I know I'm just a freshman and I have time, but I am still worried so any advice would be greatly appreciated!

UPDATE: I heard back from GUSIF today and got a first round interview! I didn't intend for this thread to blow up like it did, but thanks to everyone who contributed thoughtful, supportive comments and advice. I really appreciate it.

Final Update: Didn't make it past the first round. It was a great learning experience and I will definitely come in swingin next semester. Thank you again everyone for your advice and support!

Comments (113)

 
  • Intern in IB - Ind
Sep 15, 2020 - 3:28pm

I'm a senior at a target also and while it does seem lots of kids in these investment clubs place really well, it really is not a deciding factor in SA recruiting. Like you said, you are a freshman, so you have time. Can't you keep reapplying to these clubs at Gtown? Or is a rejection final?

 
Controversial
  • Intern in PE - Other
Sep 15, 2020 - 3:31pm

GUPREF kids place better than GUSIF. Direct to buyside with firms like Blackstone and Starwood

Array
 
  • Prospect in HF - EquityHedge
Sep 15, 2020 - 3:51pm

only if you want to do real estate (which will silo yourself and not many people want to do RE). Other than that, for traditional M&A, top tier coverage groups, and EBs, GUSIF is the place to be, no comparison with gupref. Also, GUSIF has been around for a long time so the brand value is strong, the education program has been refined over years, and it is very very well run. But you will be fine tbh- can reapply multiple times and Georgetown does well with IB recruiting. Just have fun, follow the markets, read some investing books, and network.

 
  • Intern in IB - Restr
Sep 15, 2020 - 3:41pm

Honestly these clubs are a nice thing to have, but really not necessary for IB recruiting. You can keep applying, so you’re bound to get into at least one if you keep at it the next two semesters, and even if you only get one acceptance you’ll be in an excellent spot for recruiting. Even if you don’t, there are still a ton of people who get great offers and don’t have the standard preprofessional clubs on their resume. If you’re truly passionate about investing (and not just looking for an IB job), I would join GCI and try to learn as much as you can, then re-apply in the coming semester. Just take things one step at a time and do things you truly enjoy. Georgetown is a great brand so you’ll be fine no matter what. 

 
Sep 15, 2020 - 3:45pm

Don't worry man, I got rejected from a bunch of these clubs and just finally got into one this fall. You just have to keep applying and practicing interviewing. You should look at GCI. All you have to do is the training program and take a midterm. Then you have to do a stock pitch to the student body but its not to bad. Don't give up yet, you'll get into something 

 
  • Intern in IB-M&A
Sep 15, 2020 - 4:52pm

Would also look into Georgetown Collegiate Investors. Same type of placement at top BB/EB but they operate as their own private investment firm (not a club). Heard their acceptance rate is around 11%. 

 
  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
Sep 16, 2020 - 1:14pm

Actually most GCI kids recruit for IB, just this year the board is heavily Equity Research kids (think the idea was to pivot the goals of what the fund does in research and investing, rather than how the fund recruits). The previous couple of boards were guys who went into IB at MS, PJT, UBS, DB. Plus, over the last couple of years, plenty of analysts and PMs placed at GS, JPM, MS, Laz, Barclays, HL, and the like. 

 
Sep 15, 2020 - 5:36pm

Hey, I’m a freshman at Georgetown too. And club apps have been rough, but I think you just gotta find the resources that’ll help you build skills and go from there. Others have suggested GCI which is a good alternative. And if there’s anything else you find interesting you should probably pursue that.

 
Sep 15, 2020 - 5:55pm

Senior here. incoming BB IB and not in any finance clubs nor the MSB.

  1. Get a good GPA
  2. Do intro to accounting and be ready for interviews: technicals / why IB?
  3. Find something you truly ENJOY at Georgetown that will lead to leadership opportunities.
  4. Be Authentic
  5. Be intellectually curious
  6. Be social

That being said, joining finance clubs / the business school will help you stay in the loop about networking events, connect you to alumni and make crafting your story simpler.

Regardless, if are involved, driven and keep your wits about you, you will find success.

Lmk if you need guidance.

 
  • Intern in Consulting
Sep 15, 2020 - 5:57pm

I know you mentioned consulting in your original post, so it could be interesting to explore that as well. You can also apply to GGC or Innovo, they both have great communities and are less competitve than Hilltop. Best of luck

 
  • Prospect in IB - Gen
Sep 15, 2020 - 6:17pm

lol I'm in GCI and seriously, the training and experience that you get from either club is def enough for recruiting. ig the only thing GUSIF has over us is the stronger alumni network and not having to invest your own money LOL

 
  • Analyst 1 in IB - ECM
Sep 15, 2020 - 6:27pm

hows is this trending? this is pathetic. i had an inkling that gtwn had a club culture problem, but not like this. u guys have to stick up for each other in the big picture of things

 
  • Intern in IB - Gen
Sep 15, 2020 - 7:27pm

It definitely helps to be in GUSIF or Hilltop, but it's more correlation than causation and you are definitely not shut out from opportunities if you're not in GUSIF/Hilltop

 
  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Sep 15, 2020 - 8:21pm

I wouldn't sweat it too much--GCI is a great option in the meantime. While GUSIF does place better in recruiting, the kind of work you are doing is essentially the same.

 
  • Associate 2 in IB-M&A
Sep 16, 2020 - 1:42am

I went to a large, target-ish state school (think Cal, UMich, UVA), but my parents went to Georgetown and so I hope to provide some insight. A competitive club culture is certainly not unique to Georgetown, as most target schools will have extremely motivated students vying for just a handful of internships and jobs on Wall Street. The clubs on campus are a great way to gain exposure to the industry and so many times these clubs will have very competitive application processes. But, like many others have said, I don't believe getting into these clubs is as important as it seems.

To OP: focus on exploring your interest in finance through other means/through less competitive clubs. The culture at your school may differ, but I know for a fact that Georgetown alumni are always there to pull for each other. Look for ways to differentiate yourself instead of depending upon a school club on your resume. It could be doing research with a professor, exploring a new hobby, or starting a new project for yourself. Interviewers would much rather listen to how you began a cool startup in your freshman year than how you learned about the DCF in GUSIF.

The finance knowledge will come through studying and the alumni network is there for you. Don't be discouraged by club apps - keep your head up and good luck!

 
Sep 16, 2020 - 9:23am

Former Georgetown Collegiate Investors (GCI) board member (and not an ops role on it) and now gtown alum here, popping in after a friend showed me this thread. For all non-gtown people who bother to read this, yea the club culture can be silly, but it has its uses; it just shouldn't be taken too seriously.

For gtown virtual freshmen (rlly feel bad for you guys btw), here's the scoop: GUSIF has a smaller, more exclusive membership and imo higher pitch standards. They receive their money ($600-700k) from the school's endowment. GCI is an LLC not endorsed by gtown that operates as an investment club (generally ~$110k pooled) with a minimum investment per member. I'd venture to say GCI is harder to run because it has more responsibilites in terms of administration, record-keeping, taxes, etc., and it spends more time on training than GUSIF. 

In terms of board placement, both do well. GUSIF is fairly impressive every board I've seen, with a line-up of BBs and EBs, though I know a few in the past who quit Wall Street altogether. GCI's board and other leadership in the past few years has placed at MS, GS, JPM, Blackstone, Lazard, PJT, DB, UBS, and some hedge funds, among other places. I hope this gives a better perspective. 

I could go into more detail about the two funds on campus, but I'll hold off here. If you don't get into GUSIF, go for GCI, and/or GUPREF if you like RE. If any new gtown hardo has any questions, feel free to PM me. Best of luck starting your college years virtually, it's shame your're missing out on a beautiful Georgetown autumn. 

 

 
  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
Sep 16, 2020 - 2:00pm

Having been in both GUSIF and GCI, I think I'll chime in just a little bit here to point out some more key differences to consider for current Gtown underclassmen:

1) What you do and learn - What you'll do in GUSIF and GCI is largely the same kind of work: researching and pitching investment opportunities. You will essentially learn the same stuff (especially if you want to prepare for finance recruiting). Main difference I found is that, as the above guy mentioned, GUSIF does generally hold pitches and financial modeling to a higher standard, adhering with a pretty rigid structure in both work and organization which I think can build a pretty good work discipline. On the other hand, I saw GCI as more meritocratic: anyone from their first semester in had as much free reign to contribute new ideas and work towards them as their PMs and board members did, which did enable a lot of creative opportunities to grow and learn. It's up to you which kind of environment you prefer. 

2) Alumni Network - with GCI being larger (around same number of analysts as GUSIF but a ton of student investors who are counted as GCI members too), GCI definitely has a far more extensive alumni network, which also spans further than just banking (e.g. consulting, trading, public sector). GUSIF's network is more involved and more likely to connect with you based on the fact that you were in GUSIF too; however, I do think that Georgetown alum in general are more than likely happy to connect just based on the Hoya Saxa pride alone.

3) Prestige and Placement - I think perceived prestige is a big factor that a lot of students consider, and is rampant here on WSO as well. And having been in both organizations, I've seen firsthand the conversations that both club's boards were having about trying to make sure they look better than the other. Things we factor in to this are often the public optics, the acceptance rate, and the career placement. GUSIF has prestige for having a harder interview process and using the school's endowment for investing. GCI has prestige for being an independent organization with sleeker marketing techniques (great website). In my opinion, none of that matters anymore when you're actually in a job interview; your interviewer (unless they're a fresh georgetown grad) won't know the difference between the two, so it's just about what you've learned and how you can talk about it. I think your placement ops are roughly the same at either, and the onus is more on YOU and how you network and prepare for the recruitment timeline. Both clubs have a lot of inside scoop on the timeline of events for banking recruitment, and GCI even had professional development events to teach you about how the timeline works. So you'll get the same level opportunity at both, just different flavors, and it's just about how you capitalize on it.

4) Getting in - For GUSIF, it's the application, then a first round interview, then a final round interview to become an analyst (when I was a freshman I was astounded by how serious this club shit really was). For GCI, there's two routes. A: You can apply, and then interview to become an analyst. B: You can go through a semester long training and test in to become an analyst the next semester. GUSIF accepts around 15-20 out of 200+ applicants. GCI accepts ~10 out of ~100 applicants out of interviews, and then anywhere from 60-80% through the training program. Easiest thing to do is apply and hopefully interview to both. If you don't get in to either GUSIF or GCI then go into the GCI training program and try that out. 

5) Culture - A lot of social life at Georgetown is predicated around which organizations you're in. But when it comes to pre-professional orgs there really isn't much social life gain no matter how much they try to sell you on having better parties than the other (although maybe they can't use that argument in the age of COVID...). As far as club culture, I think the key takeaway is the buttoned-up rigidity of GUSIF (do your work the right way and you'll get promoted) vs the more get-out-what-you-put-in meritocracy of GCI (take initiative and you'll be rewarded for it). That being said, I've met some of my smartest peers in both organizations and some of my most annoying peers in both organizations. My best advice for culture: join Greek Life.

 
  • Intern in PE - Other
Sep 16, 2020 - 2:58pm

It's definitely worth looking at GUPREF as an organization to join for those who don't know exactly where in finance they would like to end up. The Steers Center provides great connections especially with the faculty advisors and the alum working in the field. The most recent alum of GUPREF have also been successful in all areas of high finance (M&A, REPE, IB, etc...). In addition, during COVID, the Steers Center uniquely placed GUPREF students with projects (paid) that counted as internship work for everyone that lost internships. GUPREF is also the only club to get fully funded career treks to NYC and Philly and DC. The amount of support by the Steers Center is unparalelled, and honestly makes GUPREF one of the better clubs on campus. 

Array
 
Sep 16, 2020 - 11:49am

Dude. Take a deep breath and relax. You're a freshman at a great school and can definitely break into high finance with a good gpa and some networking. Keep that GPA up and enjoy the social scene. You'll look back on undergrad and think about the friends you wish you spent more time with- the girls you wish you hit on- parties you wish you went to- etc... Not what finance clubs you were in.

 
  • Prospect in IB - Restr
Sep 16, 2020 - 1:31pm

I recently transferred into Gtown as a sophomore, and have had the same problem with fumbling interview after interview. As you're a freshman, I would say to keep your head up and just take a longer view. Including this cycle, you have 4 chances to join a pre-professional club. You've already gained valuable interview experience and will probably know what to do/not to do going forwards, and there's a lot of time to add interesting things to your resume outside of clubs.  

I will say though, that from my experience this semester as well as having read through this cursed thread, that the club culture is my least favorite aspect of Georgetown. 

 
Sep 16, 2020 - 2:41pm

Just a suggestion. But its good your thinking about it early. Why not start reaching out to people in the club and the person who runs it/

path less traveled

 
  • Summer Associate in IB - Gen
Sep 16, 2020 - 2:43pm

This definitely isn't just a Georgetown thing, it's worse at top targets like NYU Stern and Wharton. I've even heard of undergrads transferring out if they can't get into finance/consulting clubs. I lowkey feel as this competitiveness leads to really great placement in general though. There are tons of Gtown students across the street almost as if it's a byproduct of their drive/determination and alumni network. 

 
  • Prospect in Other
Sep 22, 2020 - 12:14pm

why wouldn't it be beneficial to put Incoming in your headline? (not a post or work experience update) 

1) you can connect with others in your analyst class before your internship

2) you could get looks from HH for FT PE recruiting depending on where you're headed

3) underclassmen can reach out to talk to you about recruiting for specific firms that don't do OCR

4) hell, you've prepared and networked your ass off for months (even years), what's the harm in adding the Incoming headline?

I get that people will think "incoming summer analyst..." is just bragging but if everyone's going to find out where you're headed anyways, why not put it early to connect with others and potentially open doors for FT recruiting?

 
  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Sep 16, 2020 - 7:21pm

Lol...

Array
 
  • Prospect in IB - Treas
Sep 17, 2020 - 12:04pm

im assuming most applicants to these clubs are freshmen with no experience at all so how do they even decide who would be a good fit for the club

 
  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Sep 28, 2020 - 7:36pm

This is actually true lol. Especially first semester freshman year, GUSIF basically takes people from "target" high schools since what else is there to know? Plenty of high school or sibling connection admissions early on. But you do get four tries in four semesters for most of these clubs so by the time you build your network on campus, you could get into something. I guess its a good way to get accustomed to how easy/hard banking recruiting is depending on your background..

 
Sep 17, 2020 - 12:12pm

Hey, best of luck with your interviews. I was in GUSIF for a few semesters and it was one of my best Gtown experiences, but don't sweat it if you don't get in your first semester - I had to reapply. In fact, I think the only current board member who got in their freshman fall is the CEO.

 

Would also definitely recommend doing the GCI training program first semester, it's pretty helpful if you do want to re-recruit for GUSIF.

 
Sep 17, 2020 - 3:16pm

GUSIF is definitely the more prestigious investment club when you look at placement. GUASFCU also places well and has a good social scene. GCI doesn't have this prestige due to the almost 100% acceptance rate and lack of social cohesion. That being said, unless interviewers are recent Gtown grads, no one will know much of a difference between these clubs. It's really what you make of it, what you learn, and how you can convey your relevant experience in networking/interviews. I personally believe club culture at Georgetown is moderately overrated and you'll realize many of these club board members will admit in private that it's kind of a joke how seriously we viewed it as freshmen. With extremely low acceptance rates within a top institution, you'll naturally yield high performing go-getters who will recruit well. This doesn't mean that if you're not accepted into one of these clubs that you can't place at a BB or top consulting firm. As for interview advice though, you need to pass the bar of competency, but also don't take it too seriously and show that you're a fun, sociable person.

 
  • Analyst 1 in Other
Sep 17, 2020 - 4:42pm

Was pretty involved in GCI so I can add insight. As GUSIF has expanded its classes in the last few years, I feel like the average placement quality has fell. While GCI won't hurt your application (if your ultimate goal is to get a BB/EB IB), but it won't exactly help either (with the catchet that GUSIF has + the alums. Ultimately many members from both clubs place well, with GCI as the larger club having more failures and more people not doing finance. GCI also has lots of behind the scenes problems so they have spent a lot of time and resources dealing with those. However, GCI doesn't have much of a social scene at all, (and I haven't heard glowing reviews of the GUSIF social scene), so make sure to apply to clubs that you think you'd actually enjoy.

 
  • Intern in IB - Gen
Sep 17, 2020 - 6:05pm

do these clubs particularly matter at Georgetown? I've seen people place into BB/EB without them. Are these clubs more educational or preprofessional? And does GUSIF track placement? 

Array

 
  • Intern in IB - Gen
Sep 19, 2020 - 7:48pm

The daddy of these clubs is GUASFCU, has the widest alumni network and they aren't hiring this semester so you have plenty opportunities don't worry!

 
  • Intern in IB - Gen
Sep 21, 2020 - 1:37am

anyone on here actually get in this sem? friend (whose a PM) told me they accepted like 10 kids after a   "record amt of applications" (didn't tell me exact number)

 
Sep 21, 2020 - 1:12pm

I know the GUSIF Board has had placements at Top Firms (think Accenture, Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Bulge Bracket Investment Banks that aren't Goldman Sachs). If you're looking for jobs like this I would highly recommend networking with upperclassmen that are in GUSIF (good use of time). These upperclassmen will know how to get you placed at one of these firms.

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