Get a load of this shit.

I'm a 27 y/o recent grad w/3.6 in finance from UMiami (good private school but not IB feeder). I did 5 yrs in the Army and was actually passionate and successful. Now I'm trying everything in my will to get into IB but haven't even gotten one interview. I did a wealth management internship in Miami but obviously recruiters couldn't care less. I'm not gonna take the bitch route and give up, actually I'm moving to NYC on savings to try to make some shit happen. I've done financial modeling, good with excel, and know what's expected of an analyst BC of the research I've done.

Although the media/gov't makes it seem like they help veterans find employment, IB aren't on that list of military friendly companies. I'm not making any excuses, nor do I think anything should be given to me. However, I need some direction. I was thinking that I go to the city and offer to intern without pay while I study for the CFA in hopes of having something for next season. Are there ways that I can network my way into an interview once I arrive? Do you come across analysts my age or that were in the military at one time? I'm not in need of immediate income or else I would have taken one of the management jobs I was offered. I'm really passionate about this and I'm not gonna stop until its realized. Any tips from here on out? I'm not choosing another career so that's out of the picture. Thanks.

-Eric

Comments (27)

Feb 27, 2017

The problem seems more "recent grad" than your military experience. 99% of IB Analysts have done a summer internship in IB in the summer of junior year. Virtually all of those had done a finance-related internship in their sophomore year as well.

What is your internship experience on your resume? Assuming you have some finance experience, the best way to get into IB for you is to aim for a very small boutique doing off-cycle recruiting. "Unpaid internship" won't work (honestly illegal for the firm to accept such an arrangement if you're not in school), and neither frankly will the CFA. Better to put in the time networking.

Otherwise, your best bet is to get into something else finance-related (e.g. FP&A) and go in after business school, which is the path for a lot of military people who had been officers post-undergrad, for example.

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Feb 26, 2017

I have 3 years of management experience as a Sergeant in the Army, the Wealth Management summer internship, and I did all of the selling and marketing for a tech start-up. It's all really good work experience but not finance related work which is my hurdle at the moment. I looked into business school but figured I needed more experience before a good school would take me.

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Best Response
Feb 26, 2017

The way to break into banking post military is to get an MBA and enter as an associate. Every BB and EB has military specific outreach programs for ex-military MBAs. To say that banks aren't military friendly is pretty uninformed to be honest. It's more that you are from a non-target school and have no relevant finance experience. Also, the CFA to break into banking is a waste of time. An MBA is much more useful as a career switcher. It's pretty late to apply to MBAs for the class of 2019, but that is your best route.

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Feb 26, 2017

IBs have massive veteran-outreach programs: OP is certainly uninformed, but the programs also tend to reach out to "non-traditional" students at targets (Columbia General Studies is a good example)

Feb 26, 2017

The only veterans I have ever seen hired by banks were Officers that had degrees before enlistment. Their military experience is valued more than enlisted. So what about the veterans who got out and then earned their degree? Those were the ones that needed the money for education in the first place..

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Feb 27, 2017

Have somebody who actually hires people review your resume and work on creating a solid 'general' resume. Looks do matter so make sure it is very pretty. Then work every connection you can. I don't care if it is your dad, a former entitled private or somebody you strike up a conversation with at a coffee shop - just get them to work for you. Give them a copy of and tell them thank you for looking at in advance. If they like what they see they will pass it along. Be sure to follow up and ask for advice. Just be aware that some firms will still require that HR selects you before the hiring manager.

The veteran programs do exist, I would try and shoot for them, but they are not 365. And from what I have seen on company websites they tend to favor officers.

Also, get a job doing something finance related. Even monkey-see-monkey-do back office work will look better and be more relevant than nothing.

Finally, when you are applying for a specific position do minor adjustments to your resume that fit the company and job. Maintain the format, but adjust a few keywords. Look at the job posting and use as much of the same verbiage as possible in your skills and experience. If the computer does not approve you the recruiter never will. When you start to get financial experience your military service will work for your benefit by differentiating you from the rest.

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Feb 27, 2017

Completely false about banks not valuing enlisted military experience. You don't see a lot of enlisted in these positions because of other reasons, including lack of interest or knowledge about the career field, not because they don't value enlisted military service. To be honest, most bankers probably have zero understanding of the enlisted/officer differences in the military.

I know a handful of enlisted veterans across a number of bugle brackets and top boutiques working in IBD.

If you want to break in, you have to do it through one of the big programs for vets at JPM or GS, or go back to school. You won't just be able to do it off the street.

Source: I was enlisted and then went to school. I interned in IBD at a bulge my soph summer an EB my junior summer, now full time at an EB.

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Feb 26, 2017

Yeah hate to break it to you it's not the fact that you're a vet or older. Your internships are lacking compared to most other applicants and a 3.6 from Miami isn't doing anything for you. Unfortunately don't think anyone considers Miami a good private school - that would be the Ivies or top LACs like Amherst, Williams, etc.

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Feb 26, 2017

You don't have to hate to break it to me. I know what I have and how its perceived. Luckily, I'll have the shot sooner or later and I'll shine just like I have in the past. Thanks for the motivation though.

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Feb 26, 2017

44th ranked school in the nation...I said in my original post that it isn't a feeder school

Feb 28, 2017

I am a vet.

You wreak of entitlement and desperation. No doubt this comes through while you're networking or interviewing. That's the problem. I don't think you really have a firm grasp on how breaking into this industry works.

Feb 26, 2017

Having been in unorthodox positions where it seemed impossible to get a job (even in high school), I can tell you the best thing you can do is to network. Obviously, take the advice of everyone else on this forum, as they are well-informed and probably more than me. However there is no harm in networking. I'm not sure if you have been already, but find ex-enlisted vets in IBD positions via linkedin. Reach out to every single one of them and ask them for advice. Also reach out to every UMiami alumnus you can find. You should go literally ape shit (I mean literally) with the amount of contacts you reach out to. Surely, someone can shed some advice. I also disagree with the notion that your military experience is holding you back (unless you're in reserves/national guard atm) and I think you can have great potential if you reached out to similar contacts on linkedin. Also create a killer story that wins everyone's heart, and be sure to explain it in depth at the beginning of any cold-call you make.

Thank you for your service. Don't give up, and keep pushing brotha. Big things are in store for you; you just have to knock down some walls; but that's the fun part.

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Feb 27, 2017

Look for programs that target veterans. Try to find some servicemen/women on LinkedIn to speak with.

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Feb 27, 2017

Lol you don't move to NY to become a banker. You're a banker so you move to NY. If it was that easy, everyone would move there

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Feb 26, 2017

Ok, whatever that means. Never said it would be easy guy.

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Feb 27, 2017

"Get a load of this shit" seems a lot more applicable to your attitude towards breaking in. You completed an entire undergrad degree without any relevant finance experiences, a banking internship, or networking at all at a non-targ school to boot? Somehow, you're acting surprised that you're having trouble breaking into an analyst role.

On advice, you missed the boat for analyst roles at MM/BB programs. At this point, you best options are to try to network with boutique shops that will take someone with, again, literally no experience, try to get other finance experience (HF/PE/Corp dev/ER/etc) in an analyst or internship role and try to jump to IB analyst role from there, or set yourself up with a role to target a top MBA program (big 4, corp fin, etc).

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Feb 27, 2017

bb actually has specific resources dedicated to military folks...

Feb 27, 2017

You've got the wrong attitude and things are only going to get harder. I went to FIU Undergrad (if you think coming out of UM is bad....), graduated and had people tell me to work my way up from a teller position in retail banking. I had zero internships and but worked full-time in crappy sales jobs. I was able to leverage some relationships from extended acquaintances and get into business valuation in an accounting firm (after searching for months after graduation).

I have CFA Level 1 under my belt and I'm hoping that completing the charter will open doors, but I know no one is going to bring in a ?30 year old analyst (referring to myself). I'm in commercial real-estate now because it's South Florida and there are a ton more options here in CRE than in IB. If I were you I'd start to improvise and figure a way that you can work your way in with some experience in related fields (like I did in accounting). Oh and since you're looking for motivation I do know a guy that came out of UM undergrad into a GS Analyst role in NYC. He went from there into a MM PE firm. So it's possible. But more importantly, I don't think you're going to get any looks if your resume goes from graduation and you have 12 months of unemployment to explain because you were sitting for the CFA.

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Feb 27, 2017

Honestly you sound like a bit of a douche bag because of the title of this post. It makes you sound like you are entitled to a job in IB. I don't think you are, but perception is important.

To be blunt, it's your credentials. You are trying to break into arguably the most competitive field in banking in the most competitive market. You have a good GPA from a good school, but a non-target for many NYC based firms. Although you've got the leadership experience, you don't have any relevant experience.

As hard as this is, you have to remember that you're competing against kids who graduated with a 4.0 from Harvard and have three internships in IBD. It's the sad truth, but that doesn't mean you're completely out of it.

First off, I would have looked at who Miami targets. Florida is big and there's certainly opportunity even though it's not NYC. Check out niche firms, boutiques, etc. The reason I say this is that you're in a unique situation. You're at a bit of a disadvantage, but you have the veteran program opportunities. If you have any connections from being in the south, I would use them.

Next is networking, but enough people have touched on that.

If you need experience for B-school to get your MBA, why don't you try to find a decent and relevant job and use that as the experience? Try to get into a top program and go from there.

Try to apply to every veterans program that you can regardless of where and who. If you get through the process and you don't want to take it, then don't.

Lastly, be open to internships. It gives you experience, money, and could land you in the job that you want.

Remember, a career is probably 40 years and it can take a while to find your place.

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Feb 27, 2017

If everyone on this forum is suggesting reaching out to vets in the industry for help, and your assertion that banks mostly hire former officers is correct, what do you have to gain by suggesting these officers were given an unfairly easy path? Seems like it only serves to help you feel better about why you have not broken in yet.

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Feb 27, 2017

Officers don't have it easier, just a straighter shot upon exit of service. Fundamentally, both approaches do require a 4 year degree and years of your life serving in the military at a minimum. Veteran programs that require a 4 year degree completed within 2 years of leaving the service are geared more towards officers (these are the veteran programs I remember seeing after I graduated). This will be next to impossible for the majority of enlisted to ever achieve. Especially when accounting for deployment cycles - some support MOS's may have a shot at completing a 2 or 4 year degree while serving. However, with combat arms, forget it. But, rank does have its privileges and that is a fact of life.

Reaching out to a mentor that is a vet is definitely going to be more helpful than the average analyst, associate or VP. They are probably able to help navigate the veteran programs and offer advice in landing the position.

As mentioned above by other posters, getting into IB positions is by no means impossible from the enlisted side. It will require some related experience - which the OP pointed out that they are going to accomplish. They are just pointing out that these firms are not as veteran friendly as they may allow themselves to appear. It is a matter of perspective. At least the OP isn't freaking out about having to pass a drug test.

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Feb 27, 2017

There are many, many more opportunities in finance for current veteran students than there are for those looking to transition after getting their degree. If you can't knock out enough credit while servicing to have less than two years to go on a degree after separation, you probably aren't cut out for banking anyway.

The biggest challenge the enlisted face is being pushed toward the "military-friendly" degree factories that either won't be allowed for transfer credit or are the least possible on the target scale so as to dig a nearly impossible hole. Veterans have legs up in both the college admissions process and the internships process and can do very well recruiting if they plan ahead.

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Feb 27, 2017

I am in a similar situation. I wish I had an answer to help guide you, but I don't really have a concrete advice as to how to break into the field. I wish you the best with your future endeavors though and hope you are able to accomplish your goals!

Charlie Chaplin entered a Charlie Chaplin look-alike contest in Monte Carlo and came in third. Now that's a story. This... is something else.

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Feb 26, 2017

To clarify (I now see how the title can be misleading), I'm not complaining about veteran programs at banks, claiming I'm entitled to any interview, or diminishing the credentials of anyone who has landed a spot. I simply wanted some advice given my background.

Thanks for all of the advice and positivity and more is welcomed. Just since this thread started, I've gotten an informational interview with a BB Associate that used to be a Captain in the unit I deployed with. Time to grind...

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Feb 27, 2017

Solid!

Feb 28, 2017
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Mar 1, 2017
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