Getting a summer internship (Not the usual story, please read)

Hello

I was planning to write this in prose, but I figured nobody would care to read. So, I reduced my life story to bullet points -

a. Poor family in third world country, bed-ridden father and piling debts. Had to work part and full-time jobs since 14 to run family.

b. Been interested in buying and selling stuff since childhood, which culminated in 2007 when I opened a investment advising service to local clients under a larger wealth management company. We have risen from 4 to 50 clients in four years.

c. Got into a US target school with a full scholarship, something that is very rare for international students

d. In freshman year, had to suffer from series of illnesses and subsequent depression. Problems grew progressively worse to a point where I failed classes in second semester and was sent back home.

e. Back in India, I interned at a stock broking company as a trading analyst for 6 months. Gave required capital and derivatives markets trading exams required to do independent trading for clients.

f. Back in the US target school, I'm doing fairly well in classes and managing my company from here with my mother as the operator.

Now that you know a little about myself, here's my problem. In my freshman year my gpa was below 2.0. This semester my gpa is a little above 3.0 and in the next two semesters it will be well above 3.0. But my overall gpa will still be an abysmal figure thanks to my first year debacle.

How do I explain this to the people in the bank? How will I ever get an internship when junior year comes around? What should I do?

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Comments (12)

Mar 27, 2011 - 11:57am

You have a pretty compelling story to justify the GPA. As long as you're able to network, that will get you past the GPA (which is just a filter for candidates when choosing for interviews) and once in the interview, being able to articulate that story into something coherent ought to get you any job just for determination.

I am permanently behind on PMs, it's not personal.

Mar 27, 2011 - 1:16pm

Networking. It's what gets you an interview and bypasses the resume selection process. If you network through OCR (you mentioned you're at a target) and info sessions and all that, you'll get some contacts at all these firms. You leverage that to get you a leg up in the recruiting process because they'll already know who you are and it's not a blind shot in the dark when they pull a candidate in off a paper submission.

There are small ways to include a bit of your story in your resume, I've seen kids include a line about fully-self financed education, single parent families, extreme duress that affected their financial eligibility or academic standing. There are ways to do it.

I am permanently behind on PMs, it's not personal.

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Mar 27, 2011 - 3:41pm

Thank you all for your kind words! But how exactly does one tell a story like this to a company rep in an info session surrounded by a hundred other networking hopefuls?

@acs_london: It was pretty third-world when and where I grew up. Although the govt may have upgraded its socio-economic image on a global scale, locally and intrinsically it is still a sorry mess.

Mar 27, 2011 - 6:23pm
am247:
Thank you all for your kind words! But how exactly does one tell a story like this to a company rep in an info session surrounded by a hundred other networking hopefuls?

@acs_london: It was pretty third-world when and where I grew up. Although the govt may have upgraded its socio-economic image on a global scale, locally and intrinsically it is still a sorry mess.

Maybe, but first, second and third world are derogatory references and they are not referred to as such anymore. It is still pretty poor and corrupt and what not, still do not insult my country. Thanks.

Mar 27, 2011 - 4:12pm

You don't have to tell the story during networking. You have to be a likable, intelligent, not-drooling kid. Don't overestimate your competition, number one rule. Listen to what's said in the session, make sure you remember who said what, try to remember names if you can, and talk to each about whatever it was they said. Try to be interesting, tie it into a current event or something you're studying but don't be overbearing. Be conversant and interesting, and above all, brief. Don't sit there and grill the guy into the ground.

That makes you a better choice than some random they can only see on paper, and once you're in the interview, then your story begins to be important.

I am permanently behind on PMs, it's not personal.

Mar 27, 2011 - 6:32pm

I'm sorry if I've hurt your feelings. I did not mean to use the term in a derogatory sense, and I'm sure nobody does now. I just meant it to be a reference point, like differences in available opportunities etc. It is my country too y'know.

Mar 28, 2011 - 4:35am

They may be derogatory to you, and I'd apologize for offending you, but when members of the UN Council still use that terminology to refer to countries around the world, I fail to see how it's inappropriate.

I am permanently behind on PMs, it's not personal.

Nov 19, 2011 - 12:00am

As an Indo-Canadian I have to agree that numerous parts of India are certainly impoverished.

OP, you have a compelling story and you'll certainly do fine if you put some additional effort into communicating the set-backs and hurdles you had to overcome

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