Got rejected for even the first round interview because my MBA grade is about average, despite BB and mega fund experience

collahola's picture
Rank: Baboon | 123

More for the sake of networking, I applied for a bunch of IB jobs but got rejected for even the first round interviews where I expected to meet people face to face. Emailed HR and feedback is that my MBA grade is right around average, and they don't see me as competitive in my finance capability.

Well, I spent 3 yrs in bulge bracket (leveraged finance) and 2 yrs in mega fund pre-MBA (across credit and direct PE), and I'm pretty sure these are on my resume, if not bold with font size 80.

Am I the only one living in a whole new world?

Comments (33)

Most Helpful
Nov 7, 2019

Well you're clearly not going to a top MBA if you don't have grade non-disclosure

    • 9
Nov 7, 2019

Let me clarify - I'm doing a top 1/2 MBA in Canada to fulfill permanent residence obligation. No option for me to do US MBA.

Nov 7, 2019
collahola:

Let me clarify - I'm doing a top 1/2 MBA in Canada to fulfill permanent residence obligation. No option for me to do US MBA.

They have reputable MBAs in Canada?

Where did you do your Levfin and MF experience?

    • 1
Nov 7, 2019

Why are you going back to IB after 2 years in IB + PE experience? They probably think you're trolling going back as a post-MBA associate

Nov 7, 2019

Like I said, my main objective to go thru the interview process is to meet people face to face, and then take the networking/discussion from there. Wouldn't hurt either to explore what's out there beyond the posted job opp.

The responses I got was specifically from HR, who I believe are in charge of first round screening.

Nov 7, 2019

Where to start...You have thinks backward, you're suppose to be networking with people AHEAD of applying / interviewing. No offense, but your attitude is kind of entitled, you think you so good that banks will interview you so you can do some networking and figure out what's out there... It's pretty easy to see right through, you're not interested in banking as a career and that's why you're not getting any interviews.

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Nov 7, 2019

Lol yea man you're in reverse gear...that's now how you approach the recruiting process. This is seriously too surreal to believe given your background...

Array

    • 1
Nov 7, 2019
collahola:

Wouldn't hurt either to explore what's out there beyond the posted job opp.

Walk me through this plan? You've applied for a specific job, and you're hoping to show up to an interview for that job, in order to talk about opportunities that aren't that job?

Nov 7, 2019

Let me ask you how's your verbal English?

Array

Nov 7, 2019

Seems like you have 0 experience with recruiting in the US

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  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Nov 7, 2019

I'm not following the op. In one of his earlier posts he says he's at Wharton for his mba. Now he's at a Canadian school. This guy is full of shit

    • 1
Nov 7, 2019

The post you may be referencing says "Note the names used below do not reflect reality, but close"

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Nov 7, 2019

Yeah but Wharton doesn't even come close to a Canadian school LOL...how can he equate the two ...

    • 2
Nov 7, 2019

Also you seem surprised that Asia banking/PE experience gets a 90% discount in the eyes of US IBD
You should have known that going in
I'm from Asia too and had to take that into consideration (had options for IBD (not levfin) in HK BBs)

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  • Associate 2 in CorpDev
Nov 10, 2019

Have also noticed the huge discount on Asian IB experience mate - any insight into why this might be the case?

  • Associate 1 in IB-M&A
Nov 10, 2019

Yes because it doesn't has the same level of
Prestige as North America / London where standard and quality of work is much higher and so are the ppl working (as evident from the education background)

  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
Nov 10, 2019

There's a huge difference in
1. Quality of work
2. Quality of candidates (I know a ton of people going to HK BBs and let's say they're not even on the same level as those doing banking here, in every level from technicals to polish)
3. Interesting deals (ie hk does a lot of ipos compared to true M&As)

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Nov 7, 2019

Ok I want to be helpful to the OP. As someone asked above, communication may be what's holding the OP back. He probably went to a great school in Asia, can write decently but lacks the polish that's required for North American pe roles / ib / consulting...I am also inclined to say that based upon what he's told us, he may come across a socially awkward person. I suggest he work on these things. On paper his experience is great - if this is all true - but he needs to convey it better and come across likable and polished....something that may take some time to pick up if you haven't worked in high finance or consulting either in North America or London

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Nov 7, 2019

Good job trying to be helpful to op but for your sake, please read the post before commenting in the future. If you look through OPs history its clear he's Canadian or, at least, in the past wanted to recruit for Canadian banks as well as is enrolled in an Canadian MBA program. Secondly, you can tell from his English that he isn't some awkward, Asian nerd seeing as he likely isn't even Asian. I'm saying this as someone that is considered " the whitest Asian person ever" (you would know what I mean if you were Asian) that sees both sides of this and OP is definitely not Asian. Third, and most importantly, OP is asking why he isn't getting first rounds. On paper he's great but he can't even get an interview opportunity, that's the issue and something that your comment doesn't address in any way. This isn't him failing his first round interviews, this is him not receiving them at all.

As someone going into FT IBD, for future sake, don't comment on something while being so wrong. Idk if your tag is accurate but you're a "prospect" in IB and so you're either about to recruit for next next summer or just did for this summer. You need to touch up on your attention to detail

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  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Nov 7, 2019

I'm sincerely surprised why isn't OP getting calls. Has he reached out to his uni's alum at those firms? That's the surest way to make a connection and get feedback...but he's sitting on his lazy ass and day-dreaming about a possible interview where he can learn about other ops. Seems incompetent to me

And yeah blow off dude, I'm fucking Asian myself, you probably couldn't even figure that bit out. Not sure what your stupid thoughtless white asian comment mean but I'll give u the benefit of doubt

good job going to Gs. I did my analyst years there IN SF in 2014 and now at a family office....if u had to write a lengthy post criticizing me, should have some dropped some actionable feedback for the Op too...but what would you do know, you're just a newbie

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Nov 7, 2019

Something about OP does not smell right. But I'll bite. Having been on the other side of the table for associate recruiting at MS, it's because the banks don't think that you are a serious candidate given your background. MF PE back to banking? They'd rather give the offer to the MBA career switcher whose one and only dream is to do banking -- not someone who they think is interviewing for banking as a backup option. It's that simple....and it's not HR that is rejecting you. If you are at a target MBA program, it's your school's recruiting team. And, at least here in the U.S., there is a lot of networking that goes into recruiting such that you are already a known quantity by the time the interviews roll around (e.g., events, dinners, informationals). If you are just dropping resumes for these banks without having participated in these events, then that explains that.

    • 2
Nov 8, 2019

Yes this is spot on

Array

Nov 9, 2019

Agreed. And I'd add that I'd expect more maturity or knowledge of 'how things work' from someone who's been in both IB and PE before (I.e., they would have enough sense to network in advance to alleviate potential questions around their interest in returning to IB, or at least attend events to demonstrate their commitmen).

collahola:

More for the sake of networking, I applied for a bunch of IB jobs but got rejected for even the first round interviews where I expected to meet people face to face.

I'm honestly a bit confused by the OP's end goal. He applied *to network? So he's just there to waste their time and has no interest in the job? Sounds like sour grapes (I.e. he thought he'd get interviews and land offers no problem, but didn't).

OP - reading your post here (and some of your other ones where you mentioned you're attending an MBA 'like Wharton'), I'm frankly a bit puzzled by what you're trying to achieve. If you are looking to go back into IB, and assuming your profile is as you say it is, it shouldn't be difficult- but you would need to attend the IB networking events and show that IB isn't a second or third choice for you. They're looking for people with the right attitude and dedication.

If your goal is to go back into PE, that's harder in Canada (given the size of market - fewer firms and typically lean teams), and similarly you'll need to do a lot of heavy lifting on your own (network, make connections), Canadian MBAs aren't going to be a direct path for it (places like CPPIB more often than not hire people from top US MBA programs; the ones from Canadian MBAs likely had to hustle their way in).

    • 2
Nov 7, 2019

Why are you doing an MBA after being in MF investing?

    • 2
Nov 8, 2019
Comment
  • Associate 2 in CorpDev
Nov 10, 2019