GPA Cutoffs in Banking
For investment banking this year are GPA cutoffs around 3.7 for getting interviews BB and 3.8 for GS/MS/elite boutiques with 3.85 or so being the average GPA for kids who get the offer? I know people say its 3.5 but it seems very high these few years and people who I know with internships have 3.8 at the very least (I go to an Ivy target)
What GPA do I need to work in banking?
GPA cutoffs vary by bank and by year. However, our users shared that between a 3.5 - 3.7 GPA will likely be okay coming from a target school. Coming from a non-target school it can be more difficult. However, there are always exceptions to the rule that can be made for candidates with great stories or connections.
User @PowerMonkey", an investment banking vice president, shared:
As someone who used to review target resumes at a BB during my first and second year as an analyst, here is what we did. Candidates with harder majors (hard sciences, engineers) will likley be given more slack about their GPAs as well.
- You take your pile and get rid of everyone below a 3.0, unless they have a connection on the recruiting team pulling for them.
- You look at the people with between a 3.0 and a 3.5 and you see if they are in a really hard major (double econ/major or something like that). If you meet the it was a hard major I'll give you the benefit, you get kept for another look.
- You look to see if people in that range also have amazing experience, then they get kept around.
- You take the remaining pile, which is now probably half of the size and cull it based on overall quality.
Once you have a pile of people you think are strong (approximately the number of interview slots open), you sit down with the rest of the team and compare notes. In two years of being on the recruiting team at a BB we only gave interviews to about 3 people with under a 3.0 (they all had major connections) and a handful with less than a 3.5.
A GPA of a 3.7+ can make up for weaker experience, but is by no means a gimme. Banks prefer good experience to good GPAs (subject to a minimum in the 3.3-3.5 range).
How to Explain a Low GPA?
If you have anything near what could be considered a low GPA, you need to have a prepared explanation for why your GPA is low.
Some examples include:
- Working a Job(s)
- Strong extra-curricular involvement
- Family trouble (illness or death in the family)
- Difficulty adjusting to college / workload at beginning of college
If your reason is the latter, always frame it like an issue that was in the past towards the beginning of college.
A video below further explains how to build your answer.
Preparing for Investment Banking Interviews?
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