Hardest You've Hustled for a Position?

I've worked very hard a handful of times to go above and beyond what any other applicant did in order to secure positions I really wanted. After having just put together a pitchbook (and all relevant supporting models for a SA spot - for the second time), it got me thinking. What was the hardest you monkeys' have worked in order to secure a slot at any firm? Did it pay off in the long haul? Where do you draw the line? At one point does it come across as weird and make one look bad?

Comments (74)

Mar 15, 2018

Most work I ever did was wink at the lady VP interviewing me. Only had one banking interview ever...and I got hired. Boom.

Mar 15, 2019

Are you a teller at Wells Fargo?

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Mar 15, 2018

Recently promoted to Branch Manager. Rumor has it they are sending a VP over to open a Wealth Management office. I cannot wait to see the new business come in!

Mar 17, 2018

Months of interviews, 20 letters of recommendation, 10 page essay, full physical and psychological tests, IQ test, and a final rapid fire board interview with about 12 people at a large table at once.

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

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Mar 19, 2018

Jesus, that is rough. Do you mind sharing the position title?

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Mar 20, 2018
Isaiah_53_5:

Months of interviews, 20 letters of recommendation, 10 page essay, full physical and psychological tests, IQ test, and a final rapid fire board interview with about 12 people at a large table at once.

Mirror selfie required?

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Mar 27, 2018

I swear that is going to haunt this guy forever on this forum..

Mar 24, 2018
Isaiah_53_5:

Months of interviews, 20 letters of recommendation, 10 page essay, full physical and psychological tests, IQ test, and a final rapid fire board interview with about 12 people at a large table at once.

Why in the world were you required to undergo physical/psychological tests? Was it a C-Level position?

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Mar 27, 2018

I am guessing military

Mar 18, 2018

Threw away an excellent relationship, spent months doing nothing but reading & studying & doing practice problems, mental math tests, brain teasers, re-learning all of calculus, stats and probability, basically turned into a hermit...for an entry-level algo trading interview that I was only able to even get in the fist place due to a friend. I studied the wrong stuff, got some very esoteric options math questions instead, a bit beyond what you get in Hull, which I had also completely gone through front to back, for the second time. That and one brain teaser which was the only one out of the hundred+ that I had worked with that I always stumbled on. Needless to say, didn't get the job.

Truly the most work I've ever put into something in my life, looking back, it wasn't worth it, perhaps, but it was an experience. Should have kept the girl though.

"When you stop striving for perfection, you might as well be dead."

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Mar 19, 2018
  • Flew across the world to network
  • Brought them a deal sourced via personal relationship for a spot as a SA
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Best Response
Mar 19, 2018
  • Quit my full-time sales position making decent money, and moved back home with my parents.
  • Started looking for unpaid internships in boutique IB (Low GPA, Non-busness Degree)
  • Leveraged two unpaid internships to convince one to pay me part-time money.
  • I worked full-time hours at the internship (making only Part-time money), in order to learn the industry as quickly as possible.
  • Worked my ass off for a year commuting 40min to work.
  • After my first year I was offered to join the firm as an Associate on FT pay.
  • After another year the firm was splitting in two, I received two competing offers from two groups of partners.
  • I leveraged both offers, and now I'm 25 with a VP title.

No real idea how to proceed from here. I fit into the VP role like I fit into my dad's suite when I was 12 yrs old ...but we're figuring it out day by day.

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Mar 19, 2018

Thank you for sharing. Your posts are my favorite on WSO

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Mar 17, 2018
Keysey Soze:

No real idea how to proceed from here. I fit into the VP role like I fit into my dad's suite when I was 12 yrs old ...but we're figuring it out day by day.

Sometimes the hardest thing in that situation is not the role itself, but enduring the process of letting people's perceptions adjust to a younger person performing the roles and responsibilities of an 'older' person ... well.

I've met people in their 20s who look old and are bald or have a receding hairline that fare better initially than the young faced 25 year old who seems to be a young Warren Buffett or the like in mind and heart.

This is not an issue with startups, or situations where a young person has a large chunk of control of equity. But, at large companies (especially client facing), it will always be a struggle until you hit 35 or 45 and start to wrinkle, age, and talk a little slower as the perceived wisdom goes up, even though you might have had it all along at a young age.

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

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Mar 19, 2018

Truth. I'm 25 but look like a 21 year old and it hurts sometimes. I'll probably see the benefits when I'm looking healthy as I get older rather than withering away.

Mar 19, 2018

You're spot on. Posturing helps make myself "APPEAR" older, but nothing says experience like grey hair and shaky hands in this industry. You catch a lot of side-eye when passing out business cards.

One things that has helped me out more than posturing, is always knowing:
1.) Why I'm here
2.) What am I doing
2A.) How is what I'm doing helping
3.) What are my goals
3A.) Beginning steps on how to accomplish them

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Mar 20, 2018

Very similar experience:

  • Started in IB
  • Unable to transition to buyside smoothly
  • Clock was ticking so hastily signed up with a search-fund to at least keep the gears turning
  • Contacted by startup buyside shop: worked nights and weekends for 3 months getting their capital raise across the finish line (models, presentations, investor questions/meetings) all the while conducting due diligence on a search-fund acquisition during "day job"
  • Full time VP offer at 25
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Mar 24, 2018

This is wicked. Congrats man. Will you be lateraling soon to a MM/BB/EB ?

Work hard, work clean, & most of all do not give up.

Mar 20, 2018

Planning on staying put with the fund. We have deployed very successfully so far this year and will likely raise another fund here soon. Don't see a reason to lateral while things are going well.

Mar 24, 2018

.

Work hard, work clean, & most of all do not give up.

Mar 27, 2018

Could you pm me? I'd love to talk

Mar 15, 2019

That right there is inspirational for everyone that says you can't make it. Total hustle and badassery.

Si Vis Pacem Para Bellum

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Mar 19, 2018

Basically threw away my 4th quarter in my MSF program to prep for Capital One BA position. Made it to last round (flew me in) but faced the hardest case interview I've ever seen. I still remember some of the details. Had to analyze call center reps vs automated online FAQs. It was incredibly technical and quantitative. Had to draw cost curves and substitution rates based on actual data provided. Had to estimate the break even point and stress test the call center capacity (had a tiered structure). Was a real nightmare.

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Sep 21, 2018

Is Capital One even worth all that? What do they even pay their BAs? I feel like I'd have just peaced out.

Mar 19, 2018

It's like $90K to $100K all in, which isn't bad for an MSF. Cap One's strategy teams are very selective for some reason but you have to live on their campus in Virginia. From what I hear, it's a very cultish environment. I'm happy it didn't work out.

Mar 19, 2018

Not your typical path

  • Non target, PWM back office junior summer internship
  • Dinged for IB, started at Big 4
  • Laid off, clawed my way into a lower MM investment banking analyst seat
  • Networked and lateraled to a BB, sacrificing a year to start as a 2nd year analyst, much older than everyone in my class
  • PE, met a company I really liked with an amazing business model, became their
  • CFO at 28, company has doubled in size to ~$100mm
  • H/S/W
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Mar 19, 2018

Intense.

Mar 19, 2018

Your persistence is inspiring and incredibly impressive (as I am sure you know).

Mar 27, 2018

Big congrats, that's damn respectable. There's two glaring wins here that interest me most, if I may ask:
1)How did you position yourself from being laid off to getting into a MM IB spot?
2)How did you obtain the CFO promotion?

Sep 21, 2018

Honest question, what was your comp at age 28 being a CFO?

Mar 19, 2018

I'm still chilling and enjoying life. Who gives?

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Mar 19, 2018

The guy who started this thread and probably every single person who clicks into it aside from you (an idiot).

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Mar 19, 2018

you need to chill a bit more young one.

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Mar 20, 2018

just looking at these posts, makes me wonder if any other industry attracts this much grit

What concert costs 45 cents? 50 Cent feat. Nickelback.

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Mar 24, 2018

Tech does, even though everyone thinks it's lax.

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Mar 20, 2018

My first job on wall street, I applied 1,000+ positions, cold called 800+ people, 25 first round interviews - just to get 1 position doing equity research covering emerging markets at a new york based investment bank.

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Mar 23, 2018

lol if i knew i couldve just give u cards for guys i know in equity research at bb. life is funny cause i had not contacts in ib at the time lol.

Mar 20, 2018

that was in 2008, almost 10 years ago. :)

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Mar 20, 2018

(UK Target) Chose to live in a cheaper house that was close to my university campus to minimise time commuting; sacrificing any chance of an active social life (everyone lives away from campus) Turns out the house was a pile of shit and I had been mugged off by the landlord - I had a mouse problem and was burgled over the course of the 9-10 weeks.

9AM lectures straight til 6 or 7PM; waking up at 5:45AM to do some applications/networking before leaving and getting back by 7:30 to complete seminar work and then applications til 1-1:30 AM. Overall submitted over 200 apps online & around 150 cold calls alongside reaching out to over 300 individuals for networking.

I sent stock/investment pitches and analysis + market reports to specific desks I knew I was interviewing for (eventually lead to a desk asking to have a formal report on a company drawn up internally following my initial research)

Interviewed at a lot of places however rarely made it to final round (they would eventually go on to hire an EU MSc student more often than not anyway) Though I got 2 BB AM final rounds but technicals roasted me; meant to have 30 min interviews but mine ended up being 1hr 30. Other one, was my 1st ever technical interview so i didn't know how to play it.

Fast Forward to now, I see one girl on campus who got the offer ahead of me who did 2 applications and got the BB offer I wanted - she literally did cv and cover letter and got through her technical interview answering the how do you value a company qn with 'do a CFD Model' and being unable to fully describe the method +pros/cons or any alternative methods eg SOTP. I dont have faith in recruiting when stuff like this happens.

Anyway, I now have an offer in Fixed Income at a North American bank and am waiting to hear back from some prestigious AM firms.

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Mar 20, 2018

how hot was the girl ?

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Mar 23, 2018

the only thing that matters really

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Mar 23, 2018
TaranTula:

(UK Target) Chose to live in a cheaper house that was close to my university campus to minimise time commuting; sacrificing any chance of an active social life (everyone lives away from campus) Turns out the house was a pile of shit and I had been mugged off by the landlord - I had a mouse problem and was burgled over the course of the 9-10 weeks.

9AM lectures straight til 6 or 7PM; waking up at 5:45AM to do some applications/networking before leaving and getting back by 7:30 to complete seminar work and then applications til 1-1:30 AM. Overall submitted over 200 apps online & around 150 cold calls alongside reaching out to over 300 individuals for networking.

I sent stock/investment pitches and analysis + market reports to specific desks I knew I was interviewing for (eventually lead to a desk asking to have a formal report on a company drawn up internally following my initial research)

Interviewed at a lot of places however rarely made it to final round (they would eventually go on to hire an EU MSc student more often than not anyway) Though I got 2 BB AM final rounds but technicals roasted me; meant to have 30 min interviews but mine ended up being 1hr 30. Other one, was my 1st ever technical interview so i didn't know how to play it.

Fast Forward to now, I see one girl on campus who got the offer ahead of me who did 2 applications and got the BB offer I wanted - she literally did cv and cover letter and got through her technical interview answering the how do you value a company qn with 'do a CFD Model' and being unable to fully describe the method +pros/cons or any alternative methods eg SOTP. I dont have faith in recruiting when stuff like this happens.

Anyway, I now have an offer in Fixed Income at a North American bank and am waiting to hear back from some prestigious AM firms.

Not to be a dick but did you really lose faith in the "recruiting model" because they hired a female based more likely on her being female than more quantitative metrics? Let me guess, she was also decently attractive? That IS the recruiting model.

Either way, you got there right? Congrats.

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Mar 20, 2018

To get my first finance internship as a sophomore in college (2006), I went door-to-door to over 50 firms in a suit with my resume and followed up consistently. Being denied at the door - and in one case, having the secretary throw my resume in the trash in front of me - was difficult but I had nothing to lose at that point. My GPA was shot (think a 2-handle) from getting very ill freshman year, and I had hit rock bottom. The last firm I spoke to (top Swiss PWM shop) ended up giving me a chance to interview for an internship (after I followed up by email six times), and I was accepted after two rounds.

It changed my life, and I can never thank enough the banker who took a chance on me, with only hustle and no credentials to my name. After that, I won a job at Blackrock the next summer, consulting for FT, and onwards from there. If I hadn't hustled for that internship, I might have dropped out of school and would be in a very different place.

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Mar 21, 2018

Great story. I hope you do the same when a sophomore in college in a suit with his resume comes to your door.

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Mar 20, 2018

Definitely, I try to pay it forward. If anyone cold calls or emails me, I'll make time to speak and give my best and honest advice. The earlier recruiting happens every year, the less students know about the options in front of them. I try to arm students with information so they can make better decisions and recruit more effectively.

Mar 19, 2018

Unreal hustle, mad respect. Props to you for never giving up. +1

Mar 22, 2018

BB IB -> M5 MBA

Went to a non-target having attended an elite boarding school in Asia. Family circumstances changed when I was applying for undergrad, so ended up taking a spot (on full scholarship) at top 25 LAC (non-target).

In undergrad, for first two years, i was clueless as to what I wanted to do. Came back third year and all my cool friends were going into IB so i decided to give it a shot too. After maybe 200+ emails - most of which did not convert into actual conversations - i got an interview through my boarding school alums at two bulge brackets (BAML/Citi/CS/MS) in their ib teams teams in London. i was still clueless and lacked strong communication skills so i spent the entire one month before super-day rote-learning every technical and behavioral in the WSO and M&I guide. got the offer for SA, and converted that into FT. Left the bank 2.5 years as a top-ranked Associate to join a VC funded tech start-up in a leadership role after which I decided to move West-wards for MBA.

I am still at school, and while I didn't have prior PE experience, a lot of people at school warned me that you couldn't get something without prior PE. I hustled, and sent maybe 100 emails to ex Bschool, BB and boarding school alums in PE. I am graduating in 3 months, and while I still don't have a job, I have now a year of PE experience - during school and summmer- at a U.S. 500+ AUM PE fund, and have great leads lined up - better than ex PE guys - due to my professors. I feel more confident now than I did when I first joined b school.

You create your own circumstances, and when you want something really badly, everything eventually comes together.

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Apr 2, 2018

I like the sentiment, but calling up companies pretending to sell them a product of company you don't actually work for is more likely to get you sued than employed.

Apr 2, 2018

The thought process behind that article is superb. Be proactive, not passive. Sure, the tactics should be different on a case-by-case basis to steer clear of legal troubles, but I like the attitude.

Apr 2, 2018

I'd definitely get sued.

"It is better to have a friendship based on business, than a business based on friendship." - Rockefeller.

"Live fast, die hard. Leave a good looking body." - Navy SEAL

Sep 21, 2018

You create your own opportunities by having parents who can afford a bougie boarding school. BOOM self made!

Mar 23, 2018

Sent hundreds upon hundreds upon hundreds of emails during my winter break my sophomore year to land an IB internship. I'd been speaking to so many people that it seemed never ending and thought that I'd never end up with something. The moment I opened the email with the offer I seriously couldn't believe.

Mar 19, 2018

I know the struggle all too well. Sometimes you can barely keep your head above water, as you schedule like 2-4 calls a day (on top of a full course load and possibly even work). Glad to hear it paid off for you!

Mar 23, 2018

Thanks brotha. Think I saw you're going to a BB this summer for one of your past threads, glad to hear things worked out for you as well!

Mar 24, 2018

I went out with a fat chick for 6 months because she helped me land an internship at her uncle's PE shop

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Mar 23, 2018

thicc or nah

Funniest
Mar 24, 2018

not thicc just fat, very close to being obese. The worst part is that I'm gay

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Mar 27, 2018
  • Pitch book
  • Code test

about it... if you have really good code every wants to suk some d

Mar 30, 2018

Can't compare military/other industries and finance interviews, though physical tests sound quite special for an office job

Apr 1, 2018

All it takes is one:

  • Big10 semi target
  • interned BO at a HF
  • 0 FT offers /10+ Superdays for IBD/S&T/CS
  • Worked 3/4 yrs in BO Mortg Capm
  • Landed FT S&T w top 25 IB through Linkedin resume dead drop

Use your imagination.

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Mar 19, 2018

That is a fantastic story, thank you for sharing. +1

Apr 1, 2018

Tomorrow is my first day. This community gave me hope when i was ready to accept fate.

Sep 21, 2018

I used to sell a lot of weed out the lobby of a high rise in manila envelopes like 4 years ago

heister:

Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.