I am new to this website but i have been reading a lot of Forums on here and they all have been really helpful;
i have my own experience that i wanted to share with you guys, so i thought this could be a good way for me to start brainstorming, and get advice, in order to have different points of view on how to handle what should be my next step in getting into investmnt banking.
Here is my story
I am 23 and a second year graduate student in a Business School at a Non Target School.
I have been in this college for 5 years now, where i obtained a Bachelor in Economics ( with a 2.9 GPA) last year and now finishing up with Graduate School ( it's a 5 years BA/MA program). This coming December, i will get a Master in International Finance and Economics.
I am well aware that having such a low GPA isn't a good way to break into the investment Banking World, but It hasn't been easy during my undergrad years. I have had a lot of family issues( sickness, crisis , death etc..) for all of the 4 years that forced me to leave school for extended period of time before, and i had 2 jobs on campus, as well as being an active member of one of the varsity sports teams on campus for 5 years; i was also living by myself, miles away from any family member. So lets just say i had a lot going on
But I cant sit here an argue that this is okay to justify such a low GPA. When i got to college i was unsure of what i wanted to study, I ended up choosing economics because of my ability to solve math problems. I didnt do that good in econ classes but i was decent enough to pass the classes. I always wanted to work in Finance, but i couldnt do a finance degree because my school didnt have one at the time. So by Junior year when i learned about the 5 years program i decided to apply for it, and giving the fact that i recovered well enough from my multiple leaves of absence and i was doing pretty well school wise at that period, i was able to get in the business school despite a low GPA.. i think i got in because they liked my background, my academic progression and my story...
So i Got my Bachelor in Economics last year, then i took a bunch of finance classes once in B.school ( in this program you start taking grad school classes your senior year of undergrad) in which i did pretty well compared to the economics classes. Last summer, through networking via our alumni database and with the help of career services at my school, i was able to speak to an alumni who works in a top 4 investment Banks on Wall street. I took a bus to his city, met with him, had coffee and I told him my story, and he was really nice and introduced me to someone in the HR department of his bank. i went in for an interview, and a week later i wasin the Wealth Management Department. I did pretty well at the internship . i had long hours, i enjoyed them and i was able to learn a lot. But the truth is i have been interestd in Investment Banking for a while.... so i knew i needed to learn more about it and also look for internships on that field.
in the process i was admitted for a semester abroad in One of the Top 3 Business school in Europe. This Past fall, i just finished my semester abroad and everything went really well and i am now on track to graduate with a 3.1 GPA in B.School. But i got another set back again with family issues , i had to fly home( im not from America) to go help out my family , hence i was forced take my last semester of busines school off, ( but i only have 3 classes left to graduate), i will just be back in school next fall to finish up with my masters studies in December 2012.
However, while in Business School in Europe i was able to secure an Internship in M&A with a small consulting firm,( the internship will last 4 months and will end at the end of March) where i am a Research Assitant in M&A and my role is to read a bunch of articles and books and check out the data on M&A; then i am asked to compile, analyse and summarize the best 20 works on strategies and perfomance benchmark of sucessfull mergers in the past 20 years.
I love this internship because it really helps me with industry background and trends . Despite being less of a quantitative internship, this is definitely the spark that conviced me that M&A is where i want to work in the future.
I also thought that after being done with my internship, here in Europe, i couldnt just sit around and wait, so with the money i am getting from this current internship i decided to sign up for classes at the Investment Banking Institue here in Europe. i will start the training program in late March. I thought being part of this program will allow me to sharpen my quantitave skilss and also be more familiar with all of the valuation methods.
When im done with the training program i am hoping to get another internship here in Europe( more on the valuation and quantitative side) and then head back to the states for the fall semester ( due to my international student status i cannot have an internship in the USA this coming summer). So next fall i will be in back in school in America, graduating in December 2012 and i will be actively looking for full time jobs as Analyst in M&A right after graduation.
So that's my story......... and sorry for the long post
While i know that it wont be easy for me to get a job in the USA next fall, i am just here to ask you guys for some constructive advice....
With a Low GPA, how do you guys thing i should go about my job searching when i get back to the states?
Do you guys think that signing up for the Investment Banking Institute before returning to B.School was a good idea?
and for all the professionals on here, who have industry experience or know few things about Hiring process and HR , i will be really appreciative for your insights and tips.