How Did You All Land Your FLDPs + Sophomore Summer Internships?

AnonCoug's picture
Rank: Baboon | 115

Hey friends,

I created an account because I need some help with really setting up my future, and unless I'm both dumb as a brick + can't search forums well, there aren't any posts on this whole website that I've found that address my specific issue. I need help figuring out how to land a top FLDP at a non-target school.

For some background, I'm a first-gen college student so I've been figuring everything out myself. I took some rough science classes that I didn't do well in but my current cumulative GPA is 3.75. I found a passion for finance last semester when I was taking my intro to finance class and I've decided that I want to do corporate finance when I graduate in a couple of years because of how interesting the work sounds to me. I've learned that the best path for me is to do an FLDP at a top blue-chip company like a FAANG company or General Mills or something because of my future goals of a top MBA. I realize that I'll need to do other wild things like starting 20 NGOs in Africa to stand out, but I'm focusing on this for right now.

Here's my predicament: BYU's biggest recruiters are Big 4 firms + GS for IB and I don't currently want to go either of those routes. I don't have a solid string of internships doing anything finance-related because I've been studying random crap over the last couple of years, so I'd be picked off by the algorithms that top F500s employ to mass-reject applicants anyways. With all of this against me, I'm afraid that I won't have a solid chance at a good junior-year internship, which kinda screws me for FLDPs. I know that Apple, for example, has tens of thousands of people who apply to each internship. If you don't intern with them in your junior year, they don't even look at your resume for their FLDP. I'm also a straight white male who isn't a veteran, so I'm the epitome of non-diverse.

I'm doing a remote IB internship right now where I support both buy- and sell-side deals, so I do help with some modeling but I want corporate experience to gain transferrable skills. I also did an internship last semester that I've spun into corporate finance experience. I'm currently working through the WSP modeling courses just for the cert, I'm working on keeping my grades up, I'll be learning Tableau + VBA + SQL in a class from April-June, but there aren't many ways to put that on a resume because it's a class.

I got to the final 3 for an FP&A internship with a fast-growing Utah company because of my networking, but I got cut yesterday so that didn't help. Most corporate companies around here that are big enough to have interns don't hire you unless you're a junior, because they want you to come back and work for them next year.

Please help me. How the hell do I land a solid junior-year corpfin internship + a solid FLDP coming from a non-target school when nobody will give me a sophomore internship?

Thank you all; any responses will be sincerely appreciated because I have almost nobody to help me.

TLDR; How the hell do I land a solid junior-year corpfin internship + a solid FLDP coming from a non-target school when nobody will give me a sophomore internship?

Comments (5)

Most Helpful
Jan 15, 2020

I had a similar path as you- I can walk you through my story and hopefully there will be something you can glean from it.

I'm also a straight white male, but was not a first gen college student. My mom got some liberal arts major and was a stay-at-home mom shortly after college, and my dad got a liberal arts major as well, and then took a sales job and eventually started a RE venture. Neither of them used their degrees. Consequently, I didn't realize how important on-campus recruiting would be, so I went to a tiny new liberal arts school. Halfway through my time there I decided to major in finance and econ, and realized I would never make it to IB (and didn't want it anyway) so I started pursuing CF.

The summer before senior year was coming up and I had only one lead for an internship, and no possibility of OCR internships. If this fell through, I would have spent the summer literally digging ditches. I pursued this lead- it was a networking call with a CFO my uncle knew at a F1000 company. I had a conversation with him, and he passed me to HR, who passed me to the finance department. This company had no formal internship program and didn't know what they would need for the summer. They found something for me in mid-May, and I started 2 weeks later in a city 8 hours from home. When I got there, I got to meet the CFO in person, who didn't know I would be joining them for the summer... so clearly he didn't do anything else besides sending my resume along. A huge help, sure, but I like to think that the quality of my interviews played a big/the biggest part.

Internship went well, but since this company had a fairly small finance department, there was no guarantee of an offer after graduation. I started looking at FLDPs in the aerospace and defense industry, since that is what I thought I would be most interested in. Having a legitimate internship from a household-name company really helped my resume. I scoured the internet for info about these programs, and found a brochure for a program at one of the big 4 defense companies (LMT, BA, RTN, NOC) that had the email address of the program manager. I sent a cold email, and to my surprise I got a response. This led to a phone call with the manager, which led to a phone call with a current FLDP participant, which led to an informal phone interview, which led to a formal in-person interview several states over, which led to an offer.. all in about 2 months. I was over the moon- offer in hand by October, when most of my classmates hadn't started thinking of graduation.

I was in the FLDP for 3 years and got 3 strong rotations. Eventually decided defense wasn't for me and that I wanted to live in a different area.. so I made a jump to a different industry. Grew my income from 60 (base + bonus) out of college to the mid 90s (base + bonus) in my current role. Looking to start a PT MBA this fall at a top 30 school.. not currently thinking I'll pivot out of CF.

The biggest takeaways: 1) Leverage your network. I had the advantage of getting a conversation with a CFO, but I as an analyst have helped people get into the FLDP from non-targets.. people in CF get little-to-no cold emails or requests for networking. I've had a great hit rate on sending cold emails, from analysts to VPs. If you don't have any family, friend, or alumni connections, look at LinkedIn and get some names of finance people at target companies. Google to find the company format for email addresses and send a cold email. You're looking for current FLDP members- they are eager to help and share their wisdom, and likely aren't too busy. Don't include a resume in the first contact- you are just asking to chat, not asking for a job.

2) Adjust your goals. You don't have to land a FAANG FLDP to get into an M7 school. A few of the FLDP alumni from my company went directly to HBS after finishing the program. I think an FLDP at any F250 gives you a good enough shot to get in. Obviously, the higher the better, but without OCR you can't afford to be picky. Your larger goal is B-school- focus only on what would get you there.

3) Do not be afraid of applying online- the thresholds for getting auto-dinged are lower than you think. Your credentials sound great. Use the WSO IB resume template and shape your resume around that. A 3.75 GPA from a school I have actually heard of, coupled with an actual finance internship (and not some fake experience like being treasurer for your frat) is enough to get an interview (and likely an offer) at my prior company. You should see the resumes that made it to real human eyes- most GPAs were between 3 and 3.3, with maybe one or two above 3.6. Your GPA is stellar for corporate. Half the resumes didn't have any kind of finance internship- if you have anything remotely accounting/financial on there, you'll be fine. I remember initially thinking I barely edged into the program, until I saw the internships of my cohort and the people we were recruiting and realized I was easily a top candidate.

4) There are multiple paths. I've seen people from my FLDP leave after a year or two and go to a FAANG company. I've seen people go to M7 schools. As long as you stay ambitious and keep shaping your current experiences for your next goal, you'll be able to get there.

Feel free to ask any follow-up questions! After each step you realize how much you exaggerated it in your mind. I remember finding a comment on WSO by someone who grew their income to the mid 80's after 3 years and I thought they were a god.. now that I've done it I realize how attainable that is, and am already totally focused on the next step.. where I feel like getting to manager before 30 makes you a god. Stay tuned.

    • 4
Jan 15, 2020

Thank you so much man; I really appreciate your reply + all of your advice. I think it's easy for me to be shaped by the IB mindset, because I originally started off wanting to do IB until I realized just how grueling it would be for me with all of the networking + extreme competition just to get into the job since I didn't start doing internships in high school haha.

As a follow up, do you regret your path at all? Do you feel like your work is interesting? Also, what did you put on your resume for your application to the company before senior year? I've currently got my 2 past internships, my current internship, and my personal portfolio information, so I feel like I've got a sparse resume with personal portfolio info that can be summarized in a single point at the bottom

Jan 16, 2020

I'll answer your 2nd question first: For my resume when applying to my internship, I had 2 jobs listed. The first is what I did the summer before college... a quasi-pyramid scheme. Definitely not proud of it, but it was sales and I had some good bullets to put on there. The second job was after freshman year- I worked in sales at an electronics store. Neither had any financial component, but I crafted my story to talk about how I wanted to refine my communication skills, and these roles helped me learn how to talk to anyone and be comfortable in various environments.

For education, I listed some select coursework that I thought would be applicable (an excel class, a securities class, etc), I mentioned the honors program and being on the deans list. For the leadership section I mentioned a leadership position in my frat. All really basic stuff. When you are applying for internships, they don't expect any prior experience.. they just want to see that you keep busy, you've had a real job, you're a good student.

Put yourself in the shoes of the hiring manager- your intern is there for 3 months. They aren't even going to be able to learn the financial software before the summer is over. Often times interns are brought in to do some bitch work that no one else wants to do. The business benefits because they get some stuff cleaned up around the office, the intern benefits by getting the name on their resume.

Regarding your first question: It would have been nice to know earlier that I wouldn't like A&D. I could have started elsewhere and have more time in a more desirable industry. But that is hindsight.. if I had started in a different industry, I would probably now be looking for opportunities to pivot to A&D, still thinking it is what I want.

I don't have any actual regrets because I like where I am now, but sometimes I daydream about having gone for the "elite" path.. going to the best school I could get into, trying to go into IB, trying to go to an M7, trying to be a millionaire by 30. But at the same time, I don't want to live in NYC and I don't want anything to do with a consistent 80hr work week. I like all my free time, having a life outside of work, but still chasing the corporate dream of hitting director or VP.

As far as enjoying my work- it is tough to say. Look in the "hall of fame" section of the CF form. There are a few posts about lifestyle that sum it up pretty well: it ebbs and flows. Sometimes I have literally nothing to do and am killing time, trying to look productive. Those days suck. Other times we have deadlines and work til late at night and the day flies by.. Sometimes it is interesting work where I feel proud of my product, other times I'm doing bitch work because the company is too cheap to invest in software that does the work for us. The work slowly gets better as you rise through the ranks, but don't expect to be shaping the business until you get close to the top.

I think this post sums it up well. Most jobs, especially the ones that pay well, are going to suck while at the bottom of the totem pole. Your job is to climb s fast as possible.

    • 3
Jan 15, 2020

Edit: changed relevancy from "intern" to "all" for better exposure. I'd appreciate everyone's stories and tips; I've got plenty to hear and it's nice to have stories to fall back on if I ever feel down on myself.

Jan 17, 2020
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