How I went from 10 rejections to one dream internship this year.

Pizz's picture
Rank: Neanderthal | 2,280

Finance Interviews:

Goldman Sachs 1st round. No.
Altamont Capital 1st round. No.
Bracebridge Capital 1st round. No
Bridgewater Associates 1st round. No.

Consulting Interviews:

Cornerstone Research 1st round No.
Analysis Group 1st round. No.
Simon-Kucher 1st round. No.

Final Round Interviews:

Centerview Final round. No.
BlackRock Final round. No.
JP Morgan Final round. No.
Another Bulge Bracket Bank -- YES! the final interview I ever had AFTER the slew of rejections above.

Learn from rejection:

I'm not going to say what company I did get into (to remain anonymous), but I did get into a BB this year. Coming from a finance background with a high GPA at an IVY, I started getting depressed because I got dinged in so many interviews. There were so many times when I felt like my efforts were futile. THEY'RE NOT! Once you get rejected, move on to the next one. Learn from it. What did you do wrong? Was it a technical question that stumped you? Was it the fit questions? Behavioral questions?

There is always room for improvement:

PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE. With your roommates, friends, and career center. Whether on the phone, skype, or in person. There is ALWAYS room for improvement. Smile during the interviews. I found that you have a much personable look when you do. Don't be afraid to talk about you what makes you unique (I won art competitions in the past, which surprised many interviewers). As for consulting, don't be stupid like me--go and PRACTICE how to answer case study questions with someone. As for finance, make sure to study up on the technical (the WSO was a god send here!). There are always the same questions (DCFs, valuations, etc.). Use the Investment Banking Interview Prep Course ...I believe it was the single biggest reason why I ended up with an offer.

In summary, this was the most grueling thing I did in college. I'm glad I did it because it was a great learning experience. Moral of the story: DON'T GIVE UP, NO MATTER HOW IMPOSSIBLE IT LOOKS. If this didn't convince you, then I don't know what would.

The background story is here: I'm so pathetic--I can't get past 1st round Interviews

Comments (33)

Mar 7, 2015

rags to riches congrats bro!


Sep 27, 2017

high GPA at Ivy to banking <> rags to riches

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Mar 26, 2018

high GPA at Ivy to banking <> rags to riches

more like riches to riches


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Best Response
Jun 2, 2015

I think the struggle comes in getting the interviews in the first place. I can't imagine how impossible it might've seemed to get into banking coming from an ivy with a high GPA and numerous interviews... Nonetheless, congrats.

Edit: Don't know why so many of you are getting rustled over this comment..

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May 8, 2015

Congrats man! You were obviously doing something right though to get Centerview and 2 BB final rounds.

May 8, 2015

Congrats! Commendable effort however, as someone mentioned it is a string of rejections during the clearing stage that takes the spirit out of most aspiring bankers. To feel like one is not even worth a first round interview because one merely attends a non-target can make you feel pretty worthless. When you get that interview, it comes down to you to prove that you are a worthy candidate. Saying that, I'm glad you learned from your mistakes and finally ended up with an offer.

Bitch please, I love bananas! If you found my advice useful, hit me up with one.

May 10, 2015

i can always relate to stories like this. great work OP!

persistence is key everyone!

May 28, 2015

Wow, congrats! Nice story!

May 28, 2015

great news. congrats

May 28, 2015


In a similar spot right now, although in a completely different place and level. This is rather inspiring still!
(For all it counts, I did not even get the chance for an interview at Goldman.)

May 28, 2015

Congrats OP. I had a similar story this year, received multiple internship rejections but it all worked out in the end because I got my dream internship. Just have to keep grinding.

Jul 5, 2017

Could you elaborate perhaps? Ill move into econ at a nontarget as a fashion graduate and Im not in a rosy position. Just reaching out for internships in London. No news yet...

May 28, 2015

Honestly, once you get to the final round, it's mostly about fit. I'm always a believer that if you answered the questions well, did your best to be nice and personal, and you still didn't get the offer, you wouldn't have fit anyway and you didn't really do anything wrong. You can't feel like a failure if you didn't get an offer due to personal differences.
It's not easy to get an internship. Even with a great background- it's hard. No matter what image type A people put up about easily landing internships, it's all false. Don't be down about it and keep trying.

FYI- once you have a great internship, you'll be beating full time interviews off with a stick. I had to turn down so many companies. So, it gets much better. (It also feels nice to tell the company 'no' for once.)

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May 28, 2015

Lol I remember when you posted that about how pathetic you were. I remember thinking that with that attitude of course you're not going to get any offers. You must have changed that attitude or really made your interviewers pity you. Either way it worked.

Also, were you the one who made the thread about what is the right amount of eye contact? Had a feeling it was you given the lack of success, but maybe not.

May 28, 2015

Congrats. When did you hear back? I thought decisions are sent out in March?

May 29, 2015

Persistence is the key to any dream...Congratulations

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May 29, 2015

Same thing happened with me. Made numerous BB ER super-days and probably 10+ interviews overall, but ended up with a dream buy-side internship where my only duties are to do research, pitch stocks, and sit in on management calls.

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May 30, 2015

congratulations !

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May 30, 2015

Congrats man!

May 30, 2015

Congrats dude! I hope you have a good summer and charge your batteries!

May 30, 2015

10 rejections and you are worried? Over the last 6 months I've been rejected by just short of 400 different companies. Congrats btw....I just got my offer as well at a boutique commodity trading desk. Let's go make some money

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May 30, 2015

Coming from a finance background with a high GPA at an IVY

i like how you capitalized that even though that's like a standard expectation if you're a target applicant, especially given the grade inflation at some of those schools. It's not like you're fighting against kids from Mississippi State for spots at GS IBD.

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May 30, 2015

Congrats man! How was the Bridgewater interview btw?

Feb 4, 2017

Throwback after two years. Gonna put this out there since people will look at this thread continually.

Use the Investment Banking Prep Pack, since it's really helpful and helped me land an offer:

Dec 17, 2017

I know exactly what you went through! Truly motivational.

P.S. you can check out my story as well, you inspired me to finally post it on WSO.

Feb 28, 2018


This is so inspiring. I totally dinged the interview I had today at a BB.
I always find interviewing with Directors Is very hard. A lot of Directors have 0% patience and seem to forget that they were once rookies.

Mar 29, 2018


Mar 11, 2018

Congrats man! Great story and advice.

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Mar 11, 2018

Amazing stuff - moving on from rejection is key

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Mar 14, 2018


Carl Van Loon
Van Loon & Associates

Mar 17, 2018

Did you attend Wharton or do Fin Eng. at Columbia SEAS or something? "Ivy with finance background" never really heard of that.

Mar 26, 2018


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