How to break into Finance

Long time WSO reader but first time posting, so please bare with me.

I recently graduated a Top 50 public college with an Economic and Political Science major. I was part of multiple clubs and was held multiple positions in my fraternity on campus. I had a 3.5/4.0 GPA and interned at a Commercial Bank the summer after my junior year as an analyst where I mostly helped underwrite loans and build financial models.

My resume is pretty solid IMO and I get a lot of interviews and make it to the final round but I have not gotten an offer yet. I relentlessly try to network through LinkedIn and my school as well as applying to posts on Indeed and through my career center. What really gets to me is that I have a family member in IB and yet I can't get any help.

At this point, I am not really sure what to do. I am dying to know what I am doing wrong in these interviews, and I am not sure what to do other than the continuous applying on Indeed. I need to get real feedback and I need someone to deliver it without sugarcoating it for me otherwise I will never learn.

I would love to read some comments on what you guys struggled with and any tips you can throw at me. My ultimate goal is to somehow break into finance.

Investment Banking Interview Course

  • 7,548 questions across 469 investment banks. Crowdsourced from over 500,000 members.
  • Technical, behavioral, networking, case videos, templates. All included.
  • Most comprehensive IB interview course in the world.

Comments (59)

May 30, 2017

Learn to close the interview, do a mock interview.

May 31, 2017

Do you have any tips other than mock interview? I'm sure one of my biggest problems is closing so please help with some advice.

May 30, 2017

Have any of the IBs you interviewed for provided feedback to you in regards to why you didn't get the offer?

If not, you should probably ask them for areas you can improve on etc.

'I'm jacked... JACKED TO THE TITS!!'

May 31, 2017

No, I constantly ask for feedback but never get any. Even when I have a connection in the firm, they don't provide any specific feedback.

May 31, 2017

Seems strange that if you have a connection with them, that they are not able to give you some sort of feedback - be it negative or not.

I wouldn't dwell on this so much, just chalk it up to not the right fit for whatever reason and just keep on moving, it could be a multitude of reasons.

There is no point dwelling on the mistakes of the past as it will hurt your current performance.

IB is a numbers game, so people get lucky, others have to keep pushing. Shows how much you want it if you can keep getting the rejection.

'I'm jacked... JACKED TO THE TITS!!'

Learn More

7,548 questions across 469 investment banks. The WSO Investment Banking Interview Prep Course has everything you'll ever need to start your career on Wall Street. Technical, Behavioral and Networking Courses + 2 Bonus Modules. Learn more.

May 30, 2017

Coffee is for closers

Jun 6, 2017

mock interviews are quite important. There is a new mobile app available to study for finance / banking interviews called wall street fit. Has a lot of behavioral and technical interview questions as flash cards and quizzes that might help as well. Not sure where you are in your interview ability though.

Jun 6, 2017

I would start by getting a degree in finance from a school that is not for profit. Then I would get as much finance related experience as is possible. Have your resume reviewed by professors and anyone in your network. Finally, apply to everything that interests you.

Jun 6, 2017

wait...you mean you want to work in a Technology program at an ib?that shouldn't be very intimidating...there's HUGE demand right now...and they pay quite well

Jun 6, 2017

looks like you could try to network with alums into a quant role on the S&T side...i passed level I CFA and was also applying a couple years out of school and S&T people liked it, shows a minimal level of commitment to get into the business and when you complete it it adds some credibility if your role is client-facing

Jun 6, 2017

dude you are straight just work on boosting the gpa a bit and keep following the markets.

Jun 6, 2017

your a soph.The markets are a mess a GS just announced they are laying off more..Do what can to get a intern anywhere you can...boost the GPA

Jun 6, 2017

maybe boost your gpa a little, but you should be fine just send emails to everyone you know and keep making contacts

Jun 6, 2017

post it on 'razume.com' and copy the link to this forum. guarantee you'll get more replies.

Jun 6, 2017

send me the resume fucker

Jun 6, 2017
spaceagecowboy:

send me the resume fucker

I just uploaded to razume, but if you prefer to see it without the black bars I'm happy to send you a copy

Jun 6, 2017

I have two versions, same content different styles. No sure if the Apple pages "Modern" Template is very appropriate though.

http://www.razume.com/documents/21369 http://www.razume.com/documents/21370

Jun 6, 2017

Wait did you write two articles for Seeking Alpha? Nice

Jun 6, 2017
englandco:

Wait did you write two articles for Seeking Alpha? Nice

Yeah it may not be the most prestigious of finance sites, but my MOO article was an editors pick.

Jun 6, 2017

Brandon Ogle, you didn't black out your name when you mention the articles you've written...

Jun 6, 2017
mike-falafel:

Brandon Ogle, you didn't black out your name when you mention the articles you've written...

Thats fine, if you went to seeking alpha and searched the articles you would see my name anyways.

Jun 6, 2017

Does anyone wanna help me out???

Jun 6, 2017

the format could use a lot of work. I would recommend going through some of the other resumes put up and put it into a similar format, then focus on the details.

Jun 6, 2017

1) Definitely need to reformat it. Check out the Mergers & Inquisitions format - lots of people on here recommend it.

2) Make your GPA decimal points consistent. ie) 3.713 -> 3.71; use 2 points for your GPAs

3) What part of the industry are you looking to break into?

Learn More

7,548 questions across 469 investment banks. The WSO Investment Banking Interview Prep Course has everything you'll ever need to start your career on Wall Street. Technical, Behavioral and Networking Courses + 2 Bonus Modules. Learn more.

Jun 6, 2017

Firms won't really be hiring any full time analysts at this point in the year (seniors aren't taken for summer analyst roles). Maybe a one year masters program could be an option.

Jun 6, 2017
DukeTX512:

Firms won't really be hiring any full time analysts at this point in the year (seniors aren't taken for summer analyst roles). Maybe a one year masters program could be an option.

I have contemplated doing a masters right out of school but I talked to some admissions counselors and department directors of prospective MBA programs and they all told me that I would most likely need 2-4 years of professional work experience in order to even be considered.

Jun 6, 2017

Don't do the Edward Jones stock broker gig. You should do just about any other job that requires a college degree and it would be better than that.

Other than that, use the search function here....there are probably thousands of discussions on this topic.

Jun 6, 2017

anybody have any more advice?

Jun 6, 2017

MSF is not an MBA. Look into that. If you have your shit together it could give you a reset. Better school brand/OCR and you can wipe out the GPA. You have a decent foundation in internships, get one more in your desired field (whether it's IB or AM) and a master's and you will be way better off than if you took the Edward Jones gig.

Jun 6, 2017
notaspammer:

MSF is not an MBA. Look into that. If you have your shit together it could give you a reset. Better school brand/OCR and you can wipe out the GPA. You have a decent foundation in internships, get one more in your desired field (whether it's IB or AM) and a master's and you will be way better off than if you took the Edward Jones gig.

I appreciate the advice

Jun 6, 2017

Network, network, network.
If you have a friend majoring in business (a close one who would be willing to share his contacts), reach out to him. Go through alumni database. Get involved in a finance club. Have practice interviews with career services and learn to come off as a confident Asian (white people know Asians are smart, so showcase the hell out of that). Study technical questions. Apply to all BBs in the fall.

You crave what you are not.
Dude, your perspective on life sucks.

Jun 6, 2017

What if the hiring manager/interviewer is black? How should OP deal with that curveball?

Jun 6, 2017
Vinsanity:

What if the hiring manager/interviewer is black? How should OP deal with that curveball?

If the hiring manager is black, OP should recognize that dick sizes don't measure how successful one can be in finance. Put the dicks aside and start talking business. FIRM handshake. Make sure you look outstandingly sharp. Good thing about being Asian is that usually, your looks incorporate sharpness.

You crave what you are not.
Dude, your perspective on life sucks.

Jun 6, 2017

lol....OP, to summarize:

- If the interviewer is white, then dominate with your intellect.
- If the interviewer is black, then don't be insecure about your penis size.

Jun 6, 2017

I'm guessing you're not doing back-office risk analytics for the S&T side?

MBA is a good option because it opens the door for internships again, which is a pipeline for a FT position. However, networking is also something you should focus on. If you can demonstrate your skills, knowledge, and drive once you're in front of interviewers, then all you really need to do is secure that interview in the first place.

Jun 6, 2017
Jun 6, 2017

You need a higher GPA. Being a target doesn't mean much when there are countless other students at target schools with higher GPAs.

Jun 6, 2017

If I've learned anything, you need to have a legit story. If you are really passionate about breaking into finance, you'll do anything. I started off as a bio-chem major, switched to social science but I've still been able to land consulting internships, finance internships at a F500 company and am geared toward a PE internship. You just need to show that you really want it and that you are bright enough to be taught what needs to be taught.

Jun 6, 2017

welcome
please enjoy your stay

happy to give advice; no asking for referrals please

Jun 6, 2017

Welcome.
As a first tip, I would recommend trying to remain anonymous in the future if possible.

Jun 6, 2017

Why? He hasn't said anything damaging. I would relax and loosen the belt.

Jun 6, 2017

Correction: given that he has a grand total of two posts, he hasn't said anything potentially damaging yet. With "yet" being the key term in that sentence. On the other hand he has given us his name and it take 0.5 seconds to find him on LinkedIn. Maybe it's because I work in risk, or my belt is too tight, but I see potential ways in which this could bite him in the ass in the future. But hey, this is just my take on things.

Jun 6, 2017

Hopefully he is working in finance for the family business and put it on his resume without saying it's the family business. That could help him land a corporate finance role at another small or medium sized company and make a career out of corporate finance. Else he could look for financial analyst work in government like pension, state school endowment fund or municipal bond fund management. Also mortgage lenders to see if I couldn't trade mbs.

Jun 6, 2017

Hopefully he is working in finance for the family business and put it on his resume without saying it's the family business. That could help him land a corporate finance role at another small or medium sized company and make a career out of corporate finance. Else he could look for financial analyst work in government like pension, state school endowment fund or municipal bond fund management. Also mortgage lenders to see if I couldn't trade mbs.

Jun 6, 2017

anyone else? Thanks

Jun 6, 2017

Hopefully he is working in finance for the family business and put it on his resume without saying it's the family business. That could help him land a corporate finance role at another small or medium sized company and make a career out of corporate finance. Else he could look for financial analyst work in government like pension, state school endowment fund or municipal bond fund management. Also mortgage lenders to see if I couldn't trade mbs.

Jun 6, 2017
Jun 6, 2017