i feel so behind

hey everyone, 

I'm feeling a bit down right now to tell you guys the truth. I'm about to be a sophomore at a non target and I see so many people from my school having finance related internships during their freshman summer and I am stuck here with nothing planned even for the fall. I feel extremely behind especially since recruiting for junior year roles start up in a couple of months and I have nothing to leverage for even a sophomore year internship. Can someone please give me some advice on how to move forward from here? I'm open to all suggestions and opinions.

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Comments (18)

Most Helpful
Aug 20, 2021 - 1:07am

How many cold emails do you send per day? How many are lined up in your scheduled box right now? How many networking calls have you had this month? How many webinars have you been to this summer? How many firm events have you gone to? How many hours have you spent reading Rosenbaum and Pearl? What was your favorite article from the WSJ today? What do you think will drive M&A activity in 2022?

You see my point?

Make your performance your indicator of success and only look at your results as a means of improving your strategy. 

This is YOUR life, and the biggest thing controlling your outcome is YOUR actions. 

Your chances are always greater than 0 until you give up. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Aug 20, 2021 - 9:16am

Poster above said it all. You're young and this is FAR from over for you. You still have control over how this turns out, so spend all your time making sure it turns out in your favor. You're gonna make it.

Please don't waste even a single second feeling dejected or bad for yourself. It's never worth it. Wish I had learned that a lot sooner.

Aug 21, 2021 - 10:32am

It all depends on what area you are interested in. If you have decided, then things will be easy. Read articles on this topic, go through forums. Believe me, the more active you are, the easier it will be to find both a job and a project where you can be realized.
The main thing is that they never stand still.

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Aug 21, 2021 - 10:52am

It's all been said really well above, all depends how bad you want it. If you're willing to grind a bit, I'd recommend doing a part time search fund internship during your upcoming school year. It will give you some very related work experience and would allow you to have some deal oriented stuff to talk about on your resume when recruiting during the latter part of your 2nd year. 

I'd recommend start reaching out to search funds now, would be best to focus on ones being run by former bankers so you could be mentored in that regard, and propose working 10-20 hours a week 

Aug 21, 2021 - 1:19pm

I didn't have an internship after freshman year. I worked at a Whole Foods.

This past summer (post-sophomore year) I worked as an S&T intern. Next summer I have an internship lined up at an investment bank in an M&A role. So don't worry, people without a freshman internship have done it before, you still have time. Follow the above advice on your actions and you'll get there

  • Intern in IB - Cov
Aug 21, 2021 - 1:28pm

I was in the same spot as you but I never focused on landing one of those internships I spent my time building very strong connections through strategic networking and lined something up for junior year summer with no prior finance internships. Banks know how hard it is to get a sophomore seat. Don't panic, network.

Aug 21, 2021 - 4:24pm

Don't let it get to you, just take anything you can get. I had one shitty unpaid internship that led to another, which led to my internship this past summer and that helped me get my SA position for summer 2022. And at this time last year I had literally nothing to show on my resume besides some school clubs and minimum wage jobs. Networking for junior year internships is emphasized, but I'd say its just as useful for getting a sophomore internship. Don't be afraid to email people at any place somewhat related to finance and ask if they need interns now or for this summer. And unless you're interning in something like VC, UMM PE or a BB, no one is really going to care about your internship experience anyways as long as you can talk about the transferrable skills you learned as an intern

Aug 21, 2021 - 4:26pm

Your top priorities right now are three related tasks, all at once:

- Secure an internship in anything relevant, ideally a boutique bank

- Network enough to get interviews during the next recruiting season (which while it starts in five months, it still goes through the summer)

- Study for interviews

There's no secret or easy way, but if you want this job you absolutely can catch up before recruiting kicks off. You're not even that far behind. Dedicate time every day to an hour or more of each task. This will require some delayed gratification on your part. Thursday afternoon and you don't have class? Crack open rosenbaum and pearl, take some notes on one topic. Friday morning before section? Queue up some networking emails to fire off on Monday. Going to your finance club? Chat with upperclassmen about which sophomore internships they did and how they secured. 

You're going to have to incorporate recruiting into your life for the next 6-9 months but it will be worth it when you can enjoy Junior and Senior year and graduate into a sick job. Best of luck and make sure your efforts align with your interests.

Aug 21, 2021 - 5:06pm

Sometimes going extremely rogue over the summer can work. Instead of a banking internship between soph and junior year, I had an internship in Eastern Europe with an international firm that got a lot of attention during later interviews. If you're really uncompetitive, and aren't seeing results with dedicated networking, it might not be a bad fallback to just do something strange, but with a reputable firm.

Aug 22, 2021 - 6:58pm

You're overthinking it cuz its pretty simple. Best case scenario you stop wasting time writing posts like these and get a Fall IB internship at a regional boutique. if fall doesn't work out I personally would rather have an IB internship my soph summer than during spring cuz hopefully in spring you will be busy neworking/recruiting/interviewing which can be hectic if you're also working/doing school.

keep grinding this part is the fun part tbh 

Aug 22, 2021 - 11:18pm

Honest post here…..It's not as insanely hard as you think to get into banking. There are guys at the Ivys who saw wolf of Wall Street when they were in middle school and decided they wanted to do this with their life in that moment. Countless other though learn about this later along the way. I went to a super non target with almost no alumni presence in IB period. I went from not having heard of IB in June after my sophomore year to an internship offer at a BB in July after my sophomore year. I also just graduated with a guy who literally got hired a month after he graduated college to a BB role that was supposed to go to a lateral hire. His only internship or work experience was one summer in an audit role.

In simple terms, network your butt off, study the interview guides, get the good grades, and go get the jobs. Apply everywhere and see what happens. It's challenging but not insane. The only reason people think it is is because the Ivy kids want you to think their 200k education was significant but in reality I'm a kid from a state school who paid 10k total and I'm sitting in the chair right next to them. Go get yours

  • 2
Aug 23, 2021 - 12:50am

It's very common to feel like you're lagging behind your peers, and honestly I think it's a sign of success. It's good (within reason) to strive for more. 

That being said, you're a sophomore and the expectations aren't necessarily that high. If you are gunning for IB, you have plenty of options, such as networking into a part time internship during the school year to leverage that into a SA gig. 

I went to a non-target, got a 3.1 GPA and had a shitty accounting internship in Junior year only. I was gunning for IB (naively) and ended up graduating without a job. Cut to a year and a half later, I'm moving into a dream CRE role getting paid way more per hour than my peers in IB (due to working half the hours). You really never know where life will lead you, so long as you keep working hard and networking, and prepare yourself for any opportunity that may come. You're in college, your time there is too short to be worried about prestige and obsessing over what your friends are doing. Work hard and have fun. You'll get to where you want to go eventually.

  • Intern in HF - EquityHedge
Aug 23, 2021 - 6:50am

You make more per hour for the moment sure but the point of slaving away in IB is that they're also more likely to end up with better exit opps and career earnings trajectory than you

Aug 23, 2021 - 10:24am

LOL okay "Intern". Top brokers can make mid 7-figures spending half their time on the golf course. Some superstar developers are pulling in NBA money at 35. I personally know several people practically breaking 7-figures before 30 working in CRE. There are so many other opportunities other than IB --> PE  that will make you more than enough money to last several lifetimes. Yeah you may not be making as much money as your buddy in KKR at 25, but you'll have way more time to actually live your life and enjoy that money. Even at my MM firm real estate private equity exits are extremely viable with associates making 200-350k all in at 27, and hours that won't make you burn out so you can keep making more as your career progresses.

  • Intern in IB - Cov
Aug 23, 2021 - 6:22pm

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