I really need some major life advice. Trying to get my life straight.

Hey everyone,

I am currently a 22 year old senior going to a non-target university, DePaul University in Chicago, majoring in Finance and MIS and I'm rocking a 3.0GPA (yeah, eek). I've never had any internships either. I've never been a stellar student, just been slowly coasting through life and not applying myself. I'm nothing like the fellas that roll up on this forum that have an internship at a boutique firm and known they have wanted to work in IB since birth.

Up until last year I thought I was doing premed. I realized I absolutely hated it and switched to Finance and I absolutely love it, but as my GPA states, I'm not applying myself. The whole work ethic is different playing field in being able to get an A in a finance class, like you actually have to continuously practice (crazy, right?) I know I am having this epiphany a lot later, and debt ridden, than I should have. It hit me after I got my first D, ever (Accounting 102).

Rant aside, I really need help in what I should do next, because I know I can succeed and I know I can allocate the time to apply myself.

  1. Should I retake the classes C's that lowered my GPA? I know that I have to retake the D, and I already plan on doing that on my next quarter.

  2. I still want to be able to make good money to support my parents and future family. I was interested in IB and PE, but that's definitely out of the question. What jobs or career paths should I look into that will allow goo income path?

  3. I don't have a lot to offer on my resume other than loads lot of customer service and retail experience. What skills should I learn to add that can help further my chances in landing an internship? I am currently working towards getting my certification in Microsoft Office and learning Python and SQL. I was considering getting my certification in Bloomberg. What else should I learn to market myself?

  4. I should be starting at Chase as a teller, soon. Is it possible to work your way up the ladder starting as a Teller and after getting my Bachelor's work my way to Commercial Banking? Commercial Banking really interests me and I'm unsure of where I should start to get there.

Any other word of advice or insight would mean the world to me. Thanks in advance. I appreciate it so much!

Side note: Am I allowed to add my resume on here for a review?

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Comments (31)

Mar 21, 2019 - 8:19am

I'm would take some summer classes and retake 2 or 3 to get that gpa up to 3.2 area. Also, you have over a 3.0 from a good school, do not be a teller, you are better than that. At the very least you could be a personal banker. That said what is you interest in finance?

I would recommend looking at finance leadership development programs, there's a million out there. If you suck at accounting that may make it difficult, but that's why I recommend retaking the class. I can't help you pick a career you have to find what you think you'd enjoy doing or the day to day tasks (sales, numbers, etc) and get your resume as good as it can be by retaking some classes. Are there any short free internships you can get at a local wealth management shop? Better than what's currently on your resume...

Mar 21, 2019 - 8:35am

I really don't want to just end up as a teller, not even just a personal banker. I chose to to work here so at least I'll have something on my resume that isn't garage like Papa John's and related to working with finance. I was thinking as a part time job while I'm still in school until I find an internship.

I'll looki into some finance leadership development programs. Thank you! And it wasn't so much as Acc being hard just my dumb self didn't try as much as I could have. After looking into it I really do like commercial banking and want to get into that or wealth management.

As for local wealth management firms should I just call local firms and tell them I'm going to school and want to see if they offer a shadowing program or even an unpaid wealth management internship?

Thank you for taking the time to reply. I appreciate it!

Mar 21, 2019 - 9:00am

DePaul goes by quarters if that matters, but I have three left. I'll be graduating March 2020.

Yeah every job posting I seen was asking for 3-5 years of relevant experience. Is it possible to work any starting analyst position out of college and then going into commercial banking? Or does it have to be a credit analyst position to get into banking?

Also, do you have any recommendations on where I can get a good credit analysis course? Does this forum offer one? I know thee offer a lot of courses...

And yeah I'll definitely do that. As unappealing as working for free sounds I've gotten to that point too as long as I get some experience under my belt.

Thanks again for all the help I means a lot!

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Mar 21, 2019 - 8:40am

Yes exactly or just shoot emails to them saying you were wondering if they had any unpaid internships and that you would love to learn the industry from prominent local firms. Then give a brief brief 2 liner of you and then say would love to chat about any opportunities.

These guys love free work and it isn't fun for you but, to be honest, you need it on your resume. Just a couple hours a week.

Mar 21, 2019 - 10:41am

like a lot of people your age....you are treating college like a party....like you "deserve" things to be handed to you.

NewsFlash: college is first career prep, social life second.

If you can't get good grades with your current social life, then you should sacrifice the social life to get better grades. if you are lazy, then you know what....the world still need ditch diggers. Thats your choice to make.

just google it...you're welcome
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Mar 21, 2019 - 11:23am

regarding summer jobs...i would suggest sacrificing short term pay for experience. You won't be able to get the prestigious BB internships with your grades...but there are many companies out there with lower standards. Your career path will be a much longer road, because you slacked off...there will be a price to pay. However, that doesn't mean that you can't have a successful career eventually. Its just gonna take you longer than people who took college seriously and applied themselves from freshman year.

just google it...you're welcome
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Mar 21, 2019 - 12:28pm

Yeah you're right it's definitely going to be a lot longer than other that's actually applied themselves all through college. I know it's gonna be a long road, but better at 22 than at 40 I feel.

Thank for your insight I appreciate it.

Mar 25, 2019 - 9:27am

Keep your head up mate! A lot can still be done in a year.
Commercial banks (and broadly all the firms recruiting) don't just look at grades - yes they are important, but only as a differentiator. Try getting up some experience with societies and get involved with your uni finance club/s. Ideally a President/Exec position is favoured. Chuck in a bit of volunteering/fundraising work to round up your resume and take part of Consulting Case Comps/Debating to polish your presentation and verbal skills.

Coming back to grades - check out a book called "10 steps to earning awesome grades" by Thomas Frank. He's got some decent advice in there and has definitely helped me too.

Best of luck mate and don't give up. If you ever need a pick me up, check out the Success Stories Forum. Think I remember reading about a guy with a 3.0 or 3.2 GPA from a non-target who worked his way into Finance.

Mar 25, 2019 - 6:04pm

The obvious question is what is it that you like about Finance? Ideally, you should be better than your peers at some tasks and also enjoy doing those tasks. Credentials can only take you so far.

You've established that accounting isn't "it", but it also raises a red flag. I'm not a finance guy, but I can say that, on a 1-10 scale of quantitative difficulty, 100-level Accounting is a 1.

The GPA/Resume problem is probably not so important. A great many of us had the same starting experience. A prospective employer/internship giver/etc will want you to directly tell them what you're good at and show some proof (ex: if you can crunch numbers, then something online where you show off those anticipated Python skills will help). Similarly, showing off projects where you built something of value, even little toy projects, shows that you can work independently--very important skill.

Mar 27, 2019 - 8:02pm

So, let's assume you want to show off some quantitative chops, data science style. You'll want to show that you know a language, and move around data and clean it, and predict something. It doesn't have to be a good prediction, but it should show of models, train/test split, and k-fold cross validation

I would suggest predicting some financial time series. You can get a bunch of old ones online from universities etc. I prefer the free datasets from Quandl. The API is really easy to use and it's good, current data (at least for the stuff I look at).

So, do some Pandas/Sklearn/Statsmodels tutorials or courses, drop some financial time series in there, and make a nice, well-formatted Jupyter notebook to show off.

Here's the historical price of Green Eggs N' Ham (GENH).
Here it is broken down by [different slices]
Here's a seasonal decomposition
Here are some other feature engineering things I did to spiff that data up for models
Now, let's forecast it using OLS regression
Let's score that sucker
Here's a k-fold cross validation of the data (10 is usual).
Let's compare regular OLS with LASSO, Ridge, etc.
Let's add ensemble methods (decision tree methods) to that comparison.
Now here's my pipeline to do everything--it even has compressed pickles.

You'll want a version of this that's PPTX-friendly for a more managerial audience (charts, no code) and a technical version for technical interviewers.

Just showing of even a simple version that works should place you on the very far right of the technical proficiency (and commitment) Bell curve vs your peers at the junior level.

Mar 27, 2019 - 2:59pm

I just read through the thread and boy does that dude have an insufferable attitude, no wonder he can't land anything. I also read your comment and that gave me a lot of insight. Thank you!

Also, when you say information interviews do you mean calling people from the firm I applied to and asking them about the position? Just simply learning more? If I do that and get the information needed how would that get me to landing a job there?

Thank you for your help!

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Mar 27, 2019 - 4:47pm

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